Tasting the Influence of the Ocean at Currents

Currents boast the most stunning views of any restaurant I’ve visited, not just because of the unimpeded sight line to the black rock beach but also the impressive proximity to the ocean itself. The restaurant is named for the oceanographic term which refers to the continuous, directional movement of the ocean. The name is well-chosen as the ocean is ever-present at Currents.

Tasting the Influence of the Ocean at Currents
Photograph by Nate Johnston

The Ocean Influence

The dining room windows stretch from floor to ceiling, offering panoramic views. The design elements of the room are soft and plush, offering a contrast to the harsh rock and crashing waves outside. Just as any guest to Currents cannot help but be impressed by the power and beauty of the ocean, the culinary team likewise is understandably influenced by the ocean. They strive to showcase “the riches of the ocean, forest, and farms of Vancouver Island.” The team is inspired by local ingredients that change seasonally whether they are creating breakfast and brunch dishes or dinner.

Tasting the Influence of the Ocean at Currents

Starting the Day at Currents

I don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed a more dramatic view while eating breakfast. Currents, as a hotel restaurant, serves breakfast daily until 11:30 am and dinner daily, with a brunch menu offered on Saturdays and Sundays until 12:30pm. It can be a challenge to do both well while still upholding the commitments that Black Rock Resort has made to sustainability but Currents deftly, and deliciously, handles both.

The breakfast menu at Currents is all encompassing, including smoothies, gluten-free oatmeal, French toast, avocado toast, and huevos rancheros. They also have a selection of bennies with a classic ham option as well as smoked salmon and the Mr Crabs Benny which has house-made crab cakes. The Morning Poutine is probably the heartiest breakfast option along with Steak and Eggs. The poutine comes with sausage and bacon as well as onions and mushrooms, all piled high on hashbrown potatoes along with two poached eggs and hollandaise. While I visited during storm season which has its own unique allure, the summer is a beautiful time to visit Ucluelet and Currents offers breakfast and lunch on their outdoor patio, which means guests get to dine even closer to the Black Rock beach.

Tasting the Influence of the Ocean at Currents
Photograph by Nate Johnston

Dinner and a Currents’ Oceanfront Show

The dinner menu at Currents shifts to more fine dining as the sun sets into the Pacific Ocean, the ocean that so directly inspires the menu. Continuing to showcase West Coast ingredients while championing sustainability, the dinner menu at Currents features some delectable seafood dishes. Their Charcoal Grilled Octopus comes with pork belly as well as spicy pork sausage, both of which excellently compliment the delicate flavour and meaty texture of the octopus. It is served on polenta and topped with a house-made chimichurri sauce. Another seafood focussed dish is the Pan Roasted Pacific Scallops which also feature the umami factor of pork, and come with a futsu squash puree as well charred onion garlic sauce.

The Fisherman’s Stew utilizes some of the very best local seafood ingredients with Vancouver Island clams as well as mussels and scallops served in a ramen style broth with sea lettuce from Bamfield and braised root vegetables. Also, showcasing local protein, the Roasted Fraser Valley Duck comes with roasted breast as well as confit leg served on a bed of beluga lentils with red cabbage and an elegant apple and mustard spiked duck jus.

Photograph by Nate Johnston

Destination Dining

Currents’ location at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort is fairly remote which puts pressure on the team to deliver high quality food to guests who have limited options for outside dining. Currents has a focused and honed menu for both breakfast and dinner that, while not overwhelming, offers enough diversity to keep guests excited even if dining multiple nights in a row. The menus also change seasonally so anyone revisiting Currents will likely find a new selection of food items that they have not yet had the chance to try.

Given the dramatic and captivating nature of Currents’ location, it is a feat for the food to steal the focus from the stunning views but the culinary team at Currents have succeeded in creating food that is so delicious it is distracting. Not only is the food at Currents inspired by the proximity to the ocean but it is also elevated by it. No matter how wind battered the trees, no matter how violently the waves crash upon the black rocks outside, the food and drinks at Currents will satiate any storm watcher.

Tasting the Influence of the Ocean at Currents

About Bronwyn Lewis 61 Articles
Bronwyn Lewis is a food writer for the Vancouver Guardian. She’s also a screenwriter and producer. Born and raised in Vancouver, Bronwyn lives in Mount Pleasant and you can follow all her food adventures on Instagram.