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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?