It’s $10,000 at stake and a whole load of ramen!

Food eating contests are gaining popularity in Singapore. Previously MediaCorp partnered with several malls in western Singapore when they launched 8 DAYS Eat app and now Ramen Champion presents the ultimate grand prize of $10,000. But do you have what it takes to stomach it?

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Last month, I was lucky to be present when Ramen Champion opened their second branch at MegaBox, Kowloon Bay in Hong Kong. The highlight of the day was the Ramen “Face-off” between the pretty and petite competitive food challenger, Tomoko Miyake and the TVB stars.

Leading the entourage of popular Hong Kong TV celebrities and radio personalities was one of my favorite actor, Eric Tsang. And Koji Tashiro, the CEO of Menya Koji Group was also there to take part for the eating challenge.

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Fast forward one month later, and I’m excited that Ramen Champion Pte Ltd is launching the Ramen Big Eater Challenge as part of the Food Challenge Asia Championship which involves Ramen Champion outlets in Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Details of Singapore Contest:

Qualifying Round

Date: 2nd October 2013 (Wednesday)

Time: 3.00pm to 5.00pm

Location: Ramen Champion @ Bugis+ (201 Victoria Street, Bugis+ #04-08/09/10, Singapore 188067)

Final Round

Date: 14th November 2013 (Thursday)

Time: 3.00pm to 5.00pm

Location: Ramen Champion @ Great World City (1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City, #01-21/22, Singapore 237994)

Here’s some questions which you probably want to ask Ramen Champion about the Big Eater Challenge:

Will the ramen be piping hot when served?

During the contest, the ramen is prepared on the spot and the chefs will try to control the temperature of the ramen broth so it won’t too hot when it’s served. It won’t be piping hot but it would not be served cold as there’s the need to maintain the quality of ramen. Side bowls will be provided so participants can use them to cool off the ramen.

Is it okay for non local to register for the event?

The organiser accepts non-local as long as they are residing in Singapore and not tourists. For example, foreign students or working professionals are eligible.

Must the soup be finished? Do I also have to finish the sides like egg and seaweed?

With regards to the contest, there is not a must to finish the soup during the contest and the organiser will only be serving noodles and broth for the ramen.

How big is the bowl of ramen and what style will be served?

The organiser are using the regular size bowl which is available at the restaurant and the ramen served will be Tonkotsu style.

Is the ramen served Halal/ Vegetarian?

The ramen served is neither Halal nor vegetarian. Also, the broth for both stalls is Tonkotsu style which means it is made from pork and pork bones, and may contain chicken and/or fish. It does NOT contain BEEF and LAMB.

Can I bring my own seasoning?

Contestants are discouraged from bringing their own seasoning.

Will water be provided?

The organiser will be providing ice water for during the contest and green tea will be served at the waiting areas.

What is the minimum age to join this contest?

The minimum age to join is 18 years old and above. All participants will be required to fill up an indemnity form together with the registration form and fee.

Can I register on behalf of my friend for the ramen eating contest?

Preferably the participant should come in person to register as he/she is required to fill up an indemnity form along with the registration form and registration fee. However, you may write in to the organiser at ramenchampion@gmail.com and they will review on a case to case basis.

How this contest works and how do I qualify the Finals?

The format of the contest will be based on the number of regular size bowls a participant can finish within 15 minutes and that will qualify him/her into the final round. The participants who can finish the most number of ramen will enter into the final round on 14 November 2013 at Great World City.

Do I still get my vouchers if I don’t qualify for the Finals? What vouchers will be given?

All participants will be given the $30 cash vouchers regardless if they qualified into the final round. The cash vouchers will be sponsored by Komars F&B Pte Ltd and can be used for restaurants such as Daikokuya, Bishamon, Menya Koji and Benten Café. There is no minimum spending required but it is not applicable for set meals or other promotional items.

Will there be any other prizes for the finalist other than the grand prize?

Currently, the organiser has decided only the grand prize of $10,000 will be given but they are working on the details of other prizes, if any. Ramen Champion would like everyone to walk away happily and hence $30 vouchers will be given to every participant.

