MKR – Tues, Mar 8 – the one without the hairy crackle

And it’s take two for Man Bun and Non-Man Bun from Mackay, Queensland. They seem like lovely blokes but I don’t hold out much hope for them. I want them to do well tonight and at least beat their previous score of 60.

Their menu tonight:
Entree: Spanish mackerel ceviche with chorizo
Main: Fennel-crusted pork belly with five spice pineapple and cherry sauce.
Dessert: Chocolate tart with raspberry and blueberry cream.

Some warning comments from the judges:
Don’t marinate the ceviche fish for more than 5-10 minutes (actually, this depends whether you slice or cube, guys, and what citrus you are using).
Hmmm on the seeming clashing flavours for the main (I’d ditch the cherry sauce).

As with all the redemption episodes, Coles only gets a brief viewing and the lads are in the kitchen on time.

The boys know dessert is their weakness, yet they’ve chosen pastry. In between sneaky tastes of the dough they seem to be working it a lot with their miner man hands in what is no doubt humid weather – hope it’s ok.
They were smart to choose ceviche as once they prep it will take no time at all, but trimming up the fish will be time consuming.
Things are going smoothly and they know this could mean trouble.
The guests arrive and Lauren has been dressed in what appears to be a denim playsuit and platforms while poor Rosie copped long sleeves from the stylist. In Queensland!

At least it's better than Jess's ice skater playsuit.
At least it’s better than Jess’s ice skater playsuit.
Still hurts my eyes. But would we rather have Jess than Monique right now?
Still hurts my eyes. But would we rather have Jess than Monique right now?

The dressed-up miners are in their usual pointy-collared shirts but non-Man Bun has his top button undone – is this a breach of contract?

"Screw you, Channel 7. If I'm going down in flames anyway, I'm going to unbotton."
“Screw you, Channel 7. If I’m going down in flames anyway, I’m going to unbutton.”

The other guests were apparently expecting to dine in a tin shack, sitting on upturned milk crates … yeah, as if. They know they all get a styling budget.

Last time round the lads did an Asian-influenced entree and main, but this time it’s more disjointed – especially the main, which could perhaps work better with duck. They’re rubbing the pork belly with salt, fennel, cumin and paprika. It’s going to make a helluva mess in that oven but … mmm … pork belly.
Here come the judges and it’s yet another tablecloth jacket for Manu – at least single-breasted this time – and I don’t know the background music this time. Anyone? Bueller?

Man Bun is doing the ceviche and says the lime juice needs to cure the fish for at least five minutes, but assures his mate
“I’ve cured this fish overnight”. They settle on 45 minutes. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! Oh, boys – did you not read the recipe properly?
Rosie has never eaten ceviche before but is keen to try, whereas Hazel has consumed “seh-veechi”. She tells the confessional: “The whole fresh, clean, crisp kind of flavours blow right up my skirt.” Lisa’s face does not betray a flicker of reaction – did she have a botox top-up?
Good Cop is turning bad and saying ceviche is simple. It’s ok, Good Cop; in the kitchen Man Bun is saying it’s not a traditional ceviche. Uh oh. The coconut milk makes it look more like a Fijian kokoda, which is delicious. But then he adds pomegranate seeds. And the fried chorizo (see, Dee, at least these boys know to fry it). And parsley. Where’s the coriander? I thought they’d do the chorizo on top, not mixed in. He’s left the chilli seeds in, which could challenge some diners. Oh, here comes the coriander: three leaves as garnish.
Oh no – I don’t want to see their sad puppy faces as the judges trash yet another of their salad entrees. At least the plates are pretty.

It’s chew time … You can tell Pete like the boys and wishes he could be more positive: “It’s halfway there for me.” The fish is overcured. Manu lays some learning on them with: “If you go to a South American restaurant, it’s done to order. They put the fish in, they put the lime juice, a couple of ice cubes – whack, whack, whack, on the plate – out.” However, he does enjoy the flavours.
Aww, those poor boys.
But they have big fans in Nev, Paige and Rosie.
Not surprisingly, the Cops don’t like it.
Lauren is happy to disagree: “This is the best entree I’ve tried this round.” Well, what was the competition? Pea and ham soup, pan-seared duck breast and raw marron. Stepsies should be the most insulted here, as their duck was pretty good, but Lauren would not give Lisa the satisfaction.
Then we get the quote of the night, as Lisa explains she didn’t eat pork for years, and she needs to sell this line to the writers of the next Kath & Kim series: “I stopped eating it for a very long time. I was once served up a very hairy crackle and it turned me off.”
Even stone-faced Pete cracks up.

"Must ... not ... laugh."
“Must … not … laugh.”

In the kitchen they are having crackling dramas of the non-hairy variety. They have uncrackled bits of pork and don’t know what to do. Non-Man Bun is devo. They cut off a tester (smart move) and put it under the grill, but it burns too much.
They go with the pork as is and the plate looks nice with the colour pop of green beans, grilled pineapple and cherry sauce. (It looked much nicer than the official MKR shot, which is of a piece of uncrackled pork.)

Maybe they will get away with it.

It’s chew o’clock … and poor non-Man Bun looks like he’s facing the hangman’s noose. He confesses he’s not happy with it. Pete: “Well, I’m getting really annoyed. Because you stuff up your simple dishes and your difficult dishes you cook to perfection.”

His trying-not-to-cry with happiness face.
His trying-not-to-cry with happiness face.

Pete: “It’s bloody delicious.” He tells them this was a “courageous” dish and I’ve watched far too much Yes, Minister, where courageous means wrong. Manu tells them the jumble of flavours worked a treat, but they committed the sin of not enough “to-die-for” soz.
In the kitchen the boys high five it out, because they are men. Lisa is relieved to avoid hairy crackle, but she gets one of the chewy, overcooked pieces.
Cops do not look happy. As Paige puts it: “Monique and Sarah look like they’ve swallowed a helium balloon.”
However, their critique is glowing. Ok, girls, but will you score accordingly?

Back in the kitchen the Miners get on to their blind baking with the comforting words “this is all trial and error”. “We’re pretty much worried about everything.”
Still, it’s a refreshing change from Lauren’s “I’m the best at everything” attitude.
Speaking of Lauren, she’s certainly the best at taking the bait Monique has laid out for her when talk turns to strategic scoring. Monique – the calm voice she must use on kids and crims alike – says she and Good Cop would never score strategically (last episode they gave the Stepsies a 5, which was the average guest score). This gets Lauren’s back up and she goes a bit berko: “No, no, no. Someone says to you: ‘Here’s two-fiddy kay [and yes, she’s talking like a gangsta rapper]… it comes down to survival.” The conversation continues and it gets totes awks for everyone else at the table as Feisty Cop speaks in condescending she knows will rile and Lauren falls into the trap of looking like a diva every time. Lauren – you haven’t cooked yet. You need to fake being normal for a bit longer.
Blah, blah … can we see some cooking, please? Even Carmine, who usually backs his missus, is not happy.

It's going to be a frosty plane trip home.
It’s going to be a frosty plane trip home.

Yay – cooking! The guys have got their tart shells out with ease, although some look a little underbaked. Man Bun whips up two berry creams and includes the seeds, which they had actually strained off. They try so hard with their plating and are happy but it’s messy and the ganache is not glossy.
Rosie: “It kind of looks like a blueberry and a raspberry vomited on a plate.” But they know the boys are stoked with their effort.

The judges do the chew … Manu is the one to break the news their plating is terrible. And they are crushed. He likes the creams but think they don’t go with the tart, which has a nice bitterness. But the chocolate filling is thick. And more learning from Obi-Wan Manu of the padawans: Don’t put chocolate tarts in the fridge just before serving.
Pete praises their pastry but the texture of the chocolate “isn’t enjoyable”. He bags out their chunky berry creams, saying the plate looks like Pro Hart’s done it (someone Google him for the young lads, please), when he’s likely thinking of Jackson Pollock.
The guests are also not impressed after the high of the main. This is what Lisa thought of it:

Oh, so she can move her face sideways.
Oh, so she can move her face sideways.

