Why attempt Melbourne’s most stomach-busting eating challenges? The same reason humanity reaches forth its hand to the stars and dares to dream of greater things. BECAUSE THEY’RE THERE.
Really though, there is no good reason apart from curiosity (and a vague confidence that you, personally, cannot die) to try to eat the things below. We’re pretty sure the average human stomach is about the size of two fists. Some of the challenges here represent the combined fistage of an entire rugby union team. There’s only so much stretching the human body can deal with (and unlike childbirth, the only legacy you have from these ordeals is your name on a small laminated plaque and the promise of a very uncomfortable 24-hours ahead). A fair trade-off for eternal glory? You decide.
Here are Melbourne’s most epic eating challenges.
The Schnitzelmeister | Munich Brauhaus
We’re not sure what sort of elephant-sized cow they carved this schnitzel off, but it looks damn impressive on a plate. The Schnitzelmeister Challenge is a 1kg veal schnitzel the size of the average table cloth, plus four sides, in under an hour. Like a lot of these challenges, it’s the sides that really drag you down. All those chips and sauerkraut really take up space.
Up for grabs: Finish within the hour and you get the meal FREE, plus a Schnitzelmeister t-shirt which you should probs wear to all future job interviews.
The Don | The Beer And Burger Bar
This one actually scares us a little. The Beer And Burger Bar serves The Don with an onion ring perched on top, as if that’s meant to sweeten the deal. It’s a 700g brioche bun (that’s nearly a kilo of bread right there), TWO 600g beef patties, cheese, tomato, lettuce, aioli, mustard and ketchup, plus SIXTEEN rashers of Don bacon. Oh yeah, and 400g of chips and two cans of soft drink, because we wouldn’t want it to be too easy right?
Up for grabs: Glory, that’s pretty much it. The time to beat is 22 minutes and 55 seconds.
Mega Parma Challenge | The Laurel Hotel
Every year The Laurel Hotel in Ascot Vale hosts the ‘Mega Parma Challenge’, a gastronomical gauntlet it throws down to all Melbourne foodies. The challenge is to finish a 1.5kg Parma (or ‘Parmi’ if you’re from Geelong), a side of chips and a pint of Tiger Beer in the quickest possible time. You literally have to sign a Parma Oath before attempting the challenge (probably a legal document that absolves The Laurel if your stomach ruptures and you start breathing chicken, but still...an oath...that's cool).
Up for grabs: Just completing the challenge means you get to keep your stein and your name goes up on the Laurel Championship Board. Each year’s Grand Winner gets a year’s worth of Laurel parmas!
Dim Sim Challenge | Sally’s Big Ass Burgers
Last year Sally’s Big Ass Burgers launched a dim sim eating competition: basically a test of speed to see who could down the most dimmies in just five minutes. Most dim sim comps choose steamed for this purpose (easier to swallow) but Sally’s are huge, fried nuggets of chewy mystery meat. Time will tell if the Upper Beaconsfield favourite brings the dim sim contest back for another year. Better get training, just in case...
Up for grabs: Last year’s winner took home $450 (and all the dimmies they didn’t vom out the car window). Worth it.
Burger Challenge | Misty’s Diner
It’s not the biggest burger on the list, but Misty’s challenge comes with a tight time limit: you only have 14 minutes to eat 5 burger patties, 5 slices of cheese, 5 slices of bacon, 3 soft brioche-style buns and a healthy wallop of mayo and BBQ sauce...and a half order of fries. Fair warning though: Misty’s published their 2011 results, and of the 1,558 brave attempts, only 232 were successful. The challenge will set you back $49.90 (gotta love that 10c value) and comes with a coke to help lubricate the process.
Up for grabs: Finish in under 14mins and you get your own Burger Challenge T-Shirt, plus the knowledge that your HECS debt was not accumulated in vain.
22-Inch Pizza Challenge | Shawcross Pizza
If you’re not too good on your Imperial measurements, think of it as a pizza whose diameter is two Subway footlongs stacked end on end. That’ll give you a rough idea of the size of this Shawcross monster. It’s a hand-stretched, thin-crust pizza though, so you’ve got a fair shot. And you get to pick your topping (Margherita it is...) There’s no time limit on this one (within reason). You just have to finish. If you get through the whole thing, crusts and all, you get a t-shirt...and probably an antacid from behind the bar, if you ask nicely.
Up for grabs: If you clock the month’s best time, you get to take home a slab of beer, which sounds like just about the manliest night possible.
Buffalo Wings Challenge | Kodiak Club
Anyone who’s been to the Kodiak Club knows they do a killer Buffalo chicken wings at the best of times. So eating 60 of them in 60 minutes shouldn’t be too hard, right? Well the thing with this challenge isn’t so much the meat volume as the sheer amount of crispy skin and tongue-scaling marinade. Experienced wing nuts know to forgo the side of blue cheese sauce (it curdles in your stomach...don’t ask) and focus on the side-serve of celery instead. The cool crunch gives you some mouth relief, allowing you to power through to the finish line.
Up for grabs: Your name on the door and the honour of not paying $90 for a whole heap of chicken.
Three Times Ramen Challenge | Kokoro Ramen
A challenge that will put your love of ramen to the ultimate test. You know how that porky broth starts to get REAL porky down the bottom of the bowl? Now imagine that times three. Yep, you have to skull THREE bowls of ramen in 30 minutes, including all the egg, pork, noodles, soup and accompaniments. That doesn’t sound like a heap, but wait until Kokoro's team comes to your table and plonks down the huge metal ramen pot (which we’re pretty sure is meant for cooking family-sized batches of the stuff). That is your bowl...
Up for grabs: Better than a poke in the eye with a chopstick. You get a free meal voucher and your mammoth bowl is on the house.
The Super Saiyan God Burger | JD’s Burgers
Jesus. With a name like that, who wouldn’t be scared. JD’s actually has a challenge SECTION on their website. That’s how seriously they take these things. And the Super Saiyan God Burger is probably the most serious plate of...we guess technically it’s food...we’ve ever seen. It’s 8 x 125g beef patties stacked higher than your face, 8 slices of American cheese, 8 rashers of bacon, a dollop of JD’s secret sauce, one bun and a side serve of beer battered chips. The rules are strictly no spitting, no dunking, no sharing, no dropping, no outside food (as if bringing in EXTRA food is somehow cheating). One for the pros only.
Up for grabs: Quite a bit. A VIP card that gets you free chips with your burger for the next three months, a $20 gift voucher, your photo on the Wall of Legends and a post on JD’s Instagram account (hopefully they let you freshen up first.)
Tower Of Power | #BurgerLove
We saved the most deadly for last. #BurgerLove aren't known for their modest stacks, but this thing is frankly insane. It's called The Tower Of Power: a 20-patty cheeseburger, smothered in 20 slices of American cheese, mustard and ketchup. The whole thing stretches higher than your head and weighs in at a whopping 3.5kgs. Unbelievably, some inhuman beast once ate this thing in 8 minutes and 1 second. Wouldn't want to get between that guy and a buffet...
Up for grabs: Your money back, for starters, plus a #BurgerLove t-shirt, hat and badge, and your name up on the Wall of Fame.
Call us psychic, but if you like eating challenges we reckon you might also be partial to the best cheesesteaks in town.
Image credit: Munich Brauhaus