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Caraïbe Delite

Posted by Stefan / September 23, 2010

Caraibe Delite 1.jpgThe only two Guyanese restaurants I know are less than a mile apart. They are decorated in much the same way (trinkets, travel posters, maps) and the owners know each other. In fact, both were started by the same family, though they seem now to be in some sort of a rivalry. Perhaps, were it not for complex machinations beyond my grasp, they might today remain united. A common front bringing roti to the masses. But they're not. Instead, you're either a Caraïbe Delite or a Jardin du Curry person.

Not that the choice matters much. With almost identical menus, the restaurants are difficult to tell apart. Both serve Caribbean staples like roti, jerk chicken, plantains, and curry. They have similar sodas (cream soda, ginger beer) and peanut punch. They even have unmarked plastic bottles filled with the same (fantastic) hot sauce. But still, I guess it's important to pick a side, if only to keep up appearances.

We stuck to the basics: roti and chicken mulligatawny. I can't recommend the soup. It had a pleasant spice to it, but the vegetables were of the frozen variety and there was hardly any chicken to merit the name. The roti fared much better. The flat bread exterior was soft and chewy, and the potato, pumpkin, and chickpea filling was soft and covered in a delicious sauce (they also serve shrimp, chicken, goat, and white-fish roti). I added citrus-based hot sauce and the flavours worked very well together.

The sodas were so-so. And the service was slow.

A note of caution for the very frugal eater. Despite the fawning insistence of excitable roti enthusiasts (you know the type: patchouli oil and knitwear), roti's not going to feed you for a pittance. It's neither "huge!" nor "sooo cheap". It's a solid meal, but with prices ranging from $6-$8 dollars depending on the filling, roti's not notable for its low low price. It's a thick, savory, high-protein crepe. A satisfying meal, especially when accompanied by phulori. Great taste, good value. More reliable standby than something worth proselytizing. But a handy ace up the sleeve nonetheless. Caraibe Delite 2.jpgCaraïbe Delite
4816 Parc (above Villeneuve)
514- 274-4509

Photos by Mike "Lock 'em Up" Lockner



markefrank / October 10, 2010 at 12:05 am
Funny review, and I agree with the slow service comment, but there are some points I need to add my two cents to:

1. The hot sauces are very different. If you think they taste the same, you need to pay more attention.

2. The curries (in roti) are also very different. Again, the spice mix for the cooks in the two restos is very different. In fact, at Delite, the cook focuses very much on fresh ingredients (which might result in the typically slow service). Her curry is a bit heavier, and with a darker flavour.

3. Buying individual rotis at a roti restaurant is not a good deal, I agree. Too expensive. I come from a Trinidadian family, and when we eat roti at home, I have 2 or 3. At either of these two restaurants, the thing to do is get the curry plate (comes with rice and salad), and order an empty "roti" or "roti skin" on the side. A meal for two people will cost you about 25$ with tip, and it will fill you up.

4. Are they really on bad terms? That surprises me. They are brothers and sisters, and the only reason they split was because the Delite folks went back to TO for a spell.

Anyway. I love me a roti plate at EITHER of these restos. (But I am probably more a Jardin du Cari guy).

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