And then Lauren, realising she’s upset people with her “two-fiddy kay” outburst, returns to the tack used in the entree: “I really liked it. I really want the boys to give me a doggy bag.” Carmine thinks “it looked fantastic”. Fakers!

Team scores: Lauren and Carmine 7; Stepsies 5; Cops 5; SA Besties 7; Ducks Nutters 7 (the highest score they’ve awarded this round)
Judges: Entree Pete 5, Manu 6; Main Pete 9, Manu 9; Dessert Pete 4, Manu 5.
Total: 69 (they’re safe and the Cops and Stepsies are in danger).

Tomorrow night
there’s no cooking – it’s just more of the Lauren and Monique show as it’s been renamed My Bitchin’ Rules. What’s that? Rosie and Paige DO cook. Hard to believe.

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brain dead dave

Hands off the food, fellas. It’s raw food you’re fooling with.

Spanish Muckerel.


Is it weird BDD that I’ve just started watching the boys with their hands all over the entree and all I could think of was – geez BDD is gonna HATE that! ! It’s like I watch the show with all my ‘virtual’ mates!


Actually, yeah, when they were making the entree, that was my first thought too. Food preparation gloves just don’t seem to exist in many parts of the country. Maybe there’s a shortage or something?


Really? That was the fight? They showed it a zillion times in the preview,

brain dead dave

Someone brung up Duck Nut real good,hey?

Need some Mr Muscle for the oven, too, boys.

Rachel Khoo;s hair dryer trick could have smashed that cracking` and last night’s duck breast too.


A ‘Pro Hart’ dessert and the vultures are happy.

brain dead dave

It looks like Galah roadkill put on a plate.


Sorry Juz but dessert does look a bit like Pro Hart’s ad for Stainmaster ( the one where he dives through all the food on the carpet). No dragonfly but smears and blobs of food.

brain dead dave

It does look like the Pro Hart ad but overall that style is much more typical of Jackson Pollock. I’m not an art expert~ but nor is Pete Evans.


I loved watching the boys…well minus all the hands in the food, but they genuinely love what they are doing. And I reckon give them pints for the dessert as they are trying new things. I also love rich chocolate…even if I can only eat a couple of spoons because of that richness 🙂


OMG – Serving some ceviche with the chilli? I guess they were large chillies so perhaps not too hot.

The miners strike me as two little kids playing with cooking. Kudos for the pork though. Pork belly has always been hit and miss with me. I cracked up when Manu laughed at their dessert plating. & Pete – Pro Hart – lol.
Don’t want to go back to the mine? Grow up kids! Success rarely arrives from a reality show. Final scoring implies they live to see another week at least.

Monique and Sarah are being bitches, I recall similar in their round till they were safe. Boy did they hate having to compliment the pork. Thank god for Paige and Rosie – they are so sweet!


I agree, I gave the cops the benefit of the doubt in the first round but their bitchiness is hard to hide when they are on the bottom for more than one episode.


“The miners strike me as two little kids playing with cooking.”

They do, don’t they? Liberty really hit the nail on the head there. They’re so giggly and happy with themselves, and while they seem like good-natured, generally nice guys, it feels like this is more of a fun jaunt for them, you know? Like you said, they’re just playing. This is just a bit of fun. Non-man-bun started the episode by saying that they could open their own restaurant with the prize money, and so help me, my first thought was, “… really?” It actually felt like the production crew told them to say that, because I just couldn’t believe it. I feel like they don’t really understand food or the hospitality industry. Great guys, super nice and very friendly, but not great chefs.

It’s almost like they were actually auditioning to be on the next season of “The Amazing Race” or something, but just wandered into the MKR auditions by accident.

What I found hilarious was that every other team used the boys as part of their own strategy. Some teams scored highly (to keep less-liked teams at the bottom of the ladder), while other teams (who are already low) scored them low indeed. Even Pete and Manu gave them better scores than they probably deserved, but I imagine the judges are sick of some of the contestants as well.

