About Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel
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.
Victoria, BC V8W 1W5
Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Daily: 6:30am - 11:00am; Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Daily: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Belleville & Goverment Streets
CAN$31 to CAN$50
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Valet or self parking is available in the Fairmont Empress parkade
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
Cocktails, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, View, Wine
Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel Ratings and Reviews
This was my first experience at the Q re ...
This was my first experience at the Q restaurant. I booked through OpenTable and it was a breeze. The most notable point is the service. I was impressed with the staff from the moment we arrived until we left - they are polite, professional and attentive. The charcuterie lunch option looked incredible, although we opted for sandwiches. These were delicious but sloppy to eat. The "dill fries" were fries sprinkled with dehydrated dill, so not overly impressive but hot and crunchy. Portion size was good. The hefeweizen was very good and well priced. The overall lunch price was high, but expected for the venue. I would definitely recommend the Q and look forward to returning again - primarily for the great staff and service.
The tenderloin was outstanding - the de ...
The tenderloin was outstanding - the dessert (strudel) not so much (soggy). Salad also wimpy. House red (Spanish) wine was good. Service great!
Personally did not enjoy the very heavy ambiance of the room -- it felt like we were dining in an old, British gentleman's club, with all the dark wooden panels and heavy, carved, ornate wooden beams in the ceiling. It did not feel friendly or particularly comfortable.
Also, thought the choice for lighting that looked like giant, lighted puzzle pieces felt out of place and incongruous with the rest of the room. Chandeliers would have been more fitting.
It was the day before Christmas eve and we wanted to have dinner where there was beautiful decorations to get in the mood for the season - there were minimal Christmas decorations and it could have been any time of the year, as opposed to Christmas.
We couldn't have been happier with our r ...
We couldn't have been happier with our romantic, pre-Christmas lunch for two. From the lovely appetizer buffet, to the comfort-food main dishes, and the authentically friendly service, and of course the wonderful Empress Hotel, this was a magical experience. Well worth the trip from Pender Island. Thank you.
The food and surroundings were good. Se ...
The food and surroundings were good. Service could have been a little better. However it was very overpriced for what we had. The food was good not great. The drinks especially were grossly overpriced. Probably would not go back again.
I treated my parents to a special Christ ...
I treated my parents to a special Christmas dinner at the Q in the Empress. They enjoyed a perfect evening from the moment they arrived. The atmosphere, service, food and wine were all exceptional. A special thank you to the waiter...unfortunately I don't know his name, for making the entire dining experience so special. I have never heard my parents sound so thrilled! I can't wait to dine at the Q the next time I visit Victoria.
I chose Q for lunch over High Tea to cel ...
I chose Q for lunch over High Tea to celebrate my birthday with my mom, and what a great decision. We arrived early but were cheerfully accommodated. The three-course monthly special started with a tapas/salad bar of olives, breads, cheese, cold cuts, two salad types, and exotic salad additions. There was a choice of three different mains, and a seasonal dessert. Everything was of outstanding quality, making for a very memorable experience in a renovated space that successfully marries historic interior with contemporary updates.
I'm a local who knows the Empress proper ...
I'm a local who knows the Empress property well and wasn't dismayed by the closing of the Bengal Lounge or the previous fine dining space. I had eaten in both.
I was hopeful that the new look and contemporary feel of The Q would be just what the property needed.
The Q as a venue is great... both the bar and the restaurant. But, there were a few stand outs that I believe Could prove 'counter productive' to real success. Please see beliow:
having your website describe what a diner should wear is unnecessary
telling a diner on the website how long they have to eat...to allow others in, is unnecessary- the food service alone should manage that
the servers, though friendly, were not trained to the level of the restaurant
wine knowledge was weak
the style of the dishes used to serve the food did not have the level of 'sophistication' your website alluded to
the food 'styling' on the plate was uninspired
We, as a group, were disappointed because we held great hope for the new space.
The restaurant was mostly empty and on a mid December evening that's a concern, I would think.
I do hope this review helps....I want the Q to be successful!
We went for the Christmas buffet special ...
