This is a new challenge in London and adds some nice variety to the usual burger/steak/breakfast challenge fare. It consists of:
- 1500ml Beef Pho soup
- 250g Pho noodles
- 100g of beef
- 100g of chicken
- 8 king prawns
- 6 baked spring rolls
- Side salad
You have an hour to eat all of it. If you do, the meal is free; you get your picture on the wall of fame and a 10% discount on your next visit. If you fail, you pay for the £25 meal and have your picture on the wall of shame.
Overall, this weighs in at over 2kg. A respectable volume, but nothing crazy like some of the larger challenges out there, and the time limit is generous.
This was my first challenge of 2016. It seemed like it was within my stomach capacity, plus the time limit would give me a buffer just in case I was being slow to power through to the end. I was determined to win, and pretty excited for the meal itself.
After a long break I expected to be slow, so it came as a surprise how easily I managed to get through this meal. It tasted great. The broth had an appetising aroma and was full of flavour. There were some lovely homemade sauces on the side as well to add some more depth of flavour, which I used to experiment and mix things up. At no point did I get flavour fatigue. This was definitely a very enjoyable and delicious come back to food challenges.
I think where most people seem to struggle is the broth; it is a lot of liquid. However, if you can eat a fair amount it actually acts in your favour, helping get everything down easier. There was no need to sip water/drink of choice during this challenge as you would if you were facing a pile of chips for example.
In the end, I completed it in just over 13 minutes and felt good afterwards, to the point I ordered an appetiser since I enjoyed the food here so much. It definitely left me feeling full and satisfied, but not uncomfortable. I recommend people who are curious about doing food challenges give this one a go. It will give you a good measure of where your capacity is without being overly time pressured. The variety of flavours will help you not burn out and the contrast of textures between the Pho and spring rolls helps as well. Even if you fail you will still have some delicious Pho to take home with you, which is not bad in my book.
If you have any other interesting and unique challenges to share or want to share your experience with the Pho Challenge, let me know in the comment section below.
You can find this challenge at:
Union Viet Cafe & Restaurant
120 Union Street