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best roti prata?

commuter_101 Jun 26, 2007 01:28 PM

the type that is totally layered and you have to pick at it to eat it. not something flat and one layered like naan.

i've had great roti prata at straits cafe. was just wondering what other places are good?


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    atobiko RE: commuter_101 Jun 26, 2007 07:08 PM

    i love love love the roti prata at Banana Leaf (Milpitas). if you're ever there on the weekends you see the special roti chefs churning these out like there's no tomorrow!

    1. f
      Fussy Foodie RE: commuter_101 Jun 26, 2007 07:22 PM

      Roti Canai at Singapore OTC in Dublin is great.

      1. c
        clarsen RE: commuter_101 Jun 26, 2007 09:11 PM

        I enjoyed the Roti Canai at Banyan Garden in Union City. You can see them making them in the kitchen through the window.

        3 Replies
        1. re: clarsen
          bernalgirl RE: clarsen Jun 27, 2007 12:52 PM

          Is the place in the shopping center on John Daly Blvd still there? Banana Island, I think it's called... what do people think of the roti canai there?

          I've only been once, had soup as I was under the weather, but they had a special open kitchen area where the roti was made and it looked many-layered at the other tables I observed. I've been meaning to go back to investigate further.

          1. re: bernalgirl
            rdabke RE: bernalgirl Jun 27, 2007 03:22 PM

            Roti prata was good, unfortunately they were out of murtabak on the day we went (a sunday).
            They also had deserts made from roti prata (peanut butter, fruits etc stuffed in the roti prata & folded to make pockets).

          2. re: clarsen
            daveena RE: clarsen Jul 1, 2007 10:47 AM

            Can you describe the process the chefs use to make the roti? I had one in Singapore where the chef repeatedly slammed a ball of dough against a hot griddle until it was paper thin, then folded it up (actually, it was a murtabak, so he folded seasoned lamb and a raw egg into it). One of the best things I've had in my life, and for a while I was obsessed with murtabak, but I've had so many tough ones that I kind of gave up. But if Banyan Garden makes them with that process, I'm there.

          3. i
            iOrderTheLamb RE: commuter_101 Jun 28, 2007 02:05 PM

            I'm a fan of the roti prata at Shiok! in Menlo Park.

            7 Replies
            1. re: iOrderTheLamb
              Bunson RE: iOrderTheLamb Jul 1, 2007 02:20 AM

              As crazy as it sounds, the best roti prata I've had is at the Coconut Grove in the Great Mall (http://www.coconutgrovemilpitas.com/), much much better then the one at Banana Leaf (although the Banana Leaf probably has better entrees). If it didn't make me look like a pig I could order 10 orders of roti prata there and call it lunch.

              1. re: Bunson
                daveena RE: Bunson Jul 1, 2007 10:48 AM

                Have you had their murtabak (see explanation of my murtabak obsession above). I just looked at their online menu... looks like theirs is with beef. Wish I could find one made with lamb.

                1. re: daveena
                  Bunson RE: daveena Jul 1, 2007 11:19 AM

                  I did get the roti murtabak once - it was made with ground beef and onion, decent but didn't blow me away. I would have been better off with two orders of the prata, which alone is why I go back there.

                  1. re: daveena
                    rdabke RE: daveena Jul 2, 2007 09:13 AM

                    Being a fan of Murtabak myself, I completely understand your obsession. When In Singapore, I have been multiple times to Zam Zam solely to eat the Murtabak. IMHO, there is nothing like the murtabak that you get there. I have had multiple including the one in Coconut grove, Banana *, Penang * etc. but nothing like the one in Singapore. perhaps the one that comes closest is the one available at Straits Cafe in SF.

                    1. re: rdabke
                      daveena RE: rdabke Jul 2, 2007 06:01 PM

                      Interesting - I tried a bunch of places in the South Bay and came to a similar conclusion (Straits in Burlingame won - I haven't tried Straits in SF).

                      Link to my original murtabak post, before I hijack this thread any further:

                      1. re: daveena
                        Lori SF RE: daveena Jul 2, 2007 07:30 PM

                        the former Straits chef is now at Lime Tree making really good murtabak for the half the price.

                      2. re: rdabke
                        grinch RE: rdabke Jul 3, 2007 12:58 PM

                        Now we just need some stalls where we can get it fresh after midnight. It always is best in Singapore when you've been out all night on the town and need something to stick to your gut!

                2. Robert Lauriston RE: commuter_101 Jul 1, 2007 10:51 AM


                  1. Lori SF RE: commuter_101 Jul 1, 2007 11:46 AM

                    I heard Lime Tree on Irving (Inner Sunset) makes a very good one and half the price of Sraits Cafe. I have walked by this place a few times before I realized it was a restaurant, so it easy to miss. I am going to check it out this week.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Lori SF
                      svL RE: Lori SF Jul 1, 2007 03:08 PM

                      I had lunch at Lime Tree couple of days ago. The roti and murtabak were very good.

