Tropika offers a variety of Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian food.
So I love most Thai/Singaporean/Malaysian/Indonesian food & it's great that we have such great places to have this type of cuisine in Vancouver. I just wish Tropika would be a bit more consistent. It's as if their chefs & waiters play musicial chairs on their customers. I went to both the Cambie & Robson locations in a span of a few weeks and I'd have to say I enjoyed the Cambie location way more. The food tasted better, the mediocre service was slightly better, and they had the seasonal mango sticky rice dessert I wanted! At the Robson location, they made up some lame excuse that it wasn't in season and that something was wrong with the mangos. This was in the middle of July, so that was kind of weird. Plus the Robson location was awful. Snotty waiters and the food was bleh. Soggy veggies and terrible flavors. I was quite surprised because I had gone on other occasions and really enjoyed it there. However, the Cambie location fared better. The portions are not as good as they used to be, but Cambie totally delivered on taste. Glad that one of the locations was decent. Just hope I go to the right location next time! =)
First off, service at this location is way better than the one in Robson. I have been patronizing Tropika on Cambie for over 10 years. I grew up eating southeast asian cuisine, and although the food here is not uber authentic that does not mean it is not tasty cuz they do a great job with many dishes like their rendang beef which is my personal fav. Many of these asian restaurants canadianized their food so that it suits the mass palette. When I needed my dishes kicked up a notch, I ask for their sambal which is basically a chilli paste made with shrimp, with that condiment, I feel at home. The prices are also reasonable as the decor is nice, not greasy spoon but clean and pleasant, the servers are friendly and professional. I also do like how they have the 2 for 1 coupons in the entertainment book and when you use them, the service is equally good. They are also one of the few places that serve my childhood fav of fried radish cake, I can eat that stuff for breakfast everyday. For Singapore and Malaysian cuisine, they do a good job and has a huge menu. Tropika ranks up there for me when I feel like something spicy and flavourful.
It's been a while since I went to any of the Tropika restaurants, but we had a sudden craving for satay, and drove by the location on Cambie.
Had to wait about 15 minutes for a table (on a friday night).
We ordered the satay combination (that included the sweet & sour pork and the curried vegetables), an appy of the Roti Kanai, and the "homestyle chicken". Tropika's satay is still one of the best I've had (although the peanut sauce that comes with it is just okay). The roti was soft and sweet and delicious. The sweet & sour was decent, but not particularly noteworthy.
The highlight was the homestyle chicken, a sweet marinaded chicken that's cut in pieces and deep fried. Absolutely fabulous.
Service was snappy and efficient.
From reading the reviews here, I think probably Tropika is not as consistent as a restaurant should be, but I enjoy my experience here. The food is very delicious and reasonably priced. Service is not outstanding, but friendly and efficient enough. As for decor, the restaurant is a bit old and tired looking. There is some room for improvement, but overall, it's a good place to have a pleasant casual meal.
Mrs. C and I were looking for a meal and she suggested Tropika. We’ve been to other locations but never to the one on Cambie. The restaurant is nicely decorated and clean (including the w/c) and the staff was friendly and reasonably quick.
We wanted to eat everything on the menu, but settled on satay, roti, prawns with chili and tomato, and beef curry, with steamed rice on the side. I also tried a pino frio, which is sort of like a pina colada.
All the food was fantastic, especially the prawn dish. It was a little hot, but in a good way. We devoured our meal and left with contented smiles and singing tongues.
A good meal. Recommended.
Food: Everything was just ok. Nothing really stood out. Satays were too small to be work 1.20 ea. Radish cake was nice. Deep-fried tofu fell apart when dipping. Roti was oily and dipping sauce a little on the bland side. Overall, there was nothing much too it.
Service: Felt like we were rushed out. No water anywhere!! Had to ask repeatedly for water refills.
Ambiance: Quite nice and if we hadn't been rushed out, it would have been a nice place to sit and eat dessert and just hang out.
Going to Tropika is always a treat.
Food: Great food with authentic flavours. My favorites are the roti w/ peanut sauce, the Bah Kut Teh soup, and the spicy eggplant. The nasi goreng is delicious too.
Service: I wouldn't say the service is out of the world, but it's good considering how busy the restaurant usually is, especially on the weekends!
Ambiance: Very comfortable and I love their dishware!
Don't forget your entertainment coupons!
