Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

4.5
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511 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Regional American (Northwest)
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.
What 511 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.6
Service
4.5
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
Chicago
130 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food and wine were outstanding, and the service Raymond provided was impeccable. Highly recommend for a memorable dining experience.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 3

We were excited to enjoy the ambiance of the Empress hotel and the Q. Unfortunately during our meal, there was a loud folk singer in the adjacent bar that was performing and made it difficult to talk or enjoy the restaurant. Both seafood dishes we ordered were over done. We were disappointed in our experience after having dined in other Fairmont hotels in Canada and the US.

G
Montreal
8 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful food and great service

r
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Expectations high, expectations exceeded! Looking forward to returning.

LC
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We celebrated our Dad's 88th birthday on Saturday. We were given a fairly quiet spot at the back of the room - it was perfect - we could still hear the piano music from the bar, but it was not too loud and we were able to carry on a conversation without raising our voices. The waiter was attentive and engaging, all of our meals were superb. We live here and will definitely come back. Thank you!

OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

The rabbit was delicious. The lamb was also very good but too much red fife plated on too large of a plate (large oval plate). My guest felt as if he ordered a family size dish. Overall, usual pleasant experience.

K
Edmonton
26 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

High dining at its finest, the real old world charm of a Fairmont. The atmosphere and the environment with the dark wood panelling and the heavy brocade furniture is lovely. Service is Fairmont level, wine selection is simply excellent and the food is fantastic.

SJ
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

My husband and I just celebrated our wedding anniversary at the Q and we had an awesome time.
We enjoyed the night, from the friendly staff, good food and wine. We like that they had the Happy Anniversary greeting done on our Empress cake to finish our delicious dinner. The music coming from the pub close by was just loud enough and added to the warm ambiance.

T
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Compared to our previous dining room experience at the Empress, the Empress has lost much of its classy, elegant, quiet, romantic atmosphere and it has been replaced with a chic, faster-paced, noisier, and less romantic and somewhat more hurried atmosphere. We were saddened, actually, by these kinds of changes. The new look does not match the elegance of the wood carved ceilings, and the character of the hotel itself. The fact that the bar is now integrated with the restaurant causes unnecessary bar noise and laughter to flow over into the dining room to an extent that it was impossible to have a quiet conversation. The food, however, was actually better than the 10 or more times we have dined there. Congrats to the Chef! Sad re-design for the Q. If Q stands for Queen, can we be confident that she would want to dine there if you compare it to the elegance she is accustomed to, or even to the regal appearance of the Empress dining room's past glory? Were we inspired to return? Yes, but only by the Chef and our outstanding Server. The guitarist in the bar was singing out of tune, and his guitar was also in need of a good tuning. This was a disgrace to such a generally graceful place.

k
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

My husband had the New York strip. I had the halibut. We had scallop appetizer and Faro bread with honey butter. All were delicious. Pricey. With no alcohol meal was just shy of $200.

Y
Oklahoma City
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Stupendous

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s
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

It was fabulous. Our server was outstanding.

GW
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

The food was amazing. The local fish and vegetables were amazing and the preparation was incredible. The only negative was that the server was a bit too talkative and attentive for my taste but meant well.

AB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We spent a lovely 45 min. or so out on the Veranda having a celebratory drink and appetizer. We let both the hostess and our server know we had reservations for dinner at the Q. As our reservation time approached, we realized we had assumed Q would be notified we were on the Veranda, but oops, hadn't given our name or asked them to do that. It all worked out and we were seated promptly. Maddie was very attentive (but not overly so) and knowledgeable. Her expertise was evident on every level and helped to make our experience exceptional. The restaurant wasn't overly busy so we were able to enjoy our coffee and dessert at our leisure.

B
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 2

Started off with music too loud to talk across table. Despite several requests, only abated when they changed performers.
Menu was very limited, but they made Caesar salad off menu and saved the day. Scallops with octopus bacon delivered in promise of exotic fare, and NY strips were good quality and well prepared. Compressed potatoes were the outstanding feature - crazy good! Overall great meal for moderately-good value.

T
Montreal
37 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

We found the menu and wine list quite adequate. Service was excellent. The meal was marred by the live music from the bar area - we didn’t think it was nice background music.

OT
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Creative presentation. Delicious food.

KW
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

I give it a bit of a lower review only because
1) I had to pour the wine for the table (should have been done by waiter).
2) The waiter took my plate prior to my other guests being finished their food (unless you`re eating at a diner, all plates should be taken at the same time).
3) The Vegan dish had the word `Sausage` in it & one of our meat loving guests ordered it by accident (and got stuck eating very dry vegan hockey pucks).

Waiter was super nice, wine list fantastic, duck was excellent, heirloom tomato salad gorgeous.

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Celebrated my wife’s birthday during brunch. The food, drinks, and service was wonderful. Great fresh farm to table offerings and a unique mimosa special. On top of that the waitress was terrific.

Warren

PC
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Unparalleled setting in a beautiful dining room and building. Food was beyond what I expected, creative and delicious. Service was attentive.

Next trip to Victoria, we will go back.

