It was girls’ night and KitKat, Jujube and I were actually on our way over to Guu Garlic when we passed by Tropika, Jujube got excited and asked us whether we’d be down for some Thai food instead. Since our feet were aching and our stomaches were growling from some intense shopping (it’s hard work, k?) we were totally down for some immediate gratification as Guu was still a few blocks away and would probably have a wait list.
We were brought to our seats promptly and we immediately began browsing through the menu. We started off with some drinks. KitKat got Tropika’s Sunset, Jujube got Deep Blue Sky and I got a Lychee Daiquiri. I was under the impression that my lychee daiquiri was going to be alcohol free since it was listed under virgin cocktails (didn’t see any daiquiris in the cocktails list), but SUPRISE! it had alcohol. It was also a $3 up charge. I didn’t mind it, it tasted good, but unfortunately for me, I got the bad end of the gene pool when it comes to the Asian glow so I gave KitKat my drink near the end because I didn’t want to be red when we hit the streets. Out of all our drinks, Tropika’s Sunset tasted the most boozy. The Deep Blue Sky was refreshing with peachy notes, the blue colour was also really pretty.
For food, we ordered roti, satay skewers, Indonesian spring rolls, pad thai and green curry chicken.
Roti canai ($6.25): The ideal roti consists of thin flaky dough, fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. This Malay flatbread was flakey, and had a nice buttery flavour, however, I would’ve preferred if it had a crispier exterior. It was still pretty tasty with the thin curry dipping sauce it was served with though.
Satays (choice of beef, lamb, pork or chicken. Min order of 6 sticks at $1.50 each): We ordered beef, lamb and chicken. The meat had a nice char on the outside and was tender and juicy on the inside. The flavourful chunky peanut sauce was nutty and spicy with a touch of sweetness, which went great with the skewers.
Indonesian spring rolls ($5.50): Pan fried chicken, Chinese mushroom, and shredded jicama, served in a crispy shell of deep-fried flour and crushed peanuts. This was my least favourite dish. The inside of the spring roll was almost entirely all jicama (Mexican turnip) which just tasted bland and starchy. The aggressive flavours of the sweet and spicy chill sauce made up for the lack of flavours of the spring roll, but the filling was a little disappointing.
Pad thai ($14.95): Stir fried rice noodle with chicken, shrimp and tofu with bean sprouts, crushed peanuts and lime on the side. In the menu description, they forgot to mention they also add tomatoes. That’s not really a problem, but the sauce just tasted too tomatoey. I was promised flavours of tamarind, fish sauce, peanuts and lime, but instead, I got spicy tomato. The shrimp also tasted a bit overcooked, but everything else was alright.
Thai green curry chicken ($16.95): Chicken, green beans and eggplants in green chili coconut milk curry. I was bummed that this didn’t have potatoes (because I like potatoes). The curry was very aromatic, and smooth and creamy. KitKat doesn’t like eggplants, but I thought they were the bomb. The eggplants had deep flavours (I think they were roasted beforehand?) and were soft without being overly mushy. I bit into it and it was just like an explosion of flavour. KitKat doesn’t know what she’s missing out on. The chicken was tender, but they tasted like the leaner cuts of meat, which have a slightly tougher texture (but without the dryness). We were unaware that the curry didn’t come with rice, so we ordered 2 bowls of Hainan rice to go with our curry, which pretty much arrived right away.
Overall, we had a nice time at Tropika. Except the fact that KitKat and Jujube were laughing at me the entire time I was trying to get that money shot (Jk. I had a pretty good time too, but food blogging is serious business, ok? Hahah). Anyway, service was polite, glasses were refilled before they were empty, our food arrived quickly, and dirty dishes were promptly removed. Tropika also has another location in Fairview and Lansdowne, Richmond.
+1 604 737 6002
1128 Robson Street, Vancouver