4. The Two-Foot Sausage Roll at the County Arms
Flavoursome sausage wrapped snugly in flaky pastry, a sausage roll is the perfect pub snack. Well, most sausage rolls. The one at The County Arms is less a snack than a food bomb, measuring in at two feet long – the size of a toddler, in other words. If you beat it (in five minutes, no less!), you get the rather measly prize of a t-shirt – but bragging rights should otherwise suffice.
5. Porky’s Man vs. Ribs Challenge
Taking a page from Man v. Food‘s book, the Man vs. Ribs challenge at Porky’s is equal parts Americana-inspired and utterly gluttonous. Held on Wednesdays, the challenge comprises a double order of ribs and a double order of fries. Scoff down the mountain of food and you won’t just get a t-shirt – you’ll also get a free meal for two if you’re the fastest eater for the month. Because if there’s anything a person wants post-food challenge, it’s more food.
6. Bengal Village Phaal Curry
Thought vindaloo was hot? You’ll be entering a new world of pain if you embark on Bengal Village’s phaal curry challenge. Traditionally made from a number of different chillies, phaal curry feels like consuming pure fire – Bengal Village touts it as “the hottest curry in the world,” and makes theirs with the notorious ghost chilli. Although the dish no longer officially appears on the menu, they’re still known for prepare special orders for those brave enough to take it on.
7. Pride of Paddington Shepherds Pie
Shepherds Pie is rib-sticking fare: dieters don’t favour heavy mash and braised meat. But how about a shepherd’s pie that’s as big as a birthday cake, and weighs four kilos? That’s what the Pride of Paddington is serving up, and thanks to its proportions, no one’s yet managed to take this challenge down.
8. The Mac Attack, Dirty Bones
Trendy BBQ, burger and brunch spot Dirty Bones offers a full menu of hearty dishes, like the Dirty Dogs, which come covered in pulled pork, crispy bacon and jalapeno cheese. But those with a serious appetite should take on the Mac Attack, comprising three beef patties, BBQ pulled pork, salad, tomatoes and mac and cheese all squeezed into brioche buns and served on a bed of dirty fries. Eat it all in 10 minutes and you get your meal free, a novelty cap and your picture on their Wall of Fame.
9. Tinseltown Diner Challenge Burgers
Daunted by the scale of some of these food challenges in London? Don’t think you could even look at a naga viper chilli, not to mention down six capsicum-drowned wings? Think of the challenge burgers at Tinseltown Diner as the perfect starting point for the competitive eating amateur. Though four patties alongside two sides and fries is by no means small, in the world of competitive eating it’s a modest introduction.