Last Restaurant Standing kinda threw me for a loop last night. What happened to the challenge? There have already been 4 couples chopped (packed their knives?) in only 3 episodes! Are there no challenges this season? Is it a super short season?
On a rainy boat, Raymond tells the couples they will finally get their restaurants. He passes out the keys to everyone and it is a lottery for location. The couples head out to find their storefronts. They each get 1000 pounds to hook up their dining rooms. Raymond sends a package to everyone that has an amuse bouche (one bite at the beginning of the meal to offer a glimpse of the chefs point of view). He asks the chefs to create one and serve it on the street to try and get covers for opening night. The other different thing in this episode is the presence of Raymond. In past seasons, Ray has stayed put until the end, only gathering intel from the inspectors. This season he appears to be visiting restaurants already!
Here are all the amuse bouche dishes.
Barney and Badger (Team Army) seemed to start out badly. Badger was dressed as a badger! He was handing out the samples but telling people the completely wrong name for them. He called a melon and prosciutto bite "parmesan, pineapple, and tomato". They named their restaurant "Barrington and Badgers" and later on during service things appeared to be going well. So well in fact that Raymond named them the winers of this week!
Chris and Nathan solidified their theme of fine dining on a budget this week. They explained that the restaurant name is "Rags and Riches" and talked about getting cheap cuts of meat to keep prices down. Chris cooked well, but Nathan, a former hairdresser, fell apart in the front of house.
Don't sleep on the job, Sarah could show up at any time!
Daisy and Nadine named their restaurant D'Soiree. Sarah was really impressed with the dancers outside and the bright colors and spicy food, but was disappointed on multiple occasions by the chewey goat. There was a scene of her chewing it for 5 minutes. Raymond is worried that their cooking ability is not there. I was wondering, is chewy meat just a trademark of Nigerian food that the judges can't get used to, or is it her poor cooking ability? Has anyone tried Nigerian food out there?
JJ and James restaurant is named "Summer House" to go with their picnic theme. The storefront they got fit perfect as well with some nice patio seating. James creates a simple menu with not much cooking involved. He then stands around in the kitchen during service, not helping the sous chefs at all. Raymond still prefers a concept and execution over coking ability this season, so he keeps them around for another week despite Sarah's protests.
Rebecca and Stephen named their restaurant "The Front Room". Rebecca is once again grossed out by food, this time Raymonds amuse bouche, a fact that Stephen thinks they might get in trouble for. The food goes over well on the street, and Rebecca's marketing skills fill the restaurant up. A magician and saxophonist seem like a cheesy idea, but actually work well during service. Sarah comes to check out the resturant and sees the massive amount of cream and fat going into the food. She asks Stephen "Is this the type of food you eat at home?" An obvious jab at Stephens weight! I see nothing wrong with a comfort food restaurant, but Sarah seems to. Sarah?? why?
Lastly, we have poor Francis and Lucy. They couldn't catch a break this week! They got kind of a crap location, then the oven was broken so they put out mediocre amuse bouche. The oven got fixed, but the girls chose the worst of the three name options they were kicking around. "The Cheeky Pig" is not somewhere I want to eat. The logo looked like Chinese characters almost(it didn't help that it was vertical). Sarah was reluctant on their ALL local food theme. Mostly local is reasonable, but all local is pretty tough for any restaurant, let alone a new one. Of course, they wanted goat cheese and could only find some from France, but weren't smart enough to swap cheeses. Not learning from their mistakes, at dinner they wanted fish and couldn't find any. They used frozen.
Dinner went pretty dismal, Francis being only 21 with not much kitchen experience. This was enough for Raymond, and he told them they had a lot of growing to do before they could own a restaurant. I was shocked to see them get kicked off cause i was expecting a "Challenge" episode next week!
What do you guys think of the no-challenge format? Did the right team get kicked off this week?