Tropika offers a variety of Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian food.
Food is okay - won't go into detail as I had a really bad experience with their waiters there; I'd avoid this place though as there are other better places for Malaysian/Asian/Indonesian food out there.
Had the cendol, and when I asked for some extra 'palm sugar' (which is one of the essential ingredients of cendol) the waiter said 'okay' without being too honest, and came back with a glass of honey. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement - I understand that this is Canada and not Malaysia, but if you're going to bring me honey, please tell me that that is all you have, instead of saying 'okay' when I ask for palm sugar.
Service was horrible throughout the night as the dishes came in rapid fire fashion but beyond ordering your food, the waiters are not interested in you at all and it is hard to get their attention.
I'd say that the best dish out of all that we had (and trust me, we had A LOT of dishes) would be the roti, though the food is by no means outstanding and is mediocre at best.
The 'crowning glory' of the night was when we left a rather small tip on account of them bringing me honey (it irritated me to no end) and them not finding the time to refill our glasses of water and taking 20 minutes to bring our cheque.. we are poor students and can't quite afford to tip where it is not deserved, I was tempted not to leave a tip at all.. but then, the waiter stared at us and asked, "IS SOMETHING WRONG?" in the most arrogant loud tone, to which we said "no, why?" and he said "well, usually our customers leave a much larger tip than that" and then he held out his hand.
This left us rather bewildered, but rather than cause a scene, the bf dropped a few more coins into his hand and we left promptly. One would think that it is universally acknowledged that when you leave a small tip (or no tip), you are showing how unhappy you are with the service; you shouldn't just stare at the customers in a surprised way and demand for an extra tip.
Bad service outweighs the mediocre food and we definitely won't be returning. There are many other places if you want to get a good Asian/Malaysian food fix.
I have been to this location many times and was happy with their service, but judging by my recent visit with a couple of friends, their service is a bit messed up. The server took a dish off our table when it was not even finished. Also tried to impose a 15% tip on our bill despite the fact that we had only 4 people, which we refused to give.
Bak Guh Teh and Roti Canai are items that I would recommend.
My partner and I decided to give this location a try (I had previously been to the Robson location and enjoyed it). We had had a rough night so we were really looking forward to a nice dinner. For the kind of place and menu pricing I expected a friendly and inviting service, instead our server was pretty plain and indifferent, he brought us the food and the bill and that's about it, NOT a single "how are you" "how is your food tasting", he never checked on us to see if we needed anything else or any of those things that we normally experience in Vancouver restaurants.
The food was very bad, extremely greasy, the meat was very fatty and the texture of the sauce was gross. We couldn't even eat half of the food and after 35 min we decided to leave and go somewhere else for dessert. My partner paid for the meal and decided not to tip (I think he should have tip a couple of bucks, but my partner doesn't believe in tipping mediocre service, but he does tip really well when the service deserves it).
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS UNREAL....We were already outside 1/2 block away when we heard the server running behind us with the bill in his hand, he was extremely angry and confronted my partner for not giving him a tip. We said that we were not happy with the whole experience and no matter what, he had not right to come out and confront us like that. He insisted that if there was something wrong with the service we should have told him when we were inside!!! He wouldn't even let us speak, we tried to explain that we had the right to tip or not tip according to our own judgment and we are not OBLIGATED to give him an explanation if we don't want to. At the end, another waiter had to came out and get him but they both left angry at us.
Maybe we should have tip, maybe not, that's not the point. No matter what, it's absolutely UNACCEPTABLE for a waiter to harass us like that, following us to the street and making a public scene. At the end, he really proved he didn't deserve a tip and as for the restaurant, we are not the only customers this franchise loses as outrageous stories like this one spread like butter. And apparently this is not the first time that something like this happens as I've read in other posts, UNREAL!!!
Considered on the exotic end for some of the asian food spectrum, I thought Tropika was nothing really worth writing home about. They had a solid Cran entree, the rest of my food was standard Malay fare.
We ordered 5 entrees, I found most dishes a little oily.... some reminding me of cheaper asain takeout. If it wasn't for one of the best crab dishes in the city I would have dumped on this place.
