Fighting Fire With Fire

THE HOT SNAP OF CHILLIES shakes the palate awake and kicks the body’s internal air con into action. Our five favourite sweat-inducing dishes:

       Fire with fire


1. MYSORE LAMB A change in ownership at Chutney Villa has shifted the menu firmly into South India. Lamb curry with chettinad (Tamil)-style spices is lush and tender; the red chili heat has a bright kick. Chutney Villa (147 E. Broadway, 604-872-2228, Chutneyvilla.com2. HALIBUT CHEEKS served in green curry, a sophisticated balancing act of deep, rounded heat playing off herbal freshness, enhancing the sweet meatiness of local halibut. Ask for “Thai Hot” at your peril. Maenam (1938 W. Fourth Ave., Maenam.ca3. CARNE ASADA with habañero salsa. The scorching sauce sings with sweet fruity spice, a perfect match for the deep savoury char of grilled flank steak. La Taqueria (322 W. Hastings St.; 2549 Cambie St. 4. BEEF WITH PICKLED PEPPERS The sharp, sour notes of the pickled peppers lay the groundwork for a wallop of buzzy chili heat. It’ll leave your ears ringing. Alvin Garden (4850 Imperial St., Burnaby, 604-437-0828). 5. JERK CHICKEN Succulent chicken rich with tingling scotch bonnet, allspice, and cinnamon-finally, real Jamaican fire in Vancouver. Wash it down with sweet, housemade ginger beer. Kingston 11 Reggae Cafe (1336 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver,

Photo: Clinton Hussey