We finally made to Tropico for date night last week. After a long and relentless day at the office, it was a great way to unwind.
Like so many menus these days, Tropico’s is designed for sharing. The raw dishes appealed most to us, and we chose three out of the four on offer. The lime cured Thai salmon with roasted coconut was hands-on satisfying, with spectacular flavours: a generous forkful of soft salmon tartare (or is that Thai-tare?) on a salt and mango crisp, a squeeze of the lemon wedge, and a drizzle of coconut cream from the little jug. Too bad I had to share! The raw tuna with pickled radish, micro herbs, wasabi and avocado was exquisite, but with just four delicate mouthfuls on the plate, melted away far too quickly. We enjoyed the carpaccio, although the punchy caper mayonnaise may have somewhat overwhelmed the beef.
Next, we shared the Korean-style crispy chicken, succulent pieces on the bone, slathered in hot sauce, piled on a bed of kimchi. Thank goodness we had macaroni cheese to absorb some of the chilli burn. The mac and cheese was not as cheesy or gooey as we like it to be, but we compulsively kept eating it – the comfort of carbs and the magic of bacon crumbs.
Service was cheerful and friendly, but throughout the meal, plate clearing was noticeably slow – and not for lack of opportunity. The table of six next to us were visibly annoyed with their museum of empty plates, and indeed the waiter who delivered our fried chicken would’ve left the empty carpaccio plate on the table if we hadn’t asked for it to be taken away.
The desserts are also meant to be shared, but we wanted (and ordered) different things. Jac chose the abundantly beautiful exotic fruits. Under the fruits was the ‘pannacotta’, with a texture more like zabaglione – all plop and no wobble, a disappointment as pannacotta but a wonderful mango custard. No technical gripes with my chewy and warm caramel-filled doughnuts with finger dipping good (yes, I did) hazelnut chocolate sauce. There was a surprise nestled among the doughnuts – candied hazelnuts.
Despite the sluggish clearing of plates and the not-pannacotta, we had a terrific dinner. The romance of being close to the coast was somewhat lost in the cold darkness of a Wednesday night in winter; hopefully, our next visit will be bathed in sunshine.
105/109 Flora Terrace
North Beach WA 6020
Be warned – this place gets extremely busy, especially on weekends.
Breakfast and lunch are walk-ins only. Reservations are only taken for dinner.