Friday, September 24, 2010

Leo, meds, nail polish, soggy chips and I'M LEAVING BRISBANE IN 6 HOURS

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Today's been a good day.

By that, I mean, today has been a lazy day.

Sometimes, I find that no matter how tired/busy I am, if I'm not doing anything I'm just BORED. I can't seem to appreciate the lull in activity and I start fretting and pacing up and down the stairs thinking of ways to kill time.

Which is just odd because on my busy days, all I want to do is sleep and the idea of doing nothing seems like the greatest thing on the planet.

All it is is a case of 'grass is always greener...'

Not today though, today's been good.

I'm flying back to Shanghai midnight tonight. When I was a kid, I could get excited about a holiday months in advance. Now that I'm old and jaded, I can't start thinking about free time until it's right in my face. Even now, it doesn't seem real. But I'm starting, just starting to get the first twinges of anticipation.

Got the goods - my luggage

I packed my stuff in about 30min flat. Despite popular convention, I'm not planning to shop my way through the entire trip. This is more to do with lack of money than some stand against normal female behavior. For that reason I've actually packed clothes rather than arrive in my flight clothes and buy anything that's needed as I go along.

Aside from clothing, I've got my trusty new camera (we shall see JUST how waterproof and shockproof it really is), hair iron, a pair of chucks and a pair of thongs.

I always feel a bit weird wearing thongs in Shanghai because some streets get real dirty (people spitting is just one example) and I get terrified to see what's stuck on the bottom of my feet.

The rest of the day was spent
  • Watching a movie - whoever told me Shutter Island was good... and there are several of you... are out of your minds
  • Running errands - apparently Australia has a good supplement industry because I've got a special request of fish oil to be brought into China
  • Eating Red Rooster - this shan't be repeated anytime soon. I nearly died from salt OD. And the bad thing about soggy chips is that they're just as unhealthy (or even more so) than good chips, but without any benefits of sinning
  • Buying necessary last minute purchases - like nail polish
P.S. these bottles have a wide brush and dry quickly. Recommended.

New additions to my collection

I bought a third bottle too but it got lost in transit from the shopping center to home (most likely rolling around the floor of my car). I hope it won't explode from heat by the time I get back.

See you all in a week's time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little Greek Taverna

Little Greek Taverna

Being the West End junkie that I am, I walked past this place a few times before finally getting the chance to eat there. I make it sound like it's really difficult and exclusive because in a way, it is. One time, we were reading the menu outside to see why this place was so popular when a waitress came over to politely inform us that if we didn't have a booking, there was no point in looking at the menu anyway.

Well, a couple of weeks and numerous haloumi cravings later, I made sure that we gave it another go. This time, it was real late on a weekday and there was 1-2 tables free. Late on a weekday and the waitress still had to look around before confirming that yes, there was a small space for us to squeeze in.

The reason why I was so insistent on going is because an inspection of the menu online revealed that their prices are very reasonable, dare I say 'cheap'? In any case, it's lower than expected for a nice, new eatery in a central dining intersection of West End.

Little Greek Taverna has mostly outside tables but because it's on a corner lot, that's quite a few tables. We sat on the street (not literally, but you know what I mean) due to lack of other options.

The menu is a bit confusing. Or maybe we're just dumb. There are a lot of minor variations of the same few dishes that are hard to get your mind around. For instance, say you're in the mood for lamb. There's lamb souvlaki (grilled on a skewer) and lamb yiros (carved off a spit). You can get either variety in a plate with/without salad or in a pita wrap. With or without haloumi. And repeat this for about 2-3 other meats. Ok maybe it's not that confusing... or, I'm very good at explaining things :).

I ordered a small Greek salad and a haloumi pita. Byron and Hien both chose the lamb yiros pita. Hien (the pig) also got a haloumi saganaki.

