About Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

721 Government Street
Victoria, BC V8W 1W5
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Q represents Queen and country, the revered figure for whom this hotel was named. A singular letter, for a very singular space. Located in the most storied room in Victoria, Q at the Empress is a must-visit culinary celebration that is second to none. This atmospheric space has a distinctly modern, contemporary feel, all the while staying true to the building’s unique iconic heritage with its dark cherry wood ceilings and spectacularly detailed moldings. Focusing on regional ingredients, the carefully curated menu features locally sourced seafood, meats and produce prepared surely and skillfully by Chef Morgan Wilson and his incredible team. Try one of over 850 bottles of wines from the temperature controlled visible wine wall featuring the best of the Pacific North West and select vintages from all over the globe. From romantic dinner to vibrant social event all you need to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy Q at the Empress, the place to be on Vancouver Island.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Northwest

Hours of Operation:

Breakfast: Daily: 6:30am - 11:00am; Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Daily: 5:30pm - 10:30pm

Cross Street:
Belleville & Goverment Streets

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
CAN$31 to CAN$50

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(250) 389-2727

Website:
http://www.fairmont.com/empress

Parking Details:
Valet or self parking is available in the Fairmont Empress parkade

Executive Chef:
Morgan Wilson

Private Party Facilities:
The Royal Table is an added refinement to your fine dining experience. Providing guests with a heightened touch of elegance during their dining experience, this experience is truly memorable for a birthday, engagement or simply an evening together. From silver cloches and candelabras to customized wine selections from our Sommelier and a few special touches from the Chef, The Royal Table service provides a sophisticated refinement to an enchanted dining experience. The cost is a C$30 surcharge per person in addition to meal selection costs.

Private Party Contact:
Dining Reservations: 2503892727x

Additional:
Cocktails, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, View, Wine

Restaurant Photos

  • Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.9

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.8

service

4.0

ambience

3.6

value

3.2

noise

Moderate

61% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

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Special Occasion (24)
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Scenic View (11)
Notable Wine List (10)
Great for Lunch (5)
Good for Groups (5)
Good for Birthdays (5)
Neighborhood Gem (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Good for a Date (4)
Authentic (4)
Healthy (3)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Good for Anniversaries (3)
Historic (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Casual (2)
People Watching (2)
Afternoon Tea (2)
Business Meals (2)
Great for Brunch (2)
Seasonal (1)
Modern Decor (1)
Private Room (1)
Cozy (1)
Bar Seating (1)
Creative Cuisine (1)
Waterfront (1)
Fun (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Family Style (1)
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The service was excellent, food Very wel ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on September 19, 2016

The service was excellent, food Very well prepared. I would recommend it often.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Historic, Disabled Access, Afternoon Tea, Good for Anniversaries, Afternoon Coffee, Local Ingredients, Healthy, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The rack of local lamb dish was outstand ...

 
 (Palm Springs)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

The rack of local lamb dish was outstanding as was the nightly special of Halabit. The new look to me is too modern but the place is still great. With the strong US dollar you can't go wrong. Extensive wine list.

Tags: People Watching, Historic, Bar Seating, Seasonal, Business Meals, Fun, Authentic
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food5
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service4
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The service was excellent. The staff fri ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on September 10, 2016

The service was excellent. The staff friendly and did a nice job of accommodating our guest of honour who was using a walker and moving quite slowly. She made comment afterwards as to the staffs niceness. And complementary happy birthday desert was well received. Thank you.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Historic, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Overall, the meal was underwhelming. Whi ...

vip
 (Seattle)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

Overall, the meal was underwhelming. While the meat was cooked fairly well, but the flavor profiles just doesn't work well together. Every dish was too salty and had too much going on. I'm a fan of bold flavors as long as it is balanced and goes well together. We ordered a mussels, halibut, octopus, and lamb dish. The mussels was cooked in a tomato broth which was too salty and the tomatoes were so dense. I prefer the simple white wine garlic preparation more. My fish was prepared with a kale and sunflower seed salad over minted peas. In theory this sounds pretty good and light. In practice, it was way too salty. The kale was a bit wilted and I can barely taste the sunflower seed. In the end it was salty fish on top of the sale with some minted leads (which I couldn't taste). There was nothing exciting or different about this dish. The lamb dish had faro, olives, and heirloom tomatos. The meat was cooked well, though the seasoning was salty. The olives made the dish even saltier. The heirloom tomato didn't stand out as they were tossed with faro and olives which made it all tasted salty. In short, I was not impressed with the food. The service however, was solid.