We went for the Christmas buffet special and it was very nicely presented and the turkey main course was just like home cooked. Entry was a little difficult due to ongoing construction but once inside the renovations are taking shape and everything is first class. Will go back over the year as the lunch special is supposed to change with the season. A first class treat.
Was a bit disappointed overall. Nothing ...
Was a bit disappointed overall. Nothing really wrong with the place, not sure it fits the Empress, may just take a bit of getting used to. Wine by the glass is well overpriced but I guess it's the location. It was very quiet in the night we went so that may be a part of it. Will definitely give it another chance.
I took my neighbour for lunch and we enj ...
I took my neighbour for lunch and we enjoyed our outing. The table decoration for Christmas was a bit sparse. Our waiter was excellent, friendly and attentive.
The ceilings are so beautiful and the new Reno updates nicely. Still needs a bit more of the cosy factor. Otherwise a lovely place for lunch. Thank you, NKidd
Overall great experience; we were celebr ...
Overall great experience; we were celebrating a birthday and enjoyed a great breakfast in a wonderful atmosphere. Menu was well curated, and everyone from vegetarians to meat lovers in our group were able to find something appealing. Bit of a hitch with the service, but that being said, the manager and host were very attentive, we had a lovely time, and I would absolutely go back.
It is not often that a restaurant of thi ...
It is not often that a restaurant of this class offers a "family style" tasting menu, but this recently introduced feature at "Q" is definitely worth trying if you are in a group of four-plus. It was a culinary delight and a very fun way to spend the evening - it radiates conviviality!
Very Beautiful restaurant. Food was exc ...
Very Beautiful restaurant. Food was exceptional, wine was fantastic, and our server was amazing. He was funny, and very attentive !! The decor was gorgeous...very modern and chic. Almost didn't feel like I was at home, felt like I was in a chic restaurant in LA or Vegas. I do miss the old Empress...nothing compares to that, however Victoria did need a beautiful restaurant like this.
My husband and I recently went to the Q ...
My husband and I recently went to the Q for our anniversary and we were offered the best seat, located right next to the very large fireplace. Normally the table seats 6, however because it was a slow night, we were able to sit there. The ambience was incredible, I could have sat there for hours, just relishing at the feel of being there. There was not too many other tables, at least no one that was around us or we could see without getting up (it was a rainy Wednesday evening, off season), which made us feel extra special, like this beautiful, mahogany place was reserved just for us!
The food was nice, although the flavours didn't necessarily blow us away. He had the steak and I had the lamb, which were both cooked perfectly. In my opinion, the best thing on both of our plates was a farro risotto-like side that comes with the lamb. Also, the chocolate hazelnut cake was delicious. Everything else was moderately above par.
Our server was very kind, soft-spoken and knowledgable.
Overall, the ambience of the restaurant was my favourite part of being there. We had a lovely evening, largely in part to coming here!
Gorgeous room! Absolutely stunning... ...
Gorgeous room! Absolutely stunning... The food was good but not great. The charcuterie board was fantastic and the entrees were good. If it had not been for the sweet onion soup I would have said the food was great but the soup was truly terrible. Q gets an A+ for atmosphere and a solid A for service.
Bar is warm and nice enough although the ...
Bar is warm and nice enough although the patio is much nicer in the spring / summer for a drink. Cocktails not particularly interesting and the scotch pour one of us had was miniscule (for a hefty price). Within a minute of being served, the hostess came over to ask the person who had just been served the scotch whether she needed another drink. Food was good but unremarkable. The wine list was extensive and interesting with lots of BC options, but very over-priced. Service was initially very slow; there was almost no one in the place and it took almost 20 minutes just to bring a taste of wine so we could decide what we wanted. Food was okay but nothing stood out. In a town with so many really good fun and creative restaurants with much better energy nearby, we would likely not return.
My guest and I were impressed by the new ...
My guest and I were impressed by the new dining room and the lunch menu in the Q. We still miss the Bengal Room and its unique ambiance, but the Q is a worthy successor . It was great to see the fine ceiling in good light, the swivel seats were very comfortable, the food was very tasty and served to perfection. All in all, a great new venue for lunch!
