One of the things I love about Indian cuisine is that it lends itself beautifully to a variety of grains, legumes and vegetables combined together beautifully. Again, the same ingredients can be used to recreate some of the most delicious world cuisines, with an Indian touch. Take for example, what most Indian’s refer to as ‘Indian-Chinese’.
The advantage of these adaptations is, that while not everyone has the palate for all types of cuisines, one can use the most beautiful ingredients from those cuisines and adapt it to suit their palate, thus, not completely missing out the different cuisine experience. Secondly, for those who do not eat non-vegetarian food, it allows them to create similar vegetarian dishes…
Recently, I came across a small, cozy restaurant at West Coast Plaza, called “Roti – Alka’s Kitchen”. Living in the central area, almost every mall or food court I pass, there is a decent collection of Indian eateries, vegetarian or otherwise. And I have long since stopped taking too much notice. But what made stop at Roti was “Roti Wraps”! Roti is a type of Indian bread, usually made from wheat or wholemeal flour and is consumed in major parts of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Interestingly, it is also consumed in parts of South Africa and the southern Caribbean, particularly in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. Its most noteworthy characteristic is that the dough used to make roti’s is not raised or mixed with yeast making it much healthier option than soft breads or even the Indian counter parts, Naan.
This made the “Roti Wraps” an interesting and healthy meal option. Intrigued by the concept, I decided to give it a try. To my surprise, the minimally decorated eatery, with its open-plan kitchen and a wrap and chaat (Chaat is an Indian-Hindi word used to describe tasty, tangy Indian fast food / snacks, with their origins as Indian-Pakistani street food) counter had a full menu… including ala carte Indian dishes, biryani, chaat, and the likes. What’s more, the place is all vegetarian.
A friendly girl approached me with the menu and explained the concept of Roti Wrap. “Our roti’s are made of whole wheat, and freshly prepared.” To back this claim, they have posters explaining the benefits of whole wheat pasted on the walls inside the restaurant.
This is how you choose your Wrap:
This is what I tried:
 Roti Wrap: Out of the five types of fillings, I tried the Vegetarian Kebab’s, although I was equally intrigued with the Indo-Chinese Manchurian. Next they have 4 separate options for type of roti: Plain Roti, Plain Paratha, Paratha with fenugreek and spinach paratha. I opted for the plain roti with the tangy tomato sauce. Although for the spice loving Indian palate, they have a Hot Chilli Garlic sauce too. The roti wrap was quite unique. The kebab’s were actually made out of different types of daal’s (lentils) blended together. In fact, the texture of the kebab combined with its taste could make an appetizer by itself. The roti wrap was quite good…
 Sev Puri Chaat: The chutney, especially the sweet chutney (Chutney is kind of Indian sauce that usually contain some mixture of spice, vegetable, and/or fruits.) is extremely tasty and quite literally the hero of the dish. The puri’s (flat fried crispy chips, Indian version of Tortilla’s if you can call it that), were fresh, nice and crisp… the whole dish had almost a home-like taste and feel!
 Dum Biryani: The rice was nicely cooked and had the right flavour of spices mixed with the the biryani gravy, made out of mock chicken. The biryani was quite tasty, probably the only complain, if I can call it that was, the biryani was a little too dry for my taste. I like my rice to be slightly moist… But tastewise, it was quite nicely blended.
I was impressed by the overall spread of the menu for such a small place. I asked if I could speak with the owner. Alka Mehta, the warm smiling owner of Roti greeted me and was more than excited to share her story… “I love cooking, and used to try out various new dishes for my family. I have been in Singapore for 10 years now… and despite encouragement from family and friends never really too my cooking talent too seriously. However, in 2011 I entered the Mama Lemon Cooking Competition, and was adjudged the 1st runner up! What was amazing about the win was that in the final round, the contestants had to cook with ‘chicken’ as the primary ingredient. I am a vegetarian by choice. And I cooked with mock meat! The judges were quite impressed with my dish.”
Remarkable indeed… on further prompting she said, “That was the beginning. In 2012 I won the Family Food Legacy Cooking Competition 2012. That’s when I decided to take my cooking seriously, and try and turn it into a business venture. That’s how ‘Roti’ was born.”
Coming back to the Wraps, “It’s been a hit with children and so with their parents. It’s healthy, made out of full whole wheat, and fresh vegetables. It is glutton-free and perfect snack or meal for the kids as well as their parents.”
Considering the fact that so many vegetarians around are also Vegan’s I asked her if she can cater to non-garlic, non-onion diet. “We can adapt some of our dishes to cater to vegans… yes.” Excellent.
Considering Roti is in the west coast, I hopefully asked if they deliver food home. “Right now, we deliver meal packets, if the order is substantial enough. We are more towards catering for at least 10 people. However, we do plan to tie up with some local delivery services soon.”
How much will it cost me: The place is quite affordable, and a Roti Wrap meal can cost you around S$ 5 to S$ 10 depending upon your choices, and whether you opt for a meal. An Ala Carte Chaat costs around S$ 5.50.
Verdict: The Roti-Wraps is a novel concept to me. I haven’t come across wraps catering to Indian palate in Singapore yet. But, the overall offering promises a healthy meal, and the food is quite tasty and affordable. It’s not a fine dining place. But it offers a small, cozy Indian eatery with a variety of food options, some of which are quite innovative. Being a newly opened eatery (been around for little over a month), at times faces the start-up troubles. There is a possibility that the service might be slightly slower than what you expect. However, I was quite happy with the food itself, and rest I guess is just something you deal with! I recommend a definite try, if not for Anything else, then for the innovative Roti-Wraps.
Address: #B1-22/23, West Coast Plaza, 154 W Coast Road, Singapore
Tagged: singapore, India, Vegan, Indian cuisine, Chaat, Roti, Wheat, Healthy, Wraps, Roti Alka's Kitchen, Roti Wrap, West Coast Plaza, Pakistan, Family Food Legacy Cooking Competition, Mama Lemon Cooking Competition, Biryani, Mock chicken meat