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“As good as expected however too bad about the final fee grab...”
Review of China Doll

China Doll
Ranked #26 of 5,935 Restaurants in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $16 - $63
Cuisines: Asian, Chinese, Malaysian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: City East
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“As good as expected however too bad about the final fee grab...”
Reviewed July 8, 2014

As per usual China Doll was acceptable. Ok food, barely reasonable service, great outlook. My party of 5 indulged, enjoyed and rang up a tab that would make most restaurants happy.

Then without being informed we got nabbed for a $3.30 surcharge per person on our credit cards after leaving more than an acceptable tip.

The paltry amount of money wasn't the issue...what was is not being informed about what was nothing more than a rude, greedy, good-will destroying cash grab.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BrianTR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,294 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great spot and great food”
Reviewed July 2, 2014

China Doll is not just all about the location - which is amazing on the wharf overlooking the water, boats, passing parade, etc. The food is really good Asian Fusion. Us 3 lunching "gals" ordered 3 entrees, 3 mains and some rice and it was too much to finish. We were all really hungry but the servings are very generous. We could have done with just 2 entrees and 2 mains. The stand-out dishes for me were the dumplings and the pork belly - both melt in the mouth and fully of flavour. The staff were attentive but not overly so - which women appreciate when they are having a good catch-up. I will definitely go back.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CMKEX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
Reviewed July 1, 2014

Had a brilliant meal at China Doll for my wife's birthday. Service was excellent and the food was at a level very few restaurants deliver. Well paced banquet offering that was ample for the 2 of us.
Loved the pork belly!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank SRS65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Top Spot”
Reviewed June 22, 2014

Good food, service, quick delivery and friendly staff. It hit the spot for us.!
Great variety of dishes. All absolutely delicious.The evening we were there
they were short staffed, but the service was amazing. Loved the dumplings and
the wine list was very reasonable .When you ordered a glass, you got a glass !!
We loved it and would go back. .Fab location too. A not too miss Restaurant when you are in Sydney.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jilly S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
181 reviews
158 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Sick of the anti-couple establishment in Sydney”
Reviewed June 19, 2014

So, once again, a menu that is irritatingly designed to share, but taken to another level at China Doll. The 'main' dishes are designed for four people, so, as a couple, to share one you need it to be served as a half dish. Not all of the options are available as a half dish so more than half of then menu was off limits. Absolutely ridiculous.

Duck pancakes? Sorry, no half portion. Crispy chicken with yellow bean sauce? No, sorry. So what is available, from the meat section, for two to share? Just the wagyu shin in panang sauce and the pork belly. Two dishes from ten! 20% of the meat 'main' courses! There was a similar story for the rest of the menu, but I had stopped listening.

Sharing itself is not ideal. I like my red meats, but am not that fussed about fish. My partner is the opposite. That doesn't stop a lot of restaurants in Sydney setting their menu out in this way and, with many restaurants not taking bookings for parties of less than four or six, I'm getting really sick of the marginalisation of couples in Sydney.

The food was so-so. We shared the wagyu shin and the sichuan salt and pepper prawns. The prawns were very bland, and although she'd picked them, my partner couldn't eat her share. The wagyu dish was better, but shin is not my favourite cut by a long way. The panang curry was good though.

Good drinks list, with plenty of wines by the glass. I opted for beer (had been running that morning and was pretty thirsty), and I liked that they served the 500ml bottle in a cooler. A necessity as the early-afternoon sun was bearing down on us.

The location is easily the best part of the dining experience at China Doll. We do like the Finger Wharf and often have drinks here (at Manta) and have really enjoyed eating at Aki's.

It all came to about $80 and I think that represents reasonable value for money for lunch.

So a two for location and value, but the rest was very disappointing. China Doll is not alone in this sort of behaviour, but to have most of the menu unavailable simply because we were eating as a couple is absurd. We won't be returning.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank craigodile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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