And while Lauren/Monique (round one) wasn’t anything to write home about, Monique seems to be getting a little more pointed in her remarks as the nights roll on. Apparently tomorrow night there’s gonna be another huge fight (hahaha! Cool story channel 7), but I just hope Rosie and Paige do well.


Rosie and Paige are fun to watch as are the miner boys.
I think the boys would make good waitstaff as they have the personality but totally agree the cheffing is beyond them.


I’m just gonna say it. There’s totally a career for these boys in being shirtless waiters. I’d be happy to support them. Lord knows, channel 7 can’t ever seem to find t-shirts that fit them.


lol, A funny review. Love their “matching slapped-arse faces” comment about Monique and Sarah. Very true windsong, Amazing Race much more suited.


I loved the joke about the scores. “69? Dinner for two”. Hah!

That was literally the most entertaining that tonight’s episode was. Sigh.


Well the duck nutter were able to retain their first place, they will sleep easy tonight.
The two teams on the bottom both gave the lowest scores, 5’s, funny that isn’t it? But no one is playing strategically.
Yes big fight, I was shaking watching it, don’t know how I’ll be able to watch tomorrow night.
The face on the police girl’s faces before they had to admit they enjoyed that pork was priceless.
For once Carmine told his wife she should have kept her mouth shut. Too little too late mate. Too late for you too Lauren, I have to tell you I think your fate is sealed around that table.

I’m thinking maybe there is going to be some kind of twist that we can’t guess because the producers probably realise about all this strategic voting and are planning to shake it up a bit so the scoring doesn’t mean what the teams think.
Not sure what they will do but I think they might change it some way.


Interesting thought, Gabby. I wonder if they’ll only count the judges scores OR if it’s all about redemption I think they might position them on who improved. Last round vs this round. Now that would be a cool twist.

Great recap Juz. I missed the denim playsuit. ewww Maybe wardrobe dept. smoking cones with the make-up dept.


That’s probably why the judges are making such a big point about redemption. Doesn’t change the result anyway – so far!

Monique & Sarah Round 1 = 68 round 2 = 62 -6
Stepsie Besties Round 1 = 57 round 2 = 63 6
Miners Round 1 = 60 round 2 = 69 9
Duck Nuts Round 1 = 56 round 2 = 71 15


‘ I think they might position them on who improved. Last round vs this round. Now that would be a cool twist.’

A!so to only use the judges scores from the 2 rounds.


The twist: Maybe it’s a double double elimination and four teams are leaving. I would not mind seeing the Coppers, Duck Nutters, Screaming Stepsies and Evil eye Arrogant Couple leave. I doubt that they would eliminate 4 teams but it would just be something I hope for. I don’t mind the miners and I do like Rosie and Paige.
Maybe they are going to average the scores from the regular and Redemption rounds??
As for the big fight: did I miss it? I blinked my eyes for a second and it was over. More tension in next episode but it’s probably just more faux drama.

brain dead dave

Good morning. I hope the twist is that Redemption Round scores of contestants are stuffed down a toilet, where they belong.


LOL The entire extra round of Instant Restaurants for Redemption needs to be stuffed down a toilet.


BTW, is there a food budget? Who actually chooses the decor and the names for the restaurants?

brain dead dave

The restaurant names…I think the contestants. The others you ‘ve mentioned, not sure.


I wonder if the producers or others give them some suggestions to help them out. Some of the names just seem too clever for some of the contestants.

brain dead dave

In the same way,some of the restaurants have had such lame, misspelled names that I just assumed it must be the contestants. Tassie Pops and “Anchors Away” comes to mind. Cringe.

I feel sure that the producers have “suggestions” ,whether they’re always helpful or mischievous,nothing would surprise.

Th poor girls calling tonight’s IR ” Love”…when really it should be “Fight Club”


I’ve long assumed that everything to do with the restaurant name, decorations had been fully arranged by the producers. There’s no way that every team would be able to come up with the polished styling, signs, menu ideas etc that are displayed at every home restaurant. The cost of that styling would be huge. Add to that, that many of the teams are obviously not cooking in their own homes, and it seems all set up to me.
I expect that the teams are shown what their theme will be, and given practise runs in setting up the room.
Same as it seems that they get ‘dressed’ by the show stylists, according to their ‘character’ and the theme (1920s, 50s,formal) of the show.


