Tonight on MKR, Melbourne’s culinary connoisseurs Nick and Christian wowed the judges to land the top spot on the leaderboard, despite tough scores from the other teams.
After failing to chargrill effectively during their first cook, Nick and Christian had a point to prove with their entrée of Chargrilled Octopus with Eggplant Puree and Pickled Cucumber.
“We had an issue with the chargrilled fish last time, they better deliver on this one tonight,” Manu said after reading the menu.
The team’s entrée – plated in pure fine-dining fashion – divided the table. Sonia loved the flavour and thought the dish was “sophisticated, elegant and beautiful altogether”, while Claudean missed the taste of chargrill: “Somebody needs to tell the boys how to char something.”
The judges were impressed, as Manu said the only negative was that the dish needed “a pinch of salt” while Colin mentioned he’d go to Nick and Christian’s restaurant if they served this dish.
Over the moon with the feedback, the boys were determined to make sure their main of Short Rib Souvlaki lived up to their entrée. “This main is combining my Greek heritage and Christian’s barbecuing techniques. It’s the two of us rolled into a pita,” Nick said, hoping the guests weren’t expecting a more traditional Souvlaki.
The team went from a fine-dining experience to a 3.00 am kebab for their main as they served an open plan dish allowing everyone to wrap their own souvlaki. When Manu and Colin rolled up their sleeves before digging into the tasty-looking but messy-to-eat dish, Christian said: “Thank you for understanding the assignment.”
While Marcus loved the big portion, Sonia was worried how she was “going to eat it without wearing it”, but mentioned she was going to ask the boys for the bread’s recipe. Aaron and Chris, who gave this dish a thumbs down, were confident they’d retain their top position on the leaderboard.
The judges liked all the elements of the dish, but admitted the portion size made it difficult to eat. “You’ve got a toilet roll of meat and bread kind of thing,” Manu said.
Nick and Christian returned to the kitchen confident to plate their dessert: Choc Malt Semifreddo with Hazelnut Praline. “Last cook, we had a miserable time with the dessert. This time, rather than working harder, we’re working smarter, “ Nick said.
After harshly critiquing the first two dishes, BBQ champions Aaron and Chris finally came around, with Chris calling the dessert his “favourite of the three courses”.
Manu enjoyed the dessert and Colin said: “You definitely had redemption on dessert tonight.”
At the end of the evening, a mixed bag of critique and scoring from the guest teams had Nick and Christian sitting on a score of 27, only four points higher than Amber and Mel. But a generous scoring from the judges placed the boys on top of the leaderboard with a total score of 75/110, pushing Aaron and Chris to the second spot.