Even with high expectations, I was impressed by the food. Normally I find that Caribbean roti can't compete with my favourite Indian-style roti from Gandhi's Indian Cuisine, but Drupati's roti was just as good, if not better than the Gandhi classics.
I knew it was going to be a good meal when a regular customer invited me to his table to try his food and listen to anecdotes about his love for the restaurant. Drupati Doubles & Roti Shop, located at 975 Albion Road in Etobicoke, inspires this kind of devotion in many of its loyal patrons.
"Five days out of seven I eat here or at the Drupati's in Brampton," enthused Trinidad native Vaughn Khan (below), who started coming here in 1994. "The food is just as good or better than what they serve in Trinidad. Servings are large, the food is excellent and the people are like family."
The dough was made up of many thin layers dusted with bits of dahl (yellow split peas). Inside, the lamb was tender and lean, with a powerful spicy sauce. A regular sized rotis are $7.49 to $8.99; smaller versions sell for $5.49 to $7.25.
The doubles were also excellent: this dish consists of two fried pieces of bara—a doughy bread—slathered with a chick pea curry for just $1.50. If you like it hot, they will add some sauce made with shado beni, a Caribbean herb.
Drupati's started off as a struggling grocery store run by a Trini family of Indian descent. Business was slow, explains Asha Ramlakhan, daughter of the founding couple, so her mom started cooking up doubles in the tiny staff room and selling them. (Drupati is her mom's first name; she's pictured below with her granddaughter.) "The doubles took off and we started expanding from there."
Then Asha's father took up the cooking, and he's never stopped. "My dad has done all the cooking since day one, and we've never had another cook," says Asha. "He'll be here until he is ready to retire, and I don't know what will happen then."
Thanks to Gilbert Li for the tip.
Drupati Doubles & Roti Shop is located at 975 Albion Road, Etobicoke. Telephone 416 745-4189. It's open Tuesday to Friday, 10-8; Saturday 9-8; Sunday 9-6.
There is another location at 4550 Ebenezer Road in Brampton; Tel 905 794-5944; and 1085 Bellamy Road North, Scarborough; Tel 416 289 9988.
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