Four very disappointed diners who will N ...
Four very disappointed diners who will NOT be coming back.
Service was not up to Empress standards.
Waiter was unfamiliar with the menu.
Waiter hovered uncomfortably at the beginning and then vanished, barely to be seen again after food arrived.
Waiter 'upsold' us on WATER! we asked for water and before we knew it he'd opened and poured a $10 bottle of still water.
Menu does not properly describe the food.
Caesar salad had a tasty dressing, but menu didn't say it was decronstructed and the waiter did not say that 1 salad would have been sufficient for 4 lighter appetites.
Roasted salmon is actually smoked. Roasted Chicken was actually Cornish Game Hen. All our food was SIGNIFICANTLY over salted.
Presentation was sloppy.
Was pleased that the chef came to talk with us and was open to feedback.
Took a long time to get the bills. Waiter took credit cards away - for a long time ... left us feeling suspicious. While we were paying the waiter was trying to pour us more wine, compliments of the manger - seriously? We already had our coats on ... surely the better option would have been to comp the wine we were about to pay for?
All in all a bad experience for all 4 of us.
Q has only been open since May, so perhaps it's growing pains? But seriously needs work... Menu, Staff Training should be a good place to start.
Waaay overpriced compared to other venue ...
Waaay overpriced compared to other venues in the area. I completely understand where they're trying to position themselves in the market, but frankly, it's not at that level. My party was no stranger to fine dining, but we all left disappointed as it does not justify a repeat visit.
Definitely an experience to remember alt ...
Definitely an experience to remember although the portions could've been larger.
Nice ambience if you don't mind the weird chandeliers and other contemporary upgrades that are incongruous with the history of the hotel.
A most disappointing experience. The Emp ...
A most disappointing experience. The Empress Restaurant now lacks elegance.
Modernized yes but it is cold, noisy, too many hard surfaces, no charm or elegance...such a disappointment with the remodel.
Furthermore, the service was absolutely lousy. We felt like we were in a diner. The waiter was too rushed, acted too familiar, reached across the table instead of serving from the side.
We specifically dined there for the Thanksgiving Dinner. The vegetables on the plate weren't cooked (carrots and brussel sprouts were raw), the turkey was too salty.
The dessert was awful. A fancy apple pie - tasteless apple filling, and the pastry was so tough, needed a knife to cut.
Last year we dined at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel for Thanksgiving and we will return there. We will never eat at Q again. Such a disappointment, a disgrace with what has been done with fine dining at The Empress Hotel.
The food there is satisfied, the ambienc ...
The food there is satisfied, the ambience is good. The only downside here is the restaurant is little understaffed. You have to call the staff to let them fill the water or wine for you. Anyway, overall satisfied.
Our meal was very rushed and the main co ...
Our meal was very rushed and the main course arrived right as we finished our appetizer. Our server apologized and offered to put the meal in the warmer. When it was returned it was barely arm and unappetizing. Both the server and the manager apologized and said the kitchen had made the meal in advance in error. They did not charge for the main. We would not rush back. It was loud, casual and not fitting of such a historic building and location. The menu was also very confusing as there were salads and appetizers with the main courses. What a disappointment.
Unfortunately we had an expectation of a ...
Unfortunately we had an expectation of an elegant restaurant, similar to the one at the empress a few years ago and it was not at all, and all aspects were very average to us not befitting a hotel like the Empress.
Frankly, The Q was disappointing. Giv ...
Frankly, The Q was disappointing. Given its location it should be the premier dining experience in Victoria. (Which is far from being the case) It doesn't seem to have a clear idea of what it is trying to be. Its priced like a high end fine dining restaurant, however the service, quality of food preparation, precision of food service, just aren't there, sending mixed messages, and not well thought through
waiter out of view for extended periods of time, and not there when we needed him
Mussels, came without water finger bowl and a tiny bowl for putting shells in
Gourmet (small portion) lamb dish served on fine china, vs "Kitchen" (large portion) chicken dish served in a casserole dish
Excellent chips, vs very poor (soggy) potatoes
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.