Tonight on MKR, childhood friends Amber and Mel delivered sweet success in dessert, but their lacklustre entrée and main caused them to crash to the bottom of the leaderboard with 61 points.
Amber and Mel’s Instant Restaurant, Salty Secrets, started living up to its name as soon as the guests settled in as head-to-head confrontations emerged around the table.
For their entrée, the team chose Mel’s mother-in-law’s recipe of Spiced Lamb with Hummus, Pomegranate and Pita Bread. While cooking, Mel mentioned: “The lamb isn’t really the hero of this dish, but it is there to add that flavour and texture to it.”
The guest teams, who were expecting lamb kofta or kebabs, were in for a shock when a plateful of hummus arrived with minced lamb sprinkled on top. “When you are promised lamb, you’re hoping for lamb. I just got sort of like a speckle of dust of lamb,” Marcus said.
Colin agreed with the table and said: “To me the lamb, which is the bride who’s getting married, was sort of the bridesmaid to the hummus.”
Manu was further disappointed after finding out the team didn’t use traditional spices: “I don’t want to be rude, but [this is] an Australian version of Lebanese food here. From what you promised, it was a little underwhelming.”
Not happy with the feedback, Amber and Mel returned to the kitchen to start on their main. “Although we are disappointed with the critique, we just need to pick ourselves up,” Amber said.
The team’s main of Baked Fish with Tahini Sauce, Roasted Almonds and Caramelised Onion – another recipe by Mel’s mother-in-law – failed to impress the judges and the guest teams. “This is a competition and this is not a competition dish,” Claudean said.
Before hearing the critiques, Mel told the judges that plating 12 dishes was a bit challenging as they usually make share platters, which made a lot of sense when Manu said: “All of the elements, individually are okay. But together it’s a bit of a mess.”
After serving two failed dishes, Mel was gutted as she felt she was letting her family down, especially her mother-in-law.
At the end of the evening, Amber’s dessert of Upside-down Orange Cake with Orange and Ginger Ice-cream saved the day and ended the night on some good feedback.