MKR Tues – Semi Final 1

In the first My Kitchen Rules semi final, it’s Amy and Tyson versus the Hashtaggers. #GoAmyandTyson! Is anyone out there actually supporting the Hashtaggers?
Promo here.

I expect to see some great food from Amy and Tyson tonight (and a few good dishes from the Hashtaggers but an ordinary dessert) so I am preparing myself for a banquet of umami delights by eating a snack pack of cheese Twisties.
I am just going to fast forward the flashbacks of the producers trying to make Tyson look angry and Amy weird, when in fact they are both charming and funny – and good cooks. And I don’t need to hear any more hashtags. Let’s cook!
(But first, Manu is looking sharp in a midnight blue (or it could be black) velvet jacket with satin lapels.) Oh no – they are asking the contestants about their dreams and David tears up. Ick. I’m worried I will hear the word “journey” next.
How can Betty see to cook through those falsies? I kind of hope an eyelash drops into the pot.
Hashtaggers are cooking Vietnamese sugarcane prawns for entree (yum!). They have some monster prawns to work with. Main is twice-cooked pork belly with pumpkin puree and nashi pear. (Yum and not too complicated). Dessert is mango sorbet with sticky rice. (The tastiest sounding of all their deserts, but again, sounds rather simple).
A&T squab with kale, almonds and onion cream. Amy: “These squab are nice and fresh – you can tell by their eyeballs.” A sentence I guarantee has never before been uttered on MKR. Main is duck and turnips. Ooh, cryptic but I do love a dish where they don’t list all the ingredients – makes it easier to cover up mistakes if an element goes pear shaped.
Dessert is Pimm’s and ginger jelly with cucumber sorbet (sounds a bit like their G&T pear dessert from their last IR.
Now Amy is popping the decapitated squab heads in the oven to roast for a soz – love it!
Uh oh – Amy forgot about her soz and it’s look rather dark and gloopy. Then there are the usual last-minute plating dramas.
Hashtaggers are happy but their plates are massive – looks more like a main than an entree, especially with that jumble or vermicelli plonked on the side.

Side note: Last year at this time the final four were Tasia and Gracia, Jordan and Anna, Zana and Plus One and Carmine and Lauren.

Time to judge

Finally, we get to see Colin Fassnidge again, plus the other usual suspects.
Manu is sucking the meat off the bones of his squab. Colin is very impressed (and you know he’s usually the harshest critic) and the others agree.
Karen says the prawn dish is superb. They all love it.
So the teams seem even but I reckon A&T will get bonus points for restrained elegance.

For main, A&T is doing turnip three ways: pickled, mashed (with potato) and confit. It’s very MasterCheffy and I think the judges will be impressed. I’m not a huge fan of turnip but it’s one of those poorly regarded vegies chefs love. They are also doing duck two ways.
Hashtaggers have put quartered butternut pumpkins in the oven and are wondering why they haven’t cooked enough for them to puree it. Umm – smaller chunks and/or microwave, guys! There’s some debate over whether their soz is balanced – foreshadowing?
Their crackle isn’t puffing so they chuck it in a frypan of oil and seem happy. Ty’s duck skin has gone floppy while resting so he chucks them skin side down back in the pan, with most of their plating up still to go. Amy is getting frustrated with him. That duck is going to be overcooked! They’d better hope Hashtaggers have stuffed up their soz.

Time to judge
Karen says the duck is a good dish and took a lot of work. Colin loved the duck leg but Pete thinks they could have left the duck breast off altogether. Guy says it’s only 30 seconds to a minute over.
The judges think the pork could have been slightly more cooked and the soz is too sweet.They all love the idea of pickling the nashi in kimchi. Manu looks confused. He likes the elements but not necessarily together.
So, A&T must be pulling ahead.

On the sidelines, Mum and Daughter are watching A&T make a dessert out of a couple of cucumbers. “I don’t like to experiment,” says daughter. And that’s why you won’t win – as delicious are your curries are.
Ooh – I thought Hashtaggers’ sticky rice was going to be black. Must be getting my countries mixed up.
Ty is segmenting oranges and swearing heaps. I’m with you, Ty – it’s such a fiddly job for so little reward.
I like the look of Betty’s fried tuile – will have to look up how she made it.
A&T have a lot of elements in their dessert. As Manu says: “It could be danger.”
Hashtaggers have obviously worked hard on plating up their desserts in a modern fashion. It looks more refined than A&T’s dish.

