Admittedly, I was late to the poutine party, but when I finally arrived I put on my dancing shoes and never left. What’s not to love? Fresh cut fries, soulful gravy, squeaky cheese curds and a fork for shoveling -- the only thing that does poutine one better is an icy Coke or a local draft to wash it all down. Oh, and some great surroundings.
Which brings us to Victoria’s Fairmont Empress hotel, and me, tucked into a cozy high-back chair in the famed Bengal Lounge, a tiger hide sprawled over the fireplace, a heaping dish of curry poutine in the middle of our table.
The idea for the Bengal Lounge was inspired by Queen Victoria’s role as the Empress of India, and as such the lounge has been serving curry cuisine (there's a daily buffet) and signature cocktails, such as the Ivory Hunter and Hemingway Special since the mid-50s. (The Bengal Tiger is my personal favourite.)
Now getting back to that curry poutine; while it’s not a classic poutine (more of a generous portion of chicken curry on fries with some cheese), it is delicious. And even if you’re not in the mood for curry poutine I still suggest you pop into the Bengal Lounge for a step back in time in an elegant room with professional waiters in a storied hotel in a lovely, lovely city.