Friday, March 09, 2007

March 6, 2007: Gertrude Street Grub - Roundhouse Roti

This week's lunch outing was to Roundhouse Roti. After a previous failed attempt, I was pretty keen to get stuck into some delicious curry and fried bread. Roundhouse Roti is attached to Rose Chong's costume shop (this week with some sort of bizarre skeleton wedding display in the window) and is a fairly tiny shop. The kitchen is open and takes up most of the room, leaving space for one large communal table and a couple of smaller booths. There are a handful of tables out on the footpath and, with Melbourne finally turning in a mild, sunny day instead of ridiculous heat, that's where I settled in.

The menu is pretty small, with only two real roti-style dishes (flaky fried bread combined with a saucy curry for dipping) and a few dishes that are basically roti toasted sandwiches. The vego options are the roti dhal, or a roti filled with spinach and feta (I'm ignoring the sweet options, as I didn't really look at them). I had to go with the roti dhal - there's nothing quite like tearing roti bread apart with your hands and sprinkling it into a saucy curry. The dhal was quite tasty - full of vegetables (lots of corn surprisingly) and just a hint of spice. But the real key to this meal (and indeed to the shop) is the bread: fried fresh and delectably flaky, with a few moist and chewy bits towards the middle. The only slight complaint I'd have is the texture of the dhal - I'd really prefer something a bit runnier and full of sauce - the last few bits of bread didn't have much sauce to soak up. Still, at just $6.50, it's a quick, delicious and good value lunch treat.

Updated (29/6/09):Roundhouse Roti closed 'briefly' about a year ago, and still shows no sign of reopening. I've given up on it as a lunch venue for now.

Update (21/10/09): As noted by Fitzroyalty below, Roundhouse Roti is back in business!

Update (22/11/10): Roundhouse has, once again, closed.

Address: 220 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Ph: 9417 4285
Price: $6.50 - $7.50


  1. This hits my tastebud straight on! Gotta go there and try. :)

  2. Aha! It reopened about two weeks ago :-)

  3. Hooray! Thanks for the update, Brian. :-)

  4. Just visited on reopening. Super delicious (although prices have gone up to $9.50 for roti channai). And the owner Lee is really friendly.

    Jetsetting Joyce

  5. Hi JJ - I still haven't checked 'em out but am very keen. At least it's still <$10. :-)