Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tropika at Lansdowne 星馬印

POST ON TROPIKA AT CAMBIE [HERE]
POST ON TROPIKA AT ROBSON [HERE]
REVISIT POST ON TROPIKA AT ROBSON [HERE]


The original Tropika restaurant in Richmond was previously located at Aberdeen Center and closed in the beginning of the year to relocate to Lansdowne (unfortunately with the same owners). Tropika in Richmond has never been a first choice and is not even on my list of restaurants to visit. Every prior visit to Tropika at Aberdeen was never positive (below average food and unfriendly staff, including the managers), however, due to my impatience and that Little Sheep Mongolian had a thirty minute wait, I decided to try the new location. 
One of the good things about trying a new restaurant is that the staff is usually friendly, so no problems there. Walking in, the restaurant had a strong aroma of shrimp paste, odd. Ususally every Tropika restaurant including the previous Aberdeen location smells like nothing, but the restaurant had a really heavy smell of shrimp paste. The interior of the restaurant looks more casual as well as laid back compared to the Robson location and Tropika correctly maximizes their seating arrangements and has plenty of booth seating. 


PORK, LAMB AND CHICKEN SATAYS WITH PEANUT SAUCE, MALACCAN CURRY CRAB, HAINANESE CHICKEN, LOBSTER TUNG YAM KUNG, ROTI CANAI, PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE WITH HAM AND CHICKEN, AND SAYUR KARI.


PORK, LAMB AND CHICKEN SATAYS WITH PEANUT SAUCE ($1.30/EACH).
All the satays have a nice charred taste and tastes tender, not dry. The pork has a light tasteful marinade, the chicken tastes the juiciest, and the lamb has a strong flavourful marinade and tastes juicy as well. The accompanying sides are diced cucumber and canned pineapple which is fun to munch on, and the peanut sauce which is one of my favourites - a creamy tasty peanut sauce with chunks of peanuts. The only tiny complaint is that I prefer when the satays are not mixed.

LOBSTER TUNG YAM KUNG, A DELICIOUS HOT AND SPICY SOUP SIMMERED WITH FRESH LOBSTER ($26.95).
The tung yam kung has a light spiciness and a lobster as well as lemon grass taste. Although unfortunately, the soup tastes overly spicy and saltier than usual which masks that nice tanginess. Furthermore, the colour of the soup looks more brown than red, and darker than usual. Also, the spicier than usual taste makes the soup somewhat off-putting and does not have that proper tung yam kung taste. A more balanced hot and sour taste would have tasted better. As for the lobster, the pieces taste a bit more stiff and rubbery compared to Robson's location.

2LB MALACCAN CURRY CRAB, WITH IMPORTED MALACCAN CURRY FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF STIR FRY CRAB ($41.95).
The crab tastes very fresh and has that natural crab taste despite the loaded amount of curry. In addition, the crab tastes pretty meaty which is surprising for a 2lb. As for the curry, the malaccan curry is something I cannot describe... it just tastes amazingly flavourful and is the only curry I recommend at Tropika (the other ones are not so great). The only issue, the malaccan curry does not taste as flavourful and the consistency is not as thick as Robson's location. Furthermore the curry has a taste of mixed in tomalley which I was not really expecting. Asides from the crab, there are also some deep fried tofu puffs.

ROTI CANAI, MALAYSIAN BREAD ($2.95).
The roti tastes doughy as well as soft, rather than flaky with a nice crispiness. This is the worst roti I ever had at Tropika and it tastes very comparable to a crappy one from the Richmond Night Market. As for the accompanying sauce, the curry tastes mild and has a hint of curry. Asides from our crappy roti, when the roti does taste good at Tropika, it is reaaally good and is one of the best in my opinion.

PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE WITH HAM AND CHICKEN ($14.95). The pineapple fried rice is topped with deep fried garlic, tastes fluffy and the ingredients are properly fused together. The rice has a somewhat nice pineapple taste but Robson's location has a stronger flavourful pineapple taste, as well as a more pieces of ham and chicken as well. The amount of ham and chicken in the rice is a bit stingy.

HAINANESE CHICKEN, QUARTER ($7.95).
The dish is served cold and the cut of the chicken is the wing and breast. The chicken has a somewhat slight hainan taste but is missing that tasty flavourful proper hainanese taste. In addition, the meat tastes more like a steamed cold chicken which is surprising, especially for a mid-priced Malaysian and Thai cuisine restaurant that should specialize in hainan chicken. Other than the somewhat lack of hainanese taste, the white meat has a nice tender stiffness. The accompanying sauces are ginger, chilli, and soy sauce.


SAYUR KARI, VEGETABLE CURRY ($12.95).
The sayur kari has a mild spicy curry sauce and a watery consistency, with a good amount of vegetables - cauliflower, cabbage, tofu, broccoli, sliced mushroom as well as carrot, and green bean. I have no idea why this was ordered especially when we ordered it before and did not like it. I guess I prefer eating clean steamed vegetables. Although the vegetables do not taste overcooked and should satisfy vegetarians

YOUNG COCONUT ($5.90).
Oh mann, the coconut tastes fresh, ripe, sweet and the tasty meat comes off easily. Was this by luck? The last few coconuts I had at restaurants were not so great.

POSITIVES
- Service is attentive and friendly (newly opened)
- Satays are pretty good (usually satays tasted more dry than tender at the Aberdeen location and I hope these stay consistent)
- Newly renovated and correctly maximized seating arrangements

NEGATIVES
- Tropika downtown has better tasting dishes
- Richmond location has never been the best
- Roti :(

LITTLE THINGS
- Same owners from Tropika at Aberdeen
- You need to know what to order at any Tropika location (I stick to satays, roti, pineapple fried rice, malaccan curry crab [no other curries] and lobster tung yam kung)
- Tropika at Cambie post [here]
- Tropika on Robson post [here]
- Tropika on Robson revisit post [here]

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 3/5

Tropika at Lansdowne 星馬印 on Urbanspoon

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