My Kitchen RulesMon-Thu 7:30pm, Ch7

A whole new group of crushes on Manu...

A whole new group of crushes on Manu…

The entire country willed away the Spite Girls last night, and so begins the second round of Instant Restaurants with 12 fresh new faces to get to know (well, “fresh” in the best botox-ed sense). It’s like the first day of school/Uni/prison all over again! We all have our favourites from the last group but do we have room in our hearts for these six new teams?

As a reminder we’ve got:
Jenna & Joanna (SA) – Domestic Goddesses
Dan & Steph (Qld) – Married Bogans
Luke & Scott (NSW) – Personal Eye-Candy
Ali & Samuel (Tas) – “Friends”
Lisa & Candice (WA) – Former Beauty Queens & former mother and daughter
Sam & Chris (Vic) – Cousins with a secret past

Teams are desperate to avoid elimination so they’re screwing things up spectacularly. There’s bitches, game playing and TENS (and assured over-reactions). Somehow they’ve brought even more awesome to the table.

First team of Group 2 – Sam & Chris – are starting the day Melbourne-style. I didn’t think having anal sex on a pretend motorcycle was very “Melbourne-style” but there you go. They’re racing in from Richmond to… get a coffee. The speculate wildly as to who the other teams are but we’re reminded they’re cousins from Melbourne. This, ladies and gentlemen, is exhibit A as an outcome of what would happen if Mick & Matt could have babies together. “Cousins”.

Chris & Sam are so Melbourne. They love watching live music, peeing in laneways, and cycling of a weekend together. They love cooking so much it’s evidenced by their mini burgers we watch them prepare. They’ve been relegated to the car because Melbourne’s weather has uncharacteristically turned on a dime and it’s now pouring.

“Luckily, 80% of what we need is in Coles, and by Coles we mean the Vic Markets,” says Sam, who reminds us again he’s the better cook. Which is why they’re in Coles.

Pete thinks they’re being ambitious but nowhere near as ambitious as he was in fitting into that very oversized chef’s jacket. They buy the entire supermarket’s worth of eggs to make sure they’re OK.

Arriving home nothing is done so the cousins dive into setting up their Instant Restaurant. Sam tells us the reason he smiles so much is because one day his dad came home drunk and was beating his mom, so he stepped in and his dad “gave him something to smile about” with a kitchen knife. Eerily familiar. They’ve called their restaurant “Food Alley” because it suits the food culture in Melbourne which also means their guests are welcome to act like complete tosspots and talk loudly about how they ate here last week and it was “ah-may-zing”.

It’s a special kind of rustic, hipster wankiness. Bingo bango.

Casting his eye across their dessert option, Pete knows the cousins are playing with fire by adding coconut to the creme caramel. Manu agrees but Chris talks over the top of him. Their menu looks challenging for anyone, let alone these amateurs:

Entree – Spinach & Ricotta Runny Egg Ravioli.
Main – Lamb Roulade with pea and mint puree.
Dessert – Coconut Creme Caramel with almond praline.

Ramekan? Of course you can!

Will 36 eggs be enough? How can it not be enough!

Will 36 eggs be enough? How can it not be enough!

Chris is a nerd. He loves the mathematical side of cooking – every good meat needs a square root. The creme caramels are in the oven and the trusty iPhone won’t let them down. Bingo bango.

Manu is already concerned about the complete lack of sauce in the main. All Sam is worried about is beating the shit out of it. Chris wants to stuff it. Three perfectly sexual food double entendres all at once – a new MKR record.

Bingo bango? Bingo bango.

The lamb stuffed, rolled and tied, it goes in the fridge to let the stuffing eek it’s garlicky goodness through the meat. There’s pasta to be made and only 15 minutes to go, and the second group are already marching down the laneways looking for the front door. “We aren’t here to make friends, because we’ve got enough of those at home,” offers Joanna, reminding us they actually have no friends other than their husbands, who are their ‘real’ friends. The WA beauty queens tell us their stars this morning told them they’d be in a cooking competition for the next week or so. Unprecedented.

Just as their pasta sits to rest, the doorbell goes and the new teams are welcomed into Sam & Chris’s Instant Restaurant “Food Alley”. “They look so cute and innocent so I can’t imagine they’re very competent,” says Jenna.

Samuel’s taken by the urban, inner-city look of the room. “Very Melbourne, yeah, very Melbourne,” he says. Everyone agrees because Samuel bends them to his will with his mind.

Pleasantries aside, it becomes a guessing game as to what people do. Someone accuses Joanna of being a lawyer – “She thinks I’m smart!”. Not any more they don’t, love. Jenna shares she loves… cakes… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. She’s a self-taught cupcake “artist”. This is not a thing.

“I think I’m starting to inspriate with all this pinkness,” says Jenna. Inspriate. She will be God’s gift to us in this second group. Jenna is the dominant one in the kitchen, and when the going gets tough the swears get going.

Lisa & Candice continue to scare us though the revelation they’ve both been crowned Miss Busselton WA thirty years apart. Between the stars and the cards they’ve got it all going on.

Ali & Samuel remind us they’re just friends and they’ve got nothing going on, revealing Ally really WANTS something to be going on but Samuel’s oblivious to all of it. It’s the romance we all want to blossom by three quarters of the way through the series so they can break up and stab each other in the final. Candice rabbits on about how their star signs pretend to actually mean something but everyone else but her has moved on.

Joanna thinks Samuel likes Ali, and Jenna wants to plan their wedding. Someone’s got their wires crossed.

Luke & Scott are the professional eye-candy of the series. “My body is my temple,” says Luke. “We want to show everyone it’s possible to annex your temple while eating healthily,” says Scott. BOR-RING.

Dan & Steph are from Hervey Bay. They do everything together, including stuffing the sausages together. Dan wants to teach the world how to cook the meat, & Steph wants to teach the world how to hide the meat Dan cooks because it’s not that great.

In the kitchen Sam & Chris are kicking on as Pete & Manu BING BONG on the doorbell. They’re welcomed in with Sam’s now customary smile and Chris’s now customary mild panic. Given it’s a new group all eyes fixate on the judges and Jenna has a meltdown when they sit next to her. “Manu took his seat and she wet hers, I think,” offers Scott.



The menu is revealed on a blackboard with a very poor flourish. Chris forgets everyone in the room can read so he reads it out to everyone. They then get handed a copy of the menu each. Too many menu mentions. Dan’s concerned they might stuff up the lamb because he’s not cooking it.

The production line is in play for the ravioli entree and Chris warns us it’s really important not to break the yolks and so proceeds to ruin at least two. He and Sam swap roles to try to get it all done without running out of eggs. They’re cutting it fine already. THEY FRICKEN BOUGHT 36 EGGS!!! It comes down to the wire – one egg and one ravioli to make but somehow they manage to succeed in the face of abject failure.

Candice doesn’t eat egg; Luke eats four for breakfast. This is the quality of the table talk while the entree is being prepared. There’s some inconsistencies which Chris thinks will come back to bite them, but they don’t have spares (even to taste! what were they thinking!?) so it’s plate and present.

Samuel’s already playing the nice guy card. Nobody told him about his mates from Group 1 who already own that. The cousins watch expectantly as the judges cut into their ravioli. Bingo bango, it oozes out. They’re intimidated watching Pete & Manu eat their entree because their using the cutlery.

Pete tells them they missed the heart of good Italian cooking because it misses flavour. Manu agrees but appreciates the technical notes in preparing the dish. It’s not a car accident – more a sideswipe – and the cousins are back to the kitchen.

It’s 80/20 around the table as to runny yolks to boiled eggs. The table is pretty pleased on the whole – except Candice.

The lamb is getting seared and then into the oven, and Chris & Sam have started finishing each other’s sentences Jessie & Biswa style. God help us. Dan cooks a lot of meat and he’d serve a jus with it, and he hopes they’re delivering a sauce with it.


Checking the first piece of meat it looks medium rare but as they cut other roulades open there’s an inconsisten finish – some are well done, some are blue, some are refusing to involve themselves in this debacle at all and fall apart immediately. They accept there’s nothing they can do so some people get raw or overcooked lamb. You’d hope they gave the best two to the judges – they didn’t?

