Nestled within the Tofino Resort and Marina, 1909 Kitchen in Tofino offers an enviable waterfront location to savour Chef Paul Moran’s Pacific-inspired, ingredient-driven menu using locally sourced and foraged ingredients from Tofino’s coastline and forests.
The interior design utilizes natural wood with an abundance of greenery to highlight the natural resources in the surrounding area. This theme continues from the wood-planked entryway into the dining room, where a warm palette of wooden finishes and plush leather booth seating invite guests to cozy up around the table.
Though we arrived in a large group of fourteen, we were quickly and efficiently seated on the patio. Tables facing the water have its own open fireplaces, a source of warmth for chilly evenings as guests catch the sunset while enjoying their dinner.
Lights are strung in a criss-cross pattern across the patio, adding a rustic, whimsical vibe to the dining environment as dusk turns to night. Across the water, the lush forest and mountains are shrouded in thick, dense clouds.
Breathing in the abundance of fresh air by the water, we settled in to review the menu.
The menu incorporates locally sourced and foraged ingredients, with the locally caught black cod as one of the most notable dishes on the menu. Infused with miso and maple syrup, the black cod is wood roasted on a thin cedar plank to infuse the fresh smell of cedar into the fish, blending the delicious fish oils with the refreshing scent, a truly west-coast inspired creation. The crispy sweet and spicy tofu are also perfectly fried, with the batter being light and thin while still crunchy, a perfect compliment to the steaming hot tofu inside.
Since you are already on the west coast where restaurants have access to fresh locally caught seafood, we recommend you try 1909 Kitchen’s market price seafood items. The platter pictured below is a half portion of the seafood platter, with servings of oysters, mussels, clams, and crab legs. It makes for a great starter share platter prior to diving in the mains.
The restaurant also has feature drinks for those who are looking for a thirst quencher. We chose the lemon lavender mocktail, a refreshing option that pairs well with the summer patio weather. Aside from the seafood items, there is also a variety of wood-fired pizzas to choose from, and we tried the Burrata Margherita, Spicy Soppressata, and the Ahi Tuna special to ensure we tried the full range of flavours. Our preference is for the classic, the Burrata Margherita, topped with fresh basil, tomato and burrata - where simplicity is best.
Once you have savoured every bite of the thin-crust, wood-fired pizza and fresh seafood, it’s time to open up the dessert menu, which is hidden at the back of the drinks menu. We highly recommend leaving room for dessert, as everything on the menu sounds delicious. Given the limited appetite we had remaining following the mains and seafood platter, we opted for the wood fired cobbler to taste the featured seasonal fruit, which was rhubarb. The oat crumble laid atop of the piping hot fruit adds a lovely, chewy texture and nutty flavour to the sweet and tangy rhubarb; the scoop of vanilla bean gelato is the perfect finishing touch.
Those who successfully devour their way through a three-course meal will want to take a post-dinner stroll along the water, even if it’s just down to the pier hidden behind the restaurant. The views at sunset hour are stunning, with cotton clouds covering the vast expanse of blue skies. Face the other way and the breathtaking water views invite you to stay and find your zen as you stare off to the horizon.
On your next visit to Tofino, whether it’s to surf or to wander along the island’s endless beaches, we recommend a meal at 1909 Kitchen, to experience their ingredients-driven menu, where every visit promises a creative culinary surprise.