MKR – Mon, Apr 4 Chops V Tarq and Dad

Surely Tarq and Dad have got this in the bag, despite the promo trying to make us think they’re having (another) shocker. Make sure you vote in our new Logies poll.

Tarq and Dad are making:

Entree: Thai prawn bisque with prawn toast
Main: Sesame-crusted tuna with homemade soba noodles
Dessert: Indian rice pudding with stone fruit compote
They are skipping all over Asia there but it sounds delish – is dessert too simple, perhaps?

Chopses (Eve and Jason) are doing:

Entree: Seared scallops with cauliflower and miso
Main: Sri Lankan beef curry with toor dal
Dessert:  Spiced pears in butterscotch sauce with yoghurt sorbet
Curry should be lovely but the menu doesn’t really flow.

Mr Chops is getting on with the sorbet and continues his history of bad things happening when he touches lemon juice. This time it’s a real lemon, rather than a squeezy bottle, and he adds it to the dairy too early and creates instant curds. Down the sink it goes and it’s time to start again.

Over at the other kitchen, Tarq and Dad are prepping like mad and both manage to cut themselves. It’s blue bandaids galore. They are back on track quickly and speeding through a lot of work (who else wanted prawn toast when they saw Dad prepping that), while Chopses are on cruise control. They know their entree is simple but it will be “perfect”. Chops is not very good at chopping cauliflower – he looks slow as a wet week.  Ooh – maybe the shock from the promo is that they don’t get a dish up?

Finally Eve gets on to cooking the scallops and dons a yellow glove on one hand to handle them, then proceed to touch them with her ungloved hand. But it’s taking ages, so Chops goes over to help and notes some appear to be raw in the middle.

It’s plating up time and Dad is feeling the burn – he’s sweating bullets into the prawn bisque. Doesn’t Manu have a velvet jacket lying around he can use to wipe his brow? dadsweat 
Both dishes look good but the prawn bisque is the one I want a big bowl of. What a relief to see them in control after the schemozzle of last night.

Time to chew …
Guy likes the way the scallops are cooked. Karen thinks the dressing needs more acid. Pete says they should have bammed up the miso.
Liz likes the toast and bisque’s depth of flavour and Guy agrees it’s a great teaser for the rest of the night. Fass thinks they could have added flavour with lime leaf or Vietnamese mint.

Time for mains …

Dad Mike gets on to the soba noodle dough while Tarq crusts the huge slab of tuna. Chopses’ curry is coming along but I don’t understand why they didn’t start it in a pressure cooker and then reduce the sauce later on the stove. Mr Chops makes a ginger cake for dessert and is only just prepping pears for poaching. Pears always take ages, but it will help that he’s halved them. The onlookers are impressed with Dad’s soba noodle-making technique, and noodle expert Jordan is called upon to let us know Dad’s doing a good job.

Token Jordan shot for Windsong.

Token Jordan shot for Windsong.

I’d happily eat that daal but it’s looking quite mushy. As Anna comments, Tarq’s rice pudding is strange as they’ve precooked the rice. The wheels are starting to come off a little – they put the slab of tuna in a pan that’s too small, and in taking it out lose some of their sesame crust. They sort themselves out but Lauren and Carmine are worried they are serving the tuna as one big slice, rather than pretty cubes, as is usual. Chopses are rushing to fill their many bowls of condiments and sides. All credit to them for their support of each other and their apparent joy at what they produced.
Time to chew …

Liz loves the tuna slab and Fass again disagrees, saying the raw to seared ratio is out of whack: “I think it’s a good dish but it’s a clumsy dish.” Fass think the curry is braised well but he and Guy say the daal is too mushy. Karen, however, likes the texture and Manu is Team Karen.

Dessert time …
Chops is making some butterscotch sauce and Curly Sis is worried the dessert will be super sweet. At least they have yoghurt sorbet to balance it. I don’t know why he went to the effort of poaching the pears in spiced liquor if he was going to chuck them in the sweet sauce anyway. Tarq’s rice puddings are looking awful – so awful they make giant turd quenelles from it. Have they never eaten a rice pudding before? They’ve certainly stepped off the gas for dessert. And then we finally get the “shock” moment, when this happens:

Going ...

Going …

Going ...