I should mention at this point that my camera ran out of battery as soon as the food came out. It's so annoying that you obtain a rare opportunity to go to a particular restaurant that you've been excited about for ages and then... your camera dies. I can understand that normal, non-bloggers might not have this problem but for me, if I can't photograph it, I've basically not eaten it. I went back to my iPhone camera and tried my best but I apologize in advance for the poor quality of food pics.

Horiatiki - traditional Greek salad, including Little Greek Taverna's special Greek dressing

My Greek salad came first. It was a small but seemed largeish to me. Enough for me to have as a main on its own or to share for starters. The boys ate all the pickled chili (Byron's favorite), olives and onions. I liked the tangy dressing on the cucumber and tomato (very fresh). There was also a liberal sprinkling of dried herbs. It was a nice Greek salad and great start to our meal.

Haloumi saganaki - fried, marinated haloumi

Hien's haloumi saganaki came next. It's essentially a few thin slices of marinated and fried haloumi. They looked tasty but I think they're steep for $8, especially because you can get a haloumi pita for $7 (like I did). This was decidedly the least value item that we selected.

Haloumi pita

My haloumi pita was different to what I expected. I guess because we were sitting down at a restaurant, I thought it'd be open and on a plate. Instead, it was like a takeaway yiros, all wrapped up in paper and then stuffed in a foil bag. Gee it took me a long time to get through the wrapping and by the time I did, the wrap seemed a lot smaller than at the start. All the same, it was a nice wrap. There was a good amount of haloumi (wouldn't mind more) and if there was a sauce, I can't remember what it was. The outstanding feature of the pita wraps is the pita itself. I hadn't tasted anything like it before. I'd describe it as a fried, buttery roti crossed with pancake. It was heavy but I really liked it.

Lamb yiros pita

The lamb yiros pitas were in the same bread. They seemed to have a liberal amount of lamb but the boys commented that it wasn't like 'kebab lamb' like the meat shaved off the spit at kebab shops. Byron said it tasted a bit like mince. I didn't try it so I don't see how that's possible but they were in agreement on that fact.

When we saw the menu, we all thought the wraps were really cheap but that's because we were comparing to other restaurants. The fact is, what you're given is more like a takeaway kebab/yiros wrap so that's what you SHOULD be comparing with. Granted you're given a table to sit on but... still.

I'd like to their their other items though. At least something that's spread across a plate rather than wrapped up like fast food. I'm only human. I like to be fooled the impression of effort and value! Spying around what others were eating, I saw some very delicious-looking plates. I'll definitely update when I've tried some more.
Little Greek Taverna on Urbanspoon

Moving up in the world


It's finally happened.

I've been waiting for this day for a long, long, time (~ 1 month, to be precise).

Hungry Kittens Brisbane restaurants

Hungry Kittens has finally gotten the rank of no. 1 Brisbane food blog!

Thank you to EVERYONE who has clicked into this site, read any of my posts or even made a comment. This food blog is pretty much my only hobby.

Every week, the greatest fun I have is finding new places to eat with my friends and writing about them on here. Knowing that there are people following along and maybe getting some inspiration on what to have/where to go for dinner really brightens up my day.

Thanks for being with us through the good...

and the bad...

I promise many more reviews and hopefully (when I get less lazy, which will be forced upon me when I move out of home again later this year), more cooking posts too.

Here's a coffee toast (we heart cafes>pubs, if only because the former is more suitable for weekday enjoyment and for people still on their P's) for all my readers. Thanking you all again; please keep reading :D.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ceylon Inn, Bulimba

Ceylon Inn

Having a meal at an Indian restaurant always feels like a treat because no matter how you order, you somehow always end up with a table full of plates, bowls and cutlery. Besides that, the food itself is warm, hearty, spicy and shared. It feels like a feast and a celebration.

When I blogged Bombay Dhaba, an anonymous reader posted a comment saying Ceylon Inn was better than it AND Night in India. Of course, this left a huge impression on me and though I was doubtful, I knew I'd have to give Ceylonn Inn a go.

The comment was about the one in Toowong but since we were heading to Oxford Street to drop off a friend, we saw Ceylonn Inn there and decided to stop by. The reason why it was a last minute decision is that Byron has a mental block against eating Indian food out. I think the rationale is that he has Sri Lanken housemates who frequenly offer him food, as well as the fact that he often makes curry himself (as is evident by the number of curry recipes on here that were his doing). I maintain that curry is a very... 'personal' thing and you might make an excellent one yourself but it's hard to step outside your usual scope of creation. I've been to many, many Indian restaurants and well, I can make a decent curry but it just takes like 'my curry'. A good Indian restaurant will deliver something that makes you say 'wow. I wouldn't even attempt that'.

We were lured in by the nice decor. The inside has a rich, 'den' feel with lots of draping, red lighting and wood. We ended up being seated outside, which I was fine with because our table had an intricate wooden inlay and colorful cushions on the heavy benches that made me think of silk road.

Mango lassi

Drinks were ordered first. The only one I'll write about is my mango lassi because I see no point in commenting about a restaurant's offering of Coke or beer. The mango lassi made the beer and Coke sippers very jealous indeed. I'd best describe it as a mango smoothie that has the tartness of a yogurt. It was very thick and slightly salty too. But in a good way. Please don't let the thoroughness of my description put you off. Byron and Hien both thought it was delicious and I agree.

We selected 3 curries (one each, for the sake of group diplomacy), rice and a naan bread to share. Openly, we all agreed that papadums were a waste of money, since they are usually complimentary, but Hien couldn't resist and asked for a plate without permission from the rest of us. They were wholegrain papadums. They tasted like papadums, that is to say, savory (spicy lentil flavor) and crispy.

Lamb korma - marinated in yogurt and cooked with twelve authentic spices

My curry of choice was the lamb korma. I am not ashamed to admit I always go for typical 'Westernized' curries like butter chicken or korma. I've done the whole 'chose the strangest-sounding item on the menu because that's probably the most authentic' thing and have often ended up thinking 'why didn't I just get butter chicken'. Being experimental is a good thing but on my first visit to any Indian restaurant, I like to test them out by ordering what I KNOW has to be good. If they can't even get that right, then bye bye to them. Luckily for Ceylonn Inn, the lamb korma was DELICIOUS. The lamb was so tender and succulent and the curry flavor was mild, aromatic, sweet and creamy - everything a korma should be. It also had a richness that you can't get from supermarket jars. The lamb korma was my favorite of the night.

Palak paneer - fresh spinach, potato and homemade cheese cooked with herbs and spices into a delicious moist curry

Hien picked the palak paneer. This is a spinach cheese curry and one of my favorites. I hardly ever get it because I'm too busy ordering butter chicken or korma (see above) but I have a soft spot for paneer. It's so much like haloumi! This palak paneer was good. It also had potato chunks but I personally would have preferred more chunks of paneer instead. Nice flavors and again, very mild.

Chicken dahl - with lentils cooked in coconut milk with aromatic Indian spices

Byron's got a bit of a dahl fetish. He stews a pot of the stuff at home when he's on a budget feed. I'm not sure why this lead him to choose a dahl-oriented dish when there was a smorgasbord of other options. But hey, each to their own. I find dahl boring but luckily, this had chunks of chicken in it that injected a bit of excitement. I 'think' he liked this dish but also complained about how it would cost $1 to make at home (or something like that). I say, if you're going to think like that you might as well eliminate restaurant experiences from the rest of your life.

My curry joy party

Now that the good is sorted out (and there was a lot of GOOD), let's get to the 'less good'.

Plain naan

The plain naan was very plain. I didn't get to my portion until the end of the meal because I was using rice to soak up my curry so when I tried my piece of naan, it was already cold. Still, I could tell it's not one of the greatest naans out there. A good piece of Indian naan is to die for - chewy and crisp, alternatingly in the right places. This was a bit like 'supermarket naan' which is just bread pretending to be naan.

