I’ve been trying to get out to Port Moody to try Rehanah’s Roti since 2008 and both times I tried she was closed. Finally, on a cold, miserable, rainy Saturday I suffered through the 2.5 hour round trip on transit and got my hands on a WET GOAT ROTI.
Before I get into the guts of the post, I present you the soundtrack for this review — just let it play in the background 😉 :
Caribbean food (especially Trini food) really touches this part of my soul. I always seek it out and go back to it. For nostalgia’s sake, here’s two photos from 2008 when I documented my first failed attempt.
So back to present day, it was around noon on a Saturday. I finally made it!
The outside looks the same from when I remember.
The current menu. If you compare it with the old menu, you’ll notice the usual things like a bit higher prices but also the removal of conch from the menu 🙁
The owner/cook Rehanah is always in the back and only comes out to take orders and complete the transaction. But for that brief period where you can interact with her, she comes off as “all business”, which is fine with me 😀 I ordered a Shrimp/Goat Roti, Steamed Rice with Goat and a Double to go.
The famous and semi-famous have also visited Rehanah’s Roti.
Wow, does that say 2001? Rehanah’s been here a while!
Exciting, isn’t it?
Here’s the Shrimp/Goat Roti. Why “wet goat roti”? If you like your roti with more gravy, just order it “wet”! I remembered too late to specify “wet” cuz she had already wrapped the roti up so she gave me gravy on the side. Great to have options like this. You don’t have to be a whining foodie in a state of learned helplessness anymore! 😛
Rehanah did lighten up and laugh a bit while I was asking her about getting the roti “wet”.
I admit it does look a touch dry without the extra gravy. But luckily you can order it wet!
Steamed Rice with Goat. The steamed rice was quite wet (that word again!) and mushy…disappointing and a bit unappealing cuz I prefer a hearty rice and peas with my Caribbean curries. I wonder why she doesn’t offer rice and peas? Or at least better rice?
The goat and potatoes tasted fine but I wouldn’t get this again cuz of the rice.
And here’s the Double. Basically a chickpea curry sandwich that uses a fried bread.
I couldn’t figure out what this chutney-like jelly was inside. Maybe Kuchela? It tasted like a mango jam/chutney. I made the mistake of reheating the double in the microwave and it made the flatbread tough. Sigh. Otherwise it tasted ok. A mild chickpea curry with a big sweetness from the chutney. The combination might irk some people. I like doubles but haven’t found a good one outside of Toronto.
This time I ate my roti with Brassneck Passive Aggressive, a bright citrusy hopped-up pale ale. Not exactly the most complementary pairing but not an awful one either. I just love Passive Aggressive and overlook the somewhat awkward pairing. A darker, maltier beer like a stout or porter would work quite well, or a straight-up lager if you’re the boring type. A more out-there pairing would be a funky smelling beer containing brettanomyces or even a Saison Dupont, where the funkiness would buttress the gaminess of the goat. If you don’t want alcohol, a fruity Ting or dark malty Tiger Malt would be no-nonsense (and kinda stereotypical) pairings.
The Wet Goat Roti at Rehanah’s Roti was good…not great. The goat, shrimp and potatoes were all cooked well, the actual curry taste was on the mild side (which most Trini roti are, I find), the hot sauce was tangy and HOT, the roti wrapping itself was soft and stretchy, but factoring in the effort it took to get this thing, I’d probably stick to D Roti Shak in New West for my next roti fix. But really, Caribbean food in Vancouver doesn’t compare to what’s available in Toronto (subject of a future post).
Good if you’re already in the area. The search for better Caribbean food goes on…