100 Favorite Dishes (Westword)
100 Favorite Dishes: The Roti Taco at Mister Tuna
Mister Tuna has a unique take on tacos.
When we ordered the roti taco at chef Troy Guard’s hip hot spot in RiNo, we weren’t sure what to expect. The dish claimed it had harissa duck confit, tabbouleh-style salsa and raita, a yogurt flavored with coriander, cilantro and lime zest. All of this was to be placed on a traditional South Asian roti, a flaky, unleavened flatbread commonly used as a side dish for sopping up sauces and curries, and sometimes for wrapping food like a burrito. As a concept, it sounded intriguing; the result was beyond anything we had imagined.
First of all, the dish looked beautiful, an imperfect circle topped with a pile of gently placed greens and thinly sliced cucumber. The cooks cut the roti in half for us to make sharing easier, something we would recommend even if you’re eating it solo. From there each half was easily folded to create the desired taco effect, and with the first bite, it became clear that this was another of chef Troy Guard’s winning combinations.
“We knew we wanted to have duck on the menu and explored many different preparations,” says Guard. “Ultimately, we went with a taco, because everyone loves tacos.”
It was during the chef’s time living in Singapore that he fell in love with Malaysian and Indian flavors, two components he wanted to incorporate into this dish. Guests can really get a sense of that when they bite into the buttery roti and are immediately greeted by strips of the slightly spicy, juicy duck. Then the fresh-tasting salsa comes in, a lovely melody of seasonal squash, cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, dill, parsley and chopped greens. The whole thing gets drizzled with housemade honey vinegar and lime-infused oil. Even with all those flavors going on, the richness of the poultry and cool acidity of the raita come through. As a whole, the roti taco proves balanced and unique, exactly what we hope for with fusion foods.
“Mister Tuna is all about being fun, non-traditional and creative,” says Guard, “and I think that’s exactly what this dish embodies.”
Hungry for more? All of the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked at the bottom of the article here