The Hotplate…transformation time

So I got to watch the last episode while I was in Sydney, more on that later, and as annoying as Conrad and Liam are, I’m actually a bit sad they’re gone because they bring a lot of personality to the competition.

Anyhow, we’re onto the next round where the teams get $20,000 and 72 hours to renovate their restaurant and have a menu makeover, then they cook again.  Aron and Vanessa are up first, they’re making the restaurant lighter and brighter.  Aron’s stressing through the makeover, while Vanessa’s all cool and calm.

Now it’s time for the menu makeover and Scott front’s up to the restaurant with a box full of food.  Scott says him and Tom want sophisticated version of classic Australian dishes.  They want a chicken pie for entrée, surf and turf for main with Balmain bugs and eye fillet and a modern lamington for dessert and they’ve got 90 minutes.  They decide on a chicken and shitake pie for main, then an Italian style surf and turn and a deconstructed lamington for dessert.

Oh bless him, during the preparation Aron gets a cramp and Vanessa is definitely not too worried about it and tells him to have a baby and then see what pain is like, oh honey you’ve got no chance of sympathy.

They start on the lamington and they’re doing a pannacotta, sorbet, jam and goodness knows what else, I’m not too sure about the sound of it, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong.

Aron gets the pies done and Vanessa thinks they look like boobs, oh heck, now I’m worried.  Then Aron decides to try different ways with the bugs and the judges are arriving in 6 minutes, gee mate, get a wriggle on.

Time is up and they haven’t even set the table…plus the judges are strolling down the street and Tom’s got his pink socks on again.  The judges say “wow” as they enter the restaurant and Scott thinks it feels modern, alive and contemporary.  The other contestants arrive and Phillippe likes the look of it, he thinks it looks spunky and the makeover is to Christina’s palate…oh bless her and her palate.  Marie says how she hated the leopard print before and gets the evil eye from Tania, so she says she hated it on the chairs…well Christina and Tania weren’t liking that one little bit.

Tom strolls into the kitchen and asks about the pie and says it’s a risk putting the raw chicken into the uncooked pastry…oh well too late now, can’t go back and change things.

Christina’s not keen on the idea of pie as an entrée at a sophisticated restaurant, and bless Lozz and Nols as they came from a pie shop before getting the lobster restaurant, but Nols isn’t sure about the tamarind sauce as she’s never had it before, but the pie is being served with a tamarind caramel sauce.  Thankfully Aron and Vanessa decide to get a pie out to check if it is cooked, but they’re not 100% sure, so put them back in the oven for a couple more minutes.  Oh dear Nols isn’t keen that the pie is dry and says that Aron’s failed, but then says that it tasted delicious.  Pascal bless him says that the pie is like a little B cup boob.  Christina’s palate thankfully liked the pie and Tania thinks it’s the most exciting pie she’s ever had.  Scott says the pie was sensational and perfectly cooked and the tamarind sauce took away the dryness of the filling.  Tom says they’ve nailed flavours and may be the team to beat.

For the main Aron rattles off a list of different components for the dish, holy heck there’s about 8 different things on the plate.  Aron cuts the steak ready for the plates, but puts a piece back on the grill for Nols, mind you she doesn’t think she’ll get a well done steak.  Then Aron plates up a well done steak for Nols but covers it in the jus because he doesn’t like how it looks.  They take out the main, prosciutto wrapped beef fillet with Balmain bug and Pascal thinks it looks like a restaurant refined surf and turf and Nols is ecstatic about her well done steak, until she cuts into it and it’s still a bit pink for her.  Emi wants more bug on her plate, she’s not happy with only half a bug.  Christina and Tania think it’s too safe, as does Emi.  Tom says the steak and bug were cooked beautifully and the jus was good, but he didn’t know why it was there because it took over the garlic butter and everything else.  Scott wanted wow factor, but couldn’t find it and he definitely looked for it.

Dessert time…oh dear, Aron’s stressed about the sorbet because they haven’t gone near it since they put it in the freezer and Vanessa thinks it is too coconutty…oh honey, it is a lamington after all.  Amazingly the jam set.  They get onto the sponge by microwaving it in a takeaway coffee cup for 40 seconds, because apparently that’s how top chef’s do it…ummmm okay, whatever you say.

Now we find out that Phillippe has never had a lamington in his whole life…the others are in shock.  Mate you’re in for a rude shock when you see what they’re doing.  Oh dear they start with a chocolate smear on the plate with some coconut, then the sponge crumbed and guess what Marie guesses that’s what they’re going to do, I’m thinking it won’t be to Christina’s palate as she doesn’t like deconstructed things.  Aron tries to get the pannacotta out and we go to an ad break, because of course they need to build the drama.  Oh look they’re perfect, so much for building drama and Aron says they’re like boobs, so the others got boobs for entrée and for dessert, so they got a pair, are you kidding???  Then he isn’t happy that Vanessa smears a bit of jam…mate I wouldn’t be annoying her right now, just get the food out there.

Christina thinks it looks like a big mess and wants to know where the lamington is, Nols is the same, and she wants to know where it is as well and hopes it tastes like a lamington.  Vanessa thinks the others look blown away…ummm no, they’re in shock, not blown away.  Christina thinks it is clever but she’s not sure.  Emi and Marie are confused by the smear as Aron said if you can’t eat it don’t put it on the plate and they can’t get the smear off the plate…then again Marie can’t say “you have to walk the walk and talk the talk.”  The others mostly enjoy the dish, but don’t think it is a lamington.  Tom says it look sophisticated and sexy, but doesn’t like a smear that you can’t eat…ummmmm he’s channelling Marie and that the dish was fun and clever.  Scott says it is a dish he would come back for again and again and again, yes we get the hint.

Scoring time…and Tom says that the other teams all have to score directly to the hosting team and the other contestants are all shocked…as they should be!!!  The teams score out of 10 and Tom and Scott score out of 30 each giving the total score out of 100.  Phillippe and Pascal give them 7/10.  Emi and Marie give them 7/10.  Christina and Tania give them 7/10 after saying they don’t normally score high.  Lozz and Nols score them 9/10, which Christina doesn’t agree with.  So they got 30/40 from the others.  Tom scores them 24/30 and Scott scores them 23/30.  Their total score is 77/100.

Next up is Lozz and Nols.

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