[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 刘大人]
The strange thing about sunset is that we actually don’t want the sun to set. We want it to stay right on the horizon, not below it, not above it, just right on it!
With the setting sun casting long shadows across Tropique Café & Restaurant, a mesmerising dining experience enchanted by the sunset and dimly lit hues of the majestic bridge, and its surroundings at night is about to unveil in this exciting month of August.
Since bringing a little French Riviera chic with lush green vibes to the neighbourhood of Eco Springs, Tropique has become an ideal venue for intimate all-day brunch or a great afternoon. With Chef Joseph now on board, discerning diners like us can now hang around for quality wine and dine as day turns into night.
Speaking with Chef Joseph, who’s previously from Sprout, it’s easy to be drawn into his fervour of creating quaint French classics for the masses. After almost a decade of working alongside some of the top chefs in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Chef Joseph is now ready to bring something extraordinary to the table at Tropique.
To celebrate, we proposed a toast with a bottle of Chateau Boutisse St Emilion Grand Cru 2014 at the restaurant manager Daphne‘s recommendation, which we find smooth and velvety, with notes of caramel and spice through to a long and elegant finish. Cheers!
Housemade Sourdough & Oysters
Our starters comprising sourdough and Irish oysters are enough to whet any appetites. We all agreed that the Homemade Sourdough could be a bit sourer but the shiokombu butter spiked with bits of savoury-sweet wakame seaweed was quite surprising, which you might want to also eat it on its own. We did!
Freshly shucked upon order, these fresh imported Oysters from Ireland’s Traigheanna Bay were soft and had an undeniably smooth texture to boot, and well-balanced with the watermelon sweetness and subtle spicy tang of dill oil. With oysters this huge and juicy, it would be “shellfish” of us not to share LOL!
Sashimi Crudo & Citrus salad
For those of us hooked on prized sashimi, the economics can bite sometimes, but with the Sashimi Crudo, we can have our fish and eat it too. The natural freshness of the salmon and white maguro was complemented by the delicate savoury-sweet-citrusy balance of yuzu ponzu. Enhancing the texture, even more, is a generous sprinkle of grapefruit and pickles for extra fruity zest and crunch, which leaves us wanting to eat at a slower pace to savour them fully.
We also loved this zesty, Citrus-based Salad with mixed herbs, rocket, lettuce, grapefruit, orange and fresh mozzarella to further open up our appetites for what is to come next…
STARTERS & SMALL PLATES
Foie Gras on toast & Tortellini
Another must-try starter is their new Foie Gras, with these glistening slabs of fatty heaven is served to us on a thick slice of buttery toast and citrus salad. The best way to enjoy this pan-seared delicacy is together with the toast, trust us, the creamy consistency of the goose liver lingers even long after the meat has melted away in our mouth.
Wrapped beautifully and filled with a blend of shitake, button and porcini mushrooms, these housemade Tortellini are pretty much like French wantons. Served with parmesan broth and black garlic oil, we had fun merely popping the whole tortellini in our mouths.
Wagyu & Duck breast
The chef d’oeuvres of the day is a marbled Australian Beef Tenderloin cooked in chicken jus. If you’re a fan of medium rare steaks like us, be sure not to spend too much time Instagramming this creation because you’ll want to have it while it’s still hot. What we loved, in particular, is the potato millefeuille with many layers and one serving is definitely not enough. Thank goodness, the charred pineapple and onion, lily blossom and garlic chips more than make up the shortfall.
If beef is not your thing, you can also check out their pan-seared Duck Breast that’s nicely complemented by sweet potato puree and charred leek. As usual, we recommend medium rare!
Another new menu highlight is the Norwegian Salmon Collar, the bony triangle where we can find all the fattiest, richest, most delicious meat on the fish, nicely tucked between the fish’s gills and the rest of its body. We are surprised still not many restaurants are serving this but thanks to Chef Joseph expertise, our salmon collar was charred grilled to perfection, in a special house-blended Korean spicy dressing which most of us were full of praise. The sliced scallion potato salad is also deserved mention for lending the additional tanginess. Be warned, this is definitely not a fork and knife scenario, and you’re gonna get your hands dirty!
Halibut and Caviar & White Butterfish with Salsa Verde
If the Salmon Collar is not your thing, you can’t go wrong with both the Halibut or the Butterfish. With this Halibut, the Chef Joseph decided to opt for something simple – baked and served with green peas and maitake mushrooms, topped off with just a speck of caviar. Precisely because the dish is so simple, we can appreciate the freshness of the halibut where the meat just melts into our mouth!
Not enough fish to go around, then look no further than this large chunk of lightly seared white Butterfish served with charred purple cabbage, salsa verde, roasted baby potato and radish. Our fish was well-grilled with an oomph factor, which was crispy on the outside and very tender and juicy on the inside. As the butterfish has a higher fat content, thus it was simply shiok when the fats from the fish melt in our mouth in every bite.
The Chocolate Delice is another notable dish from their new menu that’s sweet to end the meal with, and we love how the rich chocolate and coffee mousse blends together with each mouthful, along with the zing of spicy chilli from the chocolate sauce and crackling!
With Chef Joseph no stranger to fans of casual fine dining in Johor Bahru, Tropique has just upped their ante by introducing a newly curated dinner menu at pocket-friendly prices, which showcase Joseph’s strength for curing and grilling, alongside his desire to explore local food culture and culinary tradition that inspires his contemporary plates.
With the new operating hours, we can now enjoy casual chic dining any time from 10am-6pm and 7pm-10pm daily. PLUS, enjoy a 20% discount on all food items when making a dinner reservation on weekdays from now till 13 Sep 2018, can things get any better?
Thank you Tropique, for a beautiful way to watch the setting sun and the bright lights of the neighbourhood shine.
Tropique Café & Restaurant
📍 Lot D, Jalan Ekoflora 1, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
📞 +6012-547 7886
🕙 10am – 10pm (daily), dinner menu starts at 7pm
📱 Tropique Café & Restaurant
🍽️ NO PORK, NO LARD