Last night on MKR, married battlers Claudean and Anthony escaped the elimination by a whisker after failing to impress the judges and guests with their authentic, family home cooking.
Dubbed “pasta queen” by the judges, Claudean’s harsh and vocal critiques in the first five Instant Restaurants had set sky-high expectations for their own Instant Restaurant, the last of the first round. “I think Claudean and Anthony have to deliver a good pasta dish tonight. She has criticised all the pasta in the past,” Manu remarked.
“Now the tables have turned and I can’t wait to see what it’s like when the shoe’s on the other foot,” long-time rival Christian added.
An otherwise smug Claudean and Anthony suffered from nerves when they started cooking, but were confident that their traditional menu of classic Italian dishes would speak for itself.
The team proudly served their entrée of Ricotta, Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli with White Wine Sauce, which was very well received by the judges, but failed to pack a punch with the guests who felt the sauce was a bit heavy and rich.
Manu called the dish top-notch, but admitted burnt butter, sage and pine nuts for the sauce would have been a better choice. “That would’ve elevated this dish to a 10,” Colin agreed.
When Claudean mentioned she made the ricotta from scratch, Manu said: “I take my hat off to you then.”
The team got ahead of themselves during the preparation of their main, Osso Bucco with Anchovy Gremolata and Polenta, leaving the meat overcooked. Unimpressed with the plating, the guests were further disappointed when they tasted the overcooked meat and under-seasoned polenta.
While Claudean took the judges’ remarks about the overcooked meat well, she controversially disagreed with their critique of the polenta: “That’s just the way we eat it.”
All hopes for success hung on the team’s dessert – Ant’s Choc Hazelnut Fiore Di Latte Gelato with Crostoli – which, unfortunately, did not set. Claudean and Anthony raced against time to get the dessert out before it melted any further, but failed in their attempt.
Colin said: “Unfortunately I gotta judge what I got and I got one third of something that worked and the rest didn’t.”
“I don’t think you’ve finished on a high note like we expected,” Manu added.
In a nail-biting finish, Claudean and Anthony managed to escape the elimination by scoring 53/110, three points more than Coco and Pearls, making the latter the first team to get eliminated from the competition.
At the end of the first round of Instant Restaurants, Radha and Prabha fast-tracked to the Semi-Final after securing first place on the leaderboard. Tommy and Rach, the second team on the leaderboard, fast-tracked to Quarter-Final.
The remaining three teams – Sonia and Marcus, Nick and Christian, and Claudean and Anthony – set out for second round of Instant Restaurants along with three new gatecrasher teams: Aaron and Chris, Amber and Mel, and Patricija and Brigita.