Meet Tony Roma's Lamb Ribs Eating champs!

The ultimate lamb ribs eating champions were crowned in a recent finale of the world’s first Tony Roma’s Lamb Ribs Eating Contest 2016, in a speed-eating face-off here.

Dickson Low [Centre] with Lamb Ribs Eating champs 2016
Muhd Reza Putra Salam [Left] and Siti Farhana Azmi
A large weekend crowd gathered in the concourse of KOMTAR JBCC to witness how eight male and eight female contestants flexed their gastronomic muscles to compete for bragging rights and the coveted prize of eating Free-of-Charge at Tony Roma’s for the next 12 months.

To kick-off the event, ten contestants were invited from the audience to participate in a warm-up session of speed-eating a plate of French fries and drinking a tumbler of soda.

Dangling the attractive prize of a portable electric oven, it was quite easy to interest passers-by, shoppers and by-standers to join in the game and enjoy a free snack.

The audience cheered them on as a mixed group of male and female contestants sat down to race to finish a pile of French fries and wash it down with the fizzy drink.

Siti Farhana Azmi showing only bones left on her plate
The winner of this challenge, Ramesh Nadeson, is no stranger to this competition as he was also the past year’s winner!

The competition moved into the next (serious!) phase where female contestants took their seats to attempt the challenge to finish half a slab of Tony Roma’s famous lamb ribs and a portion of French fries.

First-timer, Siti Farhana Azmi, 26, clocked 4 minutes 51 seconds to emerge the winner in this eating contest.

Farhana, a junior secretary with a law firm in JB, who was tasting Tony Roma’s for the very first time, said her sister told her about the competition and urged her to take part.

Male contestants chewing into the barbecued lamb ribs
While most participants may have prepared their stomachs for the eating contest by starving themselves, Farhana came to the competition after having spaghetti for breakfast!

When asked if she would join Tony Roma’s eating competition again, Farhana said she may do so if given the opportunity but humbly added that it was better to let others win.

By this time the crowd in the concourse had swelled and shoppers, assailed by the tantalizing aroma of Tony Roma’s freshly barbecued lamb ribs, were also watching and cheering at all the action from the first and second level corridors.

Muhd Reza Putra Salam shows the thumbs-up sign on
finishing his portion of lamb ribs and French fries first
Then it was time for the male contestants to take the hot seats and deal with the serious challenge of eating a full slab of Tony Roma’s lamb ribs with a portion of French fries.

The mood was highly charged with heated fun while supporters in the audience cheered the contestants on as they chewed their way through the competition.

There must be a strategy to tucking into the juicy ribs and Muhd Reza Putra Salam, 35, must have hit on the solution because he polished his plate in 5 minutes and 28 seconds!

Reza, a Singaporean technician who lives in JB, had just come off his night shift and arrived on time for the competition – tired and hungry – so he made light work of completing the challenge quite effortlessly!

Also a first-time participant in the eating contest, Reza said he enjoys the taste of Tony Roma’s juicy beef and lamb ribs, and found that the lamb ribs tastes more tender.

Dickson Low with the female contestants and their prizes
This was the fourth time Tony Roma’s held their Ribs-Eating Competition and the very first time competitors experienced the Lamb Ribs Eating challenge.

Since Tony Roma’s opened in Malaysia a decade ago, this full-service, casual dining restaurant has garnered loyal fans for its juicy barbecued ribs, steak and seafood.

With eight outlets in the Klang Valley, one each in Malacca and Kuching, Tony Roma’s celebrated its 10th anniversary recently by adding their newest outlet at Aeon Tebrau City to join the one in KOMTAR JBCC, with two outlets now opened in JB.

While Tony Roma’s is a recognizable brand for its famous beef ribs, non-beef eaters were disappointed that they do not have the opportunity to taste these famous ribs.

“At Tony Roma’s we always listen to our customers,” said Tony Roma’s brand general manager, Muhammd Adam Mah, who is also an experienced chef and restauranteur.

Dickson Low with the male contestants and their prizes
Aware of the customers’ request for lamb ribs, he committed himself to creating a new item for the menu.

Five years ago, when Adam created his ultimate, lip-smacking lamb ribs, he served it in a private food-tasting session, to Grand Companions (Tony Roma’s licensed franchisee) chief operating officer, Dickson Low, who happens to have an aversion to lamb.

Adam knew that if Low – who does not like lamb – approved and accepted the taste of his barbecued lamb ribs, then they have certainly found the right recipe!

This story will be told and retold again because after Low tasted the lamb ribs, he enjoyed it so much that he has since become a “lamb convert” for Tony Roma’s barbecued lamb ribs!

These amazing lamb ribs have since been added into Tony Roma’s menu for non-beef eaters and lamb-lovers to enjoy.

Now Tony Roma’s is not just a place for ribs as the menu also includes a selection of seafood, steaks, chicken, lamb, salad, sandwiches and burgers along with appetizers and mini desserts – all served suitable for Muslim consumption.

Celebrate the festive season with Tony's Fiesta Lobster Platter at only RM199 for a limited season.  The platter comprises 1 US lobster, 2 Bountiful Beef Ribs, 2 Filet Medallions, Grilled Salmon, a quarter barbecued chicken and 3 side items of your choice.  Don't miss TR's refreshing mocktails served in Zesty Apple, Cranberry Fizz, Sweet Cherry and Miami Breeze.

Two outlets of Tony Roma’s in JB are located at Lot 2013, Level 2 of KOMTAR JBCC, 80000 Johor Baru, Tel: 607 – 300 5060 and at G-112, Ground Floor, AEON Tebrau City, Taman Desa Tebrau, 81100 Johor Baru, Tel: 607 – 351 0749.

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