Going …

Gone (nice floor cam, MKR)

Gone (nice floor cam, MKR)

They’ve lost five of their 12 pudding quenelles, but this could be a blessing in disguise as now they’ll have to use less of the stodgy-looking rice. Oh no – here’s the real disaster – they have leftover pudding and just quenelle some more.
Chopses are plating up their slabs of cake and feel sudden death has brought out the best in them – who’d have thunk it.

Are those chops growing before our eyes?

Are those chops growing before our eyes?

The charcoal plates were a good choice to make their brown elements look classier.

Time to chew …

Guy thinks Chopses’ dessert is not too sweet but Manu and the others disagree. The judges think the cake is dry and Fass says the butterscotch needed more butter. The judges taste the rice pudding and …. urgh … we don’t get to hear the comments. They must be baaaad! Dad and Tarq are on the chopping block.

The judges give their critiques … blah, blah …
Eve and Jason Chops: Guy 7, Liz 7, Karen 7. Fass 6, Pete 7, Manu 7. Total 41/60
Dad and Tarq: Rave reviews and then we get the dessert critique. Pete: “The rice was dry, fellas.” Manu: “I couldn’t really taste any flavours of India, either.” They hated it.
Guy 7, Liz 7, Karen 6. Fass 6, Pete 6, Manu 7. 39/60. Ouch! So Karen and Manu marked them down. If only they’d cooked a traditional rice pudding they would have got 8s. Bye Tarq and bye, Mike- take your lame Dad jokes with you!

The Chopses’ laidback attitude served them well in sudden death and they didn’t overcomplicate matters. I don’t think they’re in it for the long haul but they deserved the win tonight.



  1. Really? This is April Fool’s Day four days late. Like, I can’t believe Eve and Chops made it. Like, how the hell did that happen?

    I mean, couldn’t we have eliminated them tonight? They’re hardly gonna last up against the teams who actually can cook, you know. Even Zana pointed out that (through one of her many fabulous facial expressions) Tarq and his dad were the better cooks, so if Eve and Chops survived a sudden death elimination on sheer guts or luck, are they really gonna advance that much further? Eugh.

  2. Well dog, you ducked that up for all of us. Babe & Chops are just too painful to watch. So painfully slooooow.

  3. The cooking classes provided by MKR must be paying off. Suddenly the plating from Chops is so much better.

    Please don’t let another good team get eliminated in SD.

    The next round got to be Chops or Lauren and Carmine.

  4. Must admit, never liked them from the beginning. Too repetitive with their cooking. Only just finished viewing recording because I watched MAFS. Chops and co. do seem to be improving.

  5. Chops has to be dyeing his chops, surely.

    Pops sweated a lot.

    What an awful result. It’s just going to feed the delusions of the Chopses.

    Keep the low scores coming, Fass.

  6. Someone tell me they haven’t decided the Chops are tops and not flops and slops for the most improved team in the final. Please. Quickly…

  7. What a croc. Miles ahead on two dishes, miles behind on one. It should have been a close win for Mike and Tarq. Can’t help but feel that dessert colours all opinions backwards.

  8. The edit worked very hard tonight to make Tarq look overconfident. Just before the last ad they ran about five confident remarks back to back, which almost telegraphed that they were going to make them lose.

    • I didn’t see it coming, in fact because Chops were scored first, I thought Dad and Tarq would beat their score but they fell into a bunker made from rice.

  9. Just seen Pete on the morning show and he hinted that the curlies and Windsong’s favorites ‘may be around a bit longer’.
    Tarq looked really pssst off last night. Dad looked like it was too much for him. Hopefully chops &co will go soon.

    • I did see one pair of contestants sharing but the details are lost in the haze of mediocrity of the as per usual down to the wire frivolity. Even the usual “judges” were given just one scallop.

      I thought it was just a bad dream that Chops got through. It was real.

      Oh, we at MKR would never allow Rice Pudding to be scooped off the floor and plated up~ though every other crime against hygiene is celebrated on this show….like Pops dribbling all over himself when offered a taste of whatever that “juss” was.

