Sunday, November 1, 2009

Domination of Kenka's 'Jumbo Curry'

So yeah, this post is super heavy on the images, so I apologize in advance for that. Also, if you're friends with me on Facebook, you've probably already seen half these pictures. Anyhoo, for no apparent reason... Chris, Han, and I decided we were going to go to Kenka for dinner. I mean, it was Halloween and it seemed way lame for us to stay at Columbia for another weekend night, so what better way than to get our faces stuffed with curry! Okay, so the original plan was to head to Kenka early (around 7ish) to polish off the lame curry challenge, and then off to a sports bar around St. Mark's Place to watch the Phillies destroy the Yankees (only in Chris' head). How's J.A. Happ doing btw Chris (I know you'll read this eventually)? So yeah, we walked to 96th since there was no service for the downtown 1 at Columbia, since, we figured more walking would just make us hungrier. In fact, this was all going to plan since I had erged a 10k with Chris earlier that day (for the record, I could still smoke most of the walkons). I had a feeling that it would be tremendously epic.

So what follows deserves a little back story. We get to Kenka and order up. The jumbo curry for Han and myself, and the simple katsu curry for Chris, who didn't want to play. As far as how this was... I think it was about $8 (actually I know for a fact Kenka has a stupid $8 minimum per party at the table, so there's no way it was less), and Chris said it was overpriced compared to Go Go Curry. He was slightly irked that they only gave him a spoon (probably because he's White haha) so he couldn't cut his katsu. His exact words were "it wasn't memorable, but it was good for what it was." In any case, the waiter returned to the table with two small servings of just curry rice and plopped them in front of me and Han. We were super confused. We thought, maybe this is just part of the whole challenge. Good thing we asked though, the waiter who took our order misunderstood, and thought we just wanted the curry rice. He then proceeded to go down to the basement to grab 2 giant silver trays to confirm that's what we wanted. They were pretty mediocre sized. I felt ready to piss my pants pretty confident.

When our waiter returned with our massive contest sized curry dishes, I was greeted by this. A pile of rice with a smiling face... filled with curry. Han's didn't have the face, and I swear he had less rice, although he'd tell you otherwise. This is what I had to finish within 20 minutes, or else I'd have to pay $25. Pretty good deal actually, 4 pounds of food for $25, but I really didn't want to pay. Now that I look at that picture, it's almost as if the curry is mocking me...

Anddddd... we start! I covered my mouth in the very beginning because I wanted to keep table manners. I don't like chewing with a stuffed mouth in front of others. I quickly abandoned this, when I realized I cared more about speed of eating than about outward appearance.

This is Han at the very start. Notice the golden glow of curry on his cheek. I mean that in the straightest way possible. He tried pacing himself, so his start was a little bit slower. In the first 5 minutes, all I kept hearing was... "how are you doing this?"

My plate about 5 minutes in. I went nuts at the very beginning, shoveling way more food into my mouth in that time period than I probably should over the course of an hour. In any case, 5 minutes in, I was about halfway through my plate. I was just cruisin'. In fact, I was almost sure that I could finish in about 10 minutes.

I don't think it's very obvious, but if you notice the 2 plates of curry, mine is significantly smaller than Han's. In retrospect, a slow and steady wins the race approach would've probably been better.

Then about 10 minutes in, reality sets in. I only have about 4 or 5 bites left to take (albeit a lot of potatoes... which suck... and also a lot of carrots and assorted meats). I distinctly remember feeling some of it coming back up, then insisting to Chris that I had to take a breather. What happened exactly was that, I asked Chris to tell me when it reached 14 minutes, then I'd finish the remainder. Seriously... too much, too fast.

Then within 2 minutes of hitting the 14 minute mark, I finished my plate. All 4 pounds of it. There was a moment within the last 4 bites that sucked. I ate what I thought was a piece of chicken breast, only to discover that it was soft... chicken... skin. Imagine feeling insanely sick, then slowly gnawing on a piece of pure fat. Yeah, that was the pinnacle of the night.

Whatever, I finished within 17 minutes. Something close to 16:30 or 16:40. When I asked the waitress what the fastest time they'd seen was, they said someone did it in 12 minutes. What kind of freak does that? Honestly, I want to know.

Here's Han... throwing in the towel. The last minute was pretty entertaining. Han kept insisting that everything was fine, that he'd shovel everything in his mouth in the final 10 seconds. Which is when our waitress (who had the hugest grin on her face) began counting down for 30 seconds, and then for 10 seconds. Immediately after she said he had 10 seconds left... his response? "Actually can I get this to go please?"

And the front to the shirt that I won. My curry was free (thank god) and I can always claim that I've beaten Kenka's Jumbo Curry Challenge. Also, I think the Asian girls at the table next to ours were super impressed (or disgusted). Either way, when they tried to make their boyfriends do it, they refused... probably because they knew how badly they'd fail. In retrospect, no one really won. I felt like death for the 2 hours following (although I ultimately did go to a sports bar later that night), and Kenka lost $25 and a shirt. I feel like a winner today though haha.


Anonymous said...

who's the serial killer

bionicgrrrl said...

Haha, you felt like a winner, but what about the day after? Hilarious, but the shirt does look pretty cool.

Nicholas said...

@bionicgrrrl today WAS the day after... and i felt good enough to make it to the gym in time to set a season best on the 10k (rowing)... not that anyone cares lol. the shirt was definitely worth it though, that and the motivation not to have to pay, have i mentioned how broke i am this year?

Dominic said...

i am going to race you to an entire koronet's pie
you name the time and place

Anonymous said...

did this with 3 other friends the other day. was the only one able to finish it, although one of my friends was really close. curry didnt sit well and i threw up outside maybe 15 mins later. free meal and t-shirt though! not for the faint of heart.

Jan-Carlo said...

I just did this challenge in 7 minutes. My half japanese side trumphed... My filipino/spaniard side was in pain.

Ryan West said...

Awesome article. I am thinking of giving this a try. I hope they still do it.

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