By now you may have heard about the epic-ness of New West’s food scene.
The plethora of choice here is insane, especially on 12th Street, where you can get dishes from eateries that will take you around the world with authentic cuisines and flavours.
Mexican, Ukrainian, and Lebanese – you name it, 12th Street probably has it. But one of the best places your tastebuds can take you on this strip is the family-run and incredibly affordable Trinidadian spot, D Roti Shak.
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Located at 808 12th Street, right next to Caribbean Market, this spot is a hit both for people familiar with Caribbean cuisine and those who are new to island eats, and it’s one of only a handful of eateries that offers this kind of food in Metro Van.
Welcomed by the tropical decor and red, black and white-stripped Trinidad and Tobago flag proudly sprawled across a bright yellow wall, it’s hard not to feel cheery once you step inside.
Like the people who inhabit the Caribbean region, the owners at D Roti Shak (originally from Caroni, Trinidad) ensured the menu was easygoing and simple. The list consists of a handful of appetizers, along with a variety of rotis and curries.
Appetizers include Doubles, a sandwich-like dish of bara flatbread rounds, curried chickpeas, and a healthy dose of spicy yellow curry and sweet tamarind sauce, Aloo Pie, a fried dumpling dish traditionally stuffed with spiced potatoes and veggies, and Curry Mango.
A must-try appy is the Phulourie, a dish of fried, round spicy fritter-like dough balls made from split pea flour and served with tamarind chutney. These babies are only $2.67 for 6 and $5.33 for a dozen.
For mains D Roti offers two popular styles of roti: Dhalphurie and Buss Up Shot (AKA Paratha Roti). These dishes come in hefty portions and cost anywhere from $9-$13 depending on your choice of protein: chicken, beef, goat, shrimp, and vegetable.
The difference between these two varieties? Dhalphurie is a thin flatbread cooked on a hotplate with a layer of ground split-peas inside and served like a burrito (wrapped roti). This is filled with curried mashed potatoes and tender meat seasoned with cumin.
Alternatively, Buss Up Shot is served soft and in pieces for dipping into sides, and it’s $0.50 more at D Roti Shak. Both rotis go well with the house-made hot sauces and a bottle of Carib Lager.
The curries here are served on rice and patrons can opt for any of the meats offered on the roti menu, or try the Stew Chicken and Beans on Rice for $11.48. There’s also a rotating menu of dishes that come and go, one of the most popular is the Oxtail Special – which we didn’t have room for.
Patrons can enjoy beverages such as Rubicon sparkling mango, and authentic Caribbean drinks like Peanut Punch (typically made with peanut butter, milk, sugar and spices), and Sorrel, a twist on iced tea which is made from flowers and cinnamon and traditionally enjoyed during the Christmas season.
We say this New Westminster Trinidadian eatery is undoubtedly worth the drive or SkyTrain trip – trust us, your stomach deserves this experience.
Oh, and just be sure you don’t need to be anywhere right after your meal here – this spot runs on island time, mon.
Address: 808 12th Street, New Westminster