Chinese Man Versus Food; Man Won, Barely - I Take Down the Orochon Ramen Challenge: Special #2
Suen the Tank Takes Down Special #2
Taking Down the Challenge
Orochon Ramen, located in Little Tokyo near downtown Los Angeles, is home to the well-known special #2 challenge.The famous Adam from Man vs Food has taken up the challenge and made the wall of bravery. Below is the video documenting his success.
Orochon Ramen uses a special soup broth with 13 different spices. They also claim to use a special pure water to make the soup. Personally, it is not the best ramen I have ever had, but it rates as above average. Each bowl of ramen is made to order. You have 9 levels of spiciness to choose from. The lowest starts at #7 and progresses to #1; Special #1 and #2 are the hottest. You can also add different items to you bowl such as Char Siu, and corn. People flock to the restaurant however, not necessarily for the great tasting ramen. They come to take a chance of securing their spot on the wall of bravery.
Back in March of 2004, a group of friends and I decided to have dinner there. Prior to eating there that night, I had never heard of the Special #2 challenge. My friends dared me to take on the challenge, and ignorantly I agreed. I had 30 minutes to eat all the contents of the bowl in including the soup. The waitress brought out a kitchen timer, wound it up, and shouted out, "go!" I dove right into the food and finished all the solid contents within ten minutes. In hindsight, I would have drank some of the soup as I worked through the noodles. I had 20 minutes remaining on the timer with a full bowl of bright-colored red soup. I spooned through it to find jalapeño slices and seeds sitting at the bottom. Keep in mind, everything had to be consumed. With two hands, I grabbed the bowl and began to chug. After 5 or 6 attempts at this, I finally finished everything! I had about 2 minutes to spare. My clothes were drenched with sweat and I I had moisture flooding down my forehead. Drinking a glass of water tasted just as spicy as the soup. I felt miserable. We left the restaurant only to sit in the courtyard for another 30 minutes; I was not feeling well. Finally, I gave in, sprinted back to the restaurant, and visited their restroom facilities. Regurgitating the soup was just as painful as consuming it. Luckily for me, there lacked minor details about the time limit one had to endure after finishing the bowl of ramen. As a result, I secured my own place on the wall of bravery.
If you are in the area, you have to try Orochon at least once. I caution you that the ramen again is good, but not the best. The excitement of the challenge is well worth the visit. If you are brave enough to join those on the wall, bring a bottle of antacids and order up a Special #2. Thank you for reading.
Have you or would you try the Orochon Ramen Challenge?
Adam from Man vs Food Takes Down Special #2
- Orochon Ramen
Home to the Orochon Ramen Challenge Special #2