Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 22, 2009 06:17 AM

In the mood for something spicy.........

Where should I go?

What should I order?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Szechuan Gourmet: Anything with a large number of peppers on the menu.

    Pam's Real Thai: The catfish pad prik with 5 peppers on the menu.

    If you prefer, any number of Korean restaurants serve fiery jigae (soupy stew/stewy soup).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pan

      For great Szechuan hot pot, I recommend Grand Sichuan International in Chinatown.
      125 Canal Street (between Chrystie St & Forsyth St)
      It's a good idea to get half spicy broth and half regular broth (to cool down your tongue as needed!).


      Jjigae is hearty and satisfying but when one wants something hot and spicy, I find it "warm" at best. Admittedly, though, I am a spice fiend who regularly searches out Guizhou chicken or fuqi feipian at Grand Sichuan - 7th Avenue, vindaloo at Minar and Earthen Oven, haleem at Lahore, etc. There's good heat to be found in Thai food, as well, especially at Rhong-Tiam and Wondee Siam.

      6 Replies
      1. re: JungMann

        JungMann- We just got a menu for a new(ish) Wondee Siam on 106th. Is their food really that good and spicy? DH would love that. We've been getting thai from Charm (96th) but the Wondee Siam menu looked good (and very similar).

        1. re: LNG212

          I didn't know there was one on 106th, I've only been to the locations in Hell's Kitchen. I ordered my food "Thai spicy," both on and off the secret Thai menu and was very pleased with the bold flavors of my laab and mieng ka na, though I still ask for the condiment tray to take it to the next level.

          1. re: JungMann

            I think it's pretty new. The menu says Wondee Siam IV. We'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the info.

            1. re: LNG212

              hi LNG, i just tried the new location a week or two ago. i didn't ask for the food "thai spicy" and received it bland and sweet. (we had the beef noodle soup, ped kee mao, summer roll and a few other items.) blech. the problem wasn't just lack of spice, but also lack of flavor more generally. i'll probably give it one more go and ask for the dishes thai style, as jungmann recommends.

              1. re: cimui

                hi, Cimui - That's too bad. What place(s) do you get thai in this neighborhood? As I said above, we've been going to Charm (and we liked it). We haven't tried Thai Market yet. We're not real knowledgeable about thai food other than what we think tastes good. And we do like spicy - so if you know of someplace, that would be great.

                1. re: LNG212

                  LNG, i wish i could recommend a place. i used to be quite a cheerleader for thai market, since for a long while, it was wonderful. a few months ago, i noticed a distinct drop in quality (sauces had become corn syrupy and terrible and the quality of ingredients was much worse). i haven't eaten there, since -- and who knows, it may've improved?

                  i do know that they used to make several dishes with an authentic degree of heat (in particular, the gra prow kai dow off the specials menu). my favorite dish there, the daikon cake sauteed with spicy soy sauce, bean sprout, egg & Chinese chive, was pretty (authentically) mild, though.

                  i think at any more-or-less authentic establishment, you should be able to ask for your food with an authentic degree of spice and receive it that way. it's worth an ask!

                  would love to hear an update about thai market if you find yourself there. :)

      2. Am I the only one who doesn't get the Wondee Siam hype? I guess my trip to Thailand left me spoiled.

        Anyways - what about hot wings? Where are you located?
        Some places in the city:
        Waterfront Bar on 2nd ave and like 28th street next to the movie theater has great wings. Scruffy Duffy's on 8th ave and 47th st. there are a few other message boards that discuss this (I'm too lazy to search for them)

        In Brooklyn - Bonnie's. on 5th avenue or plan B on Vanderbilt.

        I'm personally on a quest for the hottest wings ever.

        9 Replies
        1. re: secondbecky

          Wings Post:

          I'm always happy with atomic, but thats just for delivery.

          1. re: secondbecky

            Scruffy Duffy's clsoed some time back. Waterfront has decent wings, but not "buffalo" style. I still think Blondie's may be the best.

            1. re: jdf

              I'm a big fan of the wings at Waterfront (note on 30th and 2nd) but you are right, they aren't true buffalo style.

            2. re: secondbecky

              "I'm personally on a quest for the hottest wings ever."

              Bonnie's has 4 heat levels - mild, medium, hot and "hotter." Very few people have the courage to order the "hotter" wings and of those that do, most say they're too hot. I'm not sure you can handle it but if you can, this would be right up your alley.

