It can be hard to find out where the spicy food is in your hometown or abroad if you’re a first-time spicy food enthusiast. It’s not just restaurants, street food vendors or takeaway places you’re looking out for, but it’s also how they differ from your average eatery for a few reasons. You just have to remember the following steps below and you’ll be good to go!
Have you ever been outside a place to peer inside and see whether the people dining were from the same country as the restaurant’s cuisine? That”s something you can should consider. You’d know to trust the cooking if the customers themselves think that it tastes like one. For example, I wouldn’t let my friends go to a Caribbean restaurant without seeing if the people seated were also Caribbean. That’s why I recommend places to them like The Real Jerk to name a few. If the place is full of tourists or people not from the 80% from the cuisine background, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Authenticity is important, full stop. It has to do with whether once you put the spoonful or bite into your mouth, does the spice and ingredients in the dish taste similar or identical to said meal that people are used to? The spice has to grab your taste that enables you to understand what the original flavor would be. Otherwise people who are not familiar of it will think it’s the norm and be used to a watered down version.
While customer presence is important, take note of reviews. Some reviews will vary so what should you be looking for? Look for people who get straight to the point but also take the point to get detailed! I find myself doing the same when I hear about restaurants and wonder if it’s as spicy and delicious as others says. While you can definitely get an impression off Google or TripAdvisor Reviews, try on social media such as Twitter and searching other food blogs for their reviews.
C.A.F (Colour, Aroma, Flavour)
So let’s say you enter because you’ve heard all the good things about the place and want to try the dishes recommended. Once you choose the dishes and it’s presented on your table, what do you look for?
C.A.F (Colour・Aroma・Flavour). These three points are important when you’re served your food and what to look for.
Colour is the first thing that you should notice there should be a substantial shade from the spice added to the dish. Most spicy dishes range in colour from red, orange and yellow but they don’t have to be brightly coloured like an edited photo on Instagram. It’ll blend with other ingredients and it may dilute to a stronger colour in most cases, a lighter colour is usually with spicy red coloured dishes.
As soon as the dish is on your table, the Aroma of the dish should hit you your nose. The intensity of the spicy scent should be something reminiscent and well-known that it fills the restaurant’s atmosphere. How would you know what it smells like? Well, checking reviews and asking around to get an idea whether it’s a bit more sharp like Scotch Bonnet or pungent like Sichuan for example.
The Flavour has been touched a little in the authenticity section above but it’s the most important especially if you have been recommended the dish by others. Of course the spicy flavour will taste differently to your tongue but it’s the description of the taste from other people that can give you an idea of what you should be looking forward to. And nothing too watery, that’s a sign it’s been watered down so more people can handle the spice but also downgrades the flavour.