The Roti Palace
Whatever you do, don’t come to Tortola without trying out
the Roti Palace.
To come here and not have at least one roti, would be like
coming to Tortola and not seeing the Caribbean. It’s just not possible.
Roti is the quintessential British Virgin Islands’
food – and the Roti Palace does it better than anyone.
A roti is a large flat unleavened bread – think of a soft
tortilla – with a layer of ground spiced channa (chick peas or garbanzos) in
its center. This is wrapped like an envelope around a mild-medium spiced curry.
That’s it; it sounds simple fare – but wait until you taste it!
The Roti Palace is a brightly painted restaurant on the
Corner on Main Street in Road Town.
It shares a building with Samarkand Jewelers.
Don’t take one look at the smallness of the place with a handful of
family tables, plastic tablecloths
and fake flowers and decide to try somewhere more ‘sophisticated’ for your
roti. The owner, Jean Leonard, has
been preparing rotis for a long time and everyone – absolutely everyone – in
Tortola knows that these are, quite simply, the best you can get.
They are so good that they don’t bother to put anything else on the
menu – there’s no need; this is Roti heaven!
The Roti Palace’s selection of roti fillings includes
curried potatoes, chicken, beef, conch, whelk, goat, vegetables – even
lobster. Eat one of these with
some of the incredible mango chutney and a spicy condiment called kuchela
(grated green mangoes, garlic and assorted spices) and wash it down with a
bottle or two of the coldest beer on the island, and you’ll agree that this is
Caribbean cooking at its most spectacular best.
It might be a good idea if you fancy a Chicken roti to ask them to serve
it ‘bones out’, so that you don’t have to fish around in your mouth for
Roti was brought to the islands by Trinidad immigrants and
makes for a fabulous lunch – or, at the Roti Palace, a refreshing low-key
alternative to some of the more stylish restaurants on Tortola.
This place is so laid back you can go and get yourself a beer from the
So, when you fancy some inexpensive, flavorful home-cooked
roti in a charmingly simple and relaxed setting – then the Roti Palace is a
You’ll understand that the Roti Palace is aptly named –
after all, it serves roti fit for emperors.
Click here to return to Restaurants in
Tortola from Roti Palace.
Click here to return to Tortola Beaches Home from Roti