Eating Our Way Through Victoria!

Welcome, Dear Ones and Gourmands all!

Per the Word Tutor at “To become a gourmand, you must taste food from the very finest restaurants.”

So today, we have tasty treats and tantalizing food temptations with which to taunt you. Our restaurant selections come from two diverse eating establishments in one of Victoria’s neighbouring cities – Esquimalt.

Esquimalt (pronounced Ess-kwi’-malt), the home of Canada’s Pacific Fleet, is just across the blue bridge – merely a hop, skip and a jump (a mere 10 minute drive) – from Victoria. It is well worth a visit – whether to enjoy the landscape, walkways and beauty, to visit the naval base and see the ships, or savour some of the fine cuisine.

The Blue Nile and the Vietnam Garden restaurants are both at the top of my list of delightful and unique places to dine. Appropriate to it’s name, the Vietnam Garden offers fantastic foods from that country and culture. Ken is the owner and host, plus all around man of many talents. He welcomes you, seats you, may take your order and will likely serve at least one of the many courses of your meal – usually the dessert! Yet look around at the walls and you will see amazing art work with gorgeous scenery in vibrant acrylic colours popping out from the canvas – and in a picture or two you may notice a man, woman and young child. That would be Ken, his wife and son – for Ken is the artist of these beautiful and varied pieces. His wife and son can often be seen at the restaurant for it is truly, and proudly, a family business. If you like Vietnamese food, you will thoroughly enjoy the relaxed family atmosphere, the varied menu and the wonderful presentation of fresh foods made to order with flair and flavour!

The Blue Nile is a very different place to dine divinely. Small and intimate, it has a vibrant East African cultural ambiance. It boasts both menu items and a buffet to please every palate. May we suggest you start with mango juice – with an explosion of fresh-off-the-tree taste. For a first visit or new to East African cuisine, we recommend you to start with the buffet – eating your way in small amounts across the wide array of dishes offered – from mild to wild – till you find your favourites.

And if you (like Mike and I) are a true coffee connoisseur, you’ll be wanting to  complete your meal with a fabulous cup of Bunna – Ethiopian hand roasted and ground coffee served in a traditional jebena (pot).

Bon Appetit!


Eating Our Way Through Victoria!

Greetings Gourmands!

Before I delve into the tantalizingly sweet and savoury tidbits of this month’s subject, let me guide you first with a wee bit of geography and history to lay the groundwork for today’s tasty treat of a food review.

Welcome to Victoria! Victoria is the capital city of the province of British Columbia in Canada. Located on the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, it is a mere 1 1/2 hour ferry ride through the Gulf Islands taking you to the mainland and the city of Vancouver where the final days of the 2010 Winter Olympics are winding to a close. Go Canada! Check out the location here. (Click on the photos on this map and you’ll see some of our more famous buildings!)

The Empress Hotel – now the Fairmont Empress – is a world-renowned resort hotel. Often referred to as the ‘Grand Lady’ – a castle in her own right – she rules over our Inner Harbour and is a must see attraction for visitors from all parts of the globe. You can’t come to Victoria and not wander her halls, peruse her galleries, stop for a rest and take an appreciative look and deep breath or two in her incredible rose gardens.

The Empress Hotel is the journey we take today as we eat our way through Victoria. Of the many restaurant options The Empress has to offer, it is the Bengal Lounge that shall capture and satisfy our epicurean nature. Continue Reading →