These ‘Shiba Rotis’ or “Roti Prata Wraps” are possibly something you have never seen before in a hawker centre setting in Singapore.
In this challenging climate, these two hawkerpreneurs – one’s a former media research director and the other a biomedical scientist, have taken a break from their usual jobs to serve up this novel hawker food.
Shiba Roti 柴卷 can be found at Bukit Timah Food Centre which is known for stalls such as Sin Chew Satay Bee Hoon, He Zhong Carrot Cake, Seng Heng Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice, and Yong Seng Satay.
These wraps will possibly appeal to those looking for something healthier in a food centre, yet not the typical salad or wraps.
Named after one of the hawker’s pet dog Kuro, these “Shiba Roti” are filled with mix of grilled chicken with a meat-free option.
(Kuro is used for several publicity materials, though he won’t be allowed in a food centre. Another fun fact: The stall’s Chinese name “柴卷” is a homonym of the word “柴犬” which sounds like shiba inu in Mandarin.)
There are other additions of apple slaw and pickled vegetables, and balanced with the right sauces and colourful refreshing toppings.
On the menu are four types of signature wraps, namely Tandoori Chicken ($3.60), Greek Lemon Chicken ($3.60), Brekkie Roti ($2.60) and Luncheon Temptation ($5.50); along with soup of Sweet Potato Coconut Curry ($2.40). The soup was sold out when I visited late lunch.
There are some seasonal specials such as Balinese BBQ Chicken, Japanese Potato Salad Roti, and Korean Hot Chicken with Kimchi Roti (each priced at $5).
They may be put on the permanent menu depending on response.
The “Shiba Roti” base is made out of a roti prata from a supplier (the hawker laughed that he had no skills to make his own), and you do not have to worry that it would be greasy or fatty.
While it is pan-fried upon order so it is still warm and slightly crisp, it won’t have the usual fluffy multi-layers you would expect of a hand-made prata.
The Tandoori Chicken Roti ($3.60) takes inspirations from various parts of the world, from the North Indian classic, to toppings of apple slaw and pickled vegetables (which may remind many of Vietnamese Bahn Mi).
This is topped with crushed peanuts, sesame and fresh coriander (inspired by the local Popiah).
I thought this reminded me of a cross between a burrito and a taco wrap, with the pickled vegetables helping to cut through some of the richness.
The spices on the chicken on the other hand was buried underneath all that was going on, and I wished there was more sauces for a heartier eating experience and to up the flavour profile (though this would also unfortunately raise the calories).
While this may look deceivingly small in size, one or two pieces would actually be quite filling. While it looked tricky or possibly messy to consume, it was actually quite manageable.
I can imagine Shiba Roti working quite well in a carnival-like setting (say at Artbox or something), but good to find hipster hawkers at this part of Singapore rather than at the usual suspects.
This may not be your typical hawker food, but would say it is worth a try especially when you are into wraps.
Shiba Roti 柴卷
51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Bukit Timah Food Centre #02-140, Singapore 588215
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 2pm (Sat – Sun)
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