As the country considered the fourth most obese in the world by the OECD (behind the US, Mexico and New Zealand), it’s time to reveal Australia’s best eating challenges. Let’s get the attempt-challenges-at-your-own-risk warning out of the way so you can pack some napkins and start stretching that stomach.
The challenge: 13 assorted European hotdogs (1.8 kilograms) in 30 minutes without leaving the table.
Reward: a custom t-shirt… or a permanent place on the wall of shame.
Where: 133-135 Broadway Ultimo, 02 92113805
The challenge: slurp a 2.5-litre ramen bowl overflowing with 1.2 kilograms of noodles and 300 grams of meat and veggies in an hour or less.
Reward: your monster ramen on the house and a $100 meal voucher.
Where: 1/426 Cleveland Street Surry Hills, 02 9319 6554
The challenge: conquer the Fat Boy burger – seven beef patties (1.3 kilograms), lettuce, tomato, three slices of cheese, bacon, egg and caramelised onion.
Cost: $1 a minute or $10 if you can manage in under 10 minutes.
Reward: your name on the honour board. The fastest time of the last 1000 entrants takes home $3,000.
Where: 4 Bayley Street Dianella, 08 9275 7788
The challenge: 3.25 kilograms of surf and turf in an hour or less including: 750 grams rump steak, nine tempura-battered tiger prawns, two fillets of beer-battered fish, two portions of lemon pepper calamari, 500 grams of chips and 250 grams each of coleslaw and potato salad.
Reward: half-priced meal, wall-of-fame notoriety and an “I survived the Beef & Reef Challenge” t-shirt.
Where: 280 Bannister Road Canning Vale, 08 9455 2282
The challenge: chow down on a one-kilogram schnitzel with chips, sauce, a litre of beer and schnapps.
Reward: free dessert, a t-shirt and prime real estate on the wall of fame.
Where: 163 Victoria Road Gladesville, 02 9816 1036
Off the Wall Diner’s World’s Hottest Burger
The challenge: finish the World’s Hottest Chilli Burger. No drinks, no existing medical conditions. Burger may be cut into halves or quarters but cannot be pulled apart. Only available to those 18 years and over.
Cost: $15.95 (burn-preventative rubber gloves included) plus $2.50 for the Mega Death Recovery Kit (milk and yoghurt).
Reward: your name on the TV PowerPoint of fame and in the burger book of legends.
Where: 4/386 Main Road Wellington Point, 07 3207 3209
Bayside Kebabs’ Half-Metre Kebab Challenge
The challenge: down almost two kilograms of kebab in under eight minutes.
Cost: $25. And if you have a baby under one month old, the owner will take a photo of it with his pride and joy, which he guarantees is bigger than your pride and joy.
Prize: your food, free. Break the record and win $100 cash.
Where: 4/9 Elizabeth Avenue, Clontarf, 07 3283 4141
The challenge: gulp a mammoth soup bowl with approximately 3.5 litres of broth and 800 grams each of noodles and meat within an hour.
Reward: your money back, a highly coveted position on the wall of fame and an iPad. Really.
Where: Shop 6/19 Kooringal Drive Jindalee, 07 3376 9746
The challenge: eat a one-kilogram rump steak, veggies and wedges in under 30 minutes.
Reward: a voucher for your next visit and an Outback Jack’s challenger tee.
Where: 1/28 Mitchell Street Darwin, 08 9841 5554
The challenge: finish an entire 22-inch pizza in one sitting.
Cost: $55 for a 22-incher, the equivalent of four regular 12-inch pizzas.
Reward: complete the challenge for a specially designed tee and boasting rights. Fastest time of the month scores their money back and a slab of beer.
Where: 324 Brunswick Street Fitzroy, 03 9419 9596
The challenge: one person, 60 buffalo hot wings, 60 minutes.
Reward: a place on the honour board beside the bar and your money back.
Where: 272 Brunswick Street Fitzroy, 03 9417 3733
The challenge: devour the triple B.East beef pattie – triple bacon, chilli cheese sauce, lettuce, pickled red onion and tomato on a brioche bun – in no more than three minutes.
Reward: your Polaroid on the wall of fame, i.e. eternal glory.
Where: 80 Lygon Street Brunswick East, 03 9036 1456
The challenge: knowing when to stop at this all-you-can-eat authentic, Italian feast. On Sunday nights, staff bring pasta, salads, meats, pizza and more until you say: Basta!!!
Cost: $30 per head.
Reward: this is not a challenge per se but home-style, seasonal fare at incredible value.
Where: 3-5 Cecil Place Prahran, 03 9510 3001
Disclaimer: the writer has a personal affiliation with Shawcross Pizza.
Sofia Levin is a Melbourne-based writer and food blogger.