Wet Goat Roti at Rehanah’s Roti

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.

Rehanah's Roti menu from 2008.
Rehanah’s Roti menu from 2008.
Rehanah's Roti, through the window. Hasn't changed in the past 6 years!
Rehanah’s Roti, through the window. Hasn’t changed in the past 6 years!

So back to present day, it was around noon on a Saturday. I finally made it!

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The outside looks the same from when I remember.

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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 Doubles to go.

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The famous and semi-famous have also visited Rehanah’s Roti.

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Wow, does that say 2001? Rehanah’s been here a while!

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Exciting, isn’t it?

Rehanah's Roti with extra gravy on the left and hot sauce on the right.
Rehanah’s Roti with extra gravy on the left and hot sauce on the right.

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”.

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I admit it does look a touch dry without the extra gravy. But luckily you can order it wet!

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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?

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The goat and potatoes tasted fine but I wouldn’t get this again cuz of the rice.

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And here’s the Double. Basically a chickpea curry sandwich that uses a fried bread.

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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.

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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).

Bottom line:

Good if you’re already in the area. The search for better Caribbean food goes on…

Rehanah's Roti on Urbanspoon

5 thoughts on “Wet Goat Roti at Rehanah’s Roti”

  1. I think you may have enjoyed it more if you ate it right away! Although the rice dish does look unappealing…

  2. I’m a Trinidadian. Nice to see you enjoy Caribbean food. A few hints for everyone, it’s not called a wet goat roti, just ask for extra sauce. Second, the “double” is called “a doubles” because it is two pieces of bread. I know that feels awkward, but its true! There is such a thing as getting “a single” with only one piece. Third, most importantly, the food needs to be eaten right away or the breads become stale. If you reheat, add a touch of water to the bread. Rehanah’s is still going strong today. I’ve been to D Roti Shak as well and taste preference comes down to Rehanah’s. For me the flavoring is closer to what I grew up with. D Roti Shak roti tastes very good but the spice mix is different.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Sorry for the late reply. Pandemic and all. In the 7 years since I did this first review, Rehanah’s is actually my favourite roti in the lower mainland now. Not that it’s any easier to find roti nowadays. D Roti Shak’s roti I’ve noticed has hard/tough spots sometimes. And I actually like the chicken roti from The Patty Shop on Macdonald St on the westside that’s sold cold. Warmed up carefully in the microwave, it’s good! There’s a lady here who does catering etc called Kiss Yo Mama Soul Food Sundays and she does roti sometimes but I haven’t tried hers yet but I did try her doubles. Her other Jamaican/soul food dishes are great! But I totally see the need for more properly Trinidadian places here.

      Regarding the “wet” thing, I think it was from some Yelp review or somewhere where I read that if you want extra gravy in your roti, you can order it “wet” — but that might’ve been from a review of a Toronto place or something! I’ll stick to just saying “extra gravy” from now on… 😀

  3. This is a reply I sent to someone who emailed me directly about this (outdated) review of Rehanah’s:

    Hi Steve. Thanks for your lengthy, passionate comment. A lot has happened since 2014 when I posted that review. It’s been hard for anyone to get access to good Caribbean food in the Lower Mainland, even now, but I’ve been slowly learning more and more about it when I can. In a nutshell, I know think that Rehanah’s is the best roti available here, perhaps anywhere except maybe some place in Toronto that’s no longer open (Roti Palace https://dennisthefoodie.com/2014/04/22/i-just-had-to-try-the-oysters-in-toronto-didnt-i-toronto-june-2013/#rot). I’ve had Rehanah’s a lot more since that first review and yeah, we all know that it’s often hard to judge a place from a single visit. But I definitely rank it above D Roti Shak, basically the only other roti shop around (there’s probably a couple in Surrey I don’t know about). Speaking of roti, this new shop is opening up on Sunday on Commercial Drive (https://www.instagram.com/babydhalroti/). I’m looking forward to it.

    Rest assured, my roti reheating technique has improved since that review: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMGQBL9Bj71/ <-- cold chicken roti from The Patty Shop on Macdonald St. I talk about reheating it 😀 I reread that review a couple months ago and a lot of it sounds ignorant or at least uninformed. I just gotta say I still have huge curiosity about food but am just learning from each opportunity I get. I wish there was more Caribbean food available here. I love it and it speaks to me in a way that's different from any other kind of food. But I'm not Caribbean (but I do find Asian-Caribbeans/Chinese-Caribbeans to be an interesting lot) so I can only approach it as a non-Caribbean who didn't grow up with the food. I have a friend who recently moved here from Winnipeg and he always complains about how expensive Caribbean food is here (when you can find it, that is). I haven't been to Winnipeg, but it sounds like a great food town with some interesting things happening. In Canada, I've only been to Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal (only once and really quick trip -- surprisingly great Vietnamese food there cuz of the Viet population there). I love the variety available in Toronto at a much lower price point...now that's a town where you could actually come up with a decent list of "the best [whatever specific item e.g. jerk chicken]". I've had good stuff in Calgary where it might actually be a tiny bit easier to find Caribbean food than here. Edmonton was where I actually had a lot of early Caribbean food experiences cuz there was a place within walking distance of my in-law's house. Anyways, if you find any more great Caribbean options in Vancouver, send me a note! Or maybe I'll see you in line at Rehanah's! happy friday! dennis

  4. A lot has happened since 2014! Even *I* cringe at some of the stuff I wrote in this review. But of course I’m leaving it up untouched as a record of what I said and who I was back then. I’ve learned a lot since then, as we all do every time we eat.

    Some of my more recent trips to Rehanah’s:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BgMuAT9HzV8/
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B5vleeuBu_4/
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CHmNIGeB5Jy/

    ^ so of course I love Rehanah’s now. There’s also a promising new Trini place opening up Sunday, August 15, 2021 on Commercial Drive: https://www.instagram.com/babydhalroti/

    They even offer buss up shut!

    If you’re interested in other Caribbean food-related things I’ve done during my trips to Toronto, check out my Instagram posts, in particular:

    https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/dtfintoronto16/
    https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/dtfintoronto17/
    https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/dtfintoronto18/

    If you don’t already, I encourage you to check out my daily food adventures on Instagram: https://instagram.com/dennisthefoodie/ Still the same great writing, still the same great putting my foot in my mouth!

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