The Colonial Restaurant – A colossal disappointment

Greenlydia - A South African Travel Blog

We live close to Magalies and enjoy Sunday drives there quite often. A few weeks ago we drove passed a new restaurant, The Colonial, and made a mental note to return to try it.

A mental note I regret.

Upon arrival, the waitress/chef (dressed in chefs gear)/bar lady asked for my husband’s name. Not “under what did you make your reservation” just “what’s your name” Odd right? We kind of laughed it off and took a seat in the court yard. (On a broken plastic chair)

The same waitress came to take our drinks order. There are amazing local beers in the vicinity and we asked her what beers they have. The “chef” suggested the Gingerberry from Back Horse Breweries (a firm favorite of ours). Pleased that this was on the menu we ordered one each straight away. She then told us in a by-the-way manner “oh we serve it here with doubles” and ran off. Confused by this my husband and I looked at each other and figured it must be served in a larger glass than usual.

Drinks took about 15 minutes to arrive and then the weird experience got kicked up a gear. Our beloved Gingerberries were served with a double shot glass of … something. When I asked the waitress what it was she said “tequila”. We did not order tequila and I was certainly not going to take a double shot of it on a Sunday afternoon. The presumed manager came over and informed me that it was in fact not tequila but rather Cinzano. She explained this is how they served the drink at their establishment. We figured it was meant to be a cocktail and proceeded to order starters and mains.

I ordered a cheese soufflé as starter and we ordered the Portuguese prawns and the chicken schnitzel .  It took about 40minutes to get to our table.

Let’s take this dish by dish.

Cheese “soufflé”:  this was so far removed from what I expected it I was taken aback a little. It was more like a deep fried cake. Upon looking up “Dutch Soufflé” I realized this is what it’s supposed to look like. I wish the menu stated it though as it wasn’t the soufflé I was looking forward to.

Portuguese Prawns: It just so happens that my husband is in fact, Portuguese. The prawns were served boiling in a tomato based sauce. The sauce lacked seasoning and because of its heat, had overcooked the prawns. It wasn’t the worst dish we have ever had but I can say with confidence that it was not Portuguese styled prawns.

Schnitzel: Contrary to my husband’s dish, mine was ice cold. I did not recognize any of the cold vegetables that was served in a ramekin as a side. Cabbage? Beans? I really don’t know.

I can deal with crappy food. I once waited 2 hours for pancakes in Langebaan when on holiday. We had a good time waiting so that makes up for bad food. (for me at least)

It was what followed that pushed me over the edge.

When the manager(?) could not answer me when I asked what other beers she had on offer she asked me to follow her to the bar to have a look. Behind the bar was our waitress(?) They stocked Black Horse and Roeks. When I asked her what she stocked from each she proclaimed she only keeps the Larger and the Porter from Roeks because that’s what she likes and the others are bitter and horrible – she indicated.

I ordered an ale from Black Horse and returned to the table. It was warm. Not “English charm” warm, but unrefrigerated-warm. This does the ale no favours.

As I work in alcohol and have dealt with retailers/ on consumption in the past I am disappointed that they think it okay to bad mouth a product. You stock what your customers enjoy. Had she told me those were the two most popular of the range I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

Then the bill.

The “chef” came to our table and asked us what we had ordered (this is after we had asked her for the bill) She had to write it down…again. We could have told her anything really.

She then brought us the bill and the Speed point…and left

On the bill we saw that the Black Horse was not charged as a cocktail but we were charged for the drink as well as a DOUBLE shot each.  The Doubles alone were R30 per person. This was not communicated to us. I feel they took advantage of us.

After 15 minutes we took matters into our own hands. Punched in the full amount into the Speed Point and paid the full amount (and a begrudging tip) After another few minutes of waiting for her to return we decided to get up and leave. No one followed us or called after us and we could have upped and left without paying a cent.

The food was disappointing and overpriced. The drinks were just sad. The décor and setting were farm-style kind of charming. Although odd and not clear on what their rolls were the service was friendly. I looked them up and found quite a few interesting reviews (and replies from the owners) on Zomato, TripAdvisor and Facebook.

Sometimes I eat things, and don’t recommend them.


*The two women whom I presume to be either the managers or the owners were friendly and sociable.  

**I understand it was Valentines Day and it might not be the best day to judge a restaurant. But it was not that busy.

***Photo used has been taken from their public Facebook page.

****All opinions are my own. I am not a food crit. Just your average hungry customer.


  • Megan Kelly

    I just had to go read the reviews on Facebook and had a good laugh. “Doris is a name used to insult or belittle someone… we unfortunately can not take this complaint seriously now Mr. Peter Hempel.” SAY WHAT!? We had a very similar experience at a restaurant for Mother’s Day last year, it’s a joke really. Sorry you had a shitty lunch that was exorbitantly priced. Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s day and anniversary regardless. xoxox

    February 14, 2016 - 8:46 pm Reply
    • greenlydia

      I had a good laugh at the “Doris” thing myself. Thank you for the lovely tweet yesterday. It was truly a great day. Regardless of bad restaurants.

      February 15, 2016 - 7:29 am Reply

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