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About The Bengal Lounge - The Fairmont Empress Hotel - Permanently Closed

721 Government St
Victoria, BC V8W 1W5
View Larger Map

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 but does welcome minors before 9pm. After 9pm all guest must be 19 or older.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary Indian, Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast daily from 7am to 11am
Lunch daily from 11:30am - 4pm
Dinner daily from 4pm - 10:30pm (11pm on Fridays & Saturdays)

Cross Street:
Belleville

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
CAN$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(250) 995-4688

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

Entertainment:
The Bengal Lounge is delighted to be featuring live music from talented local artists Thursday to Sunday evenings. Join us and experience what Victoria's amazing talent has to offer.

Parking Details:
Underground Parking is available.

Executive Chef:
Morgan Wilson

Additional:
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wine

Restaurant Photos

  • Steak and Mushroom Pie
  • Sparkling Garden Cocktail
  • Ginger Fresca
  • Victoria's Secret
  • Pistachio Cheesecake
  • Pomegranate Cucumber Mojito
Steak and Mushroom Pie
Sparkling Garden Cocktail
Ginger Fresca
Victoria's Secret
Pistachio Cheesecake
Pomegranate Cucumber Mojito

The Bengal Lounge - The Fairmont Empress Hotel - Permanently Closed Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

3.7

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

special occasion (76)
great for lunch (48)
neighborhood gem (43)
See All
fit for foodies (38)
romantic (38)
scenic view (31)
good for groups (30)
great for brunch (22)
hot spot (15)
notable wine list (10)
vibrant bar scene (8)
late-night find (4)
kid-friendly (1)
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473 reviews
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Sad to see the Bengal Lounge close!

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on May 1, 2016

Enjoyed our last visit to the Bengal Lounge. Atmosphere was upbeat and the energy of new adventures was felt as we took our last glimpse of what we had become very familiar with. Look forward to see what lies ahead.

Tags: neighborhood gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Volume

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on May 1, 2016

Hi:

We got there early so we could have a little bit of time visiting before the volume went away up. It was difficult to hear and dine.

Glad to have been there one final time though.

Thanks

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great atmostphere. Terrible blah buffet.

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 30, 2016

The blah indian buffet , without notice , was priced up to $50.00! Disgusting to not let the diners know beforehand. Regular price was around $30.00. The reason given for uppricing, that extra dishes were added. NOT.. Service was surprising poor. Probably because of disgruntle diners. Eight of us family members very disappointed, since we have in the past experienced exceptional wonderful times.. So sad to see the Bengal Room transforming into another boring regular type of everyday

Tags: neighborhood gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service2
value1

Yum

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 30, 2016

We came for the very last day of curry buffet - and it didn't disappoint! Food was outstanding, and our waitress, Della, was lovely. Thank you!

Tags: good for groups, special occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value3

An Icon No Longer

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 29, 2016

This has been a place for a 'special meal' for many years. The food was great and well prepared and the ambience amazing. Staff were pleasant and efficient and obviously enjoyed working there.

It is sad that this restaurant no longer exists, having passed from the Victoria dining scene - forever - on April 29th 2016. A memorable piece of the Victoria dining scene has been lost forever!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Farewell

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 28, 2016

My husband and I wanted to make sure that we visited the Bengal Lounge before it closed. :-(

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

They should leave like it is and just us ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 28, 2016

They should leave like it is and just use it. We are losing a great place.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Closing

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 28, 2016

We have always had a happy experience in the Bengal Room and now are looking

forward to our next trip to the Empress when the new restaurants open.

Just hoping that there will be more seafood and fish on the menus…..

good luck to all the staff as you transition to the next adventure.

D. Evans

Tags: great for lunch
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

WaaWee

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 28, 2016

Went for one last visit as they are closing April 30. We are looking forward to the changes as well.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value3

I had a wonderful meal there. It is too ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 28, 2016

I had a wonderful meal there. It is too bad they have reached the end of the line.

