Two amateur cooks go head-to-head to see if they can create a restaurant in their own homes for one night. Karen Bielby pits her eclectic menu against Martin Le Vogeur.
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Two rival amateur cooks are converting their homes into restaurants.
-I wish that was a lager!
-God, everything is so personal!
They've been given just one day...
Look at them babies!
..and a budget of up to £200.
Sea bass, sea bass, sea bass.
20 strangers will be coming to dinner.
-Would you like to sit near the fire or...?
At the end of the evening, they'll decide how much
or how little to pay.
It was great. Hence the empty plate.
So, can the cooks deliver the goods,
and will either of them make a profit?
Hello and welcome to Instant Restaurant! Two home cooks
are about to open their front doors, and bravely invite
complete strangers to sample a three course menu.
The diners will then decide how much they want to pay for it.
So, who's putting their culinary skills on the line today?
Our first cook is part time teacher, Martin Le Vogeur,
who lives near Doncaster.
Tonight, he's hoping to impress, with a menu of fancy classics.
Everybody tells me that my food is particularly good,
and it's going to give me the opportunity to put that
into practice with strangers, and find out whether it is or not.
But we all like a confident cook, and sports teacher, Martin,
is adding a competitive edge to his Instant Restaurant experience.
There's a quiz involved,
there's going to be games laid out for slack times during the evening.
Erm...it's also a bit of an ice breaker as well,
and it will get people interacting and talking.
His opponent is NHS public health development worker, Karen Bielby,
who also lives near Doncaster.
She used to be a holiday rep in Spain, and that's the inspiration
behind the menu she's creating tonight.
The name of the restaurant is Alioli, which means garlic mayonnaise,
which is something we always ate when we lived in Spain.
And the theme is really sunshine foods, which is the sort of food
that people have when they're on holiday.
This challenge isn't just about cooking.
With the help of two assistants, the cooks must create
the right ambience, to hopefully impress the diners sufficiently
to make them part with large amounts of cash.
Martin is calling on the services of his wife, Chris,
to run front of house.
Just to loosen the tongue a little.
And sister in law, Maxine, will be his sous chef,
and it seems she's already got the measure of Martin.
He does tend to get a bit flappy,
and