Tropika in Richmond with ChubbyPanda

Updated: 7th Jan 2015; Tropika is closed in this location.

You know, ever since we started blogging over a year and a half ago, we had never ever met fellow bloggers. We know bloggers by their handles and had gotten to know a lot of them … except their real names and what they really look like.

Chubbypanda is a blogger from Anaheim and is one of our favourite blog sites. He and Cat came up to Vancouver a few weeks ago and we arranged to meet up over … what else … food. He is currently running his series on his visit to Canada.


Since Chubbypanda wanted to try Malaysian food, I recommended that we meet up in Tropika for dinner. Tropika is one of a handful of fine Malaysian restaurants in the Vancouver area. I know they have three restaurants here. The one we went to is located at the Aberdeen Mall in Richmond. BTW, Suanne had once blogged about this place here.


The restaurant is bright with the floor to ceiling glass wall looking out from the Aberdeen Mall on two sides of the restaurant. Although they advertised themselves as a Malaysian/Thai restaurant, I really think that they are more Malaysian than Thai and the reason is that Thai food is more recognizable here in Vancouver than Malaysian.


Ordering was left to me … and I guess I did not make a great impression for the choices I made! Really, I am not familiar with their menu and ended up with a very odd combination. Anyway, first boo-boo was the Fried Hokkien Noodles. Well, I thought it is supposed to be the ones with the same name that we find in KL but this turned out to me more of Chow Mein to me.


Chubbypanda wanted to try the Hainanese Chicken … we got that. It’s basically boiled chicken and is served with ginger and chili dips.


We also ordered Sambal Kangkong.


I suggested getting the Fish Head Curry — bad idea. It was really disastrous to me. I had never seen worse looking curry fish head … the taste wasn’t that great either.


Well, despite the so-so food, Suanne and I had a great time. It was great being able to know the face and name behind the famous Chubbypanda handle. And BTW, Chubbypanda and Cat, thanks for paying for this meal.

Oh, I wanted to say also that we used a coupon from the Entertainment Book to offset about ten bucks from the bill. We had always had an Entertainment Book every year but never really used it. At least we used one this year!


Tropika (Richmond) on Urbanspoon

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  1. Sherry

    Now I’m hungry and want a Panda…great pics.Thanks!

  2. Chubbypanda

    Hey Ben,

    Great review. Mine will go up tonight. Minor correction: I’m from Irvine, not Anaheim. =)

    Cat and I had a great time. We’re looking forward to getting together with you guys again when we head up next year (hopefully without the delays). Thanks for inviting us to Tropika.

  3. Su-Lin

    Ah! You got the Singaporean style Hokkien mee instead – I remember that the KL style is quite difficult to find in Vancouver. Tropika’s nasi lemak is quite nice if I remember correctly. Thanks for the review – now I know what not to order there!

  4. Follow Me Foodie

    I ordered a fish head curry in Shanghai once and it didn’t impress me either….they’re quite expensive too!

    I like the Sambal veggie dish you ordered…actually for 4 people you guys didn’t order too much food…especially as foodies! lol…but maybe I’m just a big eater…haha

    1. Ben

      Hi Mijune: The Malaysian fish head curry and the ones in Shanghai is very different I can assure you. Oh yeah … from your blog posts, you seems to order a lot of food. Makes me feel full reading about it!

  5. oli

    When I was a kid living in Vancouver, BC, we used to go to any Chinese restaurant and order chicken chow mein, it would all the same. When I go for a visit now, I cannot find it. From reading Wikipedia it sounds like its Hong Kong style chicken chow mein or plain chow mein, and there is no sauce that is typical in the US. In the the US there are a lot of blank looks when I explain what the dish looks and taste likes. I am looking for a recipe for this dish which also has a distinctive flavour. Here is Wikipedia’s explaination:
    Canadian westernized Chinese restaurants may offer up to three different types of chow mein, none of which are identical to either style of American chow mein. Cantonese style chow mein contains deep-fried crunchy golden egg noodles, green peppers, pea pods, bok choy, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, shrimp, Chinese roast pork (char siu), chicken, and beef, and is served in a thick sauce. Plain chow mein is similar to other Western chow meins but contains far more mung bean sprouts; some recipes may be up to one-half bean sprouts. In Canada, Hong Kong style chow mein is similar to plain chow mein but is always served on a bed of deep-fried crunchy golden egg noodles.

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