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

Tim Ho Wan Opens New Outlet at Toa Payoh Central

Attention Tim Ho Wan Fans! Michelin Star Dim Sum will soon be available at the heartland near you. Malcolm ditched his diet plan for the highly anticipated food tasting at the second outlet by Chef Mak Kwai Pui.

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Expect longer queues and perhaps more jams along PIE as Tim Ho Wan is finally opening their second outlet. Strategically located at Toa Payoh Central (ERA Centre, next to Courts) this new branch which opens on 8 September will cater to the needs of residents in central and northern Singapore.

The real treats are the additional six new dishes to the menu which are exclusively available at this Toa Payoh outlet.  A few new dishes include Steam Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce, Fried Noodle with BBQ Pork & Soy Sauce, and Deep Fried Dumpling with Salted Meat.

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There’s more news to rejoice ‘cos Chef Mak is planning to open the third outlet at Bedok Mall while the fourth outlet will open in the western part of Singapore. With these different outlets in Singapore, Tim Ho Wan hopes to serve residents living in different parts of the island.

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The Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (S$4.50) is my favourite dish! Slightly crispy on the outside, soft and tender inside. One bite and you can taste the sweetness of the char siew which melts in your mouth. Eat it while it is fresh from the oven for the best taste. It’s no wonder this is one of the 4 Heavenly Kings on the menu.

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Unlike other carrot cakes, this Pan Fried Carrot Cake (S$4.50) from Tim Ho Wan simply melts inside when you put it in your mouth. What I really love about this dish is that every bite consists of more carrot taste than the usual rice flour taste. Though slightly oily for my likely but an excellent dish for any dim sum lovers.

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The only sweet dish among the 4 Heavenly Kings, the Steamed Egg Cake (S$3.80) can be eaten with the main course or be served as a warm dessert. Be careful of the hot steam as you sink your teeth into the tenderness of this delicious but plain-looking sweet treat.

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We didn’t get to sample the Vermicelli Roll stuffed with Pig’s Liver yesterday. But we were one of the first to try the new item, Vermicelli Roll with Sweet and Sesame Sauce (S$4.20) available only at this Toa Payoh outlet. Those who are used to having your Hong Kong style vermicelli roll stuffed with meat will have a surprise when they try this dish. Though it’s not stuffed, the main attraction of this steam roll lies in the unique combination of the sweet sauce, sesame sauce and soy sauce. Take a moment to let the aroma of the sesame sauce fills your nostrils.

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How often do you get chicken feet served with abalone sauce? The Steamed Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce (S$5.00) is a must try for phoenix claw fans. Every bite of this perfectly steam chicken feet adds to your daily collagen needs.

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Time to fill your stomach with some fried noodles to complement the dim sum! Fried Noodles with BBQ Pork and Soy Sauce (S$6.00) is one of the latest items to be added to the menu and only available at Toa Payoh outlet.

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Another new item on the menu, Deep Fried Dumpling with Salted Meat (SS$3.80) has a sweet crust with lightly salted pork inside. A unique combination of sweet and salted, but since it’s new may as well taste it.

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If food porn can seduce, this Steam Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp (S$3.80) has definitely lured me in. This crystal-skin dumpling combines the right amount of spinach, pork and shrimp to give a wholesome flavour.

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A fusion twist on the traditional fried prawn dumpling, this Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumplings (S$5.00) do not have the overwhelming taste of wasabi. Spread the roe evenly on the fried dumpling and pop half of it into your mouth for the fresh taste of the prawn.

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No trip to the dim sum house is complete with eating the traditional steamed Prawn Dumpling (S$5.50). The thin layer of skin envelopes the filling which consists of generous bits of fresh prawn.

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End off the main course with Congee with Lean Pork, Century Egg and Salted Egg (S$4.20) to clear your palate before the dessert.

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Can’t decide to choose between the Mango Pomelo Sago (S$5.00) or Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake (S$3.50), why not choose both? The mango pomelo sago tastes slightly bitter with the pomelo sago but the sweetness and smoothness of it is able to cover for it. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, then try the Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake for a herbal treat.

Tim Ho Wan Toa Payoh outlet

Address: ERA Centre, 450 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 #02-02, Singapore 319394

Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm

Contact Number: 6483 2000

Website: http://www.TimHoWan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimHoWan

Thanks Tim Ho Wan’s management and PR team for organising the food tasting, and Nicholas from Nichology.net for extending the invitation.