MKR, Mon, Feb 15

It’s Monday night and the MKR juggernaut keeps on rolling. Chat away.
(my recap for last night is finally up, too

It’s the Melbourne sisters who have Indonesian heritage, Tasia and Gracia, and it looks like they are cooking at mum and dad’s home. They are determined to show off the flavours they grew up with.

Minor embarrassment on national TV by driving with the handbrake on. Then it’s off to the fish markets, Coles bags on show, for mackerel tail for their fish cake entree. But they decide to mix it with some snapper in case the strong flavour puts off some diners. Uh oh – dumbing down a traditional dish for untrained MKR palates is always a bad move.
Then it’s time to buy spices and they are still at not-Coles. It looks like they buy over a kilo of chilli (at $40/kg).
And then still at not-Coles for their meat, the lamb ribs.
We rip through the shopping scenes (no sign of dessert shopping or veg) and back home it’s sisterly bickering over setting up their Indonesian-themed room.

Their menu is:
Entree: Grilled fish cakes in banana leaves with peanut sauce.
Main: Ribs and “chips”
Dessert: Black rice pudding (Pete is worried Westerners will find it weird)

In the kitchen they start on time (tick) and swiftly get on to the coconut ice cream and the sauce for the lamb ribs, but the base paste is already tasting quite spicy (the MKR editor inserts an alarming sound at this point, so you know it will be a problem later on). They mention the lamb can be quite fatty, so expect more tight-lipped Jess.
It’s fish cake time and I’m guessing the cakes will be dry because they’ve used a less oily fish. At least they are doing a tester and realise they need to add salt – a basic step which so many teams stuff up.
The guests are arriving and the Italians are relaxed as, because they know no-one is knocking them off top spot. Jess is again somewhat strangely dressed with a severe hairdo, but the outfit is an improvement on the first night’s weird knee socks.
The other guests are noticing Jess is being more vivacious than usual, and suspect she is regretting her past comments.
In the kitchen the sisters are making the peanut sauce to go with the fish cakes. Here come the judges and Pete is excited because he loves Indonesian food, and the girls are excited because they still can’t believe they are on TV.
At the table both Nelly and JP are lovestruck by Manu.
Nev and Mrs Nev looooove Bali and go there regularly, but have never had the extremely common dessert of black rice pudding.
In the kitchen the girls are second guessing the heat level of their chillis.
At the table Jess is trying to show she can be happy about food, pleased the fish cakes are grilled and that the girls are using chilli. Nev, however, does not do spicy, so expect to see lots of bald-headed sweat.
The girls plate up in cute baskets and it’s not going to be much of a serve.

They give the guests instructions on how to eat the dish, so there are no embarrassing scenes of the unwary trying to eat the banana leaves.
The judges dig in and Manu does a little cough. Too much chilli?

In the ad break I keep copping Paige and Rosie trying to flog me stain remover, I’m guessing because I’m in SA. Are people in other states getting state-specific contestants?
Back to Manu: “I think the sauce is beautiful,” he says, but adds he actually wants more chilli and chastises them for second guessing themselves and using a non-traditional fish which lacks flavour. Pete agrees on both counts.
The guests start eating and, surprise, surprise, Jess is uncomfortable eating with her hands but her Random Dude partner tells her man up – I can’t recall seeing him speak before, much like Plus One. He has an intense look about him I haven’t noticed before because his team mate draws all the attention.

The fish cake “sausage roll” (thanks, Miners) is hailed as bland but most people like the peanut sauce, except Nev who can’t handle the heat.
The table chatter turns to what the main “chips” will be. No, not some exotic veg but rice chips. Interesting. Determined to heed the judges’ advice, they prep more chilli to brush on the lamb and it’s too spicy even for them to handle. Is this is misdirect?
But they have a bigger problem: their lamb fat hasn’t rendered down. Probably because they didn’t brown the meat first, but perhaps that’s not the done thing for this dish.
At the table guests are asking Jess about her eating regime, and she says she doesn’t eat chocolate because she liked it so much it was becoming an addiction, so she cut it out completely. Jess is not an everything in moderation girl. But then she surprises the table by confessing a weakness for pizza. Is she just just trying to appear more human? The Miners think she’s telling low-fat porkies.
The rice cakes go in the deep fryer and Jess is going to die. Are they going to get in trouble for serving the rice as a separate element, so the sauce and meat juices can’t soak into it – just as happened to the Italians with their osso bucco and risotto. Also, it’s not much of a serve given the meat is mostly bone.

