Good News for People Who Love Trinidadian Roti (and if you don’t love it, you should)

Roti, a stew or curry wrapped up in a large envelope of flat bread, is a staple of the Caribbean that came about as the cultural and culinary intersection between Indian and African settlers over the last two centuries. The result, when it is at its best, is a spicy and satisfying meal that can be vegetarian or not, as you please. Roti, of course, has grown well past the boundaries of the Islands now, and is enjoyed by people all over the world. I spent a lot of my childhood around Bathurst and Eglington in Toronto, and thus I was surrounded by roti shops.

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On the whole, Caribbean food is an underrepresented thing here in Victoria. I’m not sure why this is, but as somebody who has developed an unnatural addiction to spice, I sometimes lament the lack. I am going quite regularly through bottles of three or four kinds of hot sauce and I am also fermenting my own…but then I always was a bit of a weirdo.

The best place to get roti in Victoria, and I say this without reservation, is at Trini to D Bone. It’s hard enough to find anyone who is willing to offer up a meal with a bit of spice in it, and Trini to D Bone doesn’t disappoint. Husband and wife team Jeffrey and Nirmala came here seven years ago and only gradually got into the roti business, making meals for friends and slowly beginning to cater events. Nirmala, the engine of the business, makes everything from scratch every day. This is quite a task, but she says she loves the process. Her meats and produce are local and the spices are shipped directly from Trinidad.

trini - roti closed

trini - roti with bites out

The location on Burnside is certainly worth a visit, but the amazing news for people like me is that Trini to D Bone is now opening up a lunchtime-only location at 638 Fisgard St. Nirmala tells me the Fisgard location will be up and running by mid-February. In addition to roti, there is going to be a daily menu posted on the website that features other Trinidadian delights. Apparently, they also have a food truck that is going to be hitting the roads this summer. You have to trust me when I say that these are very good developments for the collective stomachs of this city.

Stop by the Burnside location on Saturdays and try Doubles, which is a Trinidadian breakfast special consisting of curry and fried bread with hot sauce, and also the delicious goat curry roti—a true gem. I should mention, by the way, that just because I have a fetish for spice, and just because you can get spicy food at Trini to D Bone, it doesn’t mean that they have to eat it spicy. The stuff is good even if you have it without hot sauce, and they will be happy to make a mild roti for you if you ask for one.

Note, this article is a follow up to Sophie’s Grab and Go, found here.

Trini to D Bone
650 Burnside Road West
Victoria BC
& soon to open
638 Fisgard Steet, Victoria BC


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Born and raised in the mysterious East (by which I mean Ontario and Quebec, not Asia), Adam migrated out to British Columbia in search of adventure and fortune. He had been at different times a scholar, a musician, a poet and a ...

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