I left you all on something of a cliffhanger 2 weeks ago. I was listening in English GCSE. Build the tension, engage the audience. “The noodle paradise that is….? is…? IS!!?!?!?!?!”. Fear, not my fellow foodies, the great reveal is now. Chilli Dadd…. oh. *ENTER PLOT TWIST* Prepare for a DOUBLE post. Those who have spoken to me about my complex and ever-challenging love affair with the noodz will have heard me mention C D (a food blogging, a community-based nickname for Chilli Daddy) a fair few times. It is as divergent a dining experience from Pi Shop (see last blog post, cheeky eh?) as possible. If PS (see above) is glitz, C D is grunge. There is no sanding the edges for this meal. What you get is simple, a rich, nutty and intensely spicy bowl of perfectly cooked noodles with a choice of ‘melt in your mouth’ meats or to cater for the growing trend of veganism that has swept the city, tofu. I like the pork spare ribs (soz mummy, I know it isn’t kosher) for the creamy bone marrow and the gentle F-off to the British palate that you get with all the fat and collagen from the meat. There is an unrefined rusticity of this soup that is satisfying. The trimmed lettuce, the unyielding fury of the Sichuan pepper. When they ask you what you level spice you want from 0-5, don’t faff about. Challenge yourself. I like a 4 and I tend to add a spoon of the chilli oil in if I am eating in. The opportunities to try genuinely spicy food, almost to masochistic levels here, are few and far between. I just cannot get enough of that deep, all-encompassing discomfort you get from eating food that is both dangerously spicy, and tasty! It is such a hard balance to strike and is so often a stumbling point for British interpretations of exotic cuisines. Mazel tov to C D for getting it spot on. On one magical lunch, I was fortunate enough to actually meet the Chilli Daddy. After getting into a quick convo about how much I love his noodz and work, I asked him “where else is worth going for Chinese food?”. The Lord Chilli Daddy responded, with the slyest of grins on his face “Chilli Daddy’s”
I had to give a special mention to C D because it is my favourite restaurant in Bristol and for £6.50 it fits in nicely with the BrizBang4Buck ideology. But I wanted to write about a place I had never been to until Thursday night which was a very, very pleasant surprise. My pal told me to go to this place called Nice Spice for what she argued was the best bowl of noodles in Bristol. The little noodle nerd that I am got incredibly excited at this statement, spending a 2-hour sesh in the gym dreaming about a bowl of silky, brothy noodz rather than focusing on the imperative gainz a uni lad should be focusing on in the gym. Nice Spice is located on a little side street right in the city centre, and it is as unassuming a place as they come. I genuinely walked straight past it in my angst to get the noodz quickly so I could rush back home to watch the mighty Arsenal fight valiantly to defeat FC Barcel… oh. FC Ostersund. F*cking Europa League :(Right, the noodz. No more football, never football. The menu was really cool. You can design your own bowl of noodles if you want, choosing from a choice of stocks, noodles, meats and vegetables/extras. You can also just pick from the rice main dishes, which I didn’t try but looked really interesting, probs gonna go next week, or from one of their noodle soups. I was told somewhat imperatively to get the beef brisket. I also got a bit over-excited and got a portion of spicy chicken feet. Starting with the noodle soup, the potential was genuinely a 10/10. The stock was beautifully aromatic and delicate and tasted like it was very good for you indeed! Food should be fun and healthy kids. The beef was arguably tastier than at C D but was a little tough and sinewy. My friend swears she has never had that problem and says it must have been a bad day. We shall give the charming chefs the benefit of the doubt and give the beef a very solid 7.5/10. I was a bit of a mug and added too much chilli oil to the broth which ruined the balance of the soup, but the overall noodz experience was fantastic. I wasn’t a massive fan of the delicate flat rice noodles as I prefer a slightly bolder wheat noodle in my soups, but you have the option to customise it and I was most certainly making my “oh lordy lord” face I apparently make when I eat yummy food. The chicken feet were also a pleasant surprise. On my gap yah, I tried them a few times and just didn’t get it. They weren’t particularly tasty and the unavoidable footy-ness of it just made the whole experience seem a little bit unnecessary to my poor little western palate. HOWEVER… there was something about these feet that I did understand and I certainly did enjoy. The spicy, sesame marinade was punchy and packed full of flavour and the actual feet were remarkably munchable. Think chicken wings with a bit more of the good, old nibbling. The chewy gristle that you had to battle to get off the bone was intensely chicken-y and for the first time, I got why people eat these things. I probably didn’t need 10, but I was alone and was never gonna leave food on my plate. Go with a friend and split a portion of these chicken feet for £3.50, worst that happens is you aren’t a fan and for a meagre £1.75 each it is definitely worth the experience. Nice Spice has reinvigorated my noodle routine. It may not have been the most flawless bowl of noodles, but it was phenomenally good value and a better option for any nood-ists who don’t fancy the spice of C D. I shall certainly be returning, probs on Monday with my friend hehe…
I will wrap this post up quickly because I have overstayed my welcome with a much longer than anticipated post. C D is probably still my favourite, but that could be a biased view just coz I have had it so, SOOO many times. Nice Spice was fantastic and exciting because it was new, and to be honest the wider menu, consisting of various rice dishes with meats or fish looked far more appetising than the other non-noody options at C D.You should def try both and I would love to know which one you prefer. Cheers for reading and I will be back soon with a post on something else delicious in Bristol.
Nice Spice: 22 Denmark St, Bristol, BS1 5DQ (First road after the Hippodrome, on the right-hand side of the road. Don’t walk past it!)
Chilli Daddy: Various locations in Bristol, including one on my road (Baldwin Street BS1), one in St Nicks Market (behind my house lol) and 2 nearish the uni (by the SU). How very convenient hey??