Ok Service, Ok food, Ok ambience. Try the crab.
My friends, boyfriend and family have been going to Tropika for several years now. We have tried all the locations including the ones in Richmond and Robson.
Cambie is our favourite because we find the service and food to be better here.
However -- the dishes are quite hit and miss so here are some of our recommendations to order some amazing Thai and Malaysian food here.
Drinks: The fresh lime soda or fresh young coconut are great.
Appetizers: Chicken and pork satays with peanut sauce are a must have... but most of all, you CANNOT miss the Malay Bread. Best roti in Vancouver.
Mains: Recommend the sambal bunchies (green beans with spices and prawns), Tropika homestyle chicken (very flavourful), beef and broccoli (lots of vegetables and beef, and quite tasty!), and the lemon chicken .
Try ordering those dishes for dinner and you will be very happy! We've gone with many big groups and have always left happy and full. Service is excellent and your water glass is always quickly refilled. Worth making reservations for dinner or weekends.
I am a long time customer of this restaurant and to be fair, the food was very good as usual. An hour and half into a meal with a friend tonight, the waiter came by and handed us the bill and told us that the next reservation on the table is here, even though the table next to us was empty. Our bill was $80 for two. We paid the bill and tips but wanted to finish our drinks before we gave up our table but few minutes later the same waiter came by to tell my friend to move his coat out of the way so he can make space for the next guest.
I went to discuss with the manager who called over the waiter and the waiter started yelling at me in the middle of our conversation! I really wonder what is going on with the "service" in Vancouver restaurants? How can paying customers accept such disrespectful attitude?
Servers were a little rushed but overall was prompt with service and refilling glasses.
Food is not AMAZING for the price they charge but I thought it was still quite good overall. There meat dishes and noodles are probably their most consistent Sizes are not up to par with other Chinese restaurants though.
Dimly lit and nice renovations make the place a good, modern Asian atmosphere...a little more Western then anything else. Would recommend if you don't mind paying a little more. I think it was like 7 dollars for a goreng pisang (friend banana)....a little much. But it is usually packed which is why there maybe so many bad reviews regarding the service.
Also, it is tasty but not exactly authentic Southeast Asian Food.
Reservations mean nothing -they want to rush you out the door! When we phoned in we told them we had 6 young children in our party so what did they do? they split our group into two tables and sat us by the kitchen door and with an aisle in between. The manager told us to get the kids out of the way! Beware -there is an unwritten policy that there is a minimum charge of $25/adult and 12.50/child if you come with a large group. On the phone they said that a child is up to 14. When we got there they decided to change the age of a paying child to 7. 15% tip was added to the bill despite the poor service. Worst Pad Thai ever - super spicy & not authentic. They took it back and made another and it was just as bad. Food was laced with MSG and according to the manager in Malaysia they use a lot of MSG... Food was poor, service was poor and we won't be back. No need for an MSG "buzz", don't want to feel rushed.
I perceive myself as a fair person when I compare other cultural cuisine to their own. However, my visit with Tropika was sorely disappointing. I was eager to taste the different flavors they were specializing in Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian and Singaporean cuisine as they have noted, yet the dishes I've tried just came out as "chinese influenced". I was politely informed by an aquaintance that this restaurant was opened by Hong Kong owners, so maybe there would be tentative chinese flavoring in the cooking. Ahhh, my taste buds haven't proven me wrong. Also being senstive to msg........
My group of friend ordered 5 dishes to share, the pineapple fried rice, the indonesian pork ribs, singapore noodle, the rendang lembu and hainese chicken.
Nothing to note, as I said, just chinese food using other cultural identity. I don't judge people for liking it, they just probably haven't the chance to taste the real mckoy yet.
Also, the portions of the dishes didn't justify the price.
I will stick to my favorites Sawadee for Thai, Seri Malaysia for Malay and Sate Satu for Indonesian as I know for sure they don't compromise their cooking.
Tonight My boyfriend and I were deciding which restaurant to spend a Friday night at, having the "Dine Out Vancouver" experience.