OT
Orange County
19 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

This was a lovely experience. Some people complain online about slow service but it is a unique experience and everyone is patient and kind. Spending two hours for dinner is such a fine atmosphere is fine!!!!

LP
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

My ratings are on the low side because of my experience trying to make a reservation, and how I was treated on arrival. It was impossible to make a reservation by phone. I tried several times and the recording (no one ever picked up) told me to call the very number I had dialled to get into this phone loop. I resorted to the online reservation system, Opentable, and it was fine if not my preferred way to reserve. On arrival, there was one lady in front of me whom the hostess seated and spent the next few minutes chit-chatting with her(!) while I was completely ignored (no indication she would be right with me or anything, no acknowledgement). On completing the conversation, the hostess prioritized removing the extra glassware and cutlery from this table and disappearing all the way to the rear of the restaurant, rather than greet and seat me. And it wasn’t like she came right back! I waited another couple of minutes for her to reappear and come to the desk. No apology for the lengthy wait. My server was very good - no issues with that, and the food was fine. But the rest of the experience was not Fairmont quality.

RW
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Beautiful hotel with lovely dining and bar area. The food was wonderful!. We had steak and Halibut and it was delicious! I would highly recommend.

S
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 4Food 2Service 5Ambience 5

The hotel was amazing,
The service in the restaurant was outstanding.
The food was not the best Fairmont we have eaten in. The food was good but nothing amazing in comparison to the price.
I ordered a tenderloin steak which was over cooked.

DB
Worcestershire
2 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A lovely Sunday roast last night with excellent service

VG
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great restaurant and staff. The food was amazing. We look forward to coming back soon!

RC
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

We had a meal with appetizer and main course filled by dessert. Th appetizer was a seafood sampler and was very good with each seafood highlighted by the recipe presentation. One of us had the halibut. It was exceptional but small. Rabbit was ample and the sides with it were complimentary to the meat. The Cornish game hen was also very good but the helping was a bit small. For dessert the chocolate mouse was great but the much touted Empress cake was dry and a bit of a disappointment.
There was a wait of an hour between the appetizers and the main course which seemed a tad long.
Wine choice were good.
Service was attentive when available.
Overall the food was above average but value for cost was not there.

MM
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 1

Service is quite slow... that appears to be consistent...the same as our last visit for lunch.
Understaffed? Took quite a while for the bottle of wine we ordered to come...and we had to ask for bread.

Pricing is high end... so one expects a lot more. Actually, pricing is too high... $9 for a bottle of still and 4( for a bottle of sparkling? Really?
There is little intimacy as there is a constant flow of people walking by the entrance, looking in... as it is so wide open...open to all who are walking through the hotel.
Food was good, but not worth the price...

UL
Dallas
6 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Loved the halibut

JB
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food, wine, and dessert, as well as the service (Will) were fantastic!

BC
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My family and I visited The Empress after nearly 25 years and found it to be the same classy establishment as a quarter century ago with superb food and exemplary service. We were all impressed with the dishes we ordered. I found the rhubarb carpaccio dessert outstanding. Our table was waited by Ms. Maddie, who is one of the best service professionals I have encountered. Everyone enjoyed the dinner outing after arriving on the Star Princess cruise ship.

J
Atlantic Canada
7 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Enjoyed dinner and drinks on the Veranda, overlooking Victoria’s Inner Harbour at sunset. Food and drinks were excellent and perfectly complimented the best patio in downtown Victoria.

M
Montreal
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everything was perfect and for a correct Price. I've been to a lot of great restaurant and this one is one of it!

KB
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Servers should be trained better. Plates should not be picked up until all guests have finished eating.

WP
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Love this place, best tasting food ever. Have ordered 4 different times, food is always hot and tasty. Chefs have a private garden and grow spices. I would rate the creativity and flavor of the food here my favorite. That is saying a great deal because I’m 55 and have tried many restaurants. A+ and I’ll be back

SL
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 4Ambience 3

Please see my review on Tripadvisor - this will save me reliving the whole experience.
Needless to say, your reservation meant nothing at all to the hostess.

LS
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic dining experience. Wait staff was excellent!

TV
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

We were a party of eight who had made reservations months ahead and reconfirmed an hour prior to arrival, and we were not dining early (8pm was our scheduled time and we arrived exactly on the dot), and we were immediately identified on the maitre d’s list, so it was rather surprising to arrive and find that they were completely unprepared for us. We had to stand at the front while they hurriedly pushed two tables together to accommodate our party.

The food and service were fabulous, but the noise level in the restaurant from the live band playing in the bar was so high it impeded conversation.

It took forty minutes from the time we arrived until our drinks were served, and when we mentioned we need to be done with dinner no later than three hours after our scheduled arrival, our first two courses were delivered simultaneously, with the third following at a normal pace.

The food itself was delicious, and the portions were large enough that we wished we had done two courses instead of three.

We will definitely return, and will recommend it to our friends, but with the caveat that it is VERY noisy and probably best enjoyed if one requests a table as far away from the front as possible, or before the band starts playing.

T
Seattle
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

Very good food bur needed to wait to long time for the waiter 2 times.

RF
New England
17 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Fabulous food and fabulous service. Very well trained waitstaff and creative dishes

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Tweets by Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel