Masochist Jalean Wong takes on a fiery spice challenge.
If you’re a bit of a daredevil and like to get your kicks from a little pain, then you might want to try these spicy numbers. We hunted down some of the hottest dishes in town, just to see if they’re really as dangerous as they claim.
1. Level 35 Buffalo Wings from Sunset Grill & Pub
Hands down, the spiciest (and most expensive) of the lot. The wings come in 35 different levels; we cut to the chase and went right for the highest—dunked in a sauce made from the fires of Hades, conceived and made in Hell’s Kitchen by a woman scorned no doubt. As if that’s not enough, these weapons of mass destruction are also sprinkled with dried chili flakes. They look like they’ve been ejected from a volcano; and taste like it too. The smell alone is enough to make your eyes water and three bites is all it takes to shut you up for ten full minutes. As much as we love getting our kicks from spicy food, our idea of hell would be eating wing after torturous wing for an eternity. Consider yourselves warned: Don’t try this at home, kids.
Damage to your wallet: $35 for half a dozen
Damage to your body: Prepare for total, utter annihilation and lots of pain. Your mouth will be scarred for life, your stomach and intestines stabbed with shards of broken glass and your body’s not going to thank you after. We’re just glad we survived.
2. Chongqing Diced Chicken from Peach Garden Sichuan @ Miramar
Imagine deep-fried golden pieces of chicken peeking out from a bed of dried chili. Before you’re tempted to dismiss it, we’ll have you know that there’s real muscle behind it. Pop a piece in your mouth, and once you start chewing, the heat starts to spread. It’s not just the immediate effect of the chili powder and dried chilies though; what really gets you is the combined action with the ma la (mouth-numbing) Sichuan peppers. Your tongue tingles, your nose waters, and yet it’s so delicious it’s actually addictive.
Damage to your wallet: $20
Damage to your body: It’s a fierce competitor, and delivers a real punch to your mouth and gut that’s mostly worth it. Rookies need not apply.
3. Kung Chae Nam Pla from Nana Thai restaurant
This rendition of kung chae nam pla (prawns marinated in fish sauce) is a winner; a Thai ceviche if you will. Take fresh, raw prawns, butterfly them, then marinate in fish sauce, a touch of lime juice, slices of garlic and pile on heaps of chopped chilli padi, seeds and all. Tear some mint leaves and sprinkle over, then douse with more chilli sauce. What you get is a very tasty and tangy bite, coupled with an assertive attack on your tongue. You could easily eat four or five of these beauties before you start to feel the chili do its work.
Damage to your wallet: $10
Damage to your body: We resisted the urge to drink any water till after, and it was still completely bearable. Guess the years of eating chili padi with our mee pok finally paid off.
4. Level Six Treadfin Fish Curry from Lagnaa Barefoot Dining
At Lagnaa, they pride themselves on producing some of the most potent curries; they do them up to level 10 here. Despite our begging and pleading, the highest we could try was a six (you have to wait till their full moon party once a month to attempt level seven or higher; next one’s on Nov 10, 7pm). So we ordered one of the chef’s signatures: A thick red-brown fish curry that’s easily the most flavorful and fragrant dish of any of its competitors. The first spoonful is very enjoyable, and after at least six, a slow pleasant burn starts to build up in your mouth. Even after consuming the whole thing, you can leave feeling still comfortable. It’s the most spiced, but certainly not the most spicy.
Damage to your wallet: $15
Damage to your body: Fairly minimal, although if you’re hoping for a mango lassi to help you out, you’re fresh out of luck. Lagnaa has a strict no yogurt-based items policy.
5. Level Five Thin-sliced Boiled Beef Curry from CoCoICHIBANYA Curry House
At just over a month old, this curry house from Japan is one of the newest additions to the scene. Level five is the highest you can go here, but despite its description to be “crazy hot” with 24 times the chili, this really is for the amateur; although it is spicier than the average Japanese curry, it’s still a bit wimpy. We reckon even a four-year-old could finish it (we did without so much as blinking). It wasn’t just the lack of heat that disappointed us; the stingy portion of beef (we counted no more than ten thin slivers) didn’t impress either.
Damage to your wallet: $12.50
Damage to your body: Next to none, which incidentally is also the level of satisfaction to be had.