Around 1,500 customers in Ho Chi Minh City have taken up the gauntlet thrown down by a local pho restaurant, which has offered VND1 million (nearly US$50) to anyone willing to eat a jumbo bowl of noodles.
In the two weeks since the challenge has been going, only 10 percent of the contenders, or around 150 people, finished their final spoonful of the 4-kilo tangle of noodles in under 45 minutes.
The prize was paid half in cash and half in the form of a gift voucher redeemable for more noodles.
Those who failed, paid VND200,000 (around $10) which restaurant representative Nguyen Huy Cuong said only covered the cost to Ong Hung restaurant.
According to Cuong, most of the winners were men -- with the exception of two women and a 13-year old boy.
Cuong added that the jumbo bowl of Pho is four times a normal serving size.
“Ong Hung’s owner is a Viet Kieu who only wants to lure more customers with this funny challenge,” said Cuong.
The director of the Ho Chi Minh City Nutrition Center Do Thi Ngoc Diep wasn't laughing, on Friday, when she warned that such a huge amount of food could prove damaging to one's system.
“It’s okay for expats, like the Americans or Europeans who have big frames and stomachs,” she said.
Anyone who would like to take the jumbo pho challenge can visit the restaurant at 192 Nguyen Van Thu Street in District 1.