Published on Friday, 20 January 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
If you are a huge fan of ramen, that passion might just be able to bring in some travel allowance while you are exploring the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Tokyo.
Umakara Ramen Hyouri restaurant, in Tokyo, Japan has a rather bold challenge: finish a giant bowl of ramen under 20 minutes, and you will be awarded a whooping 50,000 yen (SGD 613.18)! If you exceed the 20 minutes mark, you are given an allowance of 10 more minutes, though the prize money drops to 30,000 yen (SGD 367.79)
$613 in 20 minutes seem like a great way to earn some money, considering how the average wage in Singapore Mcdonalds is only $10 per hour. On top of the money, you will be able to get a taste of Japan too! It's win-win!
The store's opening hours are from 11am to 11pm, last order at 10.30pm. Anyone who wishes to partake in the challenge will need to make a reservation at least one day in advance before 3pm. So far in the three years since the conceptualization of the challenge, only nine people have managed to wolf down the colossal dish in the allotted time and walked home with the prize money.
To enter, you need to pay 3,000 yen (SGD 36.78). There is a whole list of rules, such as no help from friends and leaving the table is tantamount to forfeiting the challenge. Also, if you throw up the ramen after you finish eating, you must cough up a 10,000 yen (SGD 122.60) penalty. So be sure to keep that all down until you are given your well deserved moolah before waddling out and puking in a secluded corner.
You will have to sign an indemnity form that protects the restaurant should any health issues arise during the challenge, e.g. heart attack or choking.
The entire bowl weighs about 7kg, and you will be able to see the evident strain it puts on the server as he carries the dish out. The bowl measures 25cm in diameter, and the ingredients are piled in a mountainous heap that measures up to 30cm.
Its contents include four servings of ramen noodles, a stack of beansprouts, various vegetables, 16 strips of fried chicken cutlet and almost a liter of ramen broth.
The challenge allows you to opt for a non-spicy version or choose between three levels of spiciness.
The monstrous ramen actually looks rather delicious, but I would advise against doing in the the summer. Instead, choose the coldest day on Winter to take on the challenge. In Winter, as the weather drops, our primal instincts guide us to eat more to fuel up for the cold weather and our appetite increases drastically. In the freezing cold, what comes as a better respite than a steaming hot giant bowl of ramen with juicy fried chicken?