How do you want your noodles?
That’s not a very easy question to answer when dining at Caution Hot!, a popular noodle house on Maginhawa Street. You got many options. With 4 kinds of toppings, 3 kinds of broth, 2 kinds of noodles, plus 4 levels of hotness or burn, there are actually 96 different ways of enjoying your Chinese noodles! I did the math; that’s 4 x 3 x 2 x 4.
If you’re familiar with the choices, chances are you’ll know what to end up with. But if you’re a newbie in noodles, it’s eeny-meeny-miny-moe. But keep calm, the menu is straightforward DIY. There’s a description for each option so you can play the mix and match in your mind. Pick your toppings, then the broth, the noodles, and the level of burn.
It’s all up to your creativity. Or your mood. Or perhaps your budget. The all-vegie topping of silken tofu and veg-meat strips is P165. Pork asado is P175. Taiwanese beef slices is P185. Seafood topping includes some shrimp, squid, and fish, and costs P205.
For broth, you got three choices. You can settle for the popular Szechuan, known for its bold flavors, and the spiciness from chili pepper and garlic. This spicy broth has mushrooms, chopped spring onions, Chinese cabbage, and fried egg.
Asam laksa is popular for its sour flavor. Asam is the Malay word for tamarind, and laksa means rice noodles with chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup. Caution Hot’s asam laksa is Penang-style sour and spicy fish-paste broth, with cucumber strips, pineapple bits, greens, and boiled egg.
Of course, you can always go safe with the tamed-down classic pork bone broth with mushrooms, greens, and fried egg. It’s not spicy, but you can always go for some burn.
For noodles, you choose between wheat noodles and egg noodles. If you want ramen-style noodles, get wheat noodles. If you want thin noodles with a rich egg flavor, get egg noodles.
And then, the most exciting part! The burn. Be cautious, because it can make or break your dining experience. There are four levels of burn: 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ultimate, all of which can be quite relative based on your tolerance for spicy food.
For someone like me who grew up in Bicol and has eaten the hottest dishes with siling labuyo, it was natural not to react even to the 2nd degree burn. But my companions–Lester, Powell, and Marvie—I could hear them say “anghang” while blowing out some air to cool down their angry-hot mouths. Were they sweating? You bet!
The noodle house also serves dessert and coolers, but during our visit, their milk tea and bao bing were sold out. For side dish, we had some pork dumplings with chili sauce and black vinegar, which I think weren’t a perfect match. Would have been better with soy sauce instead of vinegar.
SOME TIPS WHEN DINING AT CAUTION HOT:
1. Go with the family or the barkada, because one bowl may be too big for you. Of course, the more the merrier.
2. It’s best to eat here during a cold, rainy day. Sit near the glass walls and have some drama with the rain.
3. It can get crowded especially on weekends. Either you go early or just take home your order.
4. If you’re in a rush doing the mix and match, they have a reliable list of Hot Combinations: beef-szechuan-egg noodles; seafood-asam laksa-wheat noodles; and pork asado-classic-egg noodles.
Definitely, this noodle house is one of the best destinations for your Maginhawa food trip. It’s like walking in to a Binondo restaurant, or one in Malaysia or China. It’s friendly to your pocket, the taste is authentic, and the quality is first-class. But again, be warned. This noodle joint won’t be named Caution Hot for nothing. That sign on the wall—CHINESE NOODLES HAVE NEVER BEEN THIS HOT—is no joke.
Caution Hot! Spicy Noodle House
Magiting St cor Maginhawa St, Teacher’s Village, Quezon City
Facebook: Caution Hot 警告辣 Spicy Noodle House
Opens daily at 11 AM, except Mondays at 11:30 AM
Closes at 11 PM, except Fridays and Saturdays at 12 AM
Check customer reviews for this restaurant at Zomato and looloo