A new reality show has landed at Netflix – Restaurants On The Edge. Think Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares but with really nice hosts who transform restaurants around the world. The idea of the show is to go to some of the most beautifully located, but failing, restaurants and transform them. And those transformations come courtesy of three industry specialists. Karin Bohn is responsible for recreating the look of the restaurant. Nick Liberto and Dennis Prescott are top chefs who attempt to overhaul the often outdated or uninspired menus.
Restaurants On The Edge focuses on six different places. They are located in Hong Kong, Malta, St Lucia, Austria, Canada and Costa Rica. There's a lot to like about the show though it's isn't completely without fault. The owners of each place are incredibly lovely and it's easy to root for them as they embark on the changes. For many, this is their livelihood and they have poured their hearts into their restaurants with little in return. The overall makeovers are really good and very much in keeping with the locations and local culture. Thankfully there were no botch jobs. So a good job done by Karin Bohn.
Nick and Dennis are very personable and really delve into the local food scene as well as the culture of each country or town they are in. Using more traditional recipes and locally sourced produce, they encourage the restaurant owners to embrace what they already have on their doorstep. The idea is that the ingredients are fresher, have more flavour and are cheaper than imports. This will appeal to more locals in the offseason and more tourists in the holidays.
Where Restaurants On the Edge falls short is the level of cheesiness in the production. Slow-mo shots of Karin holding a piece of pottery or Dennis tasting a home-cooked meal absolutely pepper each episode. There is also a rather irritating round-up before the transformations are revealed. So we see each host go on there journey to discover the local culture, we see everything they do then have to hear about it again as they all sit around and tell each other what they've been up to. Other than to fill time or clap each other on the back, there really is no point to have it.
It's also formulaic and every episode is exactly the same. Failing restaurant, lovely owners, three saviours swoop in, give a reality check, overhaul everything, tears of joy, the end. But, and it's a big BUT, the show is compulsive viewing and you really really want to see how the makeovers worked out. Watch the beginning, skip the middle and watch the end! It's Stay Here but with restaurants!