“Food coma” refers to a state of extreme exhaustion caused by the consumption of too much food. It’s an experience that can happen very, very easily in Parramatta. Most of the neighbourhood’s chefs live by the motto, “Too much is better than not enough.” Oversized burgers, mountainous piles of pasta and endless banquets are all par for the course. This guide is dedicated to the hungriest, most passionate diners in Parramatta and surrounds.
Ribs and Rumps
Ribs and Rumps’ renowned food dare, Man Vs. Meat has defeated even the most experienced and enthusiastic of eaters. Anyone who wants to it take on should have a stomach as big as a bus and the willpower of a superhero. The challenge is to eat 1.2 kilograms of rump steak, one kilogram of beef rib, 800 grams of chips, 200 grams of onion rings and a garden salad – in one sitting. The prize? A commemorative steak knife and Ribs and Rumps footing the bill, which totals $99.95. Bookings are compulsory so call ahead.
8 Dawn Fraser Avenue Sydney Olympic Park 2127; (02) 9746 0554; Open everyday 11:30am - Late; Visit the Ribs and Rumps website.
Criniti’s food challenge puts an expert eater face-to-face with a metre long pizza, which must be consumed within an hour. It’s possible to attempt this solo or duo – though, of course, duos should expect two metres of pizza. The impressive prize is an 'Eat Free VIP Card', which allows the carrier to eat at Criniti’s for free for an entire year. Needless to say, there’s high demand. Anyone who believes they have what it takes should register online via Criniti’s Pizza Challenge Booking Form. Open since 2003, Criniti’s Parramatta is the original. The restaurant’s authentic Italian fare and family-friendly atmosphere has been so popular, there are now ten others in Australia.
291 Church Street Parramatta 2150; (02) 8026 7700; Open Monday - Friday 9:00am - 10:30pm; Visit Criniti's website.
When it comes to gigantic servings, XS Espresso is a social media superstar. Think freak shakes topped with upside-down ice cream cones, pizzas piled with hot chips and waffles layered with fried chicken, coleslaw and sweet potato crisps. Among the crowd favourites is the Volcano, a monster shake with ice cream, Oreo, coconut, Nutella and warm chocolate souffle, and the Big XS Breakfast: eggs, bacon, chorizo, potato gems, haloumi chips, avocado, spinach, tomato relish, garlic aioli and sourdough toast.
Shop 9A, 2 Windsor Road North Parramatta 2151; Open daily till 10:00pm; (02) 9890 9229; Visit the XS Espresso website.
For anyone looking to indulge in company, El Phoenician’s Byblos Banquet – available to groups of four or more – is the way to go. This magnificent Lebanese feast, fit for royalty, is a cornucopia of traditional dishes, grilled delicacies and premium seafood. Diners can sit back, relax and chat as plate after plate of breads, dips, salads, sides, oysters, king prawns and shish kebab arrives at the table. If this sounds like too much for one night, smaller banquets are available, as are platters for two.
328 Church Street Parramatta 2150; (02) 9633 1611; Open Monday 5:00pm - late, Tuesday - Sunday 11:30am - 3:00pm and 5:00pm - late. Visit the El Phoenician website.
If there’s a way to fit as many sweet, sugary, creamy foods into a bowl or onto a plate as possible, the chefs at Bay Vista Dessert Bar have found it. Their claim to fame is the mighty ice cream bowl, available in three varieties, of which the most over-the-top is the 5th Avenue, New York. Scoops of peanut butter, chocolate and boysenberry ice cream are layered with chunks of New York cheesecake, bites of chocolate brownie, pieces of waffle, soft serve, lashings of whipped cream and chocolate fudge sauce.
Shop 1, 330 Church Street Parramatta 2150; (02) 9056 2775; Open daily 10:00am – midnight. Visit the Bay Vista website.
Another spot where bigger is definitely considered better is Milky Lane, a lively burger bar plastered in street art and soundtracked by hip-hop. The ultimate feast on the menu is undoubtedly the Cheat Platter: a burger accompanied by loaded fries, two mac-and-cheese croquettes, Korean fried chicken and a thick shake. Yep, it’s pretty much a food coma on a plate. Lighter eaters can opt for a burger only, such as the Chic-Kanye, packed with fried chicken, maple-smoked bacon, American cheese, slaw, lettuce, BBQ sauce, aioli and pineapple relish. Milky Lane is the passion project of four friends, who founded the first venue at Bondi Beach and have since set up in Cronulla and Parramatta.
Shop 20, 22 Macquarie Street Parramatta 2150; (02) 9689 3893; Opens daily 11:30am - 10:00pm. Visit the Milky Lane website.