The Bengal Lounge - The Fairmont Empress Hotel
The Bengal Lounge - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

The Bengal Lounge - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.fairmont.com/
  • Phone: 2509954688x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch daily from 11:30am - 4pm

    Dinner daily from 4pm - 10:30pm (11pm on Fridays & Saturdays)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary Indian, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Morgan Wilson
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wine
  • Entertainment: The Bengal Lounge is pleased to feature live jazz Friday and Saturday nights, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Enjoy the smooth sounds of sax man Chris Millington, doyen of Victoria's vibrant music scene. A favorite of locals and visitors alike; The Chris Millington Trio will surprise you with their seemingly unlimited repertoire of well-known jazz standards. The trio provides the idyllic musical soundtrack to many special occasions!

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Belleville
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Underground Parking is available.
A word from The Bengal Lounge - The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Drawing inspiration from Queen Victoria's role as the Empress of India, this colonial style lounge is known throughout Victoria for its authentic curry buffet and signature cocktail menu. While new restaurants and lounges appear in Victoria regularly, The Bengal Lounge is a favorite of residents and visitors alike.

Overlooking our stately gardens, the richly appointed Bengal Lounge offers not only a delicious curry lunch and dinner buffet but also an impressive international à la carte menu. Cocktail and martini aficionados will appreciate our vast selection of signature drinks.

