If you’re looking to fire up your taste buds, visit Caution Hot! 警告辣 Spicy Noodle House in Magiting Street, UP Village. Located just across the Mini Stop branch that leads to Maginhawa, this one-of-a-kind restaurant prides itself on serving Chinese noodles that “have never been this hot.”
The interiors are bare, minimalist, but functional. Diners sit on black-and-white benches and eat on plain, black-and-white tables. Since the restaurant is pretty small, we would recommend visiting during lunch on weekdays. The place gets really packed at night.
According to the owners, they got the idea to establish Caution Hot! because of their love for Chinese noodles and spicy food. From there, they decided to specialize in spicy Chinese noodles, and also to introduce other types of noodles beyond the usual brisket and wonton noodle soup.
Ordering from Caution Hot is a four-step process. First, you choose which type of protein you want with your noodles. Your choice will determine the price of your entire bowl. There’s All-Veggie (silken tofu and veggie meat strips, P165), Pork Asado (P175), Taiwanese Beef Slices (P185), and Seafood (shrimp, squid, and fish, P205).
After deciding which type of protein you want, you get to select which type of soup you’d like to go with it. At present, Caution Hot! offers three options: the Szechuan, the Asam Laksa, and the Classic Broth. The third step is choosing if you want wheat or egg noodles with your soup. Both of them go well with any of type of soup, so don’t think too hard on this one.
The last and most important step is choosing your “burn” or level of spiciness. There’s first, second, and third-degree, but if that’s not enough for you, there’s also the ultimate burn option.
While waiting for your noodles, try the Kuchay Pork Dumplings. Each piece contains a fair amount of minced Chinese chives and juicy ground pork. Interestingly, they serve this with vinegar and chili flakes, as opposed to the usual soy-chili combination. Being partial to vinegar, I enjoyed this more than I normally would have if it had been served with soy sauce. Aside from Kuchay Pork Dumplings, Caution Hot also offers plain Pork Dumplings.
We deeply enjoyed the hot and fiery Szechuan Noodle Soup. The broth has a prominent meaty flavor that’s made even more special with Szechuan peppercorn and chili paste. Meanwhile, the Taiwanese beef slices were tender and well-seasoned. We requested firm and thin wheat noodles to go with this, which is similar to ramen.
While the broth itself is already a marvelous treat, the toppings make this soup extra special. Each bowl is topped with a fried egg, toasted garlic, shiitake mushrooms, chives, and bok choy. The mushrooms happily soak up the broth to give them a more complex, beefy flavor.
We requested first-degree burn for this soup, which gives it a nice kick, although I’m sure first-degree wouldn’t be enough for those who are truly fond of spicy food.
If you’re looking for something hotter than the Szechuan Noodle Soup, try the Asam Laksa, a sour and spicy tamarind-based soup from Penang. Each bowl is topped with red chilies, red onion rings, cucumber slices, pineapple, greens, and a boiled egg. Since we chose the seafood option for this soup, our bowl also had small pieces of fresh shrimp, fish, and squid.
We ordered our Asam Laksa in first-degree burn, but it was still hotter than the Szechuan Noodle Soup by far. If you’re a huge fan of sour and spicy food, this one’s a great choice. The broth is full of flavor and every ingredient works well with the dish, even the refreshing cucumber slices and the tangy pineapple bits.
If for some reason you were dragged by your friends to Caution Hot! even if you’re not fond of spicy food, your best bet is the Classic Broth Noodle Soup. Its soup is a subtle, milky, and garlicky broth made from pork bones. We chose egg noodles to go with this, which is thicker and has more flavor than the standard wheat noodles.
Note that since this is a non-spicy option, you cannot request first, second, third, or ultimate burn. This was quite a letdown, since we wanted to taste the classic broth, but also wanted to feel a bit of heat. We also expected the broth to be richer and more flavorful.
Nevertheless, we enjoyed the sweet Pork Asado slices. The pork was pleasantly sweet and tender, something you’d expect from any decent Chinese restaurant.
I learned long ago that when you eat spicy food, you should also drink milk to ease the burn. Caution Hot! offers a few types of milky beverages, like the sweet and standard Soya Milk. However, if you want something more interesting, try the slightly bitter Oolong Milk Tea. This is made with freshly brewed Ooolong tea with wintermelon syrup, milk, and grass jelly.
According to Caution Hot!’s owners, they were pleasantly surprised by the high number of people who order their bowls in higher-degree burns and in the ultimate burn. That goes to show that they’re really able to attract people who love spicy food.
A word of caution from our end, though. When you visit Caution Hot!, don’t overestimate your tolerance for spicy food. If you know you’re not capable of taking extreme heat, just stick to first degree. We all know how unpleasant it can be if you’re eating something that’s hotter than you can take. Even these refreshing drinks won’t be able to save you if you order something hotter than what you’re used to.
Overall, Caution Hot! is a restaurant that we’d recommend again and again. The food is priced reasonably, the quality is excellent, and every bowl is large enough to keep you full for hours. It’s really no wonder why so many people flock to this restaurant for a comforting bowl of noodles.
Caution Hot! 警告辣 Spicy Noodle House is located at Magiting St, UP Teacher’s Village, Quezon City