                      1. re: svL
                        Lori SF RE: svL Jul 1, 2007 08:19 PM

                        we finally went tonight and the Roti and several other dished were excellent.. the owner is from Straits and so nice.. Irving Street can use a good simple place.. and so cheap..my goodness a dinner for two 23.00 and we ate well.

                        1. re: Lori SF
                          Lori SF RE: Lori SF Jul 7, 2007 06:37 AM

                          wanted to add the link, just realized this feature

                          Lime Tree - Southeast Asian Kitchen
                          450 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                    2. j
                      John Doe RE: commuter_101 Jul 2, 2007 11:11 AM

                      I second Lime Tree on Iriving and 5th Ave in SF. The roti is under $3, and they serve it with a curry type dipping sauce. A really great deal for the quality, highly recommended.

                      Here's one off the radar: Rin's Thai on 24th and Douglass (Noe Valley) also has a nice roti prata, but the twist is that it's grilled. That gives it a light smokey essence, but yet still produces a crisp exterior and chewy layered interior. A bit on the expensive side at around $6, but they also serve it with a side of delicious peanut dipping sauce which you can also use with your rice.

                      1. p
                        P. Punko RE: commuter_101 Jul 2, 2007 12:22 PM

                        So the prata is the thicker, more like a thick parantha and roti canai is the very thin crispy/chewy one, correct? I think these are two different rotis- I definitely love roti canai more than the thicker variant. Several of the posters are recommending roti canai, which might not be what is being described by the OP?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: P. Punko
                          Robert Lauriston RE: P. Punko Jul 2, 2007 12:36 PM

                          I believe they're two names for the same general type of flatbread, which under either name can be either thick or thin, layered or not, depending on the cook.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            P. Punko RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 2, 2007 03:25 PM

                            I just found this blog post about the two- says "canai" is what they call it in Malaysia and "prata" is more the Singaporean name for it. I do know the Straits version is thicker for sure.


                        2. Pincho RE: commuter_101 Jul 3, 2007 09:37 PM

                          Langkawi in Foster City serves both a thin and thick Roti Prata. Both are better, in my opinion, than the Straits (Burlingame) rendition.

                          I revisited last week and have been daydreaming about the place ever since. Excellent Singaporean/Malaysian food, friendly and attentive service, slightly kitschy tropical beach ambiance complete with fishtank. It's a fun place.

                          A bit off-topic from the OP, but I was very pleased to find sauteed kangkung (aka pak boong, ong choy, water convolvus, morning glory) with garlic on the menu here - this is one of my very favorite dishes, ever since a memorable introduction in Thailand.

                          2946 S. Norfolk St
                          San Mateo, CA 94403

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Pincho
                            Foodrat RE: Pincho Oct 3, 2007 05:15 PM

                            I was just thinking of Langkawi. We ordered it the last time (few weeks ago) and it was really good and fun to eat.

                          2. Melanie Wong RE: commuter_101 Jul 6, 2007 06:47 PM

                            Here's my photo of a great version of roti canai, in the Napa Valley, of all places!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                              hhc RE: Melanie Wong Jul 6, 2007 07:23 PM

                              where did you get that roti canai? I'd like to try it no matter how far.

                              1. re: hhc
                                DezzerSF RE: hhc Jul 6, 2007 09:32 PM

                                Jayakarta in Berkeley has roti that looks just like Melanie's picture.

                                Jayakarta Restaurant
                                2026 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                                1. re: hhc
                                  Melanie Wong RE: hhc Jul 16, 2007 08:17 PM

                                  China Chef in American Canyon, http://www.chowhound.com/topics/400097

                                  China Chef Wok & Grill
                                  110 W American Canyon Rd Ste L1, American Canyon, CA 94503

                                2. re: Melanie Wong
                                  P. Punko RE: Melanie Wong Jul 6, 2007 08:19 PM

                                  I do know Banana Leaf and Spice Islands have just that kind. Not sure if they are as good, but I love balance of the crispy and chewy in the thin, plus of course the curry to scoop up.

                                  Banana Leaf Restaurant
                                  182 Ranch Dr, Milpitas, CA 95035

                                  Spice Islands Cafe
                                  210 Hope St, Mountain View, CA 94041

                                3. f
                                  f0rumm3r RE: commuter_101 Jul 21, 2007 03:27 PM

                                  I'm lived in Singapore, if I have cravings for Roti Prata or any other Singapore dishes. I head down to Shiok at Menlo Park. Lovely old couple from Singapore runs this place, you won't regret it.

                                  1. g
                                    glorente RE: commuter_101 Oct 3, 2007 04:56 PM

                                    Hey Roti lover friends

                                    I have been to Banana Leaf- excellent yes but not a cheap meal.

