Wings of Death @ the Green Ant Cantina, Cairns


If you’re a true Cairns local then it’s more than likely that you’ve heard of the Wings of Death challenge at the Green Ant Cantina on Bunda Street.  For those of you that haven’t well it goes a little like this… The Wings of Death are chicken wings that are coated in secret hot sauces made from ‘some of the hottest chillies known to man’ – the habanero and the ghost chilli. To win the challenge one must eat seven of these wings without any liquids to ease the burn and the plate must be completely sauce free at the end. If you achieve all that then you get a bumper sticker and your name on the ‘Wall of Flame’, because how cool are bumper stickers? Pretty sweet deal huh?  Did I do it?  Well, not exactly…


As someone that has watched the entire series of Man Vs Food and heard various tales of people that have attempted the Wings of Death I’d be lying if I didn’t say curiosity had gotten the better of me over time. Thinking that I am pretty bulletproof admittedly I have always wondered what it was like to do one of these so called ‘challenges’ last Friday night whilst there with my family for a friend’s birthday dinner MS suggested we give it a go.

Ok, ok initially the suggestion was made for the Birthday Boy to do the entire Wings of Death challenge but he pretty much straight up refused it.  Soon after dad’s curiosity as to how hot these wings really were also got the better of him.  He lay down the challenge to myself and the Birthday Boy saying that we couldn’t/wouldn’t eat one and so we decided that the only way to find out was to order a plate of the Wings of Death and share them.

This wouldn’t be the first time my dad has egged me on and no doubt it won’t be the last.  Ever since I was a kid everything between me and him has been a competition (a friendly one of course) – from who could run the fastest to who could eat dinner the fastest, hence the reason that now as an adult I don’t chew my food, I inhale it. And who could forget our much contested appearance on the live audience version of Fear Factor at Universal Studios back in 2005 where we both drank a concoction of blended up sour milk, fish guts, duck tongues, live maggots and live crickets. I beat dad by drinking two cups of the horrendous tasting gunk to move onto the next round in my unquestionable gut churning domination of the event.  Dad still to this day cannot let it go and swears that he drank it faster than I did unbeknown to the entire studio audience that was watching. Needless to say The Mummy rollercoaster ride later on that day was a memorable experience for all the wrong reasons.

So now you understand how competitive things can get between us I shall go back to my original story. To cut an already long story short the death wings arrived at the table and out of the 9 people there only 3 of us ate a Wing of Death – myself, my dad and the Birthday Boy. My brother put his finger in the chilli to taste it and cried like a little baby, my Sri Lankan mother who barely consumed a ‘bee’s d*ck’ of the sauce made an awful racket about how badly it burned and then the rest of the table just down right refused to go anywhere near it.


The remaining three of us each consumed a wing whilst waiting for our mains to arrive. It goes without saying that these wings are ridiculously hot but because we weren’t officially doing the challenge (we were just sharing an entree) we could have as much water or in my case blue cheese sauce as we wanted. After the tears and the running noses we all decided that one Wing of Death was indeed enough and the remainder of the wings were pushed to the end of the table never to be thought about again. Or so we thought.

We had dinner, which might I add wasn’t particularly great, and I was about to signal the waitress to bring out the birthday cake. About an hour had passed since we ate ‘one’ Wing of Death each and I began to feel a slight burning in my tummy followed by a strong feeling of being generally ill. I excused myself from the table and went to the ladies toilet which was luckily very close by, all the while using every ounce of my energy not to fall over because I was so dizzy. I sat in there for a good five minutes sweating profusely and wondering if possibly my drink had been spiked.  I also seriously considered lying down and curling up on the cold concrete floor at my feet. I heard a bit of a commotion outside the door and realised that I wasn’t in fact the only one that felt this way.

Because I had so quietly excused myself to go to the toilet when my dad started panting heavily and struggling to breathe MS sincerely thought he may be having a heart attack and went into full emergency mode, which luckily is what he is trained for. A few minutes later when I literally dragged myself from the toilet and the rest of the table saw how deathly white and pouring with sweat I was we all realised it was in fact the Wings of Death. The party was over.  No cake for me and dad, or anyone for that matter.  Mum drove dad home stopping suddenly along the way so he could power spew on the side of the road.  My sister, who pleaded with me to go straight to the emergency ward, on my staunch request took me straight home where I lay on the shower floor in foetal position with severe stomach cramps until MS forced me to drink milk and miraculously as quickly as it had come on the pain subsided.

