A couple weeks back I was set to hit up Montfort’s. For some odd reason though I got a hankering for a Curry Chicken Roti. I was wrapping up work at 9pm and knew there were no West Indian restaurants in downtown Hamilton that were open that late. I sent out a feeler on Twitter about suggestions and a few people mentioned Caribbean & Canadian Restaurant. Once I got over what I consider to be the single least creative name for a restaurant I’ve ever heard of, I made the call. Sadly I was informed they also close at 9. It’s all good as I filed them away as a spot to hit for lunch. I headed out with Vanny to see what this spot is all about.
Calling Caribbean & Canadian Restaurant “Plain Jane” would be an engrossing understatement. Truth to told, it looks a lot like a Roti Shop you’d see in the West Indies. There’s nothing in terms of decoration or motif. It’s just a counter, a couple of tables and a few metal chairs. You’re definitely not hanging around for the ambiance. We were greeted by a super sweet woman (the owner Sandra) who took our order.
I found it pretty funny that Caribbean & Canadian Restaurant blocked out all the Canadian food. I have no idea what the options are. Truth be told, I had no interest in anything but a Roti and that’s exactly what I went for. I was disappointed to see there were no appetizer options though. I would have loved to get an order of Doubles, Poulari, or Fried Potato Pies. Not an issue for lunch but if you’re going to sit down for dinner, you’d figure appetizers would be a nice option. Moving along, I’ve been on a big Goat kick of late and ordered one with extra Hot Sauce. Sandra warned me about heat and suggested I take it on the side but I requested it be all over the Goat and she reluctantly agreed. Vanny got the same order without Hot Sauce.
Boneless Goat Roti – $9.25
When initially reading about Caribbean & Canadian Restaurant I noted just about everyone mentioned the sheer size of the portions. My biggest gripe with competitors Ya Man and especially Famous Recipe is they short you as it concerns price vs portion. That wasn’t the case here. This was by far the biggest Curry Goat Roti I have ever eaten. It was a BEAST! I’d estimate the weight around 2 – 3 pounds. I actually started giggling when I was handed the tray. This tasted just like something my mother would make. That has its good and down sides. The good is that it was seasoned well. The meat and stewed potatoes were very flavourful with kick. On the flip side though, the goat was a little more tough than I’d care for. My mom tends to undercook Goat as well (sorry Mom, you’re still the best). If you’re not familiar with Goat, it’s typically very tough meat. It’s pressure cooked for hours on end. The goat here was cooked well but could have served from an extra hour or so in the pressure cooker. It’s a small complaint if you’re used to eating Goat. If not though, you might be in for a texture test. Small complaint aside, I really enjoyed this Curry Goat Roti and was literally didn’t eat the rest of the day as I was full from 1pm until breakfast the next day.
On a related note, the Hot Sauce wasn’t anything special. It had heat but the base pepper was tempered by an overuse of what I think was Vinegar. My buddy James had given me a heads up that it was the hottest he’d ever had. I trust his palette as he also has a West Indian background so I assume I just got a dull batch.
If you’re on the Hamilton Mountain looking for Caribbean Food I’d suggest popping into Caribbean & Canadian Restaurant. It’s literally as no frills as it gets but the food is good and priced well for the amount you get. Sit down for lunch or get dinner to go. Oh and be prepared for a serious food coma.