leelas toronto

Roti is finally available at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto but why did it take so long?

Roti and doubles number among Toronto's iconic dishes from one of the city's most central cuisines (Caribbean), so why don't you ever see them on the menu at big sports stadiums?

It's certainly not because it's impractical: this food was literally made to be transported and eaten by hand, so it would translate well to sitting in a stadium seat.

It also can't be just because it's unconventional, not your usual hot dog and nachos, as food like sushi has already been served at Toronto arenas for a while now.

Now, Leela's is here to save the day at Scotiabank Arena, part of a fleet of new concessions options at the stadium that includes Aloette, Cherry St. BBQ, Colibri and Cheese Boutique.

Leela's already has physical storefronts in Scarborough and Mississauga but has never been a vendor at a large arena before, and as far as they're aware, neither have many other Caribbean restaurants in Toronto.

"Based on feedback from staff, it has never been done before and was long awaited. Everyone was very excited to have roti and doubles at the arena," Leela's CEO and chef Annie Khan tells blogTO.

"We are so honoured to have been chosen to present our food to their audience. We feel there are more opportunities to bring in more cultural food into the arena that more reflects the multicultural composition of our country."

Annie runs Leela's with her husband Asif Khan, president and chef. They bill their food as "Trini haute eats" and "urban Trini fusion cuisine." Founded in 2009, aside from roti and doubles they also do jerk chicken, duck, bake and shark, mac pie, fried rice, curry king fish, smoked herring and saltfish.

"Doubles and roti is such a delicate, hand crafted item. We were honoured to showcase our doubles there," says Annie Khan.

"Since our food is hand prepared and our recipes are old school, utilizing unique spice blends from scratch, it makes our taste unique."

You can find Leela's at Scotiabank Arena in the 100s level, section 110, where they're serving options like doubles ($9 for two) butter chicken, curry beef, boneless jerk chicken ($16), curry channa and potato ($15).

Or course, prices are way higher at Scotiabank Arena than you would find in the real world so apparently nothing has been learned from the lockdowns.

In Scarborough, Leela's doubles can be had for $2.99, small curry beef and boneless jerk chicken for $11.99 and curry channa and potato for $8.99.

Leela's says they have no control over the price discrepancy as all food and drink prices inside Scotiabank Arena are controlled by MLSE.

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