But that wasn’t stopping a group of curry lovers from tucking into what is believed to be one of the world’s hottest curries, the Kismot Killer, in a bid to be crowned Kismot restaurant’s “Kurry” king or queen 2011.
More than 30 people were due to test their taste buds as part of the Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant’s inaugural curry-eating competition this afternoon.
The charity challenge involves consuming three spoonfuls of three different versions of the dish, with the level of spiciness increasing for each one.
The person managing to eat all nine spoonfuls – or the last remaining contestant willing to continue – is crowned the winner.
Participants were required to sign a legal disclaimer prior to taking part in the competition, and two members of the British Red Cross were on hand at the St Leonard’s Street restaurant throughout the event, should anyone require any assistance.
Restaurant manager Abdul Ali, who lives in Newington, said: “We had a bad experience with a couple of elderly chaps recently at the restaurant. They had one spoonful of the Kismot Killer to see how hot it was, and we had to call an ambulance.
“One of the men just wanted to see how hot it was because his grandsons wanted him to take part in the competition.
“One spoonful and he was sick and fainted on the floor. He just couldn’t move himself. His friends were pouring jugs of water on his head.
“The other chap just collapsed on another person’s table – all the rice went flying. We called an ambulance but he didn’t go to hospital.”
The 27-year-old, who wears a gas mask as he serves the curries, hopes to raise more than £1000 for CHAS through sponsorship, donations and entry fees.
Guest judges include local boxers Alex Arthur and John McCallum, Miss Bodybuilding Britain champion Laura Irving, and Mr Scotland Bodybuilding champion Ben Stone.
At least 12 people have signed up to the competition – which has been branded “a test of endurance against a top secret nuclear strength recipe using some of the world’s hottest chillies” – and more were expected to turn up.
Abdul, a father-of-one, said: “Each person will have three spoonfuls in each round and if they’re not looking well after the third spoonful, the judges will make a decision about whether they can continue.”
The third and hottest version of the curry – the “new and improved” Kismot Killer – will be made specifically for the competition and does not feature on the menu.
Abdul, who hopes to make the competition an annual contest, said: “I think they’ll give the third one a bash but I don’t know if they will be able to do it. We have had nose bleeds and tongue bleeds at the restaurant before. I just hope nobody faints.”
The main difference between the three versions of the curry is the quantity of Dorset Nagas used, which is one of the hottest chillis.
The “Kurry” king or queen will receive a crown, trophy and framed certificate, as well as a £50 voucher to spend at Kismot.
There will also be prizes for second and third place.