Oh boy… what an experience this was.
So, dumplings? Good. Rice? Good. Sticky rice dumplings? Good…? Sticky rice dumplings in an eating competition? Not so good, at least for me.
I’ve been meaning to go to the Bang Bang Oriental Food Hall for quite some time, but being quite out of the way, and on the other side of the city for me, never had quite good enough an excuse. Until now! They were hosting a sticky rice dumpling eating competition in order to celebrate the Dragon-boat Festival… as is tradition of course.
So, on a happy Monday, I trotted along after work to Colindale, wondering, who else would be there. England were playing, so I was expecting most people to be pre-occupied with that. But lo- and-behold, who should I bump into there other than Hungry Ronin. Once again (I’ll link a post to an earlier burrito competition I haven’t managed to write up yet) I found myself thinking a relatively relaxed event was going to be a lot tougher.
All I knew about this event is that it was meant to be a speed eating competition, and that the food of choice would be 1kg of sticky rice dumplings. The prizes were:
1st: £50 Food hall vouchers, £30 Restaurant voucher
2nd: £30 Food hall vouchers, £30 Restaurant voucher
3rd: £20 Food hall vouchers, £30 Restaurant voucher
To my surprise and slight disappointment, what we were eating didn’t look like 1kg of food, nor really like dumplings I’d seen before:
However, once the competition started, I was grateful it wasn’t a whole kilo of them. My approach was all wrong from the start. I went for what would usually be big but manageable bites, hoping they would help me get through it fast. The sticky rice dumplings deserve the name. They were incredibly sticky. I got the first mouthfuls down, or so I thought. For the first time, the food refused to go down. My body bizarrely was refusing to get the food down. Water wasn’t getting them down. Unfortunately the struggle to get them down continued for quite some time until I think my body yielded and got it down. That struggle with the first few bites cost me precious time. From there on I took many smaller bites that were much easier to get down, albeit still giving a fight due to the sticky nature. Even after finishing, I would cough up the occasional bit, defiant in going down.
Meanwhile next to me, Ronin made short work of the dumpling, breezing to an easy win. Overall, I came third. The struggle at the start was too much to overcome to salvage a respectable result. It’s safe to say, I’ll be staying away from rice dumplings for a bit.
Not a great result and a good reminder to stay safe during competitions and… not bite off more than you can chew (and swallow!). Still, I enjoyed trying out the food stalls at the venue after and I’m hoping the 4th of July events will help me find my groove again. They’re more my style with longer, more capacity focused events. Plus I hear a certain place wants me back for their hot-dog event, so look out for that write-up.