Friday, November 06, 2009




Only seven couples remain to fart for zeir restaurants, while the director struggles to make Bristol look vaguely attractive in the connecting shots (half of which appear to be of Clifton instead). This week our budding restaurateurs have to run high street chain restaurants for a day, so they get to know the meaning of hard work and can have their naïve dreams re the catering industry brutally squashed. They have a day of training and learning the menu, and then are thrown into the deep end the next day.

There is a pan-Asian canteen called Tampopo that I haven’t heard of. The stern manageress says they have to give everyone their main dish within ten minutes. Team NotGay and Team Winker are sent to work there. During their training day, Chris nails the cookery but JJ and his hateful floppy hair struggles to control the wok. The following day, The Notgays seem to have no problems, food comes rattling out five minute after the order, Nathan is calm and efficient, and even Sarah can’t find anything to complain about. Team Winker start off all cocky and “Bring it on, chap!!” but are gratifyingly hopeless. “You’re supposed to take away my menu” Sarah hisses icily, as soon as James leaves with her order. JJ is instantly behind as James takes fifteen orders in the space of a nanosecond. Soon there is an hour wait for dishes (which James consistently lies about, even to Sarah, David and Raymond) and there are lots of shots of JJ panicking, messing up and getting dishes completely wrong while the guy who trained him basically stands around laughing. Stern manageress says it is UNACCEPTABLE. Raymond goes into the kitchen and brusquely orders JJ to clean up his station, not like that! Do it properly! LOLs. James says he did a great job and it is all JJ’s fault. Sarah, who understandably seems to have her hate on for these two, says it is partially James’ fault for not communicating properly. The NotGays were my faves from week one and seem to be the only ones who coped at all this week. Winkers to be fired soon pls thx.

Teams Essex, Blonde and Milliband (Barney looks more like Bez, methinks, esp when he starts panicking and running around in a flop sweat, which I predict will happen every week) are set to work in a Yo Sushi conveyor belt restaurant and have to learn all the names of the different sushi/nigiri/mako shapes etc. Team Essex are all “Eww!! raw fish!!” and Badger says “Ee by gum , we don’t have stuff like this oop north”, having presumably never heard of places like Manchester, Leeds or Newcastle. They just about cope at lunchtime, but baldy Yo Sushi bloke correctly predicts that they will be fucked in the evening when it is actually busy. That night the restaurant is completely rammed and the cooks neglect the conveyor belt, so more people order off the other menu, which means the conveyor belt is neglected even more. Cut to Raymond glaring at a sad solitary edemame bean trudging round the conveyor belt like a drunk asleep on the Circle Line. The regular chef seems to spend the whole evening shaking his head in disgust, and everyone struggles apart from Blonde waitress, who does very well. To be fair, the problem is compounded by the artificial set-up where each waiter can only work with their designated chef. It would have made more sense for two of them to do orders and one to stock the conveyor. There was a nice scene where David talked Mrs Essex into trying some raw fish and finding out it wasn’t too bad. I found David to be a bit of a blank last series, but he seems a lot more relaxed this time and is almost matching Sarah with his hilarious facial expressions. Team Blonde are dark horses at this stage. Team Essex have potential, but I fear that Team Miliband will fall to pieces at the first sign of stress.

Finally, Teams Nigeria and IKEA are despatched to Pizza Express, where a scarily fervent Pizza Express lady explains that the folded menu spines have to be perfectly aligned with the Earth’s magnetic fields or something. A hot chef explains the exact number of pepperoni slices and exact weight of cheese for each dish. At lunch time, the Nigerian ladies (who seem really likeable and are my second favourites after the NotGays) cope Ok while Mrs IKEA soon falls behind, getting her dishes wrong and turning out mutant, vaguely pizza shaped, dough-based hybrid things, while George Best keeps simpering to her about how wonderful she is. Boke. Sarah pretends to have a nut allergy to test their menu knowledge skillz, so George Best, trying to read the menu over her shoulder, promptly recommends her two nut-crammed death pizzas. One of the judges tells us that making pizzas from instructions in a glossy ring binder is not exactly hard. Cut to Mrs IKEA saying making pizzas from instructions in a glossy ring binder is harder than you think. The evening is a complete disaster. Team IKEA fall behind instantly and Team Nigeria fall behind at a more leisurely pace and end up offering free drinks. Scarily fervent Pizza Express lady is on the verge of tears and is all “what have they done to my beautiful restaurant!?!”. Sarah glares at George Best and says he has to sort this shit out right now. He gives a cringeworthy speech about how they are trying hard but he is just a humble flower seller from London Tahn, or something. The drunken starving customers applaud him, as opposed to pelting him with overcooked doughballs, which is what I would have done. Sarah asks Mrs IKEA how it went and she says it seemed fine and no one complained to her. Well they wouldn’t – they all complained to your husband who apparently spends his whole life trying to bolster your self-esteem. Sarah nods back with a hilarious “Alrighty then, you delusionoid” type expression.

After the restaurants have closed and everyone has stopped shaking, they are taken to a sinister barge to learn their fate. Raymond does his closing speech, saying that some couples coped well (cut to the NotGays) and some couples struggled (cut to everyone else). One couple will NOT get to open their Restaurant and that couple is… Team IKEA - surprise surprise - they really should have gone after the packet salmon debacle last week. George Best says their dream is over. “One of our dreams,” Mrs IKEA says darkly. Back to flower selling for you two, then.

Next week: the couples see their premises for the first time, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. They have to give away free snacks in the street (with Badger dressing up as an actual badger to do so), and one couple of annoying blond blokes WILL be closing their restaurant.

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