The only other thing we objected to was the serving size. By 'we', I mostly mean Byron. Sure, I thought the dishes of curry looked small too but I think that's because I was mostly worried 'oh no the boys are going to think it's not enough'. I find that curry has this illusion of not being enough whilst filling you up quickly because it's so creamy. I don't think Byron would have minded about the small serving size if he didn't like the curry as much as he did. I guess that's a compliment? But, note to Ceylon Inn: if you're going to make your curry irresistibly tasty, give us MORE MORE MORE. We're greedy kids :).

Stacked up sad and empty dishes

Ceylon Inn was a great place for delicious Indian food. The restaurant was decked out beautifully and the staff were attentive and gracious throughout. The only problem we had with the curry was that we liked it so much we felt robbed when the dishes emptied up.

Ice-cream is great post-curry relief

Feeling lost and craving more, we diverted to the nearby Baskin Robins where Hien ended up ordering 2 x 2 scoops of sorbet. Why? Best not to delve on the reason but suffice to say he can't stand any mention of 'sorbet' anymore :).
Ceylon Inn on Urbanspoon

Mud Dessert Bar

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Mud Dessert Bar

Waffle cravings are nothing out of the ordinary and one hit me the other night. I started Googling for waffle cafes but alas, none exist in Brisbane. What I did find was a new dessert restaurant called Mud Dessert Bar in Bulimba. I like to keep on top of the specialist dessert eateries in Brisbane so this was an instant must-visit.

After finishing tapas at Alegria, we had room for sweets so we made a special trip to Bulimba just to try Mud. Parking at Oxford Street always freaks me out but luckily there is allocated parking at the back of the restaurant.

Mud is a trendy-looking cafe with attention to detail re: the way it looks. We thought the Oxford Street sugar holders were especially cute. Mochi also pointed out that the fan blades were well, very blade-like and deadly in appearance. I think they're going for a dark and dangerous look, with gluttony as a deadly sin in mind. The restaurant theme is in line with their website.

I knew what I wanted before we got there. Waffles were on the menu and the banoffee special caught my attention. Mochi ordered the chocolate tart and Hien chose a pavlova. We also got some beverages to start.

Soy latte

Mochi's usual is a soy latte. Mud didn't have skinny soy, only regular soy. She commented that it was 'standard' and 'pretty smooth'.

Honeydew green tea

I asked for the melon green tea after hearing Hien order a tea and spotting this one the menu. It is a loose leaf green tea with 'honeydew crystals' in the mix, plus a little dish of bush honey, should I require extra sweetness. The whole thing was passed over in a long plate. The tea had a distinct honeydew flavor and was very unique and tasty. I'd definitely recommend trying this.

Hien originally wanted the mango mist tea, which sounded awesome, but they were out so he went for the peppermint tea. BORING. No comment.

Banoffee special waffles - with caramelized banana, vanilla bean ice-cream, salted caramel ice-cream, butterscotch sauce, pecan nuts and whipped cream

My waffles came out on 2 plates. One contained the waffles themselves with slices of fresh banana. The other had dishes of ice-cream, whipped cream and a butterscotch sauce.

Part 2 of my waffles

The waffles themselves were not the greatest I've tasted but they were very passable. Together with the ice-cream and sauce, it was a great combination of bad things that really hit the spot. The butterscotch sauce was a bit overly runny but I liked that it wasn't too sweet.

Belgian chocolate tart - with pine nut pastry, Belgian chocolate, caramelized fig and burnt butter gelato

Mochi's chocolate tart was very rich but more bitter than sweet, which is a relief in these kinds of desserts.

Pavlova - with soft meringue, balsamic berries and chocolate cream

Hien said his pavlova was great. I'd never order pavlova at a dessert place or in a restaurant so if you're into that kinda stuff, best to take his word for it. He said it was crunchy on the outside with the right amount of gooey on the inside.

