Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rooting Out Rotis

The real purpose of quitting my job and sailing 3,500 miles in a 43' boat is to find a good roti.

Many years ago my Fijian friends, Roger Clarke and Peter Moorse, introduced me to the Dee Why Roti Hut in Sydney. At the time I did not have a taste for hot food and the experience of eating a blistering hot roti for the first time was a life altering one.

Both Trish and I became regular customers of the Dee Why Roti Hut travelling across the city to get our roti fix when the need arose. On our last visit to the Roti Hut, sometime in the mid 80's, we were shocked to find it closed for good. Since that day we have searched far and wide for rotis.

Turns out that the roti we so fondly remember in Sydney comes from the West Indies; the closer we get to Trinidad & Tobago the more rotis we find.

First we found them in US virgin Islands at US$15. This price did not seem right as I recalled paying all of A$0.40, but that was a while back. Then in St Kitts we found them on the restaurant menus. Still not quite right as I recall eating them out of a paper bag and washed down with a banana smoothy.

We get to the Grenadines and voila, rotis at $8EC (US$3) complete with paper bag and tasting just as I remembered after a heavy handed application of local hot sauce.

Eating roti on the beach in Bequia.

Now in Grenada no trip to St Georges is complete without a Roti and yes we have found banana smoothies. Real roti is Carribean fast food, found in small, hole-in-the-wall restaurants or street stalls, served in a paper bag and if you're lucky, accompanied by a banana smoothy. Heaven!


Family Be* said...

I remember that place in Dee Why! It was SO yummy! I want to eat a roti right now, and a heavenly banana smooothie too. For years I've been wondering what country those were from. Thanks for this post!! I want to go to the Caribbean now just to taste these again.

Anonymous said...

roti hut moved to mermaid beach in queensland.

there is one opening in dee why soon (within the next week or 2)...on pittwater road just down from subway.

roti hut is the best thing since sliced bread. i was staying in lennox head last new years and drove to mermaid beach just to get roti hut. i ordered 4 of them, 2 for right there and then and 2 for dinner was so good.

your welcome.