According to the municipality of The Hague in the Netherlands, about 120,000 Hindustani people currently reside in the Netherlands and approximately 50,000 of them live in the city of The Hague. This explains why you would find more Hindustani food shops and takeaway restaurants in this city, and in particular in the neighborhoods of Transvaal and Schilderswijk.
Roopram roti shop was founded in Suriname about 35 to 40 years ago by Mr. J. Roopram. After several years of success, Roopram expanded its territory by opening no less than six roti shops across Suriname. Surinamese migrants in the Netherlands, who would visit Suriname for their holidays, kept pleading with the owner for a shop in the Netherlands. They were longing to enjoy the same delicious food in the Netherlands too because there was nothing like it here yet. And so it happened that the very first Roopram roti shop in the Netherlands opened in Rotterdam many years ago. The latest one (to date) arrived at the Schilderswijk neighborhood (Paletplein 89 in The Hague) in 2012.
Roopram roti shop is a family run business, and they have their own secret family recipe for curry with a unique mixture of spices (which is exactly what makes the curry taste so good)! To ensure that their food is accessible to a larger audience, Roopram only uses halal meat. This works really well in a neighborhood like Schilderswijk, that has a large population of Muslims. Since the Roopram family themselves are Hindu, they do not sell any beef and the roti shop is closed during religious Hindu holidays.
When you enter the Roopram roti shop, the smell of curry will make you want to deeply sniff up all the aromas. It is only after that, that you will look around and notice its modest decor. It’s a very practical and no-nonsense setup, with basic tables and chairs in a room that could fit about 20 to 25 people. More attention has been paid to the quality and taste of the food than to the appearance of the restaurant. The large counter at the end of the restaurant is where people walk up to to place their order. Since most of the restaurant’s guests are there to pick up their takeaway, the number of eat-in guests is usually not that high.
You can order different types of meat with your roti (chicken, lamb, duck), or you can get a vegetarian roti that includes curry potatoes and long yard beans. Roopram also sells some tasty pumpkin and eggplant as side dishes to your roti. Now if you come a little closer, I will share three insider tips with you:
- Try their ‘eco’ roti – a roti without vegetables wrapped in plastic foil, with curry potatoes and two pieces of chicken for only 5 euros. Great for people on a budget!
- Try their ‘rotirol’, a roti wrap that makes eating a roti on the go much easier!
- Order their potato filled rotis (bread) when you want a softer roti. (Note: There is a minimal order of ten potato filled rotis and they need to be ordered in advance.)
I am a big fan of the rotis from Roopram and I frequently visit to grab a roti ‘to go’ when I’m in the mood for a tasty and quick meal. Most people think roti is the only dish you can get at Roopram, but they also sell rice dishes, snacks, sandwiches, and during the weekends they also sell noodles and fried rice.
About two years ago Roopram The Hague started their food delivery service. People call in their order or use the Thuisbezorgd (home delivery) app to order online. The delivery hours run between 16.00 and 20.00 every day (and from 17.00 to 20.00 during weekends). It has been a very smart decision to offer a delivery service because many people nowadays enjoy the comfort of ordering from home and getting food delivered.
If you are planning on getting a roti at Roopram The Hague, please note that their opening hours are Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 21.00, and on Mondays they are closed. During my conversation with the Managing Director of Roopram The Hague, he shared that they were thinking of opening up a second roti shop in The Hague within the next two years. Another nice thing to know is that it’s not just the locals that buy rotis at Roopram, but people from outside of The Hague often make a special trip to Schilderswijk to enjoy a good roti too. It must be all the love they are putting into their food. I for one can taste it.
Did You Know?
- Roopram was awarded several certificates from the Global Trade Leaders’ Club, which are proudly displayed on a wall inside the restaurant.
- The owner was decorated by the President of the Republic of Suriname for putting roti on the map.
- The handy ‘rotirol’ was invented by Mr. Roopram himself.