Abhi's Indian Restaurant, North Strathfield

It's an old wives tale that spicy food is good for sickness - naturally 'hot' foods like horseradish, wasabi and chilli are good remedies for when you're feeling a bit off or fluey. Likewise, it's also well known (especially in warm, humid places like Malaysia) that eating spicy food can help cool you down on hot days. Eating food like curries when you're sweltering in 30 degree plus heat makes you sweat, which the body's cooling mechanism. Funny, isn't it?

Most of the time when we're sweltering and hot, we shy back into air-conditioned comfort or duck our head in the freezer for an ice cream. Indian food is one of those cuisines that utilises spice not just to counteract the warm weather, but to add layers of complexity to each and every dish. Nothing is without a little bit of spice, and it's not necessarily all hot spice either.

Cornerstone Cafe Bar, Crows Nest

Some foods are just not very graceful to be seen eating in public. A piece of cake, yes. A bowl of salad, sure. A coffee, or cup of tea, of course. But something on a stick like, say, a kebab, or juicy like watermelon...not so much. Spaghetti, hmm maybe. Pizza? Perhaps. But a burger? Uh uh. Not a chance. So it's lucky that most of the time I eat burgers I'm with my family, people I can happily eat anything in the company of. But on the occasions I do venture out with friends, sometimes it's not so smooth sailing. But if you can't eat naturally in front of your friends, then what are friends for, right?