The Bengal Lounge is a licensed lounge and all guest must be 19 or older.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
The Bengal Lounge - The Fairmont Empress Hotel reviews from OpenTable diners
49 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.1
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (35)romantic (18)scenic view (18)neighborhood gem (18)fit for foodies (17)great for lunch (13)good for groups (12)great for brunch (8)late-night find (7)hot spot (6)notable wine list (6)vibrant bar scene (2)Show More
  • A great evening!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    We enjoyed the lounge and the entertainment was very good. My wife said the crab cakes were the best she ever had but the chicken pot pie was pretty dry.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ashcar
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Always wonderful. We all enjoyed ourselves immensely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Horrible food and service
    Dissatisfied4us2
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Decided to eat buffet and when serving some lettuce, a swarm of flies flew from the salad and I had to get the hostess who then redeem over the salad and surrounding food. The meat station was very dry and tough to eat. I complained to the waitress that the salad bar was covered in flies and she said they are just fruit flies and not to worry. We also had to oonstntly track her down to get a refill on water and deinks. Then track her down to get the bill which then we were given the wrong bill. Track her down again to get the correct bill. I comp Laing to the empress and their restaurant manager offered us to eat again at the buffet Bengal restaurant. I responded I did not ever want to eat their again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Empress dining...Bengal Lounge...
    bridgetinvictoria
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    The Bengal lounge has a really great ambience and as soon as you walk in you feel you're in for a treat. Prices are pretty average for a higher end dining experience. The serving staff were incredibly helpful, attentive and knowledgeable of their product. Our server was Lorne and he was charming and funny but down to Earth. The food was a treat! A terrific menu with a variety of dishes. Our server recommended 3 or 4 dishes (not just the most expensive either) and we were sold. When our meal was over, there was no-one rushing us to leave or bringing the cheque quickly so as to fill our space with another diner Overall, we had a fantastic time...a very classy customer service focused place to eat out for a special occasion!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A landmark !
    RobiK
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Classy, chic, great ambiance, delicious curry buffet is a must
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Perfect Evening!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    I loved the Indian Buffet, the servers and hostesses were wonderful, the room is incredible! We went Sunday evening and Kristina Helene's singing was so lovely. I am so glad a world-wise friend from the states told us it was a must, and that we listened!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Curry Buffet - Outstanding
    LonnieT
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Had a great lunch with friends from Australia on their last day of vacation in BC. We all enjoyed the ambiance of the room, the food quality and service were excellent. I highly recommend the Bengal Lounge to both locals and tourists alike.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Dinner out
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Service and ambiance of the room, along with a delicious Indian food buffet provided a wonderful evening to celebrate a special occasion with another couple. An after dinner walk from the Empress at sunset was fabulous - great location of the Lounge another bonus. Reservations in the Lounge were only available till 5 pm - this worked out well for us. With our 5 pm reservation we were seated for a pre-dinner cocktail ahead of the buffet opening - i.e. we missed having to line-up to get in.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Classic
    MPR5325
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The Bengal Lounge is a classic "old world" experience. It's a little worn, but here it's a patina of dignified elegance. The Curry Buffet is delicious. The service is a little formal, perfectly in keeping with the mood. I've been going here to meet visiting friends, celebrate birthdays and just for a treat for (oh good grief) thirty years... Had my first legal drink here, for that matter. I love it. You should too!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Visiting The Bengal Lounge
    2europeanvisitors
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Our second visit to this restaurant on our second visit to Victoria from Europe. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed in The Curry Table as we found the appetisers to be dry and unappealing. The main courses were better, but this table is not one I would recommend nor shall I be choosing in the future.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • An Australian Perspective
    currylover
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    The Empress is a remarkable hotel, very elegant and stylish. The Bengal Lounge captures this elegant spirit beautifully. My wife and I have enjoyed several special meals together in the lounge. As occasional visitors from Australia we make a point of trying to book a table before we leave Australia. Only once did we find that the lounge was booked for a private function. The curry buffet continues to impress and inspire. Great food, excellent value and fabulous ambiance.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Indian buffet brunch
    tome
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Still has a great Indian buffet with special curries. We had been here 25 years ago; the decor was more intimate then but also less PC with a big game hunter theme. Great space looking out over lawns and garden, very very comfortable and intimate eating spaces (read not crowded with tables), quiet and excellent serving staff. Of course, this is the Empress.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    2alwayslooking
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Went there for the curry buffet lunch, had reserved so seating was good at a window, maitre-de was welcoming, the room is nice and large but needs update, server had very poor timing, the dal and papadams were nice, the chai was really not very good and served in cheap glass mug with big cinnamon stick. The butter chicken was weird tasting, the rest of the curries all tasted the same, the tandoori neither seemed grilled nor roasted it was strange too, deserts were ok. Overall disappointing. The ladies washroom hideous.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    You keep sending me emails re our birthday dinner, you had the wrong date, we were there on the 18th August?? Not the following Monday???
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    AnnickVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    I like to come here as the quality of food and the service are always very good. Had the flat bread with a Caesar salad, a Pinot Grigio and an ice cream.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Indian Buffet
    Redleo
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We have visited Victoria many times but can't believe we had never tried the Bengal Lounge for the fabulous Indian Curry Buffet. Tried it this last trip and will absolutely do it again. It was so nice to see many older couples very nicely dressed but it too bad there are still men who wear baseball caps everywhere.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistent
    AnnickVIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Very good, as usual. We took 3 appetizers as "tapas" and had plentiful to eat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lindy
    Phoodie
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    We had the curry buffet and we decided that the butter chicken is the BEST we have had anywhere. Good Service and nice environment. A pleasant experience for me to host an out of town guest.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Jazz
    Jazzfans
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We enjoyed the great jazz music on a Sunday night in summer. By reserving through Open Table, we got seats in the leather wingback chairs near the entertainers. It was the perfect way to relax over beverages after a busy day of sightseeing, which also happened to be a special celebration. We didn't need the reservation to get in, but it did get us good seats. Service was attentive but not intrusive. All in all, a very pleasant evening in a very pleasant location.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    We celebrated our 22 Wedding Anniversary in style. The food and atmosphere was fantastic. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • time2goagain
