It’s time to turn up the heat and prepare those taste buds for some fiery fare, as we dedicate this one to the chilli lovers of Melbourne. From Indian curries to Chinese Sichuan, we’ve sampled spicy food from all over the globe to bring you a multicultural and thermometer-bursting list. Here are Melbourne’s spiciest meals that will leave you feelin’ hot hot hot.
Really F***in’ Hot Tenders at Belle’s Hot Chicken
Belle’s is the place for Melbourne’s spiciest American-style chicken. Their heat levels range from ‘Southern’ all the way to ‘Really F***in’ Hot’, so it’s entirely up to you how much torture you’re willing to put yourself through. Just so you know, Really F***in’ Hot includes habaneros chilli pepper with seeds, so order at your own risk. As a reward for your valiant efforts, cool those taste buds off with their soft serve ice cream.
Spicy Mud Crab Tower at Sichuan House
Popular amongst Melbourne's spicy food fiends, Sichuan House is the way to go if you like the heat where you can see it—literally covering every inch of your dish. The Spicy Mud Crab Tower may have some impressive levels of heat behind it, but it also looks incredible. The mud crab stacked high and is sure to make your mouth tingle in anticipation, and then long after the meal is over.
Chongqing Chicken at Dainty Sichuan
The Dainty Sichuan family have been around the block, and all around Melbourne, for quite some time now and they mean business when it comes to Sichuan spices. One of their most popular dishes (and most terrifying in appearance) would have to be the Chongqing Chicken. The recipe says it contains one cup of small dried chillies to serve as well as ground-up Sichuan peppercorns, but it looks (and tastes) so much more dangerous than that. Have a Tsing Tao at the ready to cool yourself down.
Sambal Sotong at Mamak
This one is recommended for those who like spicy food, but aren’t prepared to throw themselves into a furnace. Stir-fried brown cuttlefish sits in a fiery sambal sauce—a chilli-based sauce combined with anything from shrimp paste, lime juice, sugar, garlic or ginger. If you’re after something spicy at Mamak, chances are you’ll be steered towards this or the Sambal Udang (tiger prawns), which are equally as tasty.
Ultra Death Pizza at Fruscolino’s
If you think you've sweated your way through all the spicy food in Melbourne, think again. We’ve settled on the Ultra Death Pizza at Richmond’s Fruscolino’s as the spiciest pizza pie in town. Topped with tomato, mozzarella cheese, spicy salami, and ultra death chilli, it’s known to be inedible amongst spice fans. Their prices are very reasonable ($15 for a large) and they also deliver, so consider this an excellent Sunday night spice challenge.
Bhut Jolokia Lamb Curry at Le Taj
The Bhut Jolokia chilli, otherwise known as the Red Naga chilli or Ghost chilli, has a special place in the Guinness World Records as the hottest chilli on the whole darn planet. If you consider yourself a serious contender, this curry is for you. Now, at Le Taj you can have this curry with either lamb, chicken or beef, but we’re going to bet that within a few mouthfuls your tastebuds are going to have to do some hard yards to taste anything beyond the killer chillies. You just have to ask yourself the question: do you feel lucky, Punk?
God Fire Ramen at Hakata Gensuke
Ramen certainly had its day in the sun in 2014, and you know what? We’re not even close to over it. For a Japanese-style spiced-up soup, try the God Fire Ramen at Hakata Gensuke at either their Hawthorn or Melbourne CBD outpost. The Tonkotsu (pork bone broth) is combined with their secret recipe ‘spicy fire’ paste, with thin noodles, tender pork cha-shu, black fungi and spring onion. For a bearable level of spice we recommend hanging around level two. For something a little stronger, climb up to level four. But remember, we warned you.
Spicy Fried Chicken at Gami Chicken
This one is definitely for sharing amongst friends, so grab a couple of fellow chilli bandits and head down for fried chicken and beer at Gami. Once you decide how hungry you all are (whole chicken, half chicken, or wings), you then select one or two flavours you’d like your chicken to be smothered in. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not get half sweet chilli, half spicy, and play a fried chicken version of lucky dip? Although sounds a bit more like Russian Roulette to us...
Stupid Hot Wings At Trunk
We love a challenge at The Urban List, and when we saw the ‘900 times hotter jalapeno’ warning on the menu at Trunk, we knew what had to be done. Let’s just say it is no surprise that they charge you per wing for these little dynamos, because one is well and truly enough. They arrive to the table in their own little fry pan, which is pretty cute, but these devil wings are anything but adorable. A must-try for any Melbourne spicy food fan.
Afagne (Very Hot Dish) at Gibe African Restaurant
If you’re in the mood for some classic Ethiopian spices, head down to the Dandenongs and enjoy the vibe at Gibe. Beef strips cooked with chilli, pepper, onion, ginger, garlic, rosemary and other traditional spices. The dish is covered with enjera (a cold, pancake-like spongy bread), which you use to devour the dish. It’s delicious, fun to eat, and not for the fainthearted.
Image credit: Cooking for Keeps