The other day I walked over to Kowloon City in search of some spicy Thai food for a story I was working on. I had hoped for something like Khao phat nam phrik narok, which translates as the evocative “rice fried with chilli paste from hell”, but it seems like none of the Thai restaurants in Hong Kong offer any of the special spicy dishes because none of their customers want them. Instead we ended up at a small cafe-style restaurant called Thai Hot, where the chatty owner promised to make us some really spicy versions of more regular dishes insisting that this would be just as hot. The papaya salad we got was really fiendishly fiery, with bits of chilli scattered through it that made my tongue burn brutally. When the waitress came over to check if it was hot enough, I was busily gulping down all the liquids on the table and could barely speak.