Burger battle in Abu Dhabi attracts dozens with a stomach for a fight

Burger connoisseurs, food lovers and eating competitors were all drawn to the burger eating challenge, with 32 contestants competing for Dh5,000 prize.

??Sultan Abdul Rehman Khan, 20, on his way to setting a record.  Silvia Razgova / The National
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ABU DHABI // Although Grand Central's motto is The Beef Stops Here, yesterday the meat seemed to flow endlessly.

The Abu Dhabi burger joint was holding its second annual mini-burger-eating competition at its branch in Delma Mall.

Burger connoisseurs, food lovers, eating competitors and casual passers-by were all drawn to the burger eating challenge, with 32 contestants competing for the Dh5,000 first place prize.

The rules were simple: whoever ate the most mini-burgers in the span of 15 minutes won. Contestants were allowed to use the dunk technique, which involved soaking burgers in water or a soft drink for ease of swallowing, and given two minutes of chipmunking after the 15 minutes were up to chew whatever remained in their mouths.

As the first round got under way, varied techniques were on display.

Some chose to quietly sit and consume the burgers in a straightforward manner, while others adopted a more lively technique, eating standing up or dancing while dunking their bread in Coke or water.

One of the more animated participants was Talal Mohammed Al Ammary, who ate the most burgers in the first round, 17, while dancing and interacting with the crowd.

"Talal seemed so calm and quiet before the round started, so I didn't think he could eat that much," said Joanna Si, who volunteered as one of the judges to count the burgers and ensure the rules were followed.

"But when it got going he was a meat-eating machine with a great attitude who had a good time."

But Mr Al Amary's record breaking attempt was bested by Sultan Abdulrahman Khan, 20, a man who looked half his size but won the contest outright with 19 burgers.

"When I saw Talal's number of 17 I was intimidated and didn't know if I could beat it," said the Pakistani, who was born and raised in Abu Dhabi. "But I knew I had a good chance because I know I can eat."