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Mar 14, 2010 04:52 PM

Sripraphai Super Seriously Extra Spicy codeword

Recently, I've found that even when I order my food "pet pet" or "pet ma" I've been getting food that is spicy but not the full throttle capsicum blast that I expect. It seems that they've had too many people asking for heat that they couldn't handle. When I mentioned this to Mrs. Sripraphai she told me about their new codeword. If you like your food HOT and I mean REALLY, REALLY HOT, ask for it "bomb."

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  1. When I order direct from her at the counter I never have to use a codeword. Just tell her nicely. She understands, and will get to know you. I think if I ordered my panang curry 'bomb' she would laugh in my face.

    3 Replies
    1. re: NYJewboy

      Yeah NYJ but many of our faces aren't as cute as I'm sure yours is!

      1. re: NYJewboy

        Yeah. She's definitely sharp. She recognizes me from my order on the phone. It's just when I pre-order for pick-up and it's not her on the phone, or at a table with a new server that I have trouble.

        1. re: corgi

          The orders are taken by about 3 waitresses and her son. They all have very good memories, and they do not want a dissatisfied customer. I have never had trouble getting it hot, and I mean HOT, if I just ask repeatedly. I think one they recognize you code words will be not necessary.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. OH I TAKE IT ALL BACK! Tonight I went and ordered my usual, and everyone exclaimed (almost in unison) you mean you want 'bomb'! I obviously missed that one, but it is an undeniable truth.

          We must adapt to the 'bomb'.

          5 Replies
          1. re: NYJewboy

            Nice one.
            Does someone have a "heat scale" translation amongst the Thai spots in the area, Sri, Chao Thai, Nusara, etc?

            Nusara gave a 5 star scale, I asked for 4, they said too hot, I gave them the whole, "Don't worry about this farang, pet pet, etc" spiel. They still gave me 3 and it was hotter than expected. Quite spicy. I would have thought this level of heat would be 4 so I was pleased. Also, don't know if it was just that instance to prove how spicy it all is or if that is consistent there.

            So, anyone? Chao Thai lingo v Sri v the others? Would be quite useful, I think. I am not a regular, anywhere, so having them know my face will not work. I assume there must be others in the same situation.

            1. re: dietndesire

              At Chao Thai I have never had a problem with non coded english. Once or twice I have been given a questioning glance but a nod of conformation was taken wordlessly.

              Chao Thai
              85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

              1. re: wew

                You're taking all the fun and mystery out of things. :-)

                FWIW, I have never, *never*, had a problem getting things spicy at Sri. They ask, I tell them, they give it to me. Maybe I look like I mean it.

                1. re: Bob Martinez

                  Same here Bob. I ask for spicy and I get spicy. No magic words necessary. I guess I look like I mean it too and they know me long enough to take me seriously. Great meal on Tuesday evening after a round of feh for a while.

                  1. re: micki

                    Glad to hear your meal is good. Over the years I've read the occasional report of the food being uneven at peak times. Since I always go on Saturday afternoons I seem to be able to dodge that particular bullet. We show up at around 2:00PM after the lunch rush is abating. The place is about 40% full, the noise level is low, and the kitchen routinely turns out excellent meals. We've done this around 30 times and the food has always been excellent.

          2. Because I usually dine at SPP with at least 4 other friends to get past the whole "no reservations unless 5 diners or more" rule and some can't handle the Thai Hot,I just ask the server for a bowl of fresh chilis and adjust the heat myself. The first couple of times they will bring out what we call the tourist dish of heat which has some dried pepper flakes and some thin pepper sauce tasting like Tabasco, but after insisting you will get the chopped bird chilis.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Duppie

              I do the exact same thing at my regular spots for SE asian or indian; when the food is not up to par, heat-wise, I always request chilis and after a few visits (and as long as I finish the whole dish of chilis!) they know me and how much spice I like. I like how some places give you the chopped chilis in a little pool of fish sauce (if they don't already have it on the condiments tray/holder anyway). all the more reason to make yourself an obviously satisfied regular at your favorite restaurants; my meals at Ayada are always brow-sweat inducing.

              of course with a lot of this food it's not just about pure scoville units but "funk" as well like extra sour or extra fermented that they would usually hold back on. I don't ask for extra spicy, I usually ask for extra "flavor/funk" and make some "funk" hand motions and it works.

              1. re: bigjeff

                Jeff what exactly is a funk hand motion? I'm picturing George Clinton and Bootsy Collins right now.