              1. re: Bob Martinez

                oh trust, I'm on par with the best of em. I can blow through the phaal at Brick Lane, although it might take a handful of orders of rice. I've ordered Thai food "Nelson hot" (if you've ever been to Ithaca you probably have heard of that). Hot wings are the best when they add sirachi sauce on them. jalepenos are childs play.

                But for my first time with a new place, I'll usually order them "hot" with a side of the "hotter" sauce so I can determine the flavors as well and not be overwhelmed with heat.

                I'm SO sad to hear that scruffy duffys closed! sad day for my post college "childhood"

                1. re: secondbecky

                  "But for my first time with a new place, I'll usually order them "hot" with a side of the "hotter" sauce so I can determine the flavors as well and not be overwhelmed with heat."

                  The wings at Bonnie's aren't served with sauce. They're tossed in a vinegar spice blend before frying and the spices are absorbed into the wings. When they arrive at the table the wings appear dry but they're actually very moist. Eating them is a lot easier than eating wings coated in gobs of the standard red sauce. You don't need to wipe your fingers on a napkin every two seconds.

                  Anyone can eat the Hot wings at Bonnie's. Even I can do it. But it takes a special type of adventurer to go boldly to the Planet of Hotter. When you go to the ocean you can't just did your toe in and decide if it's too cold. That's for wimps. You've got to dive right in.

                  If you're truly in search of the hottest wings ever you need to take the full plunge. Order the "Hotter."

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    Hey Bob, thanks for the info. I did it last night. Finally. I found the hottest wings in the city! We ordered them to go, and when my husband picked them up, the guy at the counter was like "these are really f'ing hot". We know. I wanted to eat there, to impress the guys behind the counter, but the husband didn't want to wait for a table or seat at the bar.

                    So I bit into the first one and felt the burn and was very happy! My husband ate his first one and was in pain for a good ten minutes. hahahah. I ate four of em, and then the burger (which was very good for a grilled burger (I like mine on a griddle better)). I just finished the rest of the wings a half hour ago. Husband had one more.

                    I was very happy with the heat, HOWEVER, I didn't really dig the flavor itself. I cant put my finger on it, but it just didn't feel like "buffalo" style. was it just the extra heat?

                    anyways, I was very happy with my experience, but i'm going to keep trying to find the best of the hottest :)

              2. re: secondbecky

                I was reluctant to try Wondee as most of the Thai food I've had in Hell's Kitchen has been of the sweet and bland variety, but I was motivated to go after seeing the restaurant written up in a Thai newspaper. The few orders I've had at Wondee I and II have been good, all the taste components are there. I cannot speak to the quality at any other locations, though.

                1. re: JungMann

                  As I posted elsewhere, the older (not old), gentleman at Wondee II (all the other waiters and waitresses are quite young) understands English well and enjoys talking about food. The Thai menu isn't a secret at all, but you do have to ask for it. If he understands your request, he will certainly make sure that the food is properly spicy. As I posted before, the pork larb there is wonderful.

                  I recently called for a delivery order from the new Wondee IV. The person on the other side was very game but his English was a little problematic. Still, I managed to order the pork larb (only chicken larb is on the menu) and impress on him that we wanted it very spicy. We ended up with the single hottest dish I've ever received in New York -- hotter than any vindaloo I've ever eaten. And it was delicious, too.

                  The rest of the food we received was nothing special at all -- just as LNG212 reported. I'd have to give it more of a try, but my guess is that the food isn't as solid as I & II at this stage, but it might help to order off-menu or at least try to coax non-gloppy food.

              3. Go to Spigolo (upscale quaint Italian) and have the braised octopus-tell them to make extra spicy. This restaurant serves small dishes of very fine foods. You need reservations or you can try getting seat at bar w/o reservations (they don't reserve bar seats). 81/2nd Ave. After a spicy dish cool off with thier amazing salads before enjoying one of thier unbelievable main courses. Follow everything with homemade desserts!!

                1. for thai - rhong tiam downtown, or land northeast thai uptown

                  the negril style mussels @ flex mussels

                  phall @ brick lane curry house for heat heat heat and no flavor

                  bon chon chicken, spicy - not super hot, but some heat and tons of flavor