“Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” -Mark Twain
Let me just say that this quote could not be any more appropriate in this situation. So, let me start at the beginning.
A while back, I was in this restaurant in China- more specifically, it was a noodle house called Ban Deng Mian. My first impression of the place was that it was nice and cozy- wooden tables and benches for people to site at, chalkboard menu, ice cold drinks- it was just a chill place. The picture I took (above) kinda doesn’t do this place justice (blame my phone).
I ordered the beef noodle soup, and when I ordered it, the lady gave me the disclaimer that it would be mild. I was okay with that. Let me just say that the time between ordering my food and actually receiving it was literally 5 minutes. The people were polite and quick- great for me because I was starving.
Anyways, before I started to dig in, I snapped a quick picture of my meal:
My thoughts after the first bite: oh my gosh this soup is amazing. It was slightly spicy, which I didn’t mind, and when I tried the noodles, I was blown away by how good it was. The chunks of beef was so tender. Literally one of the best bowls of noodle soup that I have tried in a while.
Fast forward to a couple bites in: I was starting to feel the spiciness catch up to me, my mouth was kind of burning- partly from how hot the soup was and partly from the spiciness. I decided to ignore the burning I felt in my mouth and I chalked it up to the hot soup (a not so smart idea).
Fast forward to another couple bites: my whole mouth felt like it was on fire (yikes). I tried to ignore it and eat more noodles to try to stop the burning. BAD IDEA ALERT. My mouth was burning even more. At this point, I was starting to salivate like a dog- which was not attractive. I bought a cup of juice (it was called suan mei tang- a type of sour prune juice popular in China- sounds gross but it was really good). This did not help at all- my mouth was still on fire. It was then that I decided to quit while I was ahead and just try to get the feeling of fire out of my mouth. I literally thought if I were to sneeze, legit fire would come out, thats how hot my mouth was.
So, after I decided I couldn’t handle it anymore and stopped eating, I thought the burning feeling in my mouth would go away after a while. Boy was I very wrong. It continued to get worse from there- my mouth actually went numb for the next hour and I almost passed out from all the panting I was doing (at this point I legitimately looked like a dog).
So besides almost burning my mouth off, I enjoyed the beef noodle soup at Ban Deng Mian, but next time, I’m getting the non spicy noodles.
Moral of the story: when a Chinese lady tells you that something is mild or “isn’t that spicy”, SHE’S LYING TO YOU it most definitely is spicy. You will burn your mouth off!
Proceed with caution.