"J. B. Cattley" <firstname.lastname@example.org> asked; >I'm off to London later on, and I was wondering whether there were any >suitably volcanic eating-places in that grungy, wet place. Also spice >merchants/hotsauce suppliers. There aren't any at all here, so things can >only get better... Hey, with a line like that, I could even run for PM! > > >jbc Restaurants; I haven't been eating out a lot lately, so I can't recommend anywhere in particular. (I also don't know what area you are staying in). But a general recommendation for fiery foods are Indian & Thai places. (Vindaloo & Phall are the hottest things on the Indian menu). You'll usually find at least one of these restuarants in most areas, but Tooting in south London, Southall/Hounslow in the west, & Brick Lane in the East have large Indian/Pakistani communities, & therefore authentic food. Brick lane is especially good for grocers selling imported fresh ingredients. (Algate/Algate East or Shoreditch on the tube). If you happen to wonder down to South London, you will find a few Carribean restuarants/take-aways - two that spring to mind, are Smokey Joe's, West Hill in Wandsworth - a very small unlicenced restuarant (bring your own booze). The Jerk pork or chicken is good - big portions, cheap & HOT. They also do excellent Pepper Prawns (prawns/shrimp in a spicy soup). There is also the Bamboula Jerk Kitchen on Acre Lane in Brixton, (just round the corner from McDonalds) - they are sponsored by Walkers Wood. There are plenty of other West Indian take-aways around, most are reasonable. While in Brixton, you should wonder around the market. You can buy fresh Scotch Bonnets (sold as extra hot peppers), and the grocers along Atlantic Road & Electric Avenue sell a decent variety of hot sauces (mostly Caribean or Asian). On the subject of Hot Sauces, you could investigate the various food halls that are part of the more famous dpartment stores (Harrods etc). You can get Dave's Insanity in Selfridges food hall for example. China Town in Soho, is a good place to get Thai ingredients (and others from that region of the world). A visit to Portobello Market (Portobello Road - Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove underground) on a Saturday might also yield some interesting finds. Plenty of interesting stalls. Just off the market (Blenheim Crescent/Talbot Road) is THE SPICE SHOP - a huge range of dried spices, chiles (all the Mexican dried varieties - but not cheap). They also stock occasional fresh produce & interesting things in jars or cans. There are some Mexican or Tex-Mex places - but these are variable (someone posted info about this to the List a week or two ago). And BTW - until yesterday, we had been enjoying a spell of hot sunny weather - now it's wet again - but in that more summery sort of way. So don't refer to my home city as a "grungy, wet place." ;-) Hope this helps C-YA paul ps - you could always try a kebab with lots of chilli sauce. Some of the kebab places in North London (particularly Stoke Newington) sell a range of kebabs that are really good, cooked over a charcoal pit (called an Okak Basi) - served on big half rounds of flat bread, with big, pale green, mild chillies that have also cooked over the flame. There are a couple of good ones in Streatham too.