This is serious. We’re not talking about the spice you get from mustard and ham sandwiches, pizza oil or an odd dash of wasabi. These restaurants have some of the most volcanic, stomach-troubling dishes in all of Sydney.

Of course, any amateur cook can blow your head off with a big handful of chopped chilli. A good spicy dish needs to have other things going for it than just intense heat – balance, texture and presentation, for starters. All our picks are nailing these things in their own way.

So if you're ready for the incendiary highs that come with chilli feasts, here’s where to go for Sichuan hot pot, Thai noodle soups, hot wings, Pakistani chilli-laden curries and Korean fried-chicken.

Chin Chin

The Jungle Curry is the business.

Ground Floor, Griffiths Teas Building 46-52 Wentworth Avenue
Surry Hills NSW 2010

Long Chim

Make straight for the Chiang-Mai style larb.

Corner of Pitt Street and Angel Place
Sydney NSW 2000

Belles Hot Chicken Barangaroo

Five levels of heat to suit your taste.

33 Barangaroo Avenue, Wulugul Walk
Barangaroo NSW 2000

Chum Tang

The owner once told us this was "Thai food for Thai people" – with the heat levels that implies.

Shop 4, The District Podium Level, Chatswood Interchange 436 Victoria Ave
Chatswood NSW

Caysorn

Caysorn's tai pla is just about the spiciest thing we've ever eaten.

Shop 106-108A Level 1 8 Corner Thomas & Quay St.
Haymarket NSW
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