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“Enjoyed”

Colony Chinese Restaurant
Ranked #15 of 27 Restaurants in Burnt Pine
Cuisines: Chinese
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed February 20, 2012

Great food. Vegetables very fresh. Always enjoy this chinese

Thank jjsAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 - 114 of 114 reviews

Reviewed December 31, 2011

The word of mouth about the Colony Chinese Restaurant had spread far beyond the Island, we had heard of it long before the plane had even touched down. Being a lover of Asian food, of course we were going.

The advertisement in "Your World", a very good magazine touting Norfolk Island, stated the restaurant was open "7 days a week." This is not the case. It is not open on Wednesdays, and the sign on the window will attest to that.

Colony Chinese Restaurant has been running 30 years. The service is friendly. Parking is available right out the front.

Entering the building was a little strange. It looked Chinese, in a slightly out-dated but acceptable way. The furniture looks Chinese and the place mats a rife with spelling and typographical errors. But Rod Stewart was playing, rather loudly? There wasn't just a little Rod Stewart, but a lot of Rod Stewart. With that the vibe was killed and little could be done to resurrect it.

With the reviews I had heard, I expected this place to be top notch. Sadly, it wasn't. I have been to China 5 times (my partner 8), so we are pretty well versed in Chinese fare. All the produce comes from the Island, and is of high quality, but don't expect to see much of it.

The average dish is going to cost around $20. We ordered the 1/2 Steamed Chicken ($21), Satay Beef (around $19), small Combination Fried Rice ($13), and Jasmine tea ($3.50 each).

The Steamed Chicken tasted great served with a bed of local vegetables. But, it wasn't "half" a chicken. I noticed the wing was missing. It might be slight, but it wasn't an oversight. One of the first items on the menu was for a style of chicken wings. The part of the chicken we had paid for was being sold to customers as another dish. Rather than "half" a chicken, it really was about 2/3rds.

When ordering the Satay Beef we were asked how hot we would like it. The waitress assured us that we could not handle the full flavour and should go for medium. We did. It wasn't hot in the slightest. If there was chilli in there, we couldn't find it. The beef was excellent, as in the meat itself, but the serving was quite small. In essence it was only half a plate. The rest of the plate had a cup of rice, and piece of celery fancied up to take up room.

The Combination Fried Rice was good (but paying $20 for a large is just unbelievable). $3.50 each for tea is just extreme. It wasn't special. It was tea bags. In Chinese restaurants tea is free, or in some cases may cost a dollar. The refills were free.

Overall, I had great expectations, but that didn't match the reality. The food is on the bland side of average, very expensive with small servings. Flavours have obviously been toned down to suit the most underdeveloped taste buds, will no consideration left for those who wish for a more authentic experience.

For two people, it cost us $61, and we didn't consider it money well spent. We had planned to go there with three others, but that was on a Wednesday. They were relieved to hear they weren't missing much. We headed out the door and decided to fill up at the well-known cafe down the road.

Somewhere between the Rod Stewart and the excellent local beef this restaurant lost its way. It may be the best Chinese restaurant on the Island, but it is also the only Chinese restaurant on the Island. With that comes no competition but also great responsibility, which Colony doesn't live up to.

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1  Thank Jolly M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2011

Nice food, very average environment. We went for chinese to get through a quick meal & then go to a movie, but the meal wasn't quick, so we missed the movie. But nice food.

Thank Asinvari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2011

If the dine-in food is as good as the take-away food then it must be excellent. We had take-aways a couple of nights. The food was very good even if the portions weren't too large. A tip for would-be take-awayers - don't order and wait; phone in advance, get a pick-up time and then call in to collect. Orders from the restaurant obviously get priority over take-away orders so you can wait for some time before your food is ready. The first time we ordered here we waited well over 35 minutes for chicken fried rice. But it was worth the wait. Excellent food.

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1  Thank Dr Bob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2011

This a a great restaurant at reasonable prices. Authentic Chinese tastes and VERY fresh produce used. A little sparse in decor and obviously the locals use it for takeaways as the phone and service hutch for takeaways was working hard the two nights we went here. Quite often with Chinese meals (in Aussie/NZ) the different dishes tend to taste somewhat the same, but here, each dish was authentic and discrete in taste

With only a single waitress and high phone orders, this is not rapid service, but the attention to detail was excellent and everything clean and neat. The Prawns in Garlic and Ginger are a winner!

At $9 for a quite large (half) Carafe of wine, this makes for a reasonable priced holiday meal.

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1  Thank Kotuku123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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