Does Tropical Chinese Serve the Best Dim Sum in Miami?

Categories: Musings

carina_ost_XLB_tropicalchinese.JPG
Carina Ost
Xiaolongbao at Tropical Chinese Restaurant
For several decades now, Tropical Chinese Restaurant has been serving its a la carte dim sum menu across the street from Tropical Park on Bird Road.

Many Miami foodies swear by the place, insisting that Tropical Chinese serves the "best dim sum" in the county. Whether or not you agree, you can't deny the place has real staying power -- especially in a city that chews up and spits out restaurants as if they were chunks of Skoal dipping tobacco.

We're not fans of the place and actually lament the recent shutdown of Chu's in Coral Gables, which we thought superior to Tropical. Others swear by Chef Ho in Sunny Isles. But Tropical has legions of faithful fans who beg to differ.

We have to disagree. During our visits, dim sum offerings, such as leek dumplings and steamed shrimp balls, have been overpriced and mediocre at best, plus hosts and servers can be downright rude.

While it's obvious that we don't consider Tropical an ideal location for dim summing, plenty of folks disagree. Here's what they have to say:

Popular Miami artist, Eleazar Delgado, insists that Tropical Chinese is the "best place for dim sum in Miami."

His partner, Joshua Kingston says that he's not only a fan of the food, but also the service: "Mei Yu, the maître d' always takes excellent care of us."

Christopher Garcia, another one of the faithful, says "There is no other place that I would even eat dim sum. I go there every weekend and pig out."

"I love that place. Are you kidding me? How can anyone argue that's not the best dim sum in the city? There is no other place that even compares to Tropical. Sorry," says Angela Postizo, who has been eating there with her family since she was in elementary school.

"It is a bit overpriced," muses Linda K. "But, it's totally worth it."

Again, we disagree, but there you have it, folks. What do you think? Is Tropical Chinese Restaurant the best place to get your dim sum on?

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Location Info

Venue

Map

Tropical Chinese Restaurant

7991 Bird Road, Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

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21 comments
tcce4
tcce4

South Garden on Sunset Drive is the best & authentic

Oneofthe2percent
Oneofthe2percent

Okay first can we agree on what we mean by best? Like it should include authenticity.

Dim sum is served on carts. Ever eaten it in Hong Kong? A real dim sum place serves it on carts.

Too many shrimp dishes? No vegetarian options? THEN WHY ARE YOU EATING DIM SUM? That's what dim sum largely is, lots of pork and shrimp dishes. You can't eat authentic kosher dim sum, let alone a vegetarian one.

And a "legit" dim sum place is not the same as a "legit" Miami Asian fusion place, which is what Black Brick is.

Please before you start trying to show off how in-the-know you are about some cuisine, eat a lot of it in a place that serves lots of people from that region, so for dim sum, try parts of Calif., or New York.

Tropical is overpriced and okay. South Garden is better. Chef Ho serves it lukewarm. I had only the Taiwanese small dishes at Chu's (you guys know you're mostly talking about the Cantonese one, right?) but even from that experience they definitely had freshness issues.

kingogondo1
kingogondo1

Here's the West Broward scene, from New Times Broward/Palm Beach:

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2013-01-17/restaurants/where-to-get-dim-sum-near-fort-lauderdale/

I prefer Toa Toa, but it is not on carts if that matters.


West Broward is the place for Indian, Vietnamese and Korean. There is no place in Dade that compares. There are literally 8 Indian/Pakistani places within 3 miles of my place in Sunrise. And three Korean places (including Gabose) across the street from each other.


Lots of Asian markets, too, although the best is New York Market (the S. Florida outpost of a New York City area chain). Just don't bring a PETA member there--live frogs, turtles, etc.

el_negro_mama
el_negro_mama

este sitio es lo maximo! de verdad que lo mejor de miami pero esta en la sowesera por santa entanching ! 

Carlos C. Acosta
Carlos C. Acosta

Chef Ho used to be the shit until Chef Ho left. It's still decent from what I hear. Also newly opened Blackbrick Chinese in midtown is legit although I still haven't been. Hakkasan, although a bit more upscale and pricy offers some of the best dim sum out here

shawnpbeaudo
shawnpbeaudo

Always remember the all important modifier... "Best in Miami"

Jonathan Arnold
Jonathan Arnold

Nick, I agree! Can you name some NMB and Broward locations? I love great Dim Sum.

Raul Rovira
Raul Rovira

Yay, as real as you'll get in the 305

naomicomerford
naomicomerford

Not a fan either. Too many shrimp dishes, greasy, not enough vegetarian options. The calamari is their best dish. 

Nick Bernal
Nick Bernal

Terrible. My wife is from Macau and I have eaten the real deal many times over there. Tropical used to be good, but the quality has declined over the years as it has become more Westernized. The dim sum at South Garden is much better and more authentic. Also, there are a few places in NMB and west Broward that are legit.

runa73
runa73

Not a fan at all.  I'm a vegetarian and they put pork in my VEGETABLE dumpling where I asked 5 times if it had NO MEAT.  No apology and they charged me for it.  Food is expensive and salty and highly overrated.  I prefer Chef Ho's for dim sum by far.  Never again will I go to Tropical.

magnafarta
magnafarta

never been to kon chau which is supposed to be pretty legit but how can you beef with tropical? youre a huge troll if you do... its good. dont be stupid. that place in the gables was good too but they dont serve you the food on carts so its not as fun, albeit a little more fresh, but that place was probably closed by dept of health anyway though. as far as miami goes, tropical is enjoyable and tasty so throat that "guest" go back to sanfrancisco or wherever you came from if you want the "best" 

guest
guest

tropical is AWFUL. I'm guessing it's faithful followers have just never actually had dim sum. 

ily.goyanes
ily.goyanes

@shawnpbeaudo I know what you're getting at, but there is some damn good dim sum here. It's just not served at Tropical.

guest
guest

@magnafarta dim sum on carts is only good if it's fresh...not cold, sad food that has been sitting around all day. i'll take fresh food from the kitchen over "fun" carts any day...but whatever. i guess i'm a troll from "sanfrancisco" who only wants the "best." silly me.

ily.goyanes
ily.goyanes

@magnafarta You're obviously the one trolling, but I have a few minutes.


Tropical is overpriced and overrated. Period. 


You first say that Chu's probably served food that was "a little more fresh" and then you go on to say that it was probably closed down by the health department. Eh?


And food served on carts is more fun? Obviously you never visited Chu's, never challenged the bartender to a sake bomb contest, and never participated in Asian karaoke. I'll take those three over food served on a cart any day. Then again, my idea of fun is cliff diving, while your idea of fun is probably bingo.


You want food served on a cart? Don't they have that at your nursing home?

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