Making sushi is an inherently quiet and intense process. Chefs tightly roll seaweed and rice around fish and veggies at One More Sushi. The meditative calm is cut by the sounds of crackling grills covered in teriyaki sauce and meats. Hot oil bubbles up around tempura-battered veggies and even bananas, and pots of miso soup pour forth steam like a fax machine built in the 1800s.
Nestled amid the vibrant scenery of Cowichan's wine country, Arbutus Ridge Golf Club's 18-hole, par 71 course weaves through 6,193 yards of fairways and greens kissed by breezes moving inland off the waters of the Saanich Inlet. Named one of Canada's Ten Best Golf Courses for Value by Westjet's Up! magazine in 2009, the course's front nine weaves alongside the seaside community of Cobble Hill before ascending a ridge to a plateau on the back nine, where players can soak in sweeping views of Salt Spring Island and name new constellations in the divots peppered across the course below. Though players encounter many par 4s and reachable par 5s, Arbutus Ridge concludes with three treacherous holes, including the 214-yard, par 3 17th hole, where golfers must overcome swirling winds to land tee shots on an island green. Golfers can prepare for rounds with a stint at the club's driving range or by scouting sand traps' self-defence mechanisms while watching the club's online course videos.
Arbutus Ridge cares about the condition of its course and the nature that surrounds it, and because of its efforts toward sustainable practices, the course has been certified by Audubon International. After rounds, course patrons can retire to the Satellite Bar & Grille, which overlooks the Satellite Channel and serves a seasonal menu of West Coast–influenced French bistro fare, with offerings that include halibut, salmon, and tenderloin steak, which pairs well with a glass of Jean Van de Velde's tears.
Course at a Glance:
For patrons bound for Steeples Bar and Grill, the experience begins before the restaurant comes into view. A scenic drive over the Malahat and through Goldstream Provincial Park offers a feast of vistas, and then the restaurant's steeple—an artifact of the restored church where it has taken up residence—peaks through the trees like a giant toddler playing hide-and-seek.
Beneath it, beams that were hand-hewn generations ago hint at present-day staff members' attention to detail. Amid casual, cozy surroundings including shuttered windows, guests dine on upscale dishes such as steak encrusted with black peppercorns, seared tuna, and creamy tarragon fettuccine replete with king prawns. The drink menu complements meals with daiquiris, martinis, and draft beers.
Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club’s trained instructors demonstrate the basics of buoyancy in a one-hour classroom lesson followed by two hours of on-board sailing practice. Seafarers-to-be absorb techniques for sailing, tacking, and gybing. Students study sailboat anatomy, from the differences between the boom and the mast to the best locations in which to host a visiting gentlemarlin. Next, motorized safety boats carry one instructor each along with a group of new tars to the scenic protective waters of Tsehum Harbour and allow students to put their skills to aquatic use. After lessons, students are welcome to grab a burger at the clubhouse (price not included with this Groupon) or sip some complimentary coffee while attempting to tame windswept bouffants.
The culinary masterminds at Dish Cookhouse put inventive twists on homestyle diner fare, drawing from international flavours to construct juicy sandwiches and all-day breakfast. The crunch of fresh-cracked eggs fills the kitchen as chefs whip up omelettes and sizzling skillets of veggies, meat, and cheese. For lunch, the diner gurus infuse pulled pork with Vietnamese flavours and cap succulent burgers in creative sauces such as the house burger sauce or garlic-cheese mayo that can stop even the most persistent vampires from stealing a bite.
Jessie's Juice is the fruit-infused brainchild of local and award-winning country music artist Jessie Farrell, whose venture into non-musical artistry includes a menu of wholesome smoothies, raw and organic food items from local artisans, and her self-designed Jessie's Tea. Pink walls and a checkered floor beckon guests into the shop, where a whir of blenders transforms organic and local fruit, superfoods, and other ingredients into sippable smoothie potions. As daily soup offerings and a selection of raw, vegan, and gluten-free food options lasso their seductive aromas around noses, guests may sign the heart-shaped guest book or enjoy their purchases on the shop's wood bench that sticks its tongue out whenever it senses a stray drop falling.
Every business begins with a dream that takes its owner on a proverbial journey. Victor Sanchez did things a little bit backwards. He was out on the open road, rumbling along on a transcontinental motorcycle adventure to Argentina, and he crossed path with his muse: food. Victor fell so in love with the exotic cuisines he sampled throughout Mexico and South America that he vowed to share them with his Canadian neighbors.
Instead of starting from the ground up, Victor expedited the process. He purchased Carlos Cantina & Grill, a local hotspot with a solid reputation for tasty Mexican food. Though he vowed to preserve the menu that made the eatery so popular, Victor payed homage to the trip that started it all. He’s added monthly South American specialties to the lineup of tacos, chimichangas, and chicken mole in a homemade sauce. He recruited a team of chefs that craft flavourful burritos and enchiladas for people of all culinary inclinations—noting on the menu which entrees are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Tangy margaritas and fire extinguishers filled with guacamole are always available to cool off tongues as guests dine amid brightly patterned tablecloths and warm adobe walls.