                1. re: ChiefHDB

                  you know, like . . . both palms up, fingers up, squeezing an imaginary grapefruit with some wrist rotation thrown in possibly; a little lip-smacking motion/sound helps too.

                2. re: bigjeff

                  Just curious: all you posters worried about the "heat quotient" in your SE Asian and South Asian food, are you ordering dishes that are meant to be spicy?

                  Not all thai dishes are meant to be served spicy, so if you get some without heat, a place is not necessarily "faranging" you. Thais who like their non-spicy dishes spicy do just as you guys are doing--they add chopped chilis or red chili pepper flakes to them.

                  The same I think is even more true of Indian cooking. Not all the dishes are meant to be spicy hot--in fact, in some regional cuisines, they are not meant to be hot at all. Again, Indians who like things hotter will add spicy pickle or some kind of garlic and chili chutney to their food.

                  Which is not to say that if you order the southern curry or the green mango sauce at sri that it shouldn't be incendiary. It should, and if it's not, they aren't treating you right. But if you order the pad see ew and ask for it phet phet (or I guess these days "bomb") they might just think you are a crazy farang. Which is what drives me crazy about sri ever since it jumped the shark, so to speak. In the old days, they would never ask anyone how hot they wanted a dish. They would just bring it the way it was meant to be made.

                  1. re: missmasala

                    Well, it would be better if everyone just made a dish properly. Then, if you do not like spicy food, order something that is not spicy. I do not believe the customer is right and that everyone's likes and dislikes should be incorporated. That is how you end up with pineapple on your pizza and various other crimes.
                    While I must admit that there probably are people who order non-spicy dishes and wonder where the heat it is, I am not so much of a moron to do that. I am certainly not bright but that level is too low even for myself. Same reason I do not believe in indulging every person's whims on this site. You end up with the overly sweet, garbage that is pervasive amongst basically all Thai restaurants(except out in Qtown which is why I bother going there). And I am not saying that I am always given farang treatment but I do find inconsistencies in the level of heat. Again, I am not a regular and seeing my ugly mug will not ring a bell with any order takers. Merely trying to find a way for uniformity as you suggested used to be the case. Honestly, I do not want to have to tell them or ask. Make the dish, if I do not care for it, I am free to never order it again or never return or whatever I choose. Same for quality or any other feature.

                    1. re: dietndesire

                      That overly sweet thing is right on. My SO refuses to eat thai curries outside of thailand (and a couple of chosen spots in queens) because they are never hot (and fish saucy) enough and end up being way too sickly sweet.

                      1. re: missmasala

                        I am no expert in Thai cuisine though I have been over there.
                        Nonetheless, I know everything should not taste like it got dragged through some typical commercial nasty, artificial sweet sauce.
                        Americans are sooooooooooooooooo addicted. Since some form is in basically everything that you get from a package or most restaurants, hardly surprising. I am addicted but I like my sweet where it belongs.

                      2. re: dietndesire

                        BTW, I wasn't trying to suggest that anyone was a moron, but you wouldn't believe the number of times people have said things to me about Indian food (or less often, Thai) like: "I ordered the saag paneer and it wasn't spicy at all," when that dish is not meant to be spicy. (tho there are some people/places that might throw extra chili peppers in.) Sometimes it comes across as some macho thing where everything one eats at Sri has to be mouth-searing, when in fact a good thai meal will usually balance the mouth-searing dishes with some mild ones. And I always wonder if that's how the "how hot" question came about at Sri, not just from people not being able to handle the heat but from people complaining that their non-spicy dishes weren't spicy enough.

                          1. re: missmasala

                            I understand your point about peoples' ignorance.
                            I am not so smart but I usually attempt to learn about something before I open my mouth.
                            The biggest issue was basically because at Nusara, I had a 3/5 spice level on a dish, supposedly. The heat on it was definitely more than what I would expect from mid-level. Not sure if their heat scale is different or they were trying to prove something to me. If I said "medium" heat or something to that effect at Sri it would not have been that hot.
                            The same people who are questioning why a dish that is not meant to be spicy has no heat at all are probably many of the same who cannot stand real heat. I have surely ordered non-spicy dishes, the lack of spice was not a complaint of mine. Adding chiles is fine for that, again, rather they make it how it should be made and I adjust my preferences, right or wrong. Do not want every place to cater to every taste. Most tastes are pretty awful 'round these parts.

                            Nusara Thai Kitchen
                            82-80 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                  2. mai falang pet. pet pet mah