This past weekend I traveled to Friday Harbor, WA and Victoria, BC. While in Victoria I visited the Empress Hotel, a five star property that’s been around for over 100 years, proudly serving the richest of the the rich (I’m still not sure why they let me in the front door). As you can imagine, the hotel’s restaurants have always been formal and rather old-fashioned. This is not a place looking to be “hip.” I expected to go hungry, being an active vegan, and had packed plenty of energy bars.
Those power bars are still in my suitcase, untouched, because I was fed like royalty—vegan royalty. The Empress Room prepared a full five-course vegan meal without blinking an eye—and it was one of the best vegan meals I’ve ever had!–and the appetizer buffets were also stocked with vegan treats. The neatest thing, though, was the curry buffet in the Bengal Lounge. This restaurant has been serving an old-fashioned Indian curry buffet for decades. Lamb and chicken curries, mostly.
My friend and I walked in for lunch, and I commented that the menu had a couple of veg options so I would be fine if I couldn’t do the buffet. One of the servers heard me and she interrupted our conversation to assure us that the kitchen would love to make extra veg options for the buffet—it was a common request.
It is so nice to be a vegan activist in 2007.
So in honor of the decidedly old-fashioned and un-hip Empress Hotel in Victoria—proudly serving vegan food—here is a list of ingredients for your very own curry buffet. Instructions for dressing to the nines are not included.
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