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I had a wonderful time in Hong Kong witnessing the eating power of Tomoko Miyake and an photo opportunity with Eric Tsang, producer of Ramen Champion Hong Kong. Registration for Ramen Big Eater Challenge starts today (26 Sep) and ends tomorrow (27 Sep)! Head down to Ramen Champion @ Bugis+ between 6.30pm to 9.30pm to register.

Though no TVB stars will be joining the contest in Singapore, but who knows, the grand prize of S$10,000 could be yours to keep.  Just a word of caution, join for fun and eat within your limit.

For more information, visit Ramen Champion Singapore at www.ramenchampion.com.sg or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RamenChampionSingapore

I’m going to the Emerald of Borneo!

While the majority population were getting gear up to meet Psy, Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber and other international stars at the first ever Social Stars Concert, I’m excited about flying off to the Emerald of Borneo and close encounters with the proboscis monkeys tomorrow!

During a recent conversation with a friend, he made this observation after his recent trip to Taipei. “Take away Taipei 101 and the city feels like any other,” he commented. Indeed, for me, most big cities look and feel the same, remove the major landmarks and shopping bazaars, and what’s remaining are the skyscrapers overlooking downtown like security officers guarding a red carpet.

This is why I feel that Brunei is so special to me – offering us a chance to be close to Mother Nature and the great outdoor again. In comparison, Brunei is 5,765 kilometres square while Singapore is only 710 kilometers square, and 70% of its land mass is covered by lush rainforest. Besides oil, I believe clean air is also in abundance at the Emerald of Borneo.

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[Photo credit: borneoadventure.com]

Geographically separated from peninsular Asia by the South China Sea, Brunei lies on Borneo – the 3rd largest island in the world. Brunei occupies only 1% of Borneo, sharing the island with Malaysia’s Sarawak and Sabah, and Indonesia’s province of Kalimantan.

Besides sharing the same currency rate as Singapore and occasionally receiving the Brunei dollars while shopping, I know little about this Southeast Asia neighbour of ours. I made a trip to the library but was unable to find any guidebook specifically for Brunei, which encouraged me to discover more about this mysterious country when I arrive there.

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[Photo credit: idreamofdurian.com]

Besides being the home of proboscis monkey, the capital Bandar Seri Begawan is a juxtaposition of water villages with the grand palace, Istana Nurul Iman and majestic mosques as its backdrop. Many of my friend laughed when I show my excitement for Brunei, a country many guys only recognised as the training ground for jungle survival during their military service.

No doubt, a holiday to Brunei is unlike the usual city sightseeing, shopping and eating which we experience in Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok. As a lover of nature, I had been to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah and I am really looking forward to discover what this country of less than half a million population has in store for us.

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[Photo credit: theempirehotel.com]

I have seen the draft itinerary and I am thrilled that we will be staying at different accommodations every night. From the elegant Rizqun International Hotel to the rustic-charmed Ulu-Ulu National Park Resort, and rounding off the trip with a night stay at the majestic Empire Hotel & Country Club, I’m atingle to check out the various facilities of these hotels and resort.

The pre-planned activities include a mixture of culture and outdoor – a night tour of  SOAS mosque and JAME mosque, trekking through Ulu Temburong National Park, a day tour of the water village, relaxing time at Serasa Beach, plus diving, snorkeling and horse riding. With an itinerary is packed with so many stuff to do, we dare to say that a holiday in Brunei is only just about M&M (mosque and museum).

The fun part of this trip is that I will be going with four other bloggers, Andy Storm, Tiffany YongDeenise Glitz and Renzze (click here to read her pre-trip blog post) but I haven’t met any of them before. I’m looking forward to the interesting experiences together.

Special thanks to OMY.SG and Royal Brunei Airlines for sending me there. Royal Brunei Airlines fly to all the major cities in Southeast Asia and East Asia, as well as Dubai, London and Melbourne. They are currently running their 38th anniversary celebration with promotional fares to six destinations. Sales period until 31 May 2013. 

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[Image: flyroyalbrunei.com]

Remember to check out Royal Brunei Airlines’ website for your next holiday, at www.bruneiair.com