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food2
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The receptionsist had a snooty attitude ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

The receptionsist had a snooty attitude and talked as if the words were squeezed out of her mouth.

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food3
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For what they charge, we expected a lot ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on September 3, 2016

For what they charge, we expected a lot better. We went there for brunch on our anniversary, and were very disappointed. The eggs Benedict had pre-packaged English muffins, processed meat, topped with overcooked eggs. The beef bacon hash was decent, but very overpriced for what it was. I would not recommend this place to anyone, nor would I go back.

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The washroom was not match with the hote ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on September 1, 2016

The washroom was not match with the hotel and restaurant standard, smell really bad.

Tags: Afternoon Tea
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food4
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service5
value4

We were with a group and the meal plan g ...

 
 (Edmonton)
·Dined on September 1, 2016

We were with a group and the meal plan gave us this only choice at your hotel besides the Lounge for lighter fare. We w,ere seated and since we did not wish alcohol were left unattended for almost 30 minutes waiting on soup, no roll no nothing but water came by but once.

Again after the soup which was sweet onion and they mean sweet,

the cheese is melted toast on the side not in the soup.

Once again a long wait for the entrée, short rib with mash. It was just an ok short rib, I had better elsewhere on this trip in other Fairmonts.

We skipped dessert as we were tired of the waiting. It was a shame I was on a meal plan, after 15 minutes I would have left. definitely no tip deserved here.

Our breakfast, same place, went much better, waitress was very kind and attentive, it even came quickly.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee
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food3
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Price is low for such a palace but meals ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on August 22, 2016

Price is low for such a palace but meals are not original. Restaurant without supply great enough.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food4
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We stayed at the Empress for five nights ...

vip
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

We stayed at the Empress for five nights and felt we needed to have dinner at least once at Q. It has recently been renovated and was a very elegant space. Our waiter, Earl, was very charming. In my opinion, they need to up their anti on there cuisine. Mine was average--so so shrimp cocktail, a nice soup and salad. My husband had a halibut served on a bed of greens and peas without any kind of sauce. It was dry and very bland. Since we have had amazing shellfish and fish in BC and we were disappointed.

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Unremarkable .Service was excellent .Dec ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Unremarkable .Service was excellent .Decor is an odd mix of Victorian and contemporary .Food was average.Nothingsaverage.Nothing special. Twenty better restaurants in Seattle.

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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I have worked in the hotel and restauran ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

I have worked in the hotel and restaurant business and I have never experienced worse service in my life. We waited for over 1.5 hrs for our main course to arrive and even our French onion soup took at least 30 min to arrive. There were people who came to the restaurant after us had the drinks, apps, main and bill before we had our mains. Taking my glass of house red off the bill was not acceptable. Our email should have been complementery before we said we were not paying the bill

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The Q Restaurant is a complete renovatio ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

The Q Restaurant is a complete renovation of the historic Empress Hotel Dining Room. Gone is the old world elegance as the restaurant is now without the traditional entrance and is opened to the hallway. Gone are the table cloths and traditional furniture and the room sports a much more contemporary look. This is not entirely a bad thing, as the dining room is now much more lively and active and still retains the beautiful coffered ceiling, carved dark wood posts and walls. We last had dinner there in 2014, and I believe the food has improved a bit. Two of us had the Tenderloin that was cooked perfectly, one had the Halibut the other the Ling Cod Our server, Maddy was excellent and very personable. Service from the kitchen was quite slow. Dinner for four with one cocktail each before the gratuity amounted to $307 CAD $238 US.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
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service5
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I wrote a review to Fairmont directly. ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on August 11, 2016

I wrote a review to Fairmont directly. It is too long to repeat here, you may want to check with them for the review/feedback. It was a poor review compared to the Empress dining room experiences of the past. Service was great though.

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Way overpriced for mediocre food. We ha ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

Way overpriced for mediocre food. We had breakfast. There are way better restaurants in Victoria where for the same money there is more fresh and delicious food.

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food2
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Great to see that the old features of th ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

Great to see that the old features of the Hotel were saved but still modernized the space. Perhaps a little dark but certainly pleasant.

The wait staff were excellent, both curtious and professional. The food was superb.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

For a "fine dining" restaurant, it was t ...