The judges taste
The judges like the Hashtaggers’ contrast of sweet and salty flavours but Karen says the rice has dried out a bit. Colin loves the soz.
A&T’s dish is fragrant and gets a wow from Pete but there are some wincing faces around the table. Pete loved a previous sour dessert A&T made but, of course, to draw out the suspense we have to wait for the judges’ public comments to find out what’s what.

The judges’ verdict

Colin gives their sugarcane prawns his “dish of the day”.
Karen 8 Liz 8 AKA That Other One Guy 8 Colin 9 Pete 8 (with a wink) Manu 8

They get praise but the judges hated the big slices of pickled cuke in the dessert as it was a mouthful of vinegar.
Karen 9 Liz 8 Guy 9 Colin 8 Pete 9 Manu 8.

Phew – and all is right with the world. Amy and Tyson are in the grand final.



  1. I’m not particularly supporting the Hashtaggers (I kind of find them annoying in a bland, inoffensive kind of way). And Amy and Tyson are far more interesting than either of them.

  2. Manu: David why is this so important to you?
    David: Splutter, splutter,splutter.
    When what he really wanted to say was “I’m not that interested in cooking but I reeeaaally wanted to be on TV.”

    • I think he probably wanted to say, “If Betty wanted me to run naked down the Queen Street mall, all she’d have to do is ask. So being her partner on MKR was easy.”

      • Generally, most viewers didnt endear themselves to the Hashtaggers. All he can do is to be a cook in the kitchen.

        I dont know why, there is something about David that I dont like

  3. Hashtaggers are really invoking the ‘mother’ as some sort of deity. They have now moved on to the aunt.

    Perhaps the Grand Final is between the Beardies and the Hashtaggers as they are the only two that seem to have sponsorship deals.

    • Yeah, Tyson might look like a serial killer, but ever since he admitted to going through a Shania Twain phase as a kid? I can’t help but like the guy.

    • Amy and Tyson have had few fails but have been good sports when they have and my recollection is that David and Betty did a bit of strategic scoring and didn’t take failure well.

  4. What’s with the squab heads? Sick footage. I thought I’d seen enough carnage for one day. Lest I forget.

  5. Ha they reckon all that pumpkin would cook in ten minutes😀 but wait there’s a bone – hopefully not the duck

    • That’s what I thought based on their comments for the main but I’m a bit concerned with the coughing before it has cut to the ad.

  6. I was surprised to see that The Voice romped home in ratings last night, especially in finals week. MKR came 7th, I think. Hope Channel 7 learn from their bad casting in this season of MKR, next year.

  7. What is in Amy and Tysons dessert tht is making the judges cough and pull faces….this is not looking very good at all 😐

  8. Valerie and Courtney will be over stressed if they get to the finale. 6 courses. How many curries are we going to see

  9. Even though I prefer Tyson and Amy, I wouldn’t mind if Valerie and Courtney won the final. I have never warmed to the beards. Probably goes back to them in first IR round scoring among the lowest every night.

  10. So funny reading the MKR Facebook. Now they complained it is rigged for A and T to win. Said judges didnt like the dessert and still gave them a high score. Cant they see that was acting from the judges?

    All in all, the cooking techniques from A and T are more technical.

  11. So, finally, we’re down to the only three teams who actually can cook. It took them long enough to get here.

    I still think the finale will be Amy/Tyson versus the Beards, cause it feels like that’s what the show has been hinting (and we all know how subtle the program can be). But honestly, I kind of just want this season to be over, because it just hasn’t been a very good one.

    And if I ever see the culinary cesspit that is Josh and Amy on my TV screen, it’ll be too soon.

  12. A&T cook modern “elevated” food. Hashtaggers’ food is no doubt tasty but it’s not refined and, as Alex Perry would say, “expensive”.
    Recap is up.

  13. Thank the Lord! Now Daily Mail tells us that Tyson and Courtney have been on a few dates. Seems Tyson recently ended a 7 year relationship – he’d be hard to live with. But don’t care who goes through tonight, don’t like the beardies and I’m sick of curries and Indian stuff – how would they cope with a simple Sunday roast!!

    • I assume you meant daughter-Courtney as opposed to hipster-Courtney. Although maybe Court and Dunc are into that sort of thing … I imagine dating Tyson would be an interesting experience. At least you know he’ll feed you well.

  14. I’m assuming that the Grand Finale will be Tyson & Amy vs the Tim & Kyle. Hoping that the siblings are the winners. They are hygenic in the kitchen, have good skills and technique and cook interesting food. When it comes down to it, though, doesn’t matter to me if TA cook off against TK or VC but want TA to win. VC would probably cook a curry if they are in the grand finale.
    In fact that’s probably what they will prepare for the main for the 3 course semi final meal and TK will cook steaks. BORING

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