Friday, June 21, 2013

Tropical Chinese Restaurant

I'm sure if you've lived in Miami for as many years as I have, you're familiar with this Chinese restaurant  located in a corner of the strip mall at 7991 SW 40 Street. A staple in the Westchester neighborhood for almost three decades, Tropical Chinese Restaurant is always packed; even despite not being one of the trendy, flavor-of-the-month restaurants we hear so much about. As a matter of fact, they're kind of low-key, and if you're not looking in the right direction on Bird Road, you just might miss it.

Serving authentic Chinese food, Tropical's menu includes a vast selection of Hong Kong style push cart dim sum, along with other traditional Asian dishes.  One caveat: you come here strictly for the food. While they serve alcohol, they don't have a cocktail or drink menu. Don't ask them for one because they'll look at you confused. Just tell them what you want in your drink, and they'll make it for you. Also, service is not spectacular. It can vary from visit to visit, but it's nothing to write home about. On one visit, I actually had to hurry and stick the fork in my plate midair as the waiter was clearing it. I guess I was finished.

Crispy Fried Shrimp Ball
Aside from that, the food here is excellent and it has a steady flow of loyal clientele. We always choose a sampling of dim sum to start. My usual suspects are the Crispy Fried Shrimp Ball, Shrimp Dumplings and Steamed Roast Pork Buns. I've noticed that the dim sum they offer tend to change, so since I like to experiment, I get a kick out of always ordering one I've never tried on each visit, along with my favorites.

Sausage Fried Rice Hong Kong Style

First Course of Peking Duck
Wrapped in a Steamed Pancake
Main Course of Peking Duck
As a main course, I absolutely love their signature Peking Duck. Consisting of two sweet and savory courses, the duck is carved, wrapped and prepared tableside. It is tender and succulent, and carefully roasted until the meat is still moist but with a crispy skin. Its distinguished flavor lingers on the palate long after you're done. While this is a meal on its own, we usually order one of their rice dishes to accompany it. My personal favorites are their Sausage Fried Rice Hong Kong Style, filled with slices of their Chinese cured sausage, and their Special Fried Rice.

Special Fried Rice

Complimentary end to your meal.
Lo-Mein Noodles with Shrimp
If Lo-Mein Noodles are your thing, I'd recommend them with shrimp. The dish has a very flavorful balance, combined with a generous amount of shrimp, One more thing, if you're into desserts (like me), you'll have to make a stop somewhere else after dinner to get one. I've never been given a dessert menu or been asked if I want one so I think that course is nonexistent here. However, when you're done with your meal, they will bring out a complimentary dish of oranges with a cherry on top. They look interesting enough on the plate, but I've never actually had them.  For more information on Tropical Chinese Restaurant, you can call them at 305-262-7576 or visit them online at

Tropical Chinese on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi Maria, I always enjoy reading your reviews. I like tropical chinese but think that Chef Philip Ho is more authentic and the dim sum is better. But my favorite if price isn't any object is Hakkasan.You can read my reviews at

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoy my reviews. I haven't been to Chef Phillip Ho in North Miami Beach yet. Thanks for the tip. I love Hakkasan! Actually wrote a review on them a while back as well. But, there is a huge price difference between Hakkasan and Tropical so it's a bit difficult to compare. Have you been to Buddakan in NYC? That one is pretty amazing too - Very similar to Hakkasan. Nice selection of dim sum in a trendy, sultry ambiance.

  2. Wow. The food looks delicious, yummy and appetizing. Perhaps I will like this restaurant because I like Chinese foods especially the dim sum and the fried rice. I have heard of Peking duck dish before but I did not know that it could be served with pancakes. Thanks for the honest review.

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