 
 (Toronto)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

For a "fine dining" restaurant, it was terribly noisy. There was loud live music coming from the lounge, competing with loud piped music in the restaurant. We almost decided to leave, and we should have left. At first they tried turning down the piped music (not turning it off, just down!) So the stereo sound from two different pieces of music was quieter on one side! While they eventually tried to accommodate us by moving us to a somewhat quieter table, the whole experience was not at all worth the cost. Our starters were all good, but took nearly an hour to come after ordering. The mains were decent but not stellar. They did try to do a good job recommending wine, and gave generous tasting portions. We did not bother with dessert, even though we had been looking forward to it from the time of seeing the menu before arriving. Shame on this restaurant for taking a lot of money from people and providing such a bad experience. Management needs to visit a truly good restaurant to see how things are done.

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food3
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service2
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Tasteless chowder that was overpriced. S ...

 
 (Ottawa)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

Tasteless chowder that was overpriced. Service lackluster, mistake on order was made the server confused our order with another table. So half the order arrived and we to wait for the 2nd half at which time the first person served had finished their meal entirely. Never asked us if the meal was satisfactory and never offered anything to up for the mix up and the very wait for the 2nd half of our party of three to receive our very simple meal of chowder and salad.

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food1
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Our server was not interested in our din ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

Our server was not interested in our dining experience. We asked if the seafood tower was enough to feed two and she said that there would be more than enough. As a $70 entree, we expected it to be. It was more like an appy for two. Server didn't bother to come by to see how we were doing after taking our order. It was not busy at all.

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food2
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The ambiance and wait staff were pleasan ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 1, 2016

The ambiance and wait staff were pleasant, but the food was a huge disappointment. I ordered halibut and had to send it back because it was overcooked, dry, and flavorless. The backup meal, salmon, was also dry and over-salted. This was the worst meal I've ever had in the price range of ~$30 per entree.

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food1
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Enjoying a delicious dinner on the veran ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

Enjoying a delicious dinner on the veranda on a warm summer evening with great people watching was sublime.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Scenic View, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
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We really enjoyed the service and the hi ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on July 24, 2016

We really enjoyed the service and the high quality of food. Every effort was made to make us feel comfortable. Highly recommend.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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service5
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The food is great, but this is a typical ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

The food is great, but this is a typical hotel restaurant: no atmosphere and very loud.

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Service was slow, but not because of wai ...

 
 (Boise)
·Dined on July 20, 2016

Service was slow, but not because of waitress. There were to many tables for her to wait on. The tables and seating are to close to each other. Great if you want to include them at your dining experience.

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food4
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I really wanted to like this reatuarant, ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on July 19, 2016

I really wanted to like this reatuarant, and had zero expectation. I went in blind and open minded. It was my first anniversary and expected a nice end to the day. My day at the empress was nice but my skepticism of the restaurant started with the name. "Q?" Like the radio station? Is this going to be rock themed or billiards themed? Neither. I had a reservation and they tried to seat us in the dark corner. we asked for the window.

Noise level seemed high. Was hard to hear what waiter was saying. The sound system/speakers were of atrocious quality - the music sounded like it was coming from a toy radio playing in cavern.

Food was plain. No salt or pepper was offered and it was needed. Prices were a little inflated but expected. Though the food underperformed. For a loud environment, the Ambiance lacked culture and life - it was like being in a dull empty version of the cactus club. No colour. No life. No warmth - cold and bland. It hardly suited the hotel.

Not even a shadow of the restaurant ambiance that was once there previously.

It was like every pinch of color and culture and history and decoration was stripped and replaced with blank walls and meaningless shapes. The void now echoes and i doubt i will return. Not recommended.

im under the understanding that there was a lot of previous sucess at the old bengal room and there was public outcry and lamentation when it was told that it was to be replaced. I had been to the bangal room at least a few times over the years and it was always exciting for the ambiance and environment. Now its ... blahh.. A big echoing void named after a radiostation with bland tones, no colour, no warmth, no theme, and absolutlely no culture or history. Basically any other restaurant does something better.

The q is boring.

The rabbit pasta (tagliatelle) i had at merridale cidery entirely blew the q's out of the water.

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food3
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Great fresh salmon with sun chokes and ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

Great fresh salmon with sun chokes and mushrooms.

