The Bengal Lounge
721 Government St.(inside the Empress hotel)
Traditionally I have gone to the Bengal Lounge to do exactly that, lounge, in their luxurious leather seats. It’s a great spot to take visitors for a beautiful cocktail and some nibbles. It’s more on the expensive side, but it’s always nice to indulge. The Bengal Lounge has a menu that you can order from, or you can do the Indian curry buffet, at either lunch or dinner. A friend of mine was visiting from Vancouver, and he was craving Indian cuisine, and the Bengal popped into my head straight away. We can both pack a lot of food in, so for the dinner curry buffet ( $29), we knew we would get our money’s worth. The atmosphere is beautiful, huge vaulted ceilings, rich woods, a taxidermied tiger on the wall, everything in the style of a Colonial hang-out. Even if you choose to do the buffet, you receive great drink service from the very professional staff working inside the Bengal. Our server impressed me very much, which is hard to do. He was friendly, quick, charming, and made us smile.
The buffet is extensive, with an aromatic lentil soup to start, naan and poppadum(papadum), salad, chutnies, marsala vegetables, lamb curry, butter chicken, tandoor chicken and all the other favourites. The night we went, cardamom creme brulee was being served with dried cranberries. The only thing missing was a nice hot cup of chai. After two plates of all this goodness, we needed a wheelbarrow to get out of the restaurant.
Overall I rate this restaurant quite high, for food or for a relaxing evening of quality cocktails.