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3.5
  • Food4.5
  • Service3.5
  • Value4
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews10

Tropical Island

3690 Shelbourne Street, 1
Victoria, BC V8P4H2
Tel: (250) 477-2538
Neighbourhood: Mount Tolmie
  • Cuisine: Chinese, Malaysian, Thai
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Hours: Mon: 11:30AM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 9PM, Tue: 11:30AM - 2:30PM, Wed - Thu: 11:30AM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 9PM, Fri - Sat: 11:30AM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 10PM, Sun: 11:30AM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 9PM

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Fantastic Experience
By priester22 of Victoria (4 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 25, 2009 - 11:25pm [Dine in]

My wife, 3 month old baby and myself went for dinner on a Friday night and had a fantastic dining experience. This place is a must for anyone who likes great food, great service and value for their money!!
Other places have tried and failed in this location but Tropic Island is doing everything right. I started with a Mango "Milkshake" and was immediately impressed. Very fresh, icy and huge I believe they could open a stand downtown and just serve these drinks and they would be busy all day long.
My wife and I ordered the "menu for two" as we were not certain what to order. We started out with fresh, hot spring rolls served with a variety of pickled carrots, cucumber and daikon. Beautifully wrapped and very nice
Then we were presented with a green chicken curry, garlic mixed veggies, steamed rice and tropical beef. The curry was fine and the veggies were hot, fresh and seasoned beautifully. The highlight of the night was the Tropical Beef. Tender pieces of beef fried crispy and served with a wonderful garlicy, spicy sauce. I will return again and again for this dish.
Dinner was finished with a small serving of mango pudding with cream. The pudding was alright and the cream was artificial. Fresh cream would have helped.
The dinner for 2 was $26.95 and we left feeling completely satisfied.

There are so many other fresh, interesting items on their menu that we will return soon.

Bottom line: If you are fed up with the same old - same old Asian food you must try Tropical Restaurant. Fresh food; friendly attentive service and great value. Don't let this one go because you are too busy wasting your money and life dining at fast food establishments.

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Surprisingly good!
By MariaEsylviano of victoria (10 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 30, 2009 - 12:27am [Dine in]

I didn't expect much and was treated with a great surprise of original flavours an beautiful presentation. The portions were small, it's true, but the flavour was amazing, and I left full. We tried the Menu sampler: the Green Curry was great, and the veggies had an excellent sauce. The Beef was good, but in small portions only, as it is permeated with oil. Overall, the food was great, the price was a little high, and the service was good: polite and friendly and there when you needed but not too often. The experience made my evening!

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A work in progress
By ferrystar of Victoria (19 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, May 7, 2008 - 11:38pm [Dine in]

This restaurant is trying to be something it is not, which is a downtown restaurant when it is not downtown. The price to portion ratio is not very good; portions are small compared to the prices you have to pay (at least $10+ for almost all dishes). The food is tasty, especially the malaysian satay noodle but the red curry lacked punch. Apparently the deep fried milk is amazing, but when I tried to order it, they'd run out. Other than that, the service was very friendly, though a tad slow and the restaurant was clean and well kept.

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What a surprise!
By darthfugu of Victoria (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, May 15, 2009 - 5:52am [Dine in]

I've just moved to Victoria about nine months ago and tried a smattering of the supposedly "good" restaurants in town and have been solidly disappointed. So it was with low expectations that I walked into Tropical Island to give it a try.

The food at Tropical Island is not really the traditional Chinese / Cantonese fare but rather from Sout East Asia (read : Malaysia / Thailand / Singapore) where immigrant Chinese have blended some of their tastes with the local cultures and come up with a hybrid cuisine -- some of it with pretty spectacular results.

Once I established that fact and having lived in that part of the world for more than half my life, I was really bracing myself for some kind of watered down pastiche fusion food.

What a surprise!

It took the regular cooking that I've come to expect from a good kitchen in that part of the world and added a whole new level of flavour, balance and harmony. The thai green curry was lip-smackingly wonderful if a bit milder than expected (adjusted for less chili-tolerant palates I assume) and the sweet and sour fish was well made. The Hainanese chicken was simply flawless. Perhaps Tropical Island has the ultimate expression of a simple boiled chicken.

Most amazing though had to be the coconut rice. I mean I've tasted coconut rice everywhere and it's always been -- "nah, not worth the fat content." But this time however, it had just the right amount of fragrance. Not too overpowering but not wan and sickly either. The rice in the mouth was heavenly and it simply was done to perfection. Not soggy and mushy, not grainy and coarse and yet with just the right touch of coconut flavour.