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food5
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This was a great restaurant. I did feel ...

vip
 (Seattle)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

This was a great restaurant. I did feel the menu was a bit small but the food was delicious. Definitely expensive but then again you're eating at the Empress.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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Salmon and lamb were excellent. Service ...

vip
 (Dallas)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Salmon and lamb were excellent. Service outstanding. Pricey, but given the venue, worth it.

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I enjoyed my dinner. The prices for dinn ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

I enjoyed my dinner. The prices for dinner was too much, for what I considered causal dinner atmosphere.

Tags: Scenic View
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Phoned to confirm the Open Table reserva ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

Phoned to confirm the Open Table reservation 30 minutes before arrival and they said that we did not have the reservation and that they were fully booked.

We went to another restaurant for our meal.

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food1
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totally new face of the restaurant, nice ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on July 11, 2016

totally new face of the restaurant, nicely done. Still comfortable as before Empress room.

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Wonderful service. Accommodating to our ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on July 11, 2016

Wonderful service. Accommodating to our vegan friend. Food was delightful.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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We have been loyal Empress patrons for m ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on July 8, 2016

We have been loyal Empress patrons for many years and decided this is where we would have our 43rd Wedding Anniversary dinner, celebrating with my Mom who was treating us. We were asked if we were celebrating anything when we made our reservation and while our server Laurie asked us id we were celebrating anything she was not aware until we mentioned. I would have expected it to be noted on our reservation. We like the look of the renovations however our evening was very disappointing and we doubt we will return for dinner. We waited close to an hour for our food and when Laurie realized we still didn't have our dinner she offered complimentary bread and tapanade however it arrived after our dinner so we declined. Our food was mediocre..my Mom's mussels were tough, my husband's chicken was not cooked all the way through (and who decided on the serving dish???? Staub is expensive but a casserole dish???? too big!) and the coating on my fish (fish and chips) was too much and all of our french fries were undercooked. The Operations Manager (?) Doug Chant who was very visible al evening, stopped by to apologize for the delay in our food as it was being served. The staff who delivered our food (not our server) did not know what meals belonged to who (unforgiveable in a place like the Empress who wants to distinguish itself from the competition on service and quality) and I expressed this to Doug as unacceptable. My husband's and my meals arrived first, then after a few minutes my Mom's !! Doug offered us complimentary desserts which was a nice gesture. Laurie who is a long time employee of the Bengal is very nice but obviously not confident in the new setting. She took away dinner plates when not everyone was finished their meals! A faux pas and especially in an establishment like the Empress. We believer in a 2nd chance but are reluctant to go back to the Q and will try the Verandah this summer which has always been a favourite and hope we have a better experience there

Tags: Scenic View
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food2
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service2
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The new renovated décor doesn't match th ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

The new renovated décor doesn't match the existing interior - lacks the charm and grace of the building.

The bar is fair - offering scenic views, but again the renovations clash with the existing structure.

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Thank you to the Q for making our birthd ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on July 5, 2016

Thank you to the Q for making our birthday girls' get-together a memorable night! The food and wine were all delicious and impeccably presented, and the service was spot-on. We all work in the industry and truly appreciate the effort involved in executing a memorable dining experience. Our best compliments to the chef, and all the staff at the Q, for a job well done. Highly highly recommend!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
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I'm very disappointed with the menu. The ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

I'm very disappointed with the menu. The toasted avocado was just so so. I was expecting atleast a fabulous brunch. But I think the company only lives up to its name as The Empress. I'm very disappointed with the food.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food1
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was expecting something more traditional ...

 
 (New England)
·Dined on June 25, 2016

was expecting something more traditional in the Empress Hotel so this was a very pleasant surprise - more updated decor & menu. thoroughly enjoyable. friendly good service too. thank you.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Late-night Find
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food4
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Our server was amazing, and we enjoyed o ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on June 23, 2016

Our server was amazing, and we enjoyed our experience with him very much.

He made the special evening for us feel very special indeed.

The food was excellent and the recommendations spot on.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
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Very disappointed with the food quality ...

vip
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on June 19, 2016

Very disappointed with the food quality and freshness. Would not recommend any of their appetizers. Main was okay and the dessert was not as exciting as before(the empress room). Services was good and friendly but not professional.

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Service was great. Food was 4 out of 5 ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

Service was great. Food was 4 out of 5 stars. Ambiance - Not so great. Music - Just plane wrong. It was like we were in a bar - loud and not the correct music for the venue. Should have left the old world charm in my opinion. I'd go back, but it would take some convincing.

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