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A top down shot of balsamic pork ribs at 121 BC sprinkled with s
Photograph: Daniel Boud

The best food challenges in Sydney

Could you eat a three kilogram bowl of ramen in under an hour?

Written by
Joel Meares

The sport of competitive eating won’t ever get an Olympic stadium, and we here at Time Out think it’s a damn shame. To help, Time Out bibbed-up and found the city's best food challenges.

Meat Your Match
  • Restaurants
  • Manly

Where: Ribs and Rumps

The challenge:
 One for the face-eaters indeed – challengers must down a 1kg Man-O-War rump and chips plus a full rack of ribs and, yes, more chips. An average of 8-10 people are completing this challenge every week across Ribs and Rumps restaurants in Australia. 

The cost: $84.95

The prize: Your name and pic on the Ribs and Rumps Challenge Honour Roll, a steak knife and a VIP challenger membership which will give you 10 per cent cash back each time you come back to the restaurant.

Podium position: Silver. That’s-a-lotta meat, but without a time limit, this challenge loses a little in the “degree of difficulty”.

Hot Wing Challenge
  • Bars
  • Northbridge

Where: Northbridge Hotel

The challenge: A contest of heat rather than bulk, this monthly. Wednesday challenge sees 12 competitors eating one chicken wing each in a series of elimination rounds – with each round, the wings get hotter and hotter until only one wax-tongued champion remains.

Cost: Free entry

The prize: Glory, a stomach ache and a $200 bar voucher.

Podium position: Bronze. The spice will be tough, no doubt, but the tongue-nourishing relief of sweet, sweet beer is well within reach.

The T-Bone Challenge
  • Restaurants
  • Darling Harbour

Where: Kingsley’s Steakhouse and Steersons Steakouses

The challenge: Available every October, Kingsley’s and brother restaurants Steersons offer a 1kg T-bone. A few years ago, the houses started offering 1.2kg T-bones which proved challenging to those who’d wolfed down the (slightly) smaller steak.

Cost: $59.50

The prize: A T-shirt plus your name in the Hall of Fame.

Podium position: Bronze. Sure, it’s a kilo of meat – but how much of that is inedible bone? Wait, do we have to eat the bone? Uh. Oh.

Giant Ramen Bowl
  • Restaurants
  • Surry Hills

Where: Komachi Japanese Restaurant

The challenge: A bloody huge bowl of ramen – that’s what. Your bucket-bowl holds 2L of soup, 1kg of noodles and about 300g of vegetables and meat (hey, at least it’s a balanced diet!). You have one hour. All that food requires a lot of prep, so book a day in advance. And on a somewhat scary note: you’ll have to sign a disclaimer before you start sucking up any noodles.

Cost: $50

The prize: You get your bowl of ramen for free, plus a $50 voucher and your face on their winners’ wall and website.

Podium position: Silver. Sounds like a lot of sloshing food to us, but we hear a tiny schoolgirl managed it in under an hour.

Jurassic Pork
  • Bars
  • Ultimo

Where: Essen Restaurant & Beer Café

The challenge:
 It's the latest torturous food challenge at Essen. A hollowed-out loaf (loaf!) of bread filled with marinated, pulled pork, coleslaw and a side of chips. Carbs enough for you? Weighing in at a total of 1.6kg, the Jurassic Pork is lighter than its extinct Essen brother, Schnitzilla, but don't be fooled, this is no cake walk. Rules: no leaving the table, no sharing and you've got 40 minutes to finish the lot. Challengers have two sauces to choose from, a mustard-based barbecue sauce and an apple cider vinegar-based one, to help wash down the meat. But be warned: the extra 50ml or so of sauce can be super-filling

The cost: $49.50 (if you don't finish).

The prize: An awesome Jurassic Pork T-shirt plus your place on the Essen Wall of Fame. Plus non-finishers end up on the wall of shame.

Podium position: Gold. 3.5kg of food. Need we say more?

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