The Shelter Restaurant, Tofino BC

Now that we are safely in the Middle Beach Resort near Tofino BC we are having the time of our lives. The sun is shining, the kids slept through the night two nights in a row and all is great.

Today after the girls had their lunch time nap we decided to try going out for a meal. Although we have heard fabulous things about the Wickaninnish Inn restaurant we decided that it may not be the place to take the twins. Instead we headed into the heart of the community of Tofino to try a little restaurant called The Shelter Restaurant.

Shelter Restaurant
Shelter Restaurant

My Sweetheart and her father had the Pacific Ling Cod burger with yam fries while I tried the Tofino Rice bowl. We were all impressed.

Before ordering the burgers I asked if they had real fish in them or if they had a breaded and deep-fried fish-like thing. The server just looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Its real fish.” Even though her answer might have come across as snooty, I didn’t sense that. It was more like she was saying, “Ah no, we only serve quality ingredients here and why would we use a horrible fish product when we live right on the ocean and can get fresh fish as we need it.” The way she said it actually reassured me that this was going to be a top quality meal.

The burgers were spectacular. The fish was grilled to perfection and placed on home-style buns with a leaf of lettuce and tomato. A unique addition was the onion-ring in the burger. Different but yummy.

Pacific Ling Cod Burger
Pacific Ling Cod Burger

The Tofino Rice Bowl could be had with wild Pacific Salmon, tofu or organic chicken. I chose the salmon and thoroughly enjoyed the generous portion of salmon that was cut into cubes and gently pan-fried.

Obviously being a rice-bowl there had to be rice underneath the salmon and veggies. A blend of basmati and wild rice. The basmati rice had a perfect texture and the long grain, wild rice added a slightly nutty flavour to the bowl.

Tofino Salmon Rice Bowl
Tofino Salmon Rice Bowl

Overall, it was a perfect meal. The twins loved the little pieces of salmon I would feed them with my chop sticks. They also very much enjoyed the yam fries.

Something extra-special about the Shelter Restaurant is that they have a garden out back where seasonally they grow all their herbs and many of the vegetables that they use in the restaurant. As well, they have a cistern that they use to collect and hold all the water that falls on the roof of the restaurant. In these ways they lower the environmental impact of their business.

Shelter Restaurant garden
Shelter Restaurant garden

I asked how busy that keep hims and he said that this year he is going to be hiring a couple extra people to help him keep his business going. What a great opportunity for him to practice creating food while living in such an idyllic little community.

After eating I ventured over to the open kitchen grill area and introduced myself to the chef.

Chef Derek at Shelter Restaurant
Chef Derek at Shelter Restaurant

Chef Derek says that he works at the Shelter restaurant half time. The rest of the time he works as a personal chef for people. People have him come to their home so that he can create dinners for their special occasions.

The Shelter Restaurant is located at 601 Campbell Street in Tofino, BC.

Disclosure; this review is based on my personal opinion. I did not receive any form of compensation from the Shelter Restaurant or anybody else for writing this review.

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