                                    Also as listed Spice Islands Cafe in Mt View is excellent a little cheaper and also has an extra thick roti you can buy.

                                    Against my better judgment I went to red Kwali which is by Banana Leaf and loved it. Similar to Nanas menu but much cheaper. they have roti cheaper and here is the kick THEY TOLD ME TO BUY MY 'PRATA' (that is what the package says) AT OCEAN SUPER MARKET (typical Asian store) IN MILPITAS ON CALAVERAS AND PARK VICTORIA YOU CAN BUY 6 FOR .99 CENTS AND ALL YOU DO IS ADD IT TO A NON STICK PAN AND WARM UNTIL DESIRED TENDERNESS.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: glorente
                                      elise h RE: glorente Oct 3, 2007 06:56 PM

                                      Hi fellow roti loving hounds. That is a kick! When you find out the brand, please do tell us! Then we can find it, hopefully, closer to our homes.

                                      1. re: elise h
                                        rdabke RE: elise h Oct 4, 2007 10:17 AM

                                        Nah, packaged is never as good as freshly made in front of your eyes with fresh ingredients. I will pass!!!

                                        1. re: rdabke
                                          Melanie Wong RE: rdabke Oct 4, 2007 12:00 PM

                                          That's true. But since most of the roti offered in our local restaurants is frozen and not fresh, I'd rather buy them from the market to prepare at home. Would love to hear other brand recs.

                                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                                            rdabke RE: Melanie Wong Oct 4, 2007 01:03 PM

                                            Banana Leaf, Banana garden all make it fresh...right in front of your eyes. Other places may be making it from frozen & they deserve fewer customers! No store brough brands here!

                                    2. t
                                      tcube RE: commuter_101 Oct 20, 2007 05:22 PM

                                      Yellow Ginger in Mountain View (previously Baba Neo) has more-than-one-layer Roti Canai. Not sure if it is made in the restaurant, but it is more decent than other restaurants I have tried. Food at Yellow Ginger is good, but the hawker food is not so authentic. I would give it a second chance though.

                                      I made some from Roti Canai fresh frozen dough (as suppose to cooked frozen) bought from Burmese home business in Daly City. They also sell Murtabak. Quite decent. If there's interest, I can post the info I have.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: tcube
                                        elise h RE: tcube Oct 20, 2007 05:55 PM

                                        Pleas share and post!

                                        1. re: tcube
                                          jmarek RE: tcube Oct 21, 2007 04:03 PM

                                          Yes, there's lots of interest!!

                                          1. re: tcube
                                            rdabke RE: tcube Oct 22, 2007 02:07 PM

                                            Pls post info, can't wait to try their Murtabak!

                                            1. re: rdabke
                                              tcube RE: rdabke Nov 21, 2007 07:44 PM


                                              I am sorry for the late response. Not a frequenter of Chowhound. Here is the information. Please call before you go. If you can speak Cantonese, that will make the interaction better :) Enjoy!

                                              Than-Than Whin
                                              180 Willits
                                              Daly City, CA

                                          2. redheadsara RE: commuter_101 Jun 2, 2008 09:08 AM

                                            I realize this is an old post, but I thought the east bay was sorely under-represented. OK, the best roti prata I ever had was at an Indonesian place on Geary (across from the bridge theater, if anyone remembers the place, it's not there anymore). It was thick, flaky, sweet and came with a sauce that was a like a curry/stew. It was a hugely filling meal.
                                            I recently tried the roti prata at Kopiti'am in Lafayette and I have to say, this Singaporean restaurant's version was very different from the Indonesian version, but delicious. It was more like an appetizer or side dish. Flat, not thick, but very flaky and nicely sweet and very delicious. the sauce was thinner and spicier, but delicious as well. They also had roti with peanut butter and other things so it would be more of a snack/dessert.

                                            Here's a link to another chowhound discussion about the place

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: redheadsara
                                              daveena RE: redheadsara Jun 2, 2008 06:20 PM

                                              Funny, I was just thinking about this thread :)

                                              I had my best roti prata (or balada, in Burmese) in the Bay Area yesterday at Mingalaba in Burlingame - they don't make it in house, but it had the crisp on the outer layers, chewy/tender/flaky on the inner layers texture of the hand made paratha I had from street vendors in Madurai. It came with both a coconut curry sauce, and a potato curry. Significantly better than the same dish at its sister restaurant, Mandalay, in SF.

                                              While I found Kopitiam's roti prata a little too insubstantial and chip-like, their sauce is the best I've ever tasted - darker than most, with what I thought were peanut and chocolate undertones. Sounds weird, tasted great.

                                            2. p
                                              peppatty RE: commuter_101 Jun 2, 2008 10:05 PM

                                              Another place with roti is Broadway Bistro in Millbrae. Served with curry sauce as well.

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