The Bengal room will be missed.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

It was the worst Indian food that we hav ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 27, 2016

It was the worst Indian food that we have ever eaten. We should have just got up from the table and left.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

ALWAYS love the Bengal. Will be sorry t ...

 
 (Edmonton)
·Dined on April 26, 2016

ALWAYS love the Bengal. Will be sorry to see it go away from the great lounge that it was!

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food5
ambience5
service4

Enjoyed having a Birthday Gathering wit ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 26, 2016

Enjoyed having a Birthday Gathering with my sons ~ plus a last opportunity to enjoy the Bengal Lounge before it's upcoming renovation and repurposeing

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value4

Awesome lunch

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 25, 2016

As the Bengal Lounge was closing, my wife and I decided that the kids need to experience this iconic venue. We had quite a time finding room for the 5 of us but we managed to take the afternoon off from work and school to enjoy a 3:00 p.m. sitting. The kids loved the woodwork in the room and also took selfies with the tiger rug hanging above the fireplace. Everyone enjoyed the food and the service was great. They commented that the food was a little spicy but they managed to eat 2 plates of it. The desert was fantastic, especially the rice pudding. The only complaint was having to suffer from a totally full stomach. My wife and I have been going to the Bengal Lounge on our anniversary for 20 years. We will miss it.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Last chance for the Bengal Lounge

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 24, 2016

The Bengal Lounge will be closing at the end of April, so a review is a bit moot. However, a new restaurant and lounge will be opening at the Empress in May, which will be worth checking out!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

Exotic piece of history

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 24, 2016

We love going to the Bengal lounge and the exotic experience of Victorian opulence.

The curries are excellent with a great selection to satisfy all tastes. The service is welcoming and attentive to our needs. A great place to eat for couples, friends or family celebrations.

Reliable and unchanging it will be missed.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We will miss the Bengal Lounge

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 24, 2016

We always enjoy going to the Bengal Lounge for special occasions.

It will be missed when it closes.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value5

Excellent and delicious.

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 24, 2016

Excellent service and delicious food as always. Such a shame that is will be closing - why, oh why??!!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Saying Goodbye to a Classic

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 23, 2016

I had been told by so many to check this place out...but as time would have it...is to see her close her doors. We were greeted with a warm reception, drinks were AMAZING, and so was the service. Did not have a rush as I wanted to enjoy my time here. Then the band began to play. Soft mellow jazz playing as the lights were turned down and the city lights came up. ROMANTIC!!

Goodbye girl!! Looking forward to seeing your servers in their new rolls elsewhere in the Empress Hotel

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Food and cocktails were delightful. So g ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 23, 2016

Food and cocktails were delightful. So glad I had a chance to experience this Victoria gem before it's disappears for good

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

My out of town friend and I enjoyed your ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 23, 2016

My out of town friend and I enjoyed your curry buffet lunch on a sunny Saturday. We felt very comfortable lingering between main course and dessert.

Thank you!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

A Farewell Lunch...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 23, 2016

We took the early morning ferry over from Vancouver to celebrate The Bengal Room one last time as it is closing next week! We savoured every moment and enjoyed every morsel...such a lovely experience! We will miss you "old girl"...

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Time to close

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 23, 2016

It was disappointing on all fronts. From host to server they appeared disinterested, as if they were "putting in time". The food was good but the wine is excessively over priced. We are friends of the Empress and hope the new lounge renews our faith.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value2

Memories

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 22, 2016

My friends and I have been going to the Bengal Lounge since the '70's. We have always had a wonderful time.

My mother also used to live at the Empress when they first came to Canada, while waiting for their home to be finished on Newport Avenue in Oak Bay.

My husband was also an apprenticing chef at the Hotel in the '90's.

I used to work kitty corner to the Empress, in the Customs House, and we would often come across the street for a meal in the Bengal Lounge.

Lots and lots of wonderful memories attached to the Empress Hotel and the Bengal Lounge.

I have mentioned to a lot of my friends the Lounge is closing so they too have made the journey to Victoria to have one last meal at the Lounge.