My, my. Tropical Island has just showed me that cuisine from such humble origins can really be transformed into something of a much more elevated ilk. Hitherto, I've never considered that kind of cooking to be anything other than cheap and cheerful. So five stars for the food which I simply cannot fault from a cook's perspective.

Maybe it would be that little bit better with more spice in it, but that would be imposing my personal bias towards hot food on really good cooking and that wouldn't be fair at all.

In case anyone is wondering why it doesn't seem to much higher star rating in the other sections, I'm trying my best to use the star ratings as suggested by their subjective comments. Meaning that I think the service and ambiance are solid. There are simply no flaws. I might rate an oceanview as an outstanding four stars and something quite surreal as five.

As for the value, Tropical Island is not a cheapie eat all you can, but its really good value considering the level of cooking and the amazing ingredients that go into the cooking. Maybe it's a little unfair, but I do compare restaurants to the best I've been to all over the world and its a solid 3. Now if I'm rating it against my experience in Victoria then its at least 1 star higher.

I guess that means the five stars for food really must be incredible! Now as to why this is the only review I'm making so far? My mother taught me that if I can't say anything nice, don't say anthing at all. Mum's the word!

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Great addition to the UVIC community
By Aragon of Victoria, BC (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, March 2, 2009 - 5:41pm [Dine in]

Tropical Island is one of my favorite local restaurants. I figure that we eat there about once per month and occasionally more often than that. The owner and the staff are incredibly friendly, but not hovering.

I've found the food to be fresh, tasty, and deliightful on every occasion. The portions are good and I am actually surprised that anyone would say anything else. They are also open to dealing with my various food sensitivities (vegetarian, no dairy, no gluten).

I've had lunch alone at TI and have organized parties with almost two dozen and everytime I've left with a smile on my face. My husband is chiming in that the portions are big.

My children really love the popcorn chicken and coconut rice.

And, for the record the place across the street has made me ill on two occasions and neither of my kids have liked it.

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Never Disappoints
By Jonnie1010 of Victoria (8 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 9:44pm [Dine in]

Have tried this place about 3 times now. The food is always excellent and priced very reasonably. I especially enjoy their red curry chicken over coconut rice. The satays here are also very tasty. One item you should try that's not on the menu is called "The Treasure Box", it comes as a cube of toasted bread on the outside and a wonderful seafood red curry on the inside. Very yummy!

The service is generally solid and friendly. Never overbearing and water gets filled when you need it. Highly recommend this restaurant. Good food, excellent value, and unique.

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My favorite food place in Victoria, period!
By culticonic of Victoria (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 6, 2008 - 3:07pm [Dine in]

Ever since my husband and I tried Tropical Island, we've been addicted. I can't go longer than two weeks without their tropical beef, or the tropical fruit cocktail rolls (amazing and unique!). This place really makes conventional Asian seem dull.

Because it's out of the way, we usually order in and the quality is superb. My tropical beef is a crispy dish, and it always arrives perfect and never soggy.

The couple times we did eat at the restaurant, the service was very friendly. At times they seemed a little frazzled, but the place was packed and there was only two of them, so it's understandable. The decor is nothing special, but with food this good it hardly matters.

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new favorite
By cc96232 of Victoria (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, September 13, 2008 - 7:41pm [Dine in]

Huge fan of this place, the Thai curry is far better than the place across the street, the ribs and tropical beef are amazing and the dinners for four are an excellent variety for a great value. Food is not over seasoned or over sauced and always cooked perfectly. Service was prompt and not overbearing. The best place in the area. Having been numerous times now and had take-out as well, I highly recommend it.

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Good food but is it worth it?
By whygo of Vancouver/Victoria (7 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 30, 2008 - 5:17pm [Dine in]

The food at tropical island is fairly good. The Hainanese chicken is very nice and so are some of the other apps and entrees. However, the portions keep getting smaller and for the price, you could cross the street to Lil Thai place and get much more value. We ordered half a hainanese chicken last time, and questioned whether we actually got half a chicken. The possibility of being served a cooked chicken which had no thigh to begin with aside, you really have to question why they'd charge you north of $11 per entree and give you 1/2 servings... Don't be surprised if you have to order 3 dishes for two people or even 4-5 if you've got three hungy ones.

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Solid
By Ireallylovefood of Victoria (3 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 22, 2012 - 9:32pm [Take-out]

We always get take out and we always get the menu sampler for 2 and we always enjoy it!! Very tasty and a good value!!

We have not dined in but hear it is a good experience.

Even for take out, the food tastes fresh and is always hot!!

Portion size of the sampler is perfect for 2 people.

Yum!

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