Enjoy a curry buffet or sample dishes from their a la carte menu, decadant desserts and a long list of signature drinks in this Victorian clubroom. The Bengal Lounge is located in the Empress Hotel.
With all the hoo-haw written in the reviews above, we were quite excited about this so-called Victoria institution. Overall, we were /not/ impressed.
The so-called Indian food? So-so. The na'an bread was dried-out and not buttery at all -- it had a crunchy texture: not a good start. The basmati rice was somewhat mushy and broken (basmati rice should be served such that the grains are unbroken). The "fine curry selection" was limited to three (lamb curry: so-so, but tasted like a stew; lentil curry: so-so, but nothing to write home about; butter-chicken: best of the lot), and the tandori chicken tasted like it had been sitting under the hot-lamp for a half a day (not tender). Perhaps I have been spoiled, but frankly, this was a pretty poor excuse for Indian curry buffet.
The popadams were okay, and the broth was reasonable, but again, certainly not worth the price we paid ($28pp).
I think the thing that irked us the most was the "Rosa Parks" feel that we got when we stepped in... It was not overly comfortable: no smile, no attempt at conversation, barely a look. This wouldn't have been so bad, except for how noticeably different they treated the other folks around us. We were not pleased.
I visited the Bengal Lounge for drinks and dessert last weekend. The server was prompt as ever, and uber-friendly; just what you'd expect at an establishment of this calibre. As is always the case on weekend evenings, talented musicians hooked us up with some live jazz for our listening enjoyment! I opted to try the hazelnut orange cheesecake, and I wasn't disappointed. Decadent, top-quality chocolate adorned the outside of the cheesecake. The rich flavours mingled perfectly together, and I quickly forgot that I wasn't in Switzerland! Presentation was impeccable, and a fun martini was the perfect accompaniment. All in all, a great evening to relax and kick back. The roaring fire in the corner kept the room cozy and created a very unique ambiance! I'll definitely be back.
This is one of my favorite Martini spots! Blue Saphire Gin, a spritz of Vermouth and lots of olives - shaken!! Their Martinis just taste better??? I think the ambience adds a lot too and the Waiters are very mature and attentive! The history, the luxury, the jazz music and tasty nibbles makes for a very classy and memorable experience...
The Bengal Lounge is my hubby's fav place and this is what he has to say: A Victoria institution! Like many people, we've only ever had the curry buffet, and it's truly one of the best restaurants for indian food in town. The medium-spiced beef curry, butter chicken, and naan are particular favourites. Great ambience, great service, great choice of fantastic indian food complete with authentic condiments. I've been many times, and already looking forward to my next visit.
This is a classic example of a location surviving due 100% to it's location! After being asked if we wanted to eat or "just have drinks" we were seated in some very comfortable lounge chairs at a table for two. Problem being the table was now at shoulder height unless you perched on the edge of the chair. After asking to be moved to a more appropriate table we tried the supper buffet. Absolute joke. The Pakora on BC ferries is far superior! All dishes except the soup were ,at best, luke warm, (even the butter chicken that arrived as we were at the buffet). We were surrounded by others eating from the buffet and items were being replenished consistently.(Point being we were not eating towards the end of the "sitting"). Nan bread was dried out and crunchy?When the waiter returned and asked how things were I told him "cold". His response was "welcome to Canada"!.I assumed he thought I meant the weather? We eat at a lot of fine dining establishments all over North America and to be given a bill for $100 for that food and a half litre of cheap wine was an insult. Never again.
If your looking to enjoy a drink in quiet luxurious surroundings that also offers a touch of history and outstanding service then you must try the Bengal Lounge. Originally the Reading Room, it became the second lounge to open in Victoria in 1954 when the liquor regulations releaxed. It became the Bengal Lounge in either 1967 or 1971.
If you have never been here, it is worth a visit, especially if you are a visitor to this region.
Love this place. I was staying at the Empress for the weekend, and what better place to go for cocktails than the Bengal Lounge. The service was excellent. The waiter was attentive, personable and very attentive.
The jazz trio was phenomenal... they are "regular" performers there.
The ambiance is that of colonial India... as the name might lead to to guess... "Bengal Lounge"... excellent decor, dark woods, leather seats and an excellent view of the harbor (If you get a window table).
I recommend visiting this lounge if you are visiting the island. It is upscale without being pretentious.
beautiful atmosphere, incredible customer service and wonderful food! we always have a nice experience in the bengal lounge, the level of service and quality of the food is very consistent. we love the empress 1908's - the best cocktail on the menu. reservations are not accepted in the evenings and there's live jazz every weekend. we've been a couple of times when we waited about 30mins but it's definitely worth the wait. the staff are professional and the curry buffet is delicious. always a lovely visit!
I have been to the Bengal lounge about 10 times and my experiences have been varied. I normally order the steak which is really great and always cooked just how I ask for it. The service is good but was poor on one particular occasion when they wanted to use my table for an older very wealthy looking couple. They asked me ( a young girl) and my boyfriend to go sit on the couches as we were only having drinks and already had finished our dinner. I found that rude! Other than that the service has been ideal and their live music is impressive on Friday and Saturday nights.
|1.||Fairmont Empress (0 m)|
|2.||Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel (0 m)|
|3.||Empress Room (0 m)|
|4.||Liberty Cafe (100 m)|
|5.||Belmiro's Restaurant & Lounge (117 m)|
|6.||Browns Socialhouse (127 m)|
|7.||Union Club of British Columbia (130 m)|
|8.||Roku (135 m)|
|9.||Old Spaghetti Factory (138 m)|
|10.||Crystal Garden Lounge (144 m)|