For dad and I it was a bit of a horrific end to what was a nice birthday dinner for the Birthday Boy, who might I add despite a bit of heart burn didn’t succumb to the Homer Simpson-like experience that dad and I did. Dad is still convinced that someone is probably going to die one day doing the actual challenge which is probably why anyone that does do it has to sign a medical waiver before they commence.  They’re certainly not called the Wings of Death for nothing but in the end I didn’t spew like dad did so that makes me the clear winner.  Again.

Posted on April 2, 2015, in Cairns and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Ha ha ha, that is an awesome story! What a way to go and you love chilli! It so funny that food made you curl up in a foetal position and throw up without being poisoned.
    What a memorable dish.

  2. Square one.

    I will not accept abusive bevaviour in any context.

    No context needed.

  3. That’s a bit disappointing about the main not being that great. I haven’t been there yet, but have only heard good reviews until this. Puts me off a bit, but thanks for the heads up!

    • Yeah it’s kind of cheap backpacker kind of food and a little over priced because of that. Out of our table of 9 no one was particularly impressed with their meal but having said that I have heard plenty of positive reviews. I do think it’s a little overpriced also.

  4. Holy shit! I was reading along, laughing, (the mental image of you and your dad drinking the yuck smoothie was hilarious) until I got to the bit where you are on the shower floor. Then I was horrified. You poor thing!! Not the way you want to end a celebration.

    I used to live close to the Green Ant so was a semi-regular visitor. The food was really good, then it changed. Not sure if they changed cooks.. or recipes… or what, but it’s been no bueno for quite a while. I haven’t been there for years now. It’s a shame, I love Mexican food. Does anyone do it well in Cairns? Oh, and I totally agree… not spewing makes you the “wings of intense intestinal irritation” champion. 😉

    Happy Easter, Vixen. May you stuff yourself silly with wonderful things that don’t try to kill you.

  5. Wotsit –
    There is nowhere in Cairns that does food that is even remotely Mexican. The only place in Australia, that we have found, is a place in Noosa (can’t remember the name, and no it wasn’t Montezemas- barf- but that’s another story ) and they made their own masa flour tortillas, so tasty!

    I personally didn’t think that the Green Ant’s food has ever been great, but it has gone downhill (I agree). We used to go when it was 2 for 1’s and drink specials. It was more a group party place than a restaurant for us.

    Funniest memory ever was a friend trying to order a just cheese Quesadilla, the server was insistent that that wasn’t on the menu so no it couldn’t be ordered. Sarcastically my friend then proceeded to order a chicken and cheese Quesadilla minus the chicken. Again the server was insistent that the chicken must be served so my friend (while we are all trying not to explode in laughter) orders the chicken and cheese Quesadilla, with the chicken on the side. The server accepted the order and indeed bring out a cheese Quesadilla with a side of chicken…..

    Aussies have no idea how delicious the food in Mexico actually is, like real fish tacos sold on a little stand on the beach or tacos straight from a grill and stuffed with whatever is in season. As well as the Mexican run family restaurants all over the States. We go back to the States to visit family as often as we can, and we love our first real meal to be from a little family owned place in the town where my husband grew up, that is owned by first and now second generation Mexican family. Homemade tortillas are served immediately with queso dip and salsa and the stuffed Poblano Chiles (Chiles Relleno) are delicious.

    Oh Man V Food, we did a road trip of the south a few years ago and ate at a whole bunch of the restaurants that he visited, like Vortex, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Acme Oyster house, Gladys Knights Chicken and waffles, Oklahoma Joes, Bates and Arthur Bryants and a heap of others too. There was some seriously awesome food.

    • For some reason your comment has only just now shown up on my site! Yes I won’t be returning to the Green Ant anytime soon that’s for sure. The price of the food is ridiculous especially considering its essentially a backpackers hangout. Your quesadilla story is very funny! I can’t believe they wouldn’t just give you the bloody quesadilla. I have been to the family run Mexican joints in the USA. My family still has fond memories of pulling up our RV somewhere near Texas or New Mexico at a tiny brightly coloured restaurant. The food was amazing! I can only hope to go to Mexico one day and eat fish tacos 😜

  6. Hi Mich, I totally agree that it was more a group party place and my eyes just about rolled out of my head reading the quesadilla tale. Doesn’t surprise me and I’m dead jealous of your Man vs Food road trip. Dead jealous of yours too, Vixen. One day I’ll get there… one day.

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