I read some online reviews before we went there are some people commented that the menu is pretentious without delivering on flavor. Look, I can see where that's coming from. Mud boasts of menu items such as 'frozen hot chocolate' which you KNOW is going to be more talk than action before even tasting it. I personally don't mind restaurants getting a bit creative. Where we draw the line is if it tastes like crap and they're charging you a fortune.

Mud is a bit borderline in that regard. The desserts were acceptable but not mind-blowing and they are a bit on the pricey side. On the plus, they are generous servings though and the atmosphere is pretty cool. I'd be happy to go back simply because there is such a lack of dessert restaurants in Brisbane.
Mud Dessert Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Alegria for a tapas night

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Alegria Mediterranean Bistro and Bar

Contrary to what I wrote 2 weeks ago about embarking on a healthy lifestyle change of exercise and reduced restaurant trips, I have been eating out like a mad woman these past few days. It's not entirely my fault. Most dining events have been circumstantial rather than volunteered. And in my defense, I did manage to be good for 1 week.

Last night, I was meeting up with Mochi and Hien for dinner. I was already full from lunch with my grandparents so having been granted the power of choice, I went with a tapas restaurant because that gives the option of keeping your meal light.

Alegria is a new restaurant located on trendy Park Rd in Milton. Try as I may, I can't remember what used to be in its place.

They have an efficient high tech booking system that allows you to get confirmation right away, as to whether or not your desired table is available. When we got there, I told the waitress of my booking and was asked 'are you Cora?'

Cool! What a way to feel VIP :).

The first thing we noticed and commented on was how nice the restaurant looked. I go on about 'ambiance' a fair bit in my posts. Sometimes, it's just out of a duty to comment comprehensively about everywhere I eat. In the case of Alegria, you must excuse me if I waffle on about their ambiance because in my opinion, it's the stand out feature of the restaurant. It's less so due to the furnishings but more about the use of space. Alegria has a high vaulted ceiling at the bar, stone tiles and lots of wood and raw brick. I love the contrast of rustic, natural materials and contemporary furniture. The bright lighting also prevents it from falling into the 'wooden den' stereotype.

The menu contains a few tapas plates, recommended for sharing, as well as regular mains.

We chose a bread to start with and after asking the waitress for advice on quantity, 4 tapas plates. I also insisted on a 1/2 liter of sangria.

White wine sangria

Our sangria came first. I have fond memories of sangria parties. For those who don't know, it's basically a punch with wine, juice, fresh, chopped fruit and some spices (usually cinnamon). I never knew there was a white or red version (my own version contains both) but the menu at Alegria allows you to choose. Hien suggested the white because he claims (and I quote) "it is more palatable".

The 1/2 liter jug provided a little more than a glass each for the three of us. As the non-driver and pro-drinker, I had the privilege of finishing everyone else's share. No complaints there because I really liked this sangria. It was a nice blend of alcohol and juice and not too sweet.

Rustic Moroccan bread

The bread came next. We had a debate about using the word 'rustic' to describe bread. Mochi and I both felt that rustic bread sounded very appealing. In a home-milled and home-baked way. Hien thought it sounded moldy and old. In any case, we chose the rustic Moroccan bread. I was a bit disappointed when it was brought out because I pictured a huge, crusty, country loaf with a blade sticking out but instead, it was more like pita bread with a fresh herb salad. The salad was predominantly mint and parsley with a few olives. Different and nice but not what I was expecting.

Our tapas share plate

Our tapas were all brought out in a tray. I think 3 people is a good number to be sharing these since 2 of our plates contained 3 items each. It was easy to have one each.

Arancini of veal ragu and peas

I went for the arancini first because it was the easiest to grab. Arancini are fried risotto balls, often with a cheese filling. These had a veal ragu. Not bad but a bit underwhelming in flavor. I asked for salt to boost it up a bit.

