Toptable Group Opens Its First Restaurant in Victoria – Marilena


– Executive Chef Kristian Eligh Returns Home to Vancouver Island –

Vancouver, B.C. (June 15, 2023): Toptable Group, a leader in North American hospitality, dedicated to creating elegant yet approachable dining experiences, welcomes the newest addition to its family with the opening of Marilena. This marks Toptable’s first restaurant in British Columbia’s beautiful capital city, Victoria, with hometown talent Kristian Eligh, formerly of Hawksworth Restaurant Group, as Executive Chef.

“We are thrilled to open our doors to the Victoria community this month and work with the incredibly talented Executive Chef Kristian Eligh who grew up in this very special city,” said Michael Doyle, President, Toptable Group. “For over four decades, our team has been dedicated to delivering unforgettable dining experiences through the passion of our award-winning chefs and dedicated staff. Our philosophy of combining extraordinary talent with an unparalleled level of hospitality is what we’re most excited to deliver to our new home on Vancouver Island.”

An avid free diver and fisherman, Chef Eligh has crafted a menu that draws inspiration from memorable West Coast cuisine with an emphasis on local and globally sourced seafood. Providing a variety of choice for guests, the menu delivers Raw & Chilled options (Oysters on the Half Shell, Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, Hawaiian Kanpachi Crudo); assorted Nigiri, Sashimi, and Sushi Rolls; and a variety of dishes to encourage sharing as Small Plates (Crispy Tacos, Grilled Octopus, Dungeness Crab Cake, Charred Sakura Farms Pork Belly). Larger entrees – such as Whole Grilled Nova Scotia Lobster, Hecate Strait Halibut, and Parmesan Crusted Chicken – to round out the menu. The dessert menu, created by Pastry Chef Dominique Laurencelle (Boom + Batten), includes Chocolate Molten CakeVanilla Bean Cheesecake, Key Lime Curd, Whipped Dulcey Ganache and Yuzu Sorbet.

The front-of-house team is led by Restaurant Director Aaron Matsuzaki (Nancy Go Yaya, MIKU) who brings over 18 years of industry knowledge. Bar Manager Jayce Kadyschuk’s beverage offering features a Gin & Tonic program that showcases a selection of globally recognized gins produced on the Island. The expansive wine list, created by Toptable Group’s Wine Director, Shane Taylor, has an option for everyone, celebrating far-reaching varietals from notable regions while also honouring the Island’s premier wineries.

Located at 1525 Douglas Street, a stunning new LEED Platinum building created by Jawl Properties, Marilena features a warm, contemporary dining room anchored by an open-concept kitchen. Guests can also request to be seated at Marilena’s stunningly authentic Japanese raw bar, led by Chef Clark Park (MIKU). 

A short walk from the Victoria Harbour Ferry, Marilena will be open daily beginning at 4:30pm for cocktails at the bar and 5pm for dinner service. Reservations can be made by visiting or by calling our team at (778) 405-5200.

Toptable Group: One of Canada’s leading hospitality groups, Toptable has twelve elegant yet approachable restaurants in Vancouver, Whistler, and New York: Araxi Restaurant and Oyster Bar and The Cellar by Araxi, Bar Oso, Il Caminetto, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin Ristorante, Elisa, Luigi & Sons Butcher Shop, Marilena, Thierry, Carlotto, and Oceans. More information can be found online at



Follow Marilena Cafe & Raw Bar on Instagram @marilenacafe

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Natalie Fox
Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications

Molly Ray
Vice President, Marketing and Communications