Poh’s Kitchen

Poh Ling Yeow is yet another living, breathing example of how coming second in a reality competition is no loss.

She strolls into her very own ABC series with little more introduction than the success of MasterChef. She’s also probably the first reality contestant in Australia to land their very own series. Others who have been given hosting opportunities, were opted to established brands.

Poh is a name just about everyone in the country knows. And even if she was given a second chance on TEN’s reality series (eliminated then returned), she is remembered for her skill, grace and cheer.

The ABC was quick to sign her for her own series following the demise of The Cook and the Chef. It helps that Poh is South Australian, where the production crew for that show could be seconded to this one. And it helps that Poh is also an artist (wherever does she find the time to paint now?).

In the first episode of Poh’s Kitchen, her art serves as a visual subplot. We see her delivering her latest artworks to a gallery, and bringing a cake along as a gift, of course.

Curiously, as the show kicks off, there is no mention of MasterChef. In fact there’s no mention of it across the show -period. Clearly more than 3.7m of us know who she is anyway…

The kitchen is a bright, white homely base. If it isn’t actually Poh’s very own as the title suggests, it certainly passes itself off as a contemporary, domestic home for someone who loves to cook.

Joining her in the first episode is French chef Emmanuel Mollois, who sets about teaching Poh the art of a good croissant. By the looks of things, it is indeed an art to get it oh so right.

At the same time Poh is cooking a favourite of her own, a rather scrumptious orange, layered cake. Each tells the other of the steps they are taking, as a way of instructing the audience. Having both steps of the recipe delivered concurrently was a tad confusing. Roll the croissant pastry here, decorate the cake there….thank goodness for websites.

It has to be said that Poh is an absolute natural. Whatever skills she learned from TV production on Masterchef (and there would be have been many), they seem already second nature to her. She is relaxed, bright, full of joy. And talented. The fact she is also a woman of Malay-Chinese descent hosting her own television show is another plus for diversity on our screens.

Poh’s Kitchen is a breath of fresh air.

Poh’s Kitchen premieres 6:30pm Wednesday February 10 on ABC1.


  1. Poh is like a breath of fresh air every wednesday evening.its great to have a person on Tv with such a down to earth nature.
    To those who say she got the show because of her looks… well sure she is attractive but she can cook also and she dosnt go on with all the “look at me attitude” of most other cooks on tv.

  2. I watched her show last Sat & wished she’d stop laughing just about everything! I think it’s a sign of inconfidence/insecurity/incompetence when a laughter breaks out over trivial things.

    Much rather have Kylie Kwong or Maeve O’ Mara. Imagine Jamie Oliver/Rick Stein/Gordon Ramsay laughing over nothing!

    Poh’s “laughing stock” – imagine that for a soup!

  3. Joy Van Ballegooyen

    The show tonight on gnocci and dumpling making was excellent, I enjoyed it very much and plan to try making them myself.
    Where in S.A. is the chef and his restaurant who does the Tuscan food?

  4. Poh,
    I spent several years in Malaysia during the early 80’s & I was wondering if you had recipes for a couple of my old time mukan fav’s… Peanut butter pancakes from “The Temple of a Thousand Rip-offs” on Penang Island, crispy & spicy chicken from local food vendors with their blast furnace woks and finally char koi te ou (double egg..double onion + extra chilli). I apologise for the spelling… But these were absolutely fabulous dishes that I’ve been unable to find the recipes for despite buying several Malay & Asian cook books. Looking forward to your reply. All the best.


  5. I’d love to watch this, I really would. She’s a really clever cook and I’d love to learn from her. But. That bloody laugh. She laughs at everything. All the time. It’s so annoying. argh.

  6. Even if Poh did only get her own show because she was “Asian”, “cute”, and “easy on the eye” as Tony H. suggests, I’d have no problem with it. In fact I consider it a massive step forward by Australian TV. It should happen more often. Kathleen de Leon could be the next cab off the rank.

    Naturally I am speaking strictly from a perspective of good television and my comments have nothing to do with my own pecadillos.

  7. Another annoying “reality” show ‘celeb’ given a show because she’s easy on the eye. If she was not Asian and cute (eg Julie) would she get her own show? Going on the promos, she doesn’t do much cooking, and just laughs constantly (conciously?). Maybe she should be the food correspondent on the ABC news service. But that might require her to actually do something. Oh hum. More tax-payer dollars spent wisely,

  8. Great review David. Hope the show does well.

    Interesting how viewers get different impressions of (highly edited) reality show contestants. I thought Poh was talented, hardworking, passionate about food and loyal to the teams she was part of.

  9. Poh was one of my least fave contestants on MCA – I found her to be a sooky, annoying airhead, but I’ll watch this out of curiousity to see how she goes. Good review, thanks.

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