The tastiest! Best service. Quick to serve; quick to cook to perfection; Friendly, attentive. Most consistent. Love their chicken wings! The Leung Ye Tofu (lightly battered; absolutely a must with the sauce!); Roti Canai--yummy curry sauce! Perfectly made satay whether it be chicken/beef/pork/lamb! The best spicy sambal crab--finger-licking good! Normally, I wouldn't eat crab, but this is the exception. Their baby ribs are so tasty and tender (I forget the name). Spinach is always good. Their dessert is delicious! The only mediocre item on the menu I can think of would probably be their soups! Yes, plural. Plenty of cocktail concoctions to go with your dinner. Always a good value. One of my favourite restaurants! But always remember to call in to make reservations! They're almost always busy. Be sure to arrive a little earlier than your chosen time otherwise, you might be in for a wait. Been frequenting here at least once a month if not more over the last bunch of years. There was a time when the taste of the food turned sub-par, I assume it was because they relocated their regular chef to one of their other locations to promote the other place first. But that only lasted for a couple of months or so, then they were once again unquestionably superb! When their newest location at Aberdeen Mall opened in Richmond, it was absolutely horrible! Disgusting. Ill-prepared food! Slow & confused service! Inexperienced. The tofu was bland-to-doughy-raw for the batter, and had a mushy-nearly-trampled-upon look to the tofu. The crab was awful and haphazardly thrown on the plate. The chicken wings were bad to nearly being undercooked, and the roti was awful doughy tasting. Haven't dared to go back since then. Just awful. But CAMBIE is the BEST! The Robson one is okay in every respect, more roomy, fewer tables. But for taste and atmosphere, liveliness, go to Cambie! Not sure if the Lansdowne Rd location one is still around...
So I ended up at this place on the weekend and used a -$14 off coupon for dinner.
Made reservations 6 hours earlier so no trouble getting a seat. Right when we walked in, I mentioned our reservation and we were promptly seated. Waiter came and took our order - we ordered combo's A and D so that my gf and I could share. Food was great! Nothing to complain about.
The waiter came back a few times to make sure we were ok and also refilled my water..and when we were done, we paid and left. No fuss. I'm not sure why other reviewers here complained about poor service. There were a ton of staff walking around and they were nice and polite.
Only thing bad here is that it is noisy. I had a hard time hearing my GF speak and she had a hard time hearing me. I could see this being a problem if this place was chosen as a "first date" dinner place.
I've been to Tropika a number of times over the years, but I dont think i will be making another trip to this restaurant for a while. Within 5 mins of sitting down, we were pressured to order our drinks at least 3 times. It was only until I told them we need at least 5 mins to look at the menu that they left us alone. Throughout the dinner it was fine, but as soon as we received our desserts they threw the bill down on the table. For lunch I can expect to receive the bill before you finish your meal, but for dinner it translates into we want you to leave.
Aside from the bad service, the food was good and the portions were a bit smaller from what I remember
I came here w my gf for lunch last week, we had roti canai, lamb satay, and the coconut seafood fried rice. The roti canai was good but I think the sauce is too watery and too little for the portion of the roti. The lamb satay was good. The fried rice was generally good but I just think that it's a little bland in taste. Since this place is nearby my house so I will come again when I crave for Asian food but then or else it's not my first choice for food.
Checked out this place with a close friend on a rainy Thursday evening. Was a little tricky to get to since Cambie is pretty much closed due to the RAV line construction.
Food - Really, really good. Mind you, my friend used to come here all the time, so she knows what's good on the menu. Had some huge Thai-style drink that was served in a wood bowl with a couple of straws to share. The pineapple rice was actually served in a pineapple! How cool is that? Satay was really good, but pretty small portion. Veggies and curry chicken were also good.
Service - Solid. Some recent views have been pretty harsh on rating the service, but I was fairly pleased with it.
Ambiance - Pretty nice for an asian restaurant. Usually they're hole-in-the-wall places. This place seemed nice and new and it even had clean bathrooms!
The food is not bad, I admit. The prices are about twice what they should be.
Don't be fooled, tho'... Tropika is Malaysian / Thai confusion cuisine owned and run by Hong Kong owners and staff who are providing a HK idea of what they think S.E. Asian cuisine should be like. There's nothing wrong with that in theory, but if you're a purist, beware. The dishes are executed well enough in any case.
Unfortunately, along with the HK concept of food comes the HK concept of service - that, as a customer, you are an unavoidable nuisance, and so they serve you in the hopes that, by doing so, you'll leave sooner.
If Tropika were the last restaurant in town serving this type of cuisine, I would go... but again, this is a typical example of "why do I need to spend my money here when there are so many other choices?"
