Tonight on My Kitchen Rules SA, foodie friends from Durban, Nicole and Zamatonga, became the second couple to be eliminated from the series. The best friends, who have not been shy to share their opinions around the previous Instant Restaurant tables of their competitors unfortunately missed the mark right from the start of their evening. The final score from their fellow contestants and celebrity judges David Higgs and J’Something came to a disappointing total of 51 out of 100 – a discouraging 8 points behind “meat guys” OG and G who occupied the bottom of the log after their big cook last week. With that, OG and G were safe, while Nicole and Zamatonga had to bid an emotional goodbye to the competition.
This means that Jamandi and Machiel, Charnell and Kerry, Brent and Andrew and OG and G will be joining Bruce and Claudia, Liz and Leanne, Lani and Louzel and Rein and Rowan as the eight pairs of contestants moving into the next round of the competition: MKRSA Kitchen HQ, cooking for the grand prize of R1 Million!
Nicole and Zamatonga kicked their Instant Restaurant – appropriately named “Coast” – off to a very positive start but the wheels started coming off early in the evening. Their starter of ricotta and basil ravioli with napolitana and a touch of cream fell short of expectations from a flavour point of view. Moreover, Nicole and Zamatonga decided to add bacon to the dish, which was well received but the judges could not understand why the ladies – who are also the youngest team in their group – would put a vegetarian starter on their menu, only to add meat to it. “There was a very one dimensional flavour profile. Also, the bacon definitely helped the dish, but was it a clever idea not to include it on the menu?” judge J’Something told a visibly deflated Nicole and Zamatonga.
Back in the kitchen to prepare their main meal of sous vide chicken medallions stuffed with feta and coriander, served with sweet potato and peppadew pesto, Nicole realised that she did not buy enough cream for their sauce. “I’m trying to innovate, but it’s not really working,” she admitted to an eternally optimistic Zamatonga. “I fear this dish is going to be too dry,” Nicole lamented. With stress levels peaking in the kitchen, judge J’Something came to check on the girls and ended up consoling an emotional and very teary Nicole ahead of the mains being served, as she was still reeling from the negative feedback of their starter. As expected, the response to their main meal – which they served without sauce – was not particularly positive.
“I don’t know if choosing to sous vide your chicken was the best choice,” judge David Higgs told them. The rest of the contestants agreed, with all of them feeling that their chicken was too dry. “I really feel for them,” Brent confided in his partner Andrew. “I wanted them to succeed after their first dish…” he added. With only one more course left to give themselves a fighting chance of staying in the competition, Nicole and Zamatonga returned to the kitchen to serve their adventurous dessert of a nougat and pistachio ice cream cake, which had a ricotta base instead of a custard one.
“This was creative! I really enjoyed what I saw on my plate,” J’Something raved. Both judges felt that the ricotta lent an unusual texture to the dessert which they weren’t expecting, but overall, Nicole and Zamatonga had redeemed themselves. Unfortunately, their surprising dessert was not enough to ultimately save them, however.
Next week the Top 8 pairs from both groups will enter the impressive MKRSA Kitchen HQ for the first time! What will their challenge be, and will one more team be eliminated?
My Kitchen Rules SA is broadcast on M-Net channel 101 every Sunday night at 18:00. Follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #MKRSA or on the official M-Net Facebook page.