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 Photographs: David Straight

 Spicy House calls itself the “spice expert” and, possibly more importantly, it is open late, so if you really need chilli at midnight – coming back from the airport, say – this is the place to go: on a recent visit the place was pleasantly full just before midnight. The walls are tiled white and the tables are bare: there’s a whiteboard with the most popular dishes to order, which is helpful and so is the service.

Some things are very good here, though not everything. They do a good stir fried green bean and the dumplings are excellent, though the pork hock is greasy and not very spicy, with a sticky gravy – best avoided if we’re honest. But there is – all hail – chilli chicken, which is cubes of chicken in a salty chilli Sichuan pepper rub , stir fried with big red dried chillies. It is a addictive: you keep going back, even when you’re full. And at midnight, that is exactly what you need. SFG

HOURS 12pm to midnight, seven days.

ADDRESS 557 Dominion Road, Balmoral, ph 631-5218.



  1. Marinus Ferreira wrote:

    My partner and I have been there a few times. We also love the green beans and mince. We saw that the pork hock is very popular, sad to hear it’s not to up to much. A favourite dish of ours you don’t mention is the Hot and Spicy Beef: generous serving of thin-sliced beef cooked along with some vegetables in a pot of Sichuan broth. Highly recommended!

    Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink
  2. SFG wrote:

    Maybe we’ve been spoiled by the pork hock at Depot, but Spicy House’s just seems a tad greasy. Saw the hot and spicy beef on the menu last time and very keen to try… So many restaurants; so little time.

    Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Permalink
  3. Stu Hardwood wrote:

    Love your blog Simon!

    I do have to pull you up on comparing the pork hock at Spicy House to the one at Depot – They’re from completely different “grades” of eatery. You could compare almost any cheap eat’s dish to Depot’s and come to the same conclusion.

    Other pro moves at Spicy House – The Spare Ribs in Hotpot, any of the greens, the blue cod dishes, and of course the deep fried squid.

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink
  4. SFG wrote:

    Thanks Stu – great to hear.

    That’s a really interesting point. I think you can compare them – one of the reasons I review so many cheap eats is that the food is often as good, if not better than, a flasher restaurant where you’re paying for fitout, service, a big staff, maybe some big rent, etc. In this case I just feel the pork hock could be done better – it’s not an issue of cost, more an issue of care. But I need to try the ribs!

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  5. andijandal wrote:

    The opening hours are incorrect. Spicy House is open until 3 or 4am.

    My favourite dishes are:

    Deep fried spare ribs (4/5)
    Spare rib hot pot (4/5)
    Chilli chicken (3.5/5)
    Spicy pork belly (3/5)
    Spicy tofu and vegetables (3/5)

    Is there better out there? For sure. However, the combo of the late opening hours, the diverse range of diners (especially in the wee hours of the weekend) & the very reasonable prices can’t be beaten. It’s a winning formula.

    Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

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