Some of us relish the idea of heavily panting over a mind-numbingly spicy dish. For the rest of us, hot sauces like Tabasco and Sriracha provide gentle thrills—but we’re not here to talk about mild spice. And nothing compares to pure hot ’n’ spicy euphoria.
If you’re after the spiciest food that Sydney restaurants have to offer, then this list is for you, you maniac. Because hardcore heat seekers need love, too.
Here are the best places in Sydney to hit for spicy food.
Surry Hills And Parramatta
For a limited time, one of Sydney’s greatest ramen chefs is making a guest chef-appearance at Sydney’s palace of all things fried chicken and champagne. Yep, Butter is bringing onboard Nick Smith, co-owner and executive chef at Rising Sun Workshop (and mecca of ramen) with a new spicy Tantanmien ramen bowl of goodness. Smith has created an epic version of Tantanmien ramen soup, traditionally made with dry noodles, beef or pork mince and Sichuan pickles. To step things up a notch, the ramen juggernaut is using ground chicken and a deep, rich, sesame based chicken broth. The traditional Tantanmien Ramen is spicy, and Nick’s version is no exception, using Japanese sesame tare (sesame flavouring) mixed with Rayu (a Japanese chilli oil).
Papa’s Stew Chilli Cuisine
Honing in all things Hunan food (cuisine originating in central China which is known for its hot and spicy flavours), Papa’s Stew is king of fiery feeds. No surprise, you’re mostly in for epic hot pots and stews here but for the real deal, it’s the spicy dan dan noodles. Hot tip (no pun intended); hit the fried buns with condensed milk to cool your palate after.
Belle’s Hot Chicken
There’s really only one thing you need to order up here if you’re an absolute stan of the hot stuff. At Belle’s, hit the ultimate “Sex Panther” heat on an order of the chicken tenders or drumsticks (or you know, both) for what we’re basically going to dub a flavour bonfire in your mouth.
Feeding you all things tasty from the south-east is the iconic, neon-lit Chin Chin. And even though a lot of folks talk up the chilli salt wings (they’re definitely a menu stand-out), if its a slow, delicious burn you want, you’ll want to head straight to the curry line-up. Here, the “Jungle Curry” will be your go-to, a spicy combo of pork and duck egg with coconut milk.
Wings And Tins
Darlinghurst And Dee Why
For dive bar vibes, tinnies and hot wings—you can’t go wrong with the spicy feeds at Wings and Tins. If it’s a tongue-numbing feast you’re after, order up “The Carolina Reaper”, a serving of the world’s hottest chilli. Should you finish this one (and let’s be honest, you probably won’t), you’ll be immortalised by getting your name printed on Wings and Tins “Wall Of Pain”.
Jean’s Chilli Chicken
Shock horror, the signature dish at Jean’s just so happens to be her chilli chicken. There are three variations of this gem to choose from but if it's a kind of slow and tasty burn you want, then there’s only one feed for you. Jump on the cheese chilli BBQ chicken, loaded with mozzarella cheese.
Spice I Am
At Spice I Am, there’s a hefty line-up of red hot feeds to get around, but your attention absolutely needs to fire towards the fish curry, green papaya salad and the jungle curry—if you can handle it. For something a little less hot, Spice I Am’s basil crispy pork belly is an absolute must. What makes this Sydney icon even better is that it offers up BYO wine or beer at no charge. Spice I Am is popular (because it’s so damn good), so be prepared to wait for a table most nights.
Situated near Museum Station, Yasaka Ramen is the perfect place to hit up after your workday. At this ramen hub, you’ll find an epic hybrid bowl of Yasaka’s spicy ramen (available in four levels of spiciness) and a black garlic ramen, which is made with squid ink and Yasaka’s signature bone broth. Expect a tangy flavoured black coloured soup that packs a punch.
This Thai noodle café serves up a solid offering of spicy tom yum noodles. If you have a high pain threshold, your go-to has to be the “Super Nova” tom yum noodle soup (casually pulling in at a level seven of spice on the menu). In this serving, you can expect juicy pork sausage, fish balls and crackling egg noodles to turn up your hot feed.
Chilli & Spicy Restaurant
We’ll start with this: Chilli & Spicy Restaurant does indeed live up to its name. As you would suspect, nearly everything on the menu is dangerously hot—but we say go with the fried rice cake and sea crab, which comes marinating in a bowl of flavour-packed, spicy broth. Don’t let your guard down, this is the kind of heat that builds and builds with every bite.
As well as churning out a good portion of Sydney’s greatest Thai feeds care of Michelin-starred chef and Thai culture expert David Thompson, Long Chim is home to some exceptionally spicy stuff. The fresh but fiery Chiang Mai chicken curry with noodles is described as a “12 out of 10” spicy. Keen for more? Hit up the fish cakes and the papaya salad.
And good news, Long Chim is one of 20 restaurants you can score $25 off at with our new Urban Feast card.
Image credit: Sean Alcantara