Went for lunch as was told by friends that it was a good place. The service was poor and the food was not good. It did not taste like Asian food. Things just slaped together. I can do this at home and have a better quality. They also refused to take the entertaintment coupons which I cannot beleive. Will not go there again. Thought that they would want people to enjoy their meal so that they may come back. The restaurtant was not busy either. Should have seen this when i got in.
I tried out the Cambie location for the first time with a friend for lunch. I thought the outside of the restaurant did not live up to the other locations, but the inside sort of made up for the lack of ambience.
Not a lot of people were there when we entered, but started to fill up slowly. I had the kari lembu with coconut rice and my friend ordered special lunch combo a. we started off with roti, and roti was good as always and piping hot. when the food came, it wasn't very creative looking as usual. normally i would get the coconut rice wrapped in leaves or presented upside down perfectly, but this was just scooped and put in a rice bowl....a bit disappointing.
my curry was good, but it wasn't very hot. my friend's wasn't a curry...it was just chicken with hot sauce and sauteed veggies and deep fried egg. the sauteed veggies looked hot, but they were cold! it didn't taste that great.....and the chicken i thought was too little for the combo. i wasn't all that impressed.
but what was most disappointing was that i had a special lunch 2 for 1 special, and i asked the server if we could use it, but he bluntly said no today is special occasion, and just left. he could have been kinder in telling me! he did fill our water up frequently but that was just rude.
i don't plan to come back here, unless i really want malaysian and im near cambie. might as well go to banana leaf on willow and broadway.
Been going here 2-3 x's/year for many years and never been disappointed with the food. Always delicious and consistent. One of my favourite places. Today we ordered takeout for an office lunch and each dish was outstanding: Nasi Goreng, Sambal Bunchies, Kai Lan w/salted fish, salt & garlic shrimp, Hainanese Chicken & rice. All these guys need to do now is add "service with a smile" and maybe open a location near my home.
Why do I always get persuaded to go to Tropika? I hate their pretentiousness and their food is overall westernized and not authentic.
My mom wanted to go out for dinner one night, so we went to Tropika on Cambie. I had just gone to Salathai (up the street) the previous night, but was still craving some Thai food...plus, as I remember, their roti canai and chicken satays were always really good. So I obliged.
How the place still stays afloat despite snobby waiters and okay food is surprising. I guess it's still one of those "trendy" places to eat, despite outdated decorum.
We had the roti canai, chicken and beef satays, eggplant with pork hot pot, rice, and pad thai. Now, maybe this is because I had pad thai the night before and it was so mind-numbingly good, that Tropika did not live up to my expectations. Or, it could be that Tropika sacrifices cost for flavour, but the noodle dish that was placed before me was gummy, acidic, sour and lacked flavour from spices. At ~$12, I felt ripped off. The eggplant dish was also something that I'd never tried from Tropika. It was floating in about one and a half inches of oil. Pork? There was about 2 tablespoons of ground pork sitting in the oil. Granted, the eggplant was not bitter and tasted good. But the dish itself was really oily and greasy. Hence, we ordered rice to soak up some grease.
We used the coupon and for *once*, I was glad to let my mother pay and tip her "standard 15%" - on the discounted price!! lol
There are other places to spend your money for authentic, flavourful Asian fare.
We were at the Tropika on Cambie for a friends birthday. There was about 9 of us plus a couple of kids. They were very accomodating for the kids. The place looks pretty nice, nothing to rave about. The service was good, friendly, amiable, accurate. The food was... well lets just say i was so dissapointed. So disappointed that i didn't eat at this establishment sooner. I totally satisfied my curry craving, i get curry cravings from time to time. We ordered an assortment of satay meat, which was delicious and cooked to perfection, plus a few varieties of curries. The roti was nice with the curry sauce. It was sweet tasting and dipped in the curry sauce took it to the next dimension. The Char Hor Fun was nice for the folks who don't eat so spicy. The name of that dish was good comical dinner conversation, lol. The tropika homestyle fried chicken was awsome. I would definitly eat here again. Now i just have to figure out how to make that wonderful curry sauce so i can enjoy at home.
I ate here during lunch and I'm not sure if I would return. The portions were good, but it was nothing special. The chicken curry was tasty but the fried rice dish we ordered was flavorless. I believe the owners of this restaurant were chinese, so I'm not sure the thai or malaysian flavours really come out in the dishes very well. The lunch prices were good and the service was average.
We never learn... because the food is so good, we have always returned despite the bad service, but never again.
This was the 3rd time that they completely forgot to process our pick-up order. And the manager was so rude, arrogant, and unapologetic.
There are plenty of other restaurants out there who deserve our business.