Unfortunately, we had chosen Tropika on Cambie.
The cost per person to dine out was $28 dollars....I must stress this is definately NOT WORTH IT! They start you out with appetizers which end up being more expensive then ordering them separately. The portions are smaller, and the Roti is not even comparable to the roti Banana Leaf serves. The dipping sauce was very bland, and very stingy.
The entrees were the typical Pad Thai, which was gloppy, sloppy, and salty, in addition to the vegetable dish which was deep fried grease filled eggplant. The only flavour which was absolutely unquestionable in the eggplant was the over- usage of Shrimp paste and dried shrimp, leaving my mouth dehydrated and unsatisfied. We thought we had something to look forward to in the Lobster dish but, like all previous courses, ended up being a disaster. They served the lobster head, no tail, lumpy sauce and ended up being a very messy meal. We had to leave half on the plate due to the awkwardness of the Lobster topped on thin vermicelli noodles, bits of noodles falling here and there. Again, a sloppy and unnecessary course. Suggestion is that they should have replaced the lobster dish with a curry dish, and charging only $18.00.
When the time came for dessert, we had no choice (literally) then to go for the "mixed fruit with ice cream". This dish was not even on the regular menu. I had asked the waited if we could replace both of our desserts with 1 pisang goreng (deep fried banana with ice cream) and he said " no, there is an additional charge". I replied that we will stick with the set menu. Looking very unhapppy, the pisang goreng came to our table...along with ONE of the set menu desserts.
I was happy as I thought they had made an exception..I was wrong. When my bill came an extra $7.00!!! was added for the dessert. I told the waiter we had a miscommunication and he rolled his eyes at me and grudgingly snarled, rolled his eyes and walked back to the till. I have never felt SO UNCOMFORTABLE in a restaurant!
No tip was left. My recommendation; do not visit this place. An utter waste and rip off.
Hope this helps!
I ate here with 5 people and three of us were sick the next day. The only linking factor was one of the combination platters (B, I think). The rest of the food was not as good as banana leaf, also I have never been sick from food at banana leaf.
We called the next night to complain and were simply told to call back another day.
We were joking about whether they re-use the pineapple bowls over dinner, and it turns out they do actually re-use the coconut bowls (according to a food inspection report in July 2008).
In short, I will not be returning or recommending this place to anyone.
I love Tropika. I've been to Tropika at every location. Cambie is probably my favourite one though. My favourite dishes are the pineapple fried rice, roti, and the spicy clams! Skewers and curry chicken are good too. Service can be better if everyone was fluent in English. I'll definite be back for more! They have fried ice cream for dessert too...yummy!
I usually go to the Tropika restaurant in Richmond and the service there is so so but I go to restaurants for the food not the service. Compared to their location in Richmond, the service at the Cambie restaurant is the pits. The head waiter? He seemed to be in charge had a sour face and rude manner to him. Asking him to refill our glasses of water was like pulling his teeth. Food is solid but if you are in the area go to Banana Leaf where you can enjoy great food and great service. The Richmond location however is ok. I thought it was just me but after speaking to some of my friends, they all had bad experience in terms of the service at the Cambie location as well.
My husband and I got take out from Tropika, we wanted to try something new as we always order from Sala Thai (and never have been disappointed with the Thai food from Sala Thai). The food from Tropika was less than poor, the vegetables were all canned, with the "Chicken and Cashew" you had to dig for the chicken and cashews, and overall food in had no flavor. 3 dishes cost us $40, next time I will go to the local food court and get take out from there, I will probably have better luck. Oh and what's up with the Pad Thai at this place...it was noodles with some hot sauce, a boiled egg and sliced tomatoes????
My boyfriend and I ate at Tropika, expecting and unbelievable dining experience, as a result of the many recommendation to eat at this restaurant. However, not only was the food served slowly, in small portions, and was extremely over priced, the server was slow, and in my opinion dangerous. I am a strict vegetarian, as well as a jewish person. I specifically asked the server if our meals could be altered and served with no meat, which he told me was perfectly fine, and done all the time. However, all but one meal came with the meat in it, as well as two dishes (pad thai being one of them, and EASY meal to serve without any meat at all) overflowing with prawns, something that i cannot eat as a jewish person. I was extremely upset, told the server of the mistake, and he blamed it on the kitchen. Additionally, we ordered a large "sharing" drink, which the server told us had alcohol, but once we tasted it, we knew he was wrong, he didn't apologize, nor take the beverage off of our bill. Overall a terrible experience.
