Fast and furiously hot challenge

For the past three weeks, Mr Ng Chin Sheng ate one and a half packets of Samyang brand instant noodles every day, in the hopes of winning the Seoul Spicy Noodle Challenge.

And the 37-year-old's efforts paid off on Sunday when he beat more than 250 contestants to be the champion of the instant noodle eating contest.

Organised by youth communications agency Dstnct, the competition, held at JCube shopping centre, attracted more than 250 contenders, who vied for the title of "Singapore's Spiciest Eater".

Each contestant had to consume three different bowls of Samyang noodles, each with its own level of spiciness.

The first bowl was original flavoured, the next was mixed with wasabi, and the final bowl contained a mixture of chilli powder and chilli padi.

Contestants could eat the noodles in any order they wished.

They also had to finish a 500ml bottle of Coke, to be drunk only after all three bowls had been eaten.

Said Mr Ng, a freelance photographer: "I did not expect to win at all. I didn't even expect to make it to the semi-finals."

Even though he had a stomachache after the competition, he felt it was worth it.

"It has been three years since my last eating competition, I just wanted to see how I would fare against other people," said Mr Ng, who claimed that he has taken part in more competitions than he can remember.

"The wasabi was probably (the most spicy) of the three," added Mr Ng, who also struggled to finish the Coke.

Challenging

"Most other food eating contests allow you to drink water while you eat.

"To be made to drink Coke at the end is challenging," said Mr Ng.

In addition to winning a pair of tickets to Seoul, Mr Ng also entered the Singapore book of records for clocking the fastest time in spicy eating.

This contest was also different from other eating competitions as participants who made it through the initial qualifying round were randomly split into groups and judged based on the collective timing of their team.

Only the top four groups with the fastest timings progressed to the semi-finals, where participants competed as individual contenders for the top spot.

Mr Mikal Chong, who is part of the organising committee, said: "We wanted to do something different, so we introduced a team relay into the competition."

As it was the first time a spicy eating contest was held, Mr Chong was pleasantly surprised at the response.

"We were inspired to organise this event by viral YouTube videos of people eating spicy Korean ramyeon and we hope to do a second one."


This article was first published on July 01, 2015.
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