This is your Roti, John!

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By courtesy of
By courtesy of

According to a local legend, the name of the local food “Roti John” derived from a Malay hawker in the 60s. “Roti” literally means bread in Malay.

There was an Englishman, John. He ordered a hamburger at Malay store in Sembawang (a local old town).

By courtesy of
By courtesy of

The Malay hawker has no idea how to make a burger, as Hamburger was not a local cuisine. But he ingeniously managed to substitute the meat to minced mutton and slices of onion in between the French loaf, and dipped the whole bread in the beaten eggs and pan-fried it.

BY courtesy of
BY courtesy of

When the food was really, he called upon the Englishman, “Silakan makan roti, John”, it means “Pleas eat this bread, John” in Malay.

Since then, this Malay cuisine adopted an English name in this genius invention.


10 thoughts on “This is your Roti, John!

    beyondlisbon said:
    July 10, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Sounds tasty! 😀

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    Patinspire said:
    July 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    This is so interesting. In Trinidad, where I was born, the word Roti is used to describe a form of bread. The bread is different to the bread in this photo. It is sooooo good. I miss the food 🙂 Check it out at
    Great post 🙂

    Gretchen Del Rio said:
    July 10, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    OMG this looks so tasty.

    adinparadise said:
    July 11, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Oh, Yummy. 🙂

    ryan said:
    July 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    make me so hungry right now…

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