This post was first published by My London on 24/05/2019.
Is this the biggest breakfast in London?
Eight rashers of bacon, two fried eggs, two large sausages, mushrooms, beans, two tomatoes, a piece of fried bread and a ton of chips… Easy, right?
Something that sends the fear of God into some journalists and absolute euphoria into others is the Man vs Food challenge.
It starts with a tap on the shoulder and the words: “We want you to go to this café …”
Well my time had come.
If I succeeded then I got it for free, if I failed then my heart and arteries would be eternally grateful.
When I arrived at the café I was feeling pretty confident; I was hungry and I have a reasonably good appetite.
But then I saw the sheer size of it and I suddenly felt like that small little schoolboy on his first day all over again.
Fat Boys Café, on Thornton Road, has been open for the last 18 years and is family owned.
The breakfast challenge has been running from the day it first flung open its doors to the public.
The brainchild of owner Farouk Hassanein, the Blowout has become an iconic part of the business, as well as ensuring the café is never out of the news for long.
‘Everyone who tries it leaves feeling sick’
When I visited, I was warmly greeted by co-owner Noha and her daughter Deana.
“I’d say one or two people finish it each month within the one hour,” said Deana. “Throughout the week quite a few people try. On the weekend there’s always three or four people that give it a go.
“If they finish it, they feel sick. If they give up, they feel sick. Basically everyone leaves feeling sick after trying the Blowout.”
On that note I rather timidly ordered one Blowout and paid the £19.99 fee to experience the epic challenge.
Fat Boys is a café packed full of character and everyone that walks in seems genuinely pleased to be there.
They look excited and there’s an energy – it’s essentially a theme park café with white-knuckle rides.
Fat Boys has become so famous now that people from all over the world come in to take up the breakfast challenge.
The regulars who make it look easy
YouTube stars and famous bloggers have all stepped into the lion’s den to put their stomachs to the test by taking on the mammoth challenge.
“We have one customer who comes in every year,” said Deana. “He finishes the breakfast no problem every time. He’s super slim and I always wonder where he puts it. He treats it like it’s a small breakfast.”
I had not been waiting more than 10 minutes when there was suddenly a huge “Bong!” that filled the room.
After collecting myself momentarily I realised that this was the moment of truth.
It was my Man vs Food, my first breakfast challenge and my first Blowout.
Eight rashers of bacon, two fried eggs, two large sausages, mushrooms, beans, two tomatoes, a piece of fried bread and a ton of chips.
As it was brought over to me Deana said: “Mum has been nice to you.”
In normal circumstances, “nice” would mean an extra helping, but I was glad to find out in this instance it meant that Noha had “apparently” gone easy on the chips.
I had it all planned out, play by the rules and I should win the challenge.
The rules stated that you had one hour to eat everything – I normally eat my dinner in five minutes so the key was to use the whole hour and chew small bits at a time.
I started off strongly, within just a couple of minutes I had consumed four pieces of bacon, some chips and a sausage – but I was breaking my own strategy.
I was feeling full and I had only been eating for five minutes – I needed inspiration.
Death by potato
Deana had told me about a man who had come in only two months ago, he was an old customer who knew his way around the Blowout.
On his most recent visit he had polished off the whole lot and requested a desert of apple pie and custard which he consumed without even a whimper.
If he could do it, I could do it.
I tucked back in but lasted only 15 more minutes.
And gave up.
In 25 minutes I had eaten five rashers of bacon, two and a half sausages, two fried eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, one tomato and quite a lot of chips.
But my downfall had been caused by the humble potato.
This was definitely the biggest breakfast I had ever seen, and I’d be shocked if there was a bigger dish in London.
Fancy taking on the Blowout? Head on down to Fat Boys Café, at 306 Thornton Rd, Croydon, CR0 3EU.
Let us know how you got on by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org