I've been here numerous times for lunch and had great experiences each time. The service is good. The waiters are usually quite friendly and are pretty quick to recognize when I need a refill of water. The food has been consistent every time I have been here and the waiting times were reasonable. I really enjoyed the roti canai, pad thai, curry beef, and prawn cakes. I think quality of the food is better than other thai restaurants. I've also been to the Robson location, but this one is much better.
Haven't been to this Tropika for awhile because I usually go to the Robson Street one. Came here tonight with 5 friends for a xmas dinner. We arrived at 8pm and the place was about 3/4 full. Was seated right away and checked out the menu. Decided to have everyone make a choice so we can share. Ordered pineapple fried rice, pad thai, beef curry, green beans, homestyle chicken, sambal prawns and honey garlic ribs. Everything was tasty and food came promptly after ordering. Fried rice was good though on the small side, chicken was good, beef curry and sambal prawns were tasty. My favorite dish was the green beans or sambal bunchies as they are called. The decor was nice but the room was a bit loud in my opinion. The service was very good as our water glasses were always filled.
I would recommend this restaurant and will be returning in the near future.
I called at 6:15pm and made reservations for 6:30pm for 2. When we got there at 6:25pm, the host asked us to wait. After 10min, we were handed menus, thinking that we were going to be seated, but were then asked to wait in the waiting area. Another 10min pass before we were seated. I don't usually mind waiting, but if you agree to give a reservation, I think that they should have the table ready when we arrive. 5min after we ordered, our rice arrived....before the dishes arrived. But after the server realized that our dishes weren't ready, he took the rice back...and then brought them out again after our dishes arrived. The food was good, portions kind of small for the money I thought. Had the lamb curry and vegetable hot pot. The lamb curry was delicious. When entertainment book coupon was used, it was a great deal. The manager gave us a free takeout bowl of rice as well, which was very nice.
Feeling hungry and adventurous, I ventured into Tropika on Cambie with my wife after reading the reviews and seeing their ads.
Decor is nice but needs to be updated. We were hungry and ordered quite a bit of food. We ordered the satay, char hor fun, roti, laksa and assam prawns, chicken rice.
The roti was ok and char ho fun was decent. But the laksa was bad - it tasted like curry noodles but it was still edible. The assam prawns was the worse, the sauce is nothing like what I have had in Asia - what happened? The satay was ok but lacks the real flavour. The chicken rice was pretty good but full of bones - I think the Hong Kong Chinese like it this way. I will have preferred it boneless. They could also have been more generous with the chili sauce and ginger sauce though. Overall, the food is tasty but not the real thing. Who are they trying to kid? In a city where authentic food is everywhere, they have better improve and not just rest on their laurels before someone else comes along to offer really authentic Malaysian food.
But what really upset us was the service. The server didn't really seem to care. We had to ask repeatedly for water, he didn't come to check us once during the meal and didn't clear our plates. The rest of the servers didn't seem any better. I don't think we will be back.
We ordered one of the laksa noodle soups, pad thai, and Tropika special fried rice. The food came fast in under 10 minutes at 12:00pm on a Sunday. The fried rice was supposed to come with pineapple, but didn't so we asked the nice waiter and he sent it back. I found the service to be very good since our water glasses were never empty and there was always a waiter to help us out. The food was just okay, the Laksa lacked spice and the peas and carrots in my fried rice looked very akin to that of the frozen grocery store variety. Pineapples were shaped like they were probably out of a can. Funny how I never appreciated the nicer south-east asian restaurants I've been to who use fresh pineapples until today. Used the entertainment book coupon. I don't think this place has good value without the coupon when I can get fresh pineapple fried rice in a pineapple for about the same price at my usual spot.