Calling all professional eaters: the biggest and baddest bowl of ramen has arrived in University City. Sang Kee Noodle House, located at 3540 Chestnut Street, offers the food challenge that will rival your 10¢ Top Ramen. The Ramen Super Bowl whipped up at Sang Kee is a soup of gigantean proportion, enough to feed six people or one hungry student.
The dish is not the typical college staple, made with 3.5lbs of noodles and topped with roast pork, roast duck, braised beef, pork belly, grilled chicken, shrimp dumplings, spicy bamboo shoots, snow pea leaves, and two five–spice eggs. For vegetarians or those avoiding the meat sweats, there is an all–vegetable option as well.
While a regular bowl of ramen at Sang Kee rings up around $10, the Super Bowl costs $59.88. According to manager Hugh Kong, the bowl is ordered around five to 10 times a day, typically by people from around the city who hear about the challenge. Despite its large size, the dish requires no preorder and only takes a little longer to make than their typical ramen bowls.
Any group of diners can order the bowl, but only one single person can take on the challenge. If the diner finishes the bowl in under 45 minutes, he or she wins the prize of only paying $1 for the meal and an "underdog winner” T–shirt. “Less than 10 people have finished the challenge,” Kong said. However, those that do finish it often have time to spare. The current record to beat is 11 minutes for men and 16 minutes for women.
This is not the first jumbo meal that Sang Kee has offered. In February, the restaurant put on the dumpling food challenge, in which diners consume 58 dumplings for men or 48 for women in 45 minutes or under. The challenge was a nod to the Chinese New Years tradition of eating dumplings for good luck. “The dumpling challenge was so successful—we didn’t expect it to be. It draws in people every other month.”
Competitive eaters–in–training should hurry to Sang Kee soon, as the offer is only available in the month of April. While Sang Kee doesn’t forsee any new food challenges in the future, they do plan to bring back the successful Super Ramen Bowl again. “Next year, we will do it a little different. We think the bowl is too big and not a lot of people can finish it,” said Kong. “Next year, it will be smaller and a smaller price. It is getting too close to professional level.”