The judges dig in and Manu is struggling to cut his meat. The sisters quietly freak out. Pete is happy: “That is sensational. Bring it on.” BUT he doesn’t think the rice cakes make sense, and slicing up a cucumber doesn’t count in a cooking competition. Manu loves the sauce but his meat wasn’t falling apart – they should have used a pressure cooker to start. Their rice cakes were oily.
Jess and Random Dude (he of the serial killer stare) are having trouble with unrendered fat and they are not the only ones. Nelly can’t even cut it with her knife. One of the Italians (the extra-Italiany one) waxes lyrical about the flavours taking him to Indonesia. But Sans Hat (who’s a hostie) brings the talk back down to earth: “He went to Indonesia; I was at the airport waiting for my connection.”
Back to the kitchen the sister making the rice has made this dessert so many times she is “100 per cent confident”. She’s jinxed it now.
The guests are happy to be having rice pudding as they need filling up after being unable to eat much of their main (including Jess, who did not try the rice chips).
Rice-cooking sister is adding more salt to the mixture as it’s not meant to be too sweet and it looks as though she’s overdone it. This will be a problem.
Their presentation looks good and the guests are excited. It looks much better on TV than in this photo.

The judges chew away and Manu is happy: “Yum.” Pete: “Ladies, it was delicious.” Cue the happy tears.
Great, the judges liked it, but is it a complicated dish?
Jess doesn’t “understand” the dessert – and the others agree – and found the majority of the food tonight “inedible”. Surprisingly, Nev seems to love the dessert. “I love the flavours of the ice cream, with the coconut. It tastes like a Bounty, and I love Bounties.”
To the scoring and the Miners may have the edge on them.
Guests: Jess and Co 4; Miners 4; Lovebirds 3; Italians 6 (but is was almost a 5); Nev and Missus 3.
Total: 20.
Judges: Entree Pete 5, Manu 5; Main Pete 8, Manu 5; Dessert Pete 9, Manu 9.
Total: 61.
The sisters have beaten the Miners by one point and are understandably stoked.

Tomorrow night it’s the Lovebirds and it looks like there is a missing ingredient as we see footage of Mr Nice dashing to a servo in the dark.

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Wow, Jordan versus Jessica. I wonder who’s side I’m going to take there…

I also like the continuing soap opera that is Nev and Kell’s back-story.


Ooh, could we get a gallery of what Jessica was wearing as tonight was another shocker!


I can’t help comparing with the superfit, sane and nice Lynzey from last year. It’s possible to be healthy without being obnoxious.
One of the trashy women’s magazines had a photo of Jessica in her underwear (or weird bikini) and she could learn a thing or 7 from Lynzey.


I was hoping for good food from the sisters but…….. very disappointed. Also the judges scores for the dessert were BS.


You are so right about the dessert scores – it was just to keep them in ahead of the boys.


Agreed LP, everyone bar boofhead Nev hated the rice pudding, the judges were just showing off their deep understanding of indonesian food. Barf, I can’t be doing with rice as a dessert.


It is actually a dessert using black glutinous rice and not black rice. Can be nice just with some coconut cream. Manu who has a Malaysian partner now thinks he is an authority in Malay/Indonesia cuisine.

I was laughing when Pete questioned the cucumber slices on the plate. One moment they want the them to serve the dishes as they would at home and then being criticized for doing it.

brain dead dave

Yep, Manu and Pete are fudging the scores again. Do they actually contribute anything to the show except “new” haircuts?


Agreed with Littlepetal. The judge’s scores for the dessert (that nobody else around the table actually liked) seemed ridiculous, a contrived exercise in getting the girls one point above the miners. Eugh.

I felt for the girls, though.They worked well together in the kitchen and they were obviously passionate about what they were doing, but the main was inedible and everything else was flavour-less. Seriously, Pete and Manu?

As for Jessica … my gosh. So she runs and hides at the mere thought of carbs, but pizza is her weakness. I’m sorry, what? No seriously, what? In that article that Maz linked to, even Manu admitted that he and Pete had no idea what the heck she was doing on a cooking show, or what the hell she was talking about between the different nights.


Weirdly enough I know a 2nd mkr shopping location. The girls were shopping at Box Hill Central, which I stopped shopping at even when I lived down the road. It’s the filthiest, smelliest market I know of. Never again would I buy meat or fish there…. if the smell didn’t get you the flies crawing on the produce should. It’s also home to about 4 billion rats. I feel ill with the memory.

When Tasia/Gracia said the mackerel smelt too strong I yelled ‘that’s because you got it at Box Hill and it’s rotting!!’.

Amazed they didn’t all get sick.


No I don’t think they went in to Coles either. I’m truly surprised they filmed the market, the Coles would’ve been cleaner at least. Strange. Also the house looked more like Templestowe/Doncaster, so they could’ve gone there instead. I think they rush through the shopping/local scenery parts without much planning.


Spotted a continuity error in the shops. The girls shove the huge bag of chilis into their Coles bags, and there are obviously other items in them as well. Next shot they run into the butchers and the bags are completely flat.

Not sure what is the point in changing the order of the shops, unless it was to mask some other issue.

brain dead dave

Jessica and her hand puppet Marcos were on $unrise this morning. There was an attempt blame the editors for her “character” and Jess is immune to the social media criticism etc, ‘cos she’s “not on any social media.”. But considering Jessica changes her “I” statements like people change underwear, that’s to be taken with a grain of sea salt.

You know that when Kochie says he’s beginning to like Jessica that the turd polishing machine is going gangbusters at Ch 7.

I don’t expect she can cook well but I do expect her to be kept in the show for a while yet.