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Aug 26, 2007 04:34 PM

Dim Sum Tour #4- Tropical Chinese

Stop #4 on our dim sum rounds was Tropical. The place is cleaner than Kon Chau and Jumbo and kinda reminded me of Mr. Chu with its black on black decor and red lanterns. Tropical does the cart system and the turnover is high enough where they're constantly replacing everything which is nice. We had shrimp dumplings, shrimp fun, shu mai, shrimp and scallop dumplings, steamed tripe (the white kind with scallions and ginger), stuffed beancurd roll, shrimp stuffed tofu, shrimp stuffed mushrooms, pan fried shrimp/leak dumplings, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves.

The shrimp dumplings were good. Better wrapper than Kon Chau or Jumbo as was the shrimp fun. The shu mai was pretty unremarkable and I couldn't really taste the scallop in the shrimp and scallop dumplings. The stuffed beancurd roll was good as was the shrimp stuffed tofu. Pan fried shimp/leak dumplings were good but probably better at Kon Chau. Sticky rice with lotus leaves was a bit off tasting. My favorite version by far is the Kon Chau version. Steamed tripe was good if a little on the sweet side.

I'd have to say that it's probably a tie between Tropical and Kon Chau with the nod going to Tropical for the nicer decor. The tea was better at Tropical than Kon Chau or Jumbo. I think prices are a touch higher than Kon Chau or Jumbo.

The plan was to go down to South Garden next but I didn't realize that it's a serious drive from Miami Beach. We may head back to Tropical and Kon Chau a few more times before making that commitment. My friend who's been with me on each of these excursions in addition to going to South Garden preferred Kon Chau and Tropical over South Garden so the incentive is low.

For me, the rankings go:

1. Tropical
2. Kon Chau
3. Jumbo
4. Mr. Chu

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  1. Porthos -

    Eliminating South Garden out of the dim sum tour? I'm disappointed in your lack of commitment! If I can do the schlep from the Beach (with 2 kids in tow), you can too!

    It's actually not much further than Tropical, only about another 10 minutes. In the interest of completeness I think you should do it. I also understand that Sang's on 163rd St. does dim sum.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Frodnesor

      Alright Frod. For you, I'll do it but it's like an arms race. Where does it stop? Soon I'll be going up to Lauderdale! This does mean though that you have to make the 20 minute drive to Koi Palace the next time you're in SF though.

      1. re: Porthos

        That's the spirit! And I will commit next SF trip to make the trek to Koi Palace.

        1. re: Frodnesor

          Gathering all the threads in one place for easy access - some good stuff here.

          Good (not decent) Dim Sum in Miami - Jumbo

          Dim Sum - Jumbo over Mr. Chu's

          Dim Sum Tour #3 - Kon Chau

          Dim Sum Tour #4 - Tropical Chinese

    2. Enjoyed your report. Would you care to compare these places (except Mr. Chu) to the standard places in Monterey Park like Ocean Star, NBC, etc.?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Chandavkl

        We usually go to 888 in SGV. If 888 is an 8 in relation to Koi Palace's 10. These places are solid 5-6's. The variety just isn't as great and the wrapper for the shrimp dumplings aren't as nicely done.

        1. re: Porthos


          I live on the Beach and volunteer to drive the rest of the tour. This is WAY better than training for the Olympics. Team sports rule!

          Viva Team Dumpling!
          (Currently designing the t-shirt - in spandex so it can grow with us...)
          How cute is this:


          1. re: advisor_Girl

            Done and done. E-mail me. Got room for the rest of the gang?

        2. re: Chandavkl

          Compare to those in LA, Toronto and Vancouver? Not even close!!!!
          Not close in terms of quality, variety and creativity. Those places are on par with Hong Kong, but none of the restaurants here in Miami/Ft Lauderdale could have survived if they were in Hong Kong.

          I am glad you have a positive experience at Tropical. A couple of years back, the few times my friends and i went, a lot of the dim sum dishes were spoilt so we haven't been back since then. Maybe some day I will garner enough courage to give it another try.

          I was at Tao Tao yesterday. the dim sums were not bad, the service very nice but I just couldn't like the decor.

        3. Your friend who prefers Kon Chau over South Garden needs a taste bud transplant. I can see the argument for Tropical, but I'd put McDonald's (in Asia) above Kon Chau.