    • In the HQ kitchen in Sudden Death they always prepare for 12 serves. But with the return of the alumni they have to prepare more serves

  10. I hope the Chops don’t think they are fabulous cooks now because after that meal they dished up last night they are anything but.
    They only won because the father and son made some stupid errors.
    They had the flavours right. I was shocked about the size of the tuna, it was massive.
    The rice pudding was the worst I have ever seen, such a shame because I do think they are far better cooks than what they dished up last night.
    I was surprised to think it was ok to dish up a soup for entrée and main.

    Anyway it won’t be long before Chops fall on their faces again. They obviously can’t keep up with this supremely high standard required for MKR. (Joke)

  11. Totally agree with the tone of the comments here – chops and Julia Gillard just got lucky…. But that rice dessert was a clear shocker. Not many times do I have an Asian dessert and think ‘gosh that was delicious’. Usually I have a more disappoint reaction- ‘why don’t I remember NOT to order dessert in Asian restaurants.’ So trying a twist by making it crunchy and stodgy was never going to fly.

  12. Once I heard they were making Rice Pudding I thought oh oh… after their entree and main I thought Rice Pudd was a bit too heavy and they needed something lighter and zingier to complement…

    Oh well the other contestants now at least know they have a leg up on another team.

  13. I loathe rice pudding at the best of times (Mum used to do a shocker) but this one looked even worse.

    Still, amazing that Chops & hair-loving wife got through. All their meals were fairly average….. the prawn bisque & prawn toast should’ve won it for Tarq & Dad.

    Agree Brusselsprout, asian desserts are all terrible regardless of the type of cuisine. There I said it. Indian ones, chinese ones, thai ones, doesn’t matter. All vile. Good thing I’m not an mkr judge, or a chef for that matter.

    I like Anna & Jordan for the win. Curlies are vv good but they’re so young, Anna’s years of slaving over a stove should by rights win out.

    • Curlies are more likely to do “flashy” modern cooking, though – such as the smoke dome in their instant restaurant. I’m expecting some liquid nitrogen ice cream down the track.

    • I have googled and yet to find a rice pudding that you can quenelle.

      He he he about Asian dessert. Mr LP won’t touch them! I do like some of them but they are usually steamed cakes or in coconut milk. You can tell I am Asian!!!

      Banana fritters will be a good option if you can find the right bananas

  14. Notice that we didn’t hear a single comment regarding any other elements on the boy’s dessert? That’s suspicious.

  15. I know none of us were there to taste but frankly I don’t care. Personally I think Tarq and Mike deserved to win that based on their hard slog and number of cooking techniques shown. They also are quite likeable people from what we’ve seen. Chopses on the other hand did fck all with some very straightforward dishes and the smugness and over confidence of Mrs likesherhairontheface is wearing thinner than the 10 second plating count downs.

    Most of these types of talent show competitions swear by judging only what is in front of them at that moment (not considering past performance/future potential) but we all know that is bollocks and judges (producer’s bitches) employ this strategy when it suits. When it doesn’t suit by all means revert to ‘we can only judge what’s on the plate’.

    The win by only 2 points last night care of Karen’s not a chef Martini and Can’t tell his arse from his elbow Pete made it seem like another unfair inside rig. Colin, always dead honest in critique and a tough marker gave both teams a 6. All other judges also gave identical scores. The fact it was so close due to a dessert disaster should have meant (in my opinion) the two points were thrown to Mike and Tarq based on sheer effort, commitment, their general capabilities and the fact that the first two courses did not seem to be in the same sport (let alone league) as face hair.

    Instead we are stuck with the fungi broth boilers and a couple of jar openers. Italians showed enormous technique and suffered the same fate. Zana appears to be next.

  16. Woh, I could not eat that sesame crusted tuna. It was waaaay too raw for me. I think it was still swimming.

    • Yes Daisy, that is how they roll on MKR. Fish and roo must be jumping, beef mooing, lamb shaking its tail, game birds flying, pork squealing. Chicken ‘must be cooked through’ . Yeah right.

  17. Last night’s drama seemed to be mostly based on the judges disagreeing with each other, but I didn’t pay a lot of attention because I was cooking my own dinner.

    Is Colin being set up to be the bad guy for a while? His opinion was the most disagreed with, and he had a sour face every time that happened. Oh, the intrigue!

    • I think you’re right, Von, he is all of a sudden being portrayed as the ‘bad’ judge. They must have thought that he was getting too many fans and not being controversial enough. Sorry, you can’t fool me – he’s just great.

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