Jenna’s all over them with the criticism. Everyone’s spotting the meat isn’t entirely consistent and Luke’s been given the smallest portion. Isn’t he a trainer and therefore should be cautious of his portion sizes? Manu scored some of the string and it’s highlighted for all to see.

Manu loved the stuffing, but that was it. Everything else was a let down. Lisa & Candice spot their opening and walk through it into bitch central. Manu also reinforces he’s disappointed there was no sauce. “We shoulda known that by now,” says Sam. “Bingo fucken’ bango.”

Pete wants their execution to be better. They race out to prep the Iron Maiden. Manu calls Sam out on his permanent smile, essentially challenging him to see if he’s pulling the piss. Sam reassures him it’s just a facade and deep down he’s brutally wounded by the comments from the judges. “Oh, OK then,” says Manu, “Just as well.”

“You’ve got one more dish – good luck,” says Pete ominously. The cousins know they should have been more critical of their food before they served it. Everyone’s scored a variety of cooking finishes.

“To me it looked like a big pile of slop. Inspirated slop,” says Jenna.
“Never heard Cupcake talk like that before,” says Luke. “In fact before tonight I’ve never heard her at all.”

Luke & Scott have got her number. “I’ve got a lot of substances in me, so don’t mess with my food,” says Cupcake.

Creme Cara-fail

Creme Cara-fail

The cousins are furiously prepping the almond praline while all the other guests suppose how the dessert will go. Cupcake waxes lyrical at how she’s “renound” for her cakes and cake style. A knowing glance between Lisa & Candice and the claws are out between the SA & WA teams.

Sam & Chris taste the first creme caramel after pouring it out, then proceed to plate the rest after they’re sure it tastes good. “It’s gonna be the Stephen Bradbury of our three courses,” says Chris. “It’s just gonna slide in and win and they won’t know what hit them until it’s too late. Just like my date on Friday night.”

As they progress they’ve got two that have failed. It’s at this point they realise they shouldn’t have eaten the GOOD ONE WHEN THEY FIRST PLATED IT. It’s now all about strategy – who can they afford to give the sloppy one too? To whom will it send the clearest message or allow them to garner sympathy for it. They realise it’s a competition, right?

The cousins determine the sloppy plate should go to Scott or Luke – topping out their trilogy of bad meals served to the pair. EVERYONE notices who gets the sloppy ones, and it doesn’t help that Sam & Chris apologised as they delivered them.

“We eat with our eyes, so being given the sloppy one actually worked out quite well,” says Luke. “I mean I was going to have to mulch it to get it to fit under my eyelid anyway.”

Manu starts in with the dodgy two that the personal trainers got, but notes he can only judge the one in front of him and he likes it. It’s fantastic. Pete likes the coconut & lime additions as dressing. They took a risk and it paid off. They boys retreat to the kitchen quite pleased with themselves.

The guests dive in and it’s appreciated by almost everyone. And so to judgement…

Luke & Scott – 6. (S: “Pretty good all round.”)
Lisa & Candice – 6. (L: “It promised Spinach & ricotta and there wasn’t enough of both.”)
Ali & Samuel – 6.
Dan & Steph – 5.
Jenna & Joanna – 5. (J: “If that’s what we’re up against, then we’ll do OK.”)

Guest total = 28/50. Not bad, but again a rookie error from the teams being too nice just because it’s the first team. Still, they’ll lead the comp after tonight and that’s the safest place to be.

P Entree – 5; M Entree – 5. (P: “For me it was lacking in flavour.”)
P Main – 4; M Main – 5. (M: “The sauce – where was the sauce?”)
P Dessert – 8; M Dessert – 9.

Grand Total = 64/110. Understandably pragmatic, Sam & Chris take it on the chin and look forward to the remaining five Instant Restaurants. Lisa & Candice are excited to cook because, after all, “How hard can it be?”. We’re off to Perth on Monday night and it’s gonna blow the competition wide open – a love story that becomes a tragedy. Delicious!