Trinidadian cuisine at its best. Singh’s Roti Shop has an amazing and abundant selection. There is always at least 8 different kinds of curries, West Indian Chinese style food, Trini specialties, and West Indian pastries. Not to mention the ginormous rotis. How in the wide world do they make that thing so big, fluffy, and soft? No complains, just enjoy. In the first part of the day, there are West Indian breakfast specialties available such as smoked herring choka, salted fish choka, bigan choka (roasted eggplant), fried pumpkin, fried bajee, (calaloo), and a host of more deliciousness. As the day progresses the menu changes to reflect more lunch and dinner choices such as more curried, stewed, and fried selections.
On this visit I had the Curried Chicken with potatoes and channa (garbanzo beans). Trinidadian curry is light on masala and heavier on curry powder with a light almost watery sauce. The flavors here are on point. Nice balance of spiciness. Stewed Oxtail was a medley of pure symphonic flavors. The sauce was tomato based full of spices and herbs and the oxtail was fall off the tail tender. This dish had to simmer for hours to get to this level of delicate tenderness and balance. Excellent. Fried Bigan (Roasted Eggplant) was tender, smokey, with chunks of garlic, slices of onions and herbs. Amazing. Fried Pumpkin, better known in these parts as butternut squash, was lightly pureed to not be a mash with slight stringiness. The spice level was on the sweeter side. Baked Chicken was dusted with Trini spices and baked to tender perfection.
The food here is in display cases on hot tables, like a covered buffet line. There are about four hot tables with at least 8 dividers which could easily expand to more or less. So, as the freshest food is prepared and made available it is put on the buffet line. Most of the time there are at least 80% of food available. If there is something not available on display there is a high possibility that they are in the preparation process. Just ask one of the attendants. Although all the food is prepared fresh everyday, this is a buffet style service. The food, if left too long uncovered and too hot, tend to dry out. However, the food here does not stay too long on the buffet line. All food is to temperature and texture. Everything is ordered and served from the counter, either take out or sit down. If one would like to sit, the food is served on paper plates, or boxes and everything is disposable, self help style.
The dining room is simple with tables and chairs. There is a full liquor bar which serves most West Indian brews like Carib and Red Stripe. At the back of the restaurant there is an outdoor nightclub which jams the sounds of the Caribbean. This is more of a very local ethnic Caribbean scene. No Jimmy Buffet here nor cheesy Island type music. This is the real deal Trini Carnival style. Get ready to jump up and get on bad!
The abundance of food choices on display makes it very easy to try different things. They will even give a sample taste. There is always confusion at the counter and ambiguity as to the line. Stay in front of the counter and get an attendant’s attention, then keep them focused on you. Good food, nice Trini vibe.