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The Best West Indian Roti in Town

By Yasmin Nissim on April 24, 2009

By guest contributors Chris and Yaz, co-hosts of Digestive Tracks.

This weekly radio show on CKCU FM 93.1 plays every Wednesday morning from 10 to 11 and features tips on the local dining scene that any Ottawa foodie can’t afford to miss. Part of the Apartment613 crew got a chance to chat with Yaz this last Wednesday on their show; downloading the episode here to check out our discussion of the Apt613 mission statement and anarchist views by, as well as some great music and a review of the Cupcakery. Also be sure to check out Chris’ new blog on Canadian gaming, the Canconsole.

For those not in the know, roti is a dish that can be found in both East and West Indian kitchens. We went on a mission to find the best West Indian style roti in Ottawa. West Indian roti tends to be bigger, flakier and less oily than its East Indian counterpart. Light and flakey dal poori roti shells house a curry, potato and chickpea mixture, coupled with a meat or vegetarian option of your choosing.  Keep in mind, if you’re not using your fingers, you’re doing it wrong!

1. Caribbean Flavours Unfortunately closed for now
1659 Carling Ave.

Simply put, this is the best roti in town.  Chef Frederick White has amassed a huge following by putting together some the most tasty, flakey roti skins around, and the filling is nothing to scoff at either.  Thick curry, chickpeas, potatoes and your choice of chicken, goat, beef, channa, or a whole slew of other options, provide the backbone for this incredibly delicious and filling dish.  As everything is made to order you’ll have to be prepared to wait, but it’s worth it for this culinary gem.

2. Sixth Sense Catering and Home Cooking

1200 Bank St.

Brilliant chef Kyle Carisse is a self professed white boy who knows his spice.  We’d be inclined to agree, as the quality of his roti speaks to his ability in the kitchen when it comes to all things Caribbean.  Along with a couple of other tasty tidbits, we had the privilege of trying one hell of a good roti. A soft and buttery outer skin housed a filling with close to 20 hand ground fresh spices, which are really what give this dish its character.  If you’re a fan of Guyanese and Trinidadian style roti, this is a great choice.

3. Mugena
911 Richmond Rd.

If you’re looking for a solid roti without the wait times of the made-to-order fare, Mugena is the place to hit.  They deliver chicken, goat, beef and vegetable rotis in a warm and friendly Caribbean grocery store environment.  The store has seen a recent renovation, adding a sit down restaurant area in which you can enjoy your roti.

4. Groovy’s Roti Hut
292 McArthur Rd.

Groovy’s roti hut offers some traditional menu items that you might not find at other Caribbean restaurants such as pumpkin and cow foot.  However, be prepared to deal with disinterested staff and the possibility of paying for a roti platter and not receiving all of the included items. For those in the Carleton area, you can avoid the poor service and grab a Groovy’s roti at Mike’s Place over a pint.  Mike’s Place has the distinction of being the only place in the world to serve roti with sour cream!

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