Sooo…..judges didn’t really like the entree….the others didn’t like it much….but Lauren loved it…”best entree so far”…..she just cracks me up ….do you think she is paid extra to be so inconsistent OR she has turned into a comedian as she was hilarious last night, Well she made me laugh a few time!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I suppose Ducks Nuts and his missus think they must be the best cooks, being on top of the board. I can’t stand them.
I can’t even remember what the other evil contestant looks like – Zana? In fact, it’s all been going on for sooo long that I can’t remember many of the earlier contestants, unless they get a move on I’ll be saying ta ta to this programme.


Sara I struggled to remember who Dee was and she was only last round. I did remebember the unbrowned chorizo and eventually worked back from there. Then promptly realised why I tried to forget.


I remembered this morning there’s normally a two week hiatus around Easter. 🙂


Help please – I’m obviously of a different generation – what does “two fiddy kay” mean? I found “three fitty kay” – is that the same.

brain dead dave


Not that I could understand Lauren. She really should plonk for Mafia style for authenticity.


Rapper Fifty Cent is often called Fiddy
Urban dictionary…. Fiddy = Word used by morons who cant pronounce or for that matter spell fifty


Thanks BDD.

brain dead dave

“It’ll be more about the food” quoth the miner.

No, it won’t.

I have seen the light and it’s a feud show.

It’s about being bedazzled by Pete and Manu’s hairstyles and looks to each other that say “Is this shit or what?”

Manu is now wolfing Jowl$ian mouthfuls to go with the check suits.


I am not surprised about Lisa. There is something about her that I don’t like.

With Monique, when she speaks to the camera there is some expression in her face that make me think she said those thing to stir the pot.

At the dinning table she does come across very intense and nasty towards Lauren.

brain dead dave

The same footage of Lauren throwing dagger eyes was shown at least twice. Okay producers , it’s about eating but it doesn’t have to be dog eat dog or bitch eat bitch.

Some of these idiots are in “alliances”, too. Hence the weird scoring last night. Not worthy of a 69 imo


Me too LP – I find the stepsies hard to watch and not entertaining.


Gareth is actually working as a waiter here on the Sunshine Coast. That’s interesting. I may have actually seen him around the place, you know. Thanks for posting that Juz.


Thanks Juz. Now why doesn’t this surprise me, I always thought that smile was fake anyway, just like her forehead and tattooed eye brows.


I’m still in shock that Lauren’s puppet had the nads to actually tell her off….


I tuned in a couple of times during ads of other show I was watching. The first time, the boy making the pastry put some dough in his mouth, then put his hands back into the dough mix. Eww. Before the table manners course I want them all to attend, they can do a food safety hygiene course. The next bit I saw was when the desserts came out. That gave me a good laugh. Those poor boys, trying to be all cheffy with their sauces and creams presentation, but they just have not got the skill or the eye for it. Bless their hearts, but they are thick. I guess it is a bit of comic relief after all the maliciousness swirling around the table.

I missed the big fight, but gather it was a fizzog anyway. That stupid, stupid Lauren needs to stop trying to talk gangster and waving her finger around before someone rips that finger off her and shoves it where the sun don’t shine.


Also the bit with double dipping in the ganache… I think there was going to be a third dip and the camera quickly panned away.

One would expect a preliminary hygiene course would be done… but I suppose who needs hygiene when meals are probably sitting out breeding bacteria until the crew and judges are ready for the course to be filmed.


I still can’t get over those hands going through and through the entrée, yuk, how disgusting. You don’t know what is up his finger nails.

It gets me all these very basic home cooks think they are good enough to write cook books and or open and run restaurants.
Someone tells them they dished up a good meal once or twice and that’s it they think they are the best.
Haven’t they heard of people being polite?


Wonder if Pete has a bottle of ipecac in his jacket.. minute he walks out of a restaurant has a swig and relieves himself of the nights meal…. then polishes off a bottle of bone broth to begin the cleansing process.