MasterChef Australia – In Hong Kong It Must Be Dim Sum
“So lets crack on” said Gary Mehigan which got me excited for about two seconds before I came to the reality that he was not actually talking to me. He was in fact in the Ming Court in Hong Kong a michelin star Chinese restaurant in the Langham Place Hotel.
MasterChef Australia was adding extra excitement into the show this week by sending the final five overseas to grapple with great culinary questions like should you braise, stir-fry or fry a turtle, what are the best accompaniments to go with sea snail squirts, and if you were going to make assiette of durian for dessert what three dishes would you make?
But as George Calombaris said “Not only are your representing MasterChef, but you are representing Australia.” So we had the contestant’s perfecting their cooking skills on the Australian yum cha classics of spring rolls, pork buns, and shu mie (or dim sim in Australia).
Ok the fillings did look far superior to the spring rolls and shu mie that gets flung around the lazy susans in Australia.
I loved the way Sam said to camera “We have two hours to prepare all the dimsum”, says Sam pretending they were catering for whole restaurant. If you are wanting a pork bun you would be waiting awhile as Sam’s were a disaster, with pork bun filling cascading out of his buns.
I still cannot believe Sam is still in the competition ahead of Poh. I am sure the other contestants are bemused about this as well.
Tonight there was only the 30 minute challenge with no loser but a winner who would get to go on an old fashioned junk to watch the nightly light show on Hong Kong harbour.
The challenge was to make four pieces of each dim sum of the three dishes above plus “cue in drum roll” as Matt Preston breathlessly advised them they would also have to make the most difficult dumpling – the zhiu zhou. The zhiu zhou is a pork and prawn dumpling with water chestnuts and peanuts – delicious.
Considering in this challenge they would not have to make the filling, the challenge was all about the dim sum technique. They were not even required to cook them.
Chris finished first and also got to present it first to the three judges, plus chef John and chef Patrick from the restaurant.
They said “The shape was too varied, spring roll pastry to thick sucking up juices,”, and ” pork bun shape is terrible”.
Sam was up next and Sam’s pork bun has better balance, but looked dirty. “Overall a commendable effort,” said Matt Preston.
Julie who really is the quiet achiever in this competition did not get great reviews with a “All you can taste is dough there is no filling “.
Andre’ won the prize for best shaped zhiu zhou with a “Dumpling has best shape of all so far, however edges to thick.”
Justine standout was the pork bun said Gary Mehigan. However her zhiu zhou was criticised.
Much to my chargrin Sam won. I was wondering if the judges gave this to him as they know he will be the next one to be eliminated. He interestingly chose Justine to go on the boat with him. .
Justine is a bit of the golden girl at the moment, maybe Sam wanted to ingratiate himself with her. Also I note today in the Sunday Telegraph Justine was on the cover of the TV guide with Sarah Wilson, and I wondered whether they are keen to promote her as she is one of the red hot favourites to win.
The guide also revealed that Julia and Lucas were also given tickets to Hong Kong so we should see them pop up at some stage in the week. Just as well as it would have been particularly unfair for Julia to miss out.
Also a prize of a coffee at Lucas’s cafe in Randwick (sorry non-Sydney readers) will go to anyone who spots Gary Mehigan’s bare arms this week – I note he went to the steaming Hong Kong wet markets in a long sleeve black shirt. Will he uncover himself in the tropics – I hope so.