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    I highly recommend The Bengal Lounge for a special occasion, birthday or romantic and with special people. I have been taking a very dear friend for his birthday to the Bengal Lounge for the last few years and recently I took him there for his 89th birthday. The servers were so attentive and brought a piece of cheesecake with a candle. It's a beautiful and quiet environment that is pleasant
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique to Victoria
    gypsyvisitor
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    The Bengal Room is a unique institution in Victoria. Always reliable and consistent with a wonderful ambience, good food and outstanding service. Their curry buffets are legendary and for those that don't enjoy curry, there are an array of a la carte options from which to choose. The Bengal Room takes you to another time and another world and provides an enjoyable adult dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delighful Setting
    Victoria25
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    But the Indian Buffet left something to be desired. None of the dishes had any spice to them at all. Usually when you think of Indian food, there is a bit of spice and flavour. This seemed to be all dumbed down to appease the masses, and I felt all the dishes tasted the same. We had dessert on The Veranda, and this was exceptional!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding!
    Lovedit
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Ambiance was fabulous, food was delicious and the music was among the best live music we've heard anywhere. A highlight of our trip to Victoria!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Indian food buffet
    cooker
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    The worst Indian food I've ever tasted. It was cold, the naan was not authentic, the curries all tasted the same--the butter chicken was indistinguishable.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A favourite
    Carol
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    I can't imagine visiting Victoria without having the curry buffet at the Bengal Lounge. The food and specialty drinks are excellent and the service and atmosphere are 5 star but in a comfortable, relaxing way. Even as the end to a day trip, it is a pleasure to have dinner at Bengal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 23 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.4
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 196 reviews are from the The Bengal Lounge - The Fairmont Empress Hotel reviews archive.
  • Riffle
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Worth traveling from Southern California to celebrate my birthday with family. Table reserved was perfect.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous for a special occaision
    BPC1
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Great spot for a special occasion with attentive but not overbearing service. Casual enough to feel comfortable in your walking about town clothes but special enough to get dressed up for as well. Ambiance of the restaurant and hotel are so classic, and prices are very reasonable for the venue. If you like Indian food, the buffet is delicious, but ordering off the menu is equally good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The curry buffet is the best!
    CicisMom
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Great bar tender that invents creative and delicious drinks!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • food was too salty
    Davis
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    In my case, the buffet food was too salty. of course, every person has different taste. but I think I am also a person that has average taste. I don't recommend if the taste of food won't be changed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous Indian Curry Buffet
    eatrunsail
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We visited specifically to celebrate a birthday.. party of 2.. late lunch. Fabulous. The waiter was nice but did not hover too much. Food was wonderful - martini chilled to perfection!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    We brought my in-laws here for dinner during their "bucket list" trip to Victoria. My Father-in-law had seen the lounge in a movie, and he, my wife, and I all love Indian food. My mother-in-law was able to get fish and chips, one of her favorites, and the rest of us selected the curry buffet. My FiL enjoyed the food, and (caveat: my wife and I are very picky about Indian food) my wife and I thought it was okay. We enjoy a little more spice to our curries. That being said, we understand the challenges of providing a spice level on a buffet that pleases everyone. The atmosphere was perfect. We had a great time. Our server was a consummate professional, and the setting was elegant, well maintained and appropriately nostalgic.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Go for the cocktails
    xxxxVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    The place is a little dirty. There were chunks of food under our table and the chairs are white leather so they will never look clean again. Nevertheless, the cocktails are spectacular and the space is unique. We only had a couple of snacks which were fine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    Islandgirlatheart
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We went once again for the Curry Buffet for our Mother's Day Brunch. Amazing food, ambience, and the service by our server, Lisa, was excellent. My father had the chowder and said it was one of the best he had ever had. Very enjoyable!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great, friendly service
    Myroyalexperience
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    I took my mum out for a birthday dinner our server was very friendly and helpful. We we're treated with a smile from the hostess and enjoy fantastic food and drinks. I liked the decor and comfy chairs I felt pretty "royal" while dinning. I will pass on my wonderful experience to friends and family with great recommendations
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We like the Bengal
    ColinandAndrea
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    I have been coming here since the late 70's - what can I say? It is as reliable as gravity and never lets you down -- fairly pricey cocktails but attentive service and knowledgeable staff - menu rotates pretty often - is no longer purely Indian influences... Good for a romantic get away - or entertaining out of town friends and family.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great hospitality at Bengal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    notably "saved" by 2 safety pins obtained from gracious hosts when my pant zipper suddenly unraveled! Food was much better than I remember the buffet the last time I was there and would recommend.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Comfort, Quiet and Curry
    Diningbythesea
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    The Bengal Lounge has a grandeur that brings a smile to the face of all who enter. The ornate architecture lends itself to the atmosphere of a gentleman's club. The ambience has the respect of a library with sumptuous furnishings. The staff are highly skilled and most attentive. There is usually a buffet of curried dishes and a menu of select items from appetizers to main entre options available . The extensive wine list and selection of beers both international and local is quite impressive. I would highly recommend The Bengal Lounge at The Empress as place of quiet,calm and civilized conviviality. An agreeable retreat of comfort for those who need to be refreshed and pampered in a genial mood.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Scenic View, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • To Dine For - 5 Star Indian Buffet
    ALuckyDiner
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    The ambiance and the history of the Bengal Lounge is enough on it's own to attract a hungry crowd, but their Indian lunch buffet is truly outstanding! The best I've had in Canada. The fresh flavours and variety will appeal to everyone. The mix of salads, meat dishes, vegetable dishes and the papadums rock! It's always a must-do dining experience when I'm in Victoria. Complementing the food is a fantastic Fairmont service and a very thorough list of drink options. Soak in the atmosphere of Bengal Lounge while you sink away fully fed in your comfy leather chair.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bengal Lounge worthy of a visit!
    globepro
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Be sure and ask to be seated at regular chairs around a table, or you will find yourself in the same predicament that we did for our meal. Seating way too low to be comfortable. Granted the ambiance of the Bengal Lounge is one of aged beauty. Ageing gracefully (like the rest of the room), is not shown in the leather chairs. Since we booked ahead for dinner the staff should have known to seat us at better table / chair combo for a meal. The Curry Buffet was delicious and the service was great, (other than the seating location), just what we expected!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.