Mochi had chosen the stuffed peppers with salted cod. Nice idea and fresh ingredients. However, once again I think they needed to boost the flavor a bit. The filling was supposed to be salted cod but it tasted like unseasoned white fish to me.

Chorizo on a shaved fennel salad with a fino sherry dressing

I predicted that Hien would choose the chorizo and he did. Chorizo is like haloumi in that it's rarely bad. This one was flavorsome and spicy. I liked the chorizo itself but also liked the accompanying fennel and rocket salad. It was nice and light to compliment the full-bodied flavor of the chorizo.

Our last dish was the whiting with jamon and roast capsicum. I had no idea what jamon was until today because I just Googled it and thought 'ah, so that's what that meat was'. Initially, I thought the dish had sheets of bacon, which I avoided. Then I tried a piece and decided it was more like pancetta... saltier and tastier than bacon with a chewier consistency. However, it's not pancetta but rather 'jamon' which is essentially the same thing but from Spain rather than Italy.

The service at Alegria was fantastic from start to finish. I've already mentioned how much I loved the 'feel' of the restaurant. As for food itself, it was good but not great and that might count against the prices which are on the high side for tapas. I agree with the waitress in that 4-5 tapas plates are the best for sharing amongst 3 people. I would go back because it was an overall pleasant dining experience and I liked it enough to try their mains.
Alegria Mediterranean Bistro and Bar on Urbanspoon

The Smoke BBQ for delicious ribs and chicken wing torture

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The Smoke BBQ
85 Merthyr Rd, New Farm

The Smoke was formerly known as Blue Smoke BBQ and under that name, established wide acclaim as Brisbane's best rib house. I did a bit of reading and found that they're the only place in Brisbane (and perhaps even all of Queensland) that smokes all their meat in house.

I had been to Blue Smoke once before while it was under that name and ordered ribs and taco salad. The menu hasn't changed much then but I recall that the ribs were amazing but salad was very average. I told myself that I was only going to stick to what they're famous for this time round.

Our excuse for going is that it's Kat's birthday next week. Why celebrate now, you ask? Well I'm going overseas then for a week in China (more on that later) and I firmly told her that there was no way I was completely missing out on her birthday celebrations. Being the selfish friend that I am, I arranged a premature dinner party just so that there was something I could participate in.

The annoying thing is that Kat and I are both very busy people so it took us ages to find a night we were both free. We were discussing this last Wednesday and nearly gave up before I suggested doing it on Thursday (i.e. the next day). This gave us less than 24hrs to notify other guests. What I'd completely disregarded was the popularity of the restaurant.

I was feeling pretty good about my organization until Mark told me he once tried to book the place the night before and was told to do it a week in advance. In a fit of panic, I called The Smoke and was told they only had a table for 4 at 7:30pm (the time we wanted), or,we could get a large table for 9 at 5:30pm, provided we finished by 7:30pm. I thought 5:30pm was on the early side, especially since it was a weekday and many people have work or uni. But we really wanted ribs! By sheer luck, everyone was cool with this earlier time.

The Smoke is a small restaurant that is kind of easy to miss. I knew exactly where it was but still nearly over looked it. Hien hadn't been before and drove past/walked past twice before I finally spotted him roaming around outside and called him in.

There are a handful of tables inside and out. Considering how popular the place is, I could see how it would get booked out easily.

The menu is USA rib house-inspired. There are 3 different types of ribs. They are also renowned for their buffalo wings (secret: 1/2 price wings on Wednesday...) and delicious complimentary corn bread.

Pina colada

Kat got a couple of obligatory birthday cocktails.

Sweet corn bread

As guests were arriving, we dug into the corn bread. Everyone was raving about how nice it was. The corn bread is warm, soft and sweet with a subtle corn flavor. Great with the soft butter.

