My Kitchen RulesMon-Thu 7:30pm, Ch7

Mmm, they're nice beets

Surprise! It’s instant restaurant elimination round time. What does that mean? The bottom three teams from each round have to do an instant restaurant in their home AGAIN, but this time the bottom team is eliminated – out for good. No second chances. Do not pass go, do not collect $250,000. It also means more frequent flyer points, more stress at home, more strategy, and more of Peter & Gary. Delicious!

First up is Thomas & Carla from Victoria again. Given they’ve been there before (and this goes for all the teams), they should be able to improve greatly on their mistakes from their first instant restaurant. Thomas just feels dirty, but Carla reminds him that the police are unable to make those charges stick so he should just move on. Pete & Manu reminisced that in the first round T&C delivered a good entree, a dodgy main that took too long to deliver, and a soapy dessert. There’s LOTS of room for improvement on the Mornington Penninsula, and they weren’t just talking about the quality of the local girls.

Carla starts chanting “prep time” like some sort of tantric mantra – Thomas asks what they’re after when they get to the supermarket and Carla replies “prep time”. She’s no help already. Their menu looks as “creative” than last time: Entree – Asparagus, Leek & Tarragon Soup; Main – Fig & Pistachio Crumbed Lamb Leg; Dessert – Lemon & Lime Tartlets. Pete is concerned their entree has too many ingredients jockeying for position. He’ll be disappointed to learn that Tarragon won at Flemington on the weekend on Black Caviar. Manu’s Sous Chef tells us his boss is worried that the main has too many ingredients. A theme has been formed and so T&C’s instant restaurant has been instantly renamed “TMI”.

Carla dives straight into the jus and swims around in it to help the ingredients combine. She also explains their dessert has a little bit of both her & Thomas in them – Carla is the tart & Thomas is the sharp curd (or something like that). T&C both getting stuck into the loaf of bread prove too many cooks spoil the loaf – they can’t remember how much flour went in. They start into the final hour of prep and after adding the vegies to the soup Thomas is concerned it won’t be thick enough so he adds a little water. With only 15 minutes to get changed and for Carla to prepare cocktails, she spills the soda water over Thomas’s second batch of pastry. Dirty looks exchanged, the guests arrive. BONG BONG.

Everyone's happy - for now

Their fellow losers have arrived: Team Qld 1 – David & Scott; Team Qld 2 – Peter & Gary; Team WA 2 – Emma & Andrew; Team NZ – Simon & Meg; Team Tas – Megan & Andy. Has no one cottoned on that Megan & Andy are far cattier than Peter & Gary? Seriously?! It’s all “meow this” and “hiss that” with the married brother and sister team from Tasmania. T&C give themselves a pep talk before they let the guests in the house which involves a little Tommy Raudonikis face slapping, and they usher their guests “out the back” (not a euphemism). Peter & Gary immediately pick up on typos on the ‘house rules’, simply proving they are better at spelling than everyone else. Something to add to their own list.

The guests are distracted by how much T&C are distracted, which is distracting for all of us. Everyone’s sharing a little more of themselves as they wait for the judges and entree, which shows a maturity that will soon leave them. BONG BONG – hello Pete & Manu. Megan is straight in as the menu is read to guests, noting there’s “little technique and an awful lot of ingredients”. She’s doing a bang up job of building that glasshouse to live in. Everyone is concerned about the poached egg in the soup, and Manu joins T&C in the kitchen. He’s immediately concerned in the frenchest of manners with Thomas’s poaching technique. Carla does it right and Thomas does not, and this rings all sorts of alarm bells for the judge. Arguments over the quantity of soup bring eye rolls from Carla and stress from Thomas. Where is the love? That’s right; they’re ‘just friends’.

Pete & Manu are thoroughly unimpressed with the entree when they first lay eyes on it, and T&C don’t look assured. “They look scared,” notes Pete, “and so am I.” Carla assures us with a waiver in her voice they’ve put a lot of love into the soup as Thomas zips his pants back up. Pete & Manu enjoyed the soup but had concerns over the egg technique and the overall taste. Pete thinks they’re over-thinking the dish, so Thomas immediately empties his mind and very little has changed about the entree. Bad puns from Team WA 2 include “I’m eggstatic”, “I’m eggspecting a lot”, “That’s eggsactly the point”, and “You’re eggsaggerating”. I’m eggsasperated.

