I had a disappointing meal at Tropical on Bird Road last night. In my experience, Sunday night is prime time for a Chinese restaurant -- definitely the night of the week to expect a Chinese restaurant's best offerings.
However, two of the three entrees my family and I ordered were "poor" to "inedible."
The Walnut Chicken was particularly bad because of the poor quality of the chicken. I have noticed at 2-3 different levels of quality of the chicken used at Chinese restaurants. There is a certain grade of chicken that I have come to expect at less expensive restaurants that tends to be very thin and irregularly shaped. The chicken in Tropical's Walnut Chicken last night was of this variety AND was tough and gamey.
The Vegetable Lo Mein had no Asian flavor to my palate. I expect some garlic and sesame flavors in good lo mein and this merely tasted like bland, oily pasta to me.
The Honey Garlic Chicken was good. However, I have had as good or better at many other restaurants. In my opinion, outside of overcooking the chicken, it would be difficult to mishandle this dish with its heavy breading and honey/garlic sauce working for you.
Tropical is a long drive for us. I am only able to go once or twice a year. I have always considered Tropical the best Chinese in South Florida and have recommended it to many others as such.
So, did I catch it on a bad night or have I picked up on a disappointing trend?
Tropical Chinese Restaurant
7991 Bird Rd, Miami, FL 33155