The ribs come in a 1/2 or full rack. Most of us chose a 1/2 rack of the Kansas City baby back pork ribs. One of the guests got a beef brisket. Hien decided to be original and got the Texas beef short ribs. Kat also got some onion rings. Byron wanted to go halves on a full rack of pork ribs with me but in the last moment decided on the buffalo wings. He was attracted by the warning of '3rd degree burn' which is the spiciest you can get. When he ordered them, the waiter said 'they're very hot... are you sure?' He said that it was. Little did he know what was to come...

Kansas City baby back pork ribs - rubbed with special seasoning, hickory smoked and finished on the char-grill where they are mopped with The Smoke's Kansas City style BBQ sauce

My rack of baby back ribs were DELICIOUS. The flavors are a perfect balance of sweet and smoked. Byron tried a bit and said it was like Christmas ham (the good stuff) but sticky and charred at the same time. There is quite a bit of meat too and the meat just fell away from the bone. Cooked perfectly.

Tender ribs

The ribs also came with chips. If at all possible, the chips might have left an even greater impression on me than the ribs. Maybe not. But maybe yes! The chips had a depth of flavor that I've never tasted in chips. I mean, who even uses 'depth of flavor' in describing hot potato chips? The best way I can explain it without sounding even more Matt Preston wannabe is that they tasted like a burger... but in a chip form. Not just any chip either. They were battered and crisped wonderfully.

There was also coleslaw on my plate which was a nice compliment to the rest of the food. It was cool, tangy and fresh and was a great palate-saver when I needed some (you'll know what I mean later).

I didn't go around tasting everyone else's food (being a food blogger doesn't come with as many perks as you'd hope for) so I can't comment on the following:

Beef brisket

Onion rings

Texas beef short ribs - hickory smoked 12 hours, then grilled and mopped with The Smoke's Texas BBQ sauce

The other thing I DID try was one of Byron's wings. I wasn't planning to, even after he insisted a few times. What made me do it is that we had joked around in the past about doing a 'spice off' against each other. Both of us think we can handle hot food well. When he said 'you should try this for the spice off', I mentally rolled up my sleeves and thought 'here we go. No worries'.

Buffalo chicken wings in '3rd degree burn' - crispy chicken wings served with blue cheese dressing and celery twigs

I picked up a single tiny wing and bit in. Hmm... very hot. By the time I was half-way finished this wing (which was maybe 20 seconds later), my mouth was stinging and my eyes were watering up. No, that's an understatement. I wasn't just tearing up a little bit. Tears were running down my face. Even the fingers that were holding the wing were hurting. I should've stopped there but stubbornness forced me to finish the wing. I reached for some water, gulped it down and was horrified to discover the water did NOTHING to reduce the pain. It was beyond the scope of being able to be relieved by water. At this point, I tried my coleslaw and PHEW, the tangy coolness of the coleslaw proved to be a savior.

Well that was me, a self-proclaimed chili expert being brought to tears. What about the fact that Hien, of Vietnamese heritage (whose father chews on raw birds eye chilies) dipped his chip in the spicy chicken sauce and said 'WOAH THAT'S HOT'.

Now, let's come to the fact that Byron finished a whole plate of this stuff. Respect. I'm definitely not going up against him in any spice off in this lifetime. He kept his discomfort to himself for the most part but described the experience as 'torture' and the ultimate test of endurance. The waiter came by to check up on us and declared that 'he looks alright. You don't look to good' about me. He took pity on Byron and brought him a glass of cold milk.

Third degree burn is no joking matter

We're saving the knowledge of this spicy chicken to use against someone who thinks they are keen on spice.

All up, everyone had a great time at The Smoke. Service was fast and the ribs are great. Not only that, I came out with a memorable experience and life lesson learnt (Cora cannot handle very spicy food). Having said that, I'd definitely go back for 1/2 price non-spicy wings.
Blue Smoke BBQ on Urbanspoon