Thursday, November 27, 2014Mostly Cloudy 2°C
Restaurants

Mona's Roti

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on November 15, 2014 / review policy

20141113-monasroti590-08.jpgMona's Roti is a Caribbean kitchen on Sheppard that has been in business over 12 years. It's a no frills kind of place that has, in its time, amassed a loyal following and a reputation for some of the finest West Indian food in the city.

Most of the interior is dedicated to the kitchen, the hot table stocked with stewed meats, curries, and jerk chicken act as the only partition forcing a steady stream of customers to the perimeter to order from the enticing selection of ready-made foods. Turning the corner, you'll find snacks and drinks at the register.

20141113-monasroti590-06.jpgStepping inside, the first impression is made by smell - it's incredible; a combination of fried breads and fragrant spices. Then I notice the assembly line of women pressing sheets of dahpuri or paratha by hand before sending them over to the next in line to be baked one by one on a griddle.

20141113-monasroti590-03.jpgIn another corner, pholourie (similar to chickpea benigets) are being portioned by hand and dropped into oil. The crispy fritters are left to cool on a counter and packaged in plastic bags to order, six at a time ($1).

20141113-monasroti590-11.jpgGoat curry is a house favourite and like everything else on display in the hot table, it's available a la carte, in meals ($8.85), with rice (plain or with peas) or in a wrap. Get the wrap ($7.30) - it starts with a house-made roti skin that's packed with a base of curried potatoes before the rich, chunky stewed goat is ladled over top and then wrapped and stuffed into a paper bag.

20141113-monasroti590-07.jpgI'm told the doubles ($1.50), are as good as you'll find on this side of Trinidad, they're certainly among the best I've had in Toronto. Two rounds of bara (fried turmeric-scented naan) sandwich curried chickpeas with a sweet and tangy tamarind condiment.

20141113-monasroti590-05.jpgWith seating limited to just two (likely occupied) tables, Mona's biggest flaw is that there's nowhere to eat. And, while both the roti and doubles might appear to be the handheld kind of foods, both are super messy. Impatiently devouring them is rewarding, but also leaves a trail of curried juices dripping down my forearms. Get napkins.

20141113-monasroti590-10.jpgPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

13 Comments

Jeff / September 28, 2012 at 11:12 am
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Best Roti in town....hands down!
vinny / December 29, 2013 at 03:19 pm
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This resturant rocks, food is excellent better than carribbeanwave. The dahl pourie is good order it for our business all thetime
Toby / November 16, 2014 at 08:25 am
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Very good food haven't had the chance to experience it all but from what I have had I would recommend trying this place out.
Marcus / November 16, 2014 at 01:31 pm
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"but also leaves a trail of curried juices dripping down my forearms"

Rookie. :)
Experienced roti lovers know how to bite into a roti without it spilling all over.

Must try this place out. The set up looks very similar to another West Caribbean roti place, Island Foods in Toronto.
matts / November 16, 2014 at 02:43 pm
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The food may be delicious but your title is wrong, this is nowhere near Agincourt
Westender / November 16, 2014 at 05:26 pm
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Incredible roti.. But Mona's ace in the hole are their made to order doubles... They are spicy, redolent of chickpea and tamarind and absolute heaven ...
Darnel / November 16, 2014 at 07:03 pm
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Goat Curry? Cmon its curry goat.
Black Sheep replying to a comment from Darnel / November 17, 2014 at 10:46 am
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I know right?! I kept reading "goat curry" in my head and it's just so wrong. Nice try though Liora ;)
what? / November 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm
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what exactly is a double? just larger size? or a type of filling?
Guest replying to a comment from Darnel / November 17, 2014 at 02:58 pm
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Is Mona's a Trini place? If so, you're correct in that it should be curry goat. I think people from Guyana would say goat curry. I could be wrong about that though.
MaggiePie replying to a comment from matts / November 17, 2014 at 04:14 pm
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Well it's right on the Agincourt limits actually. If you need a visualization: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agincourt,_Toronto
Carl / November 17, 2014 at 11:47 pm
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Mona's Dahpuri Curry Chicken Hot is amazing! Been going there for about 15 years...So many good eats I've tried most of it
Guest replying to a comment from what? / November 19, 2014 at 03:52 pm
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It's a Trinidadian sandwich (if you want to call it that) that has 2 pieces of fried bara bread with a spicy chana or channa filling as well as some chutney.

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