That's a LOT of ingredients...

Team Tas’s Andy pulls out a sliver of glass from his soup, and Megan is immediately too nervous to finish hers. WHAT DRAMA! Concern from Team Tas is met with calm from Team Vic 1, then back in the kitchen Thomas claims Andy put the glass in there himself. What a searingly accurate self-evaluation from someone who is entirely objective in the matter. “$250,000 is up for grabs, and who knows what some people would do for that money,” says Carla, as she empties a vial into a plate marked “Megan”.

The lamb needs to be in the oven for 90 minutes and then rest – so showing they learned so much from their first restaurant T&C didn’t get it in the oven until AFTER the entree was served. Cue picture of bored guests and Manu mumbling something about poor time management again. Roast king Peter reveals he thinks resting isn’t necessary for meat, which both Pete & Manu correct him immediately on. Showing even he can learn things, Peter notes he can now make his roasts even better and is “ready for a roast-off any time”. Judge Pete checks in on the kitchen and when he feels up the lamb he notes it is overcooked, and calculates T&C won’t have rested it long enough. Naturally, T&C whack the lamb back in the oven again.

Two hours since entree and Megan & Andy are concerned there’s no food coming any time soon. Frustration is building. The lamb is overcooking. The plates are constructing. Thomas places the “crust” over the top as it wasn’t cooked on the meat; the jus is too thin; & the goat’s cheese roulade looks like a severed finger. Main is served – SUCCESS?!

The judgement from Pete & Manu isn’t good. Pete loves creativity, but that’s not what he got tonight. The lamb’s way overcooked. “Less is more,” says Manu. Pete liked the roulade but that’s not enough. Manu wonders where the sauce is. “Where is the sauce?” he says. “WHERE IS THE F#CKING SAUCE?!” Peter Russell-Clarke even sticks his head in: “Where’s the sauce?!” T&C are gutted on returning to the kitchen but push on with dessert. Thomas is devastated. Carla hides the knives. Consensus from the dinner table is that the lamb is very average. Pete baits Peter & Gary over the quality of the roast; & Team NZ’s Simon says, “That’s just not how you treat a nice piece of lamb.” I’ll bet, Simon. I’ll bet.

"He probably put the glass in there himself..."

T&C have just about thrown up the white flag in the kitchen, but push on and prepare the curd. Gary’s concerned the curd will be too tart – this from an openly gay man – but the proof will be in the pudding. Eggsactly. Thomas renames the dessert “Save Our Arse” which gets the judges offside straight away as that’s not listed on their menu. Team WA 2’s Emma & Andrew are concerned the serving size is too small: “Just right for an Oompa Loompa.” Those scienticians are so crazy and overweight.

In tasting, Pete & Manu think it’s a wonderful dessert with a curd that’s far too tart. It needed more sugar says Pete, but Manu loves it like that. The more tart the better, raising eyebrows and hopes around the table. Andy doesn’t like it, Meg thinks it’s too sharp, but Peter & Gary think it’s OK though too small. Team Qld 1’s David & Scott return from a 20km run just after dessert is completed – they must have been somewhere else as we’ve barely seen them in tonight’s ep. That’s good under the radar play already.

After that debacle, it’s judgement time. Who’s cuisine will reign supreme?! Sorry, wrong show.

Team WA 2 – 4; Team NZ – 4; Team Qld 1 – 4; Team Qld 2 – 4; Team Tas – 3. Total score 19/50. Thomas looks angry; Carla stifles a laugh. Pete and Manu scored:
P Entree – 5; M Entree – 5
P Main – 2; M Main – 3
P Dessert – 6; M Dessert – 9
Overall score: 49/110
Very clearly there’s no second chances with the judges in this elimination round. Teams are certainly on notice, and as the guests leave Thomas runs screaming into the dark “PREP TIME!”. Everyone agrees the fellowship will disband and meet again at the home of Team NZ’s Simon & Meg tomorrow night.