Our waitress was wonderful (Scottish lady) and I would highly recommend her service.

Thank you for the wonderful, happy memories.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

It is almost the End

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 22, 2016

We are in the last week of the long run of the Bengal Lounge. Three nights I have been in the last eight days. But I now feel I have said my good Byes. Get in by April 3oth. Then she's gone.n

Tags: neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value3

Great evening dining!

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 22, 2016

We enjoyed our get together with our daughter and her boyfriend for supper 8 nights before the Bengal Lounge closes after 108 years. 3 of us had the famous curry buffet and it was tremendous. My wife is celiac, so she ordered and enjoyed a gf free salad, and the waitress kindly allowed her to sample some gf desserts from the buffet. It was a memorable evening. Although pricey, it was worth it.

Tags: hot spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

The fabulous Curry Buffet

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 21, 2016

We will miss the fabulous Curry Buffet in The Bengal lounge. This was always our lunch the many times we visited Victoria over the years.

Thank you for the wonderful service and of course the great food.

We will miss this gem!

Tags: great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Best Lunch

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 21, 2016

I've been going to the Bengal Room for a long time, but my children have never been. Since it was going to be closing soon, I felt they needed to experience a superb lunch in a special place. It was everything I told them it would be.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Sad to see Bengal lounge go...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 21, 2016

This was my first and last visit at the Bengal lounge, since it will be closing. Sad to see it go!! It has an awesome ambience and is such an institution in Victoria!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Love the Empress Hotel!

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 20, 2016

It's fabulous to be able to watch as this iconic gem of a hotel under goes change and a new ambiance unfolds. Hope I have more opportunities to dine, simply walk about and tip a glass of wine to toast this Victoria treasure. I can't say anything negative about what I see changing at the Empress Hotel.

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Farewell to the Bengal Room

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 20, 2016

A final outing to enjoy the curry buffet, had a lovely evening, sad that this will be our last occasion to partake of the atmosphere and food.

Tags: good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

End of an Era

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 19, 2016

Can't believe this 100 year old institution is being closed.

Tags: special occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4
value3

Always a favourite.

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 19, 2016

It will be sad to see the end of this establishment. It was our "go to" place with our good friends. We wanted to get one more visit in before it closed.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Historic dinning

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 15, 2016

Love the feeling of occasion Dinning in this historic room. I know they are very busy right now but felt the hostess was pushing us out "We have had your money now get out" (Not her words) The waitress on the other hand was lovely

Tags: great for brunch, great for lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service2
value2

The Bengal Rocks

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 14, 2016

A wonderful experience I have been dining here for years and the service from Jesse and Chris was fantastic. Buffet meal divine!

Looking forward to see what the new restaurant will be.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Sad

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 14, 2016

There's not much point to reviewing one of our favourite soon to be gone Victoria places!

I will especially miss my Bengal Tigers.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service2
value2

We had the best time meeting up with fri ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 14, 2016

We had the best time meeting up with friends for a reunion of sorts! Service was second to none...food too filling! Drinks served quickly and were delightful. We are so sorry that this is the end of Bengal - but plans for the hotel sounds fantastic....

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Too bad they are closing

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 13, 2016

One of my favourite places in Victoria. Sadly they are closing it :-(

Tags: great for lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Age of Majority

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 11, 2016

As we were celebrating our granddaughter's 19th birthday, we were impressed that the server already knew it from the reservation booking and greeted her with "Happy Birthday"! She was also brought a surprise birthday dessert and the server was very attentive to our needs.

The food and drinks were interesting and delicious.

Tags: special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

A nostalgic farewell

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on April 10, 2016

We have frequented the Bengal Lounge for many years and specially enjoyed its Indian buffet and the elegant, yet relaxed, old colonial atmosphere of the place. We are extremely disappointed that its new owner sees fit to close the Bengal Lounge, which is so much part of Victoria's tradition. Where else will the family now celebrate my birthday on November 11th?

To replace it by what? Yet another run of the mill trendy, soulless spot? A very sad farewell indeed.

Tags: great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

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