Finally, it was a good episode just because we got to see the contestants performing in teams & cooking somewhere else apart from the MasterChef Kitchen.
The challenge itself was great where the contestants had to feed the guests in the À la carte Restaurant. Even though the judges asked the contestants to push themselves harder & to bring themselves out of their comfort zones but I must say some of the dishes didn’t spell 5-star fine dining quality to me. We have seen the contestants making those dishes in previous challenges so I was concerned why the judges didn’t stop the contestants for playing it too safe that too at this point in the competition?
The contestants were divided into two teams; Red & Blue. Red Team had Rayyan as a captain & Ammrah, Madiha, Gulnaz as the remaining team members. Blue Team‘s captain was Saad & the other team members were Khurram, Zain & Amna. The challenge was simple, they had 3 hours to design their menu & prepare themselves for the service. I was actually excited to see how the teams would perform in the service time because that’s a crucial part of any restaurant challenge.
The dishes that the Red team made & the comments that they got were:
‘Pan Asian Prawns w/ Mango Salsa’. Chef Mehboob liked the balance of flavours that the dish had. He felt that the dish was very Mexican with well-cooked prawns & all that jazz of spice, sour & sweetness to it. Chef Zakir liked the prawns for the fact that they were cooked perfectly & he felt that the combination of salsa with the prawns was perfect.
‘Beef Tenderloin w/ Mushroom Sauce’. Chef Khurram liked the steak & the flavours. Chef Zakir felt that the timing with which the steak was cooked was just right because it was succulent & tender. According to him the marination was great & he was glad that it was cooked perfectly. Chef Mehboob was like it was hard to believe that the steak was cooked by a home-cook because it was that good.
‘Cheese Mousse w/ Cherry Coulis & Chocolate Truffle’. Chef Khurram liked the presentation a lot. Chef Mehboob was glad that Rayyan plated the dessert in his style. Chef Zakir liked the balance of flavours & the fact that the dessert wasn’t too sweet.
The dishes that the Blue team made & the comments they got were:
‘Ceaser Salad w/ Grilled Prawns’. Chef Mehboob liked the dressing of the salad & also the prawns. Chef Khurram felt that the dish lacked the colours & the prawns weren’t coming out as a main component of the dish like it should have.
‘Tagliatelle w/ White Sauce & Grilled Chicken’. Chef Mehboob felt that the pasta was overcooked. Chef Khurram felt that the presentation could’ve been better but it was just right. Chef Zakir didn’t like the knife skills & felt that the portion size was too big.
‘Red Velvet Cheese Cake’. Chef Mehboob had an issue with the sponge as according to him it was too dry, however he liked the cheese cake & the usage of berries to bring in that acidic tinge to the dish. Chef Khurram liked the presentation & felt that the red colour made it visually appealing.
It was now time for the verdict. It was good that the judges read the remarks of the guests too. I am glad the guests got to have a say in this & it was pretty clear that Red team had an upper hand in both; the menu & the performance, therefore they won the challenge, sending the Blue team into the elimination round.
I must say I was expecting something more from the Blue team because the menu they selected was something that their team members have cooked before. We’ve seen Zain cooking pasta many times & Amna has made red velvet cheese cake in one of the elimination rounds that earned her a spot in the safe zone before. I think it was the responsibility of the judges to remind the contestants of not cooking something they’ve cooked before. White sauce & ceaser salad are also a couple of those components that have already been cooked in the MasterChef Kitchen. Red team in this regard stood out because they were creative & opted for a different menu however Cherry Coulis & Chocolate Truffle has been cooked previously too but other than that their menu was good.
Rayyan proved to be a good team captain because he was helping his team members around when they asked for it. All the decisions he took for his team paved a way for their success. I am glad Ammarah, Madiha & Gulnaz worked in harmony too & made sure they did their tasks well. Blue team started off great but started having hiccups in the middle of the prep-time & not only their service was choppy but their captain fell short on his responsibilities. It seemed that the blue team was quite complacent & were too confident but I am glad the team I was rooting for won the challenge & yes, it was the Red team.
Addition: I wish someone had given a teaspoon to Chef Mehboob for the tasting because to see him dipping his finger in the batter for the tasting purposes was quite unflattering. I am amazed that he being a chef himself didn’t know how he was contaminating the food & how unhygienic it was. It’s quite sad that the show is about to end in a few weeks time but still we can’t sense any connection between the judges & the contestants. Seems like the judges never really tried bonding with the contestants.
Overall the entire episode was good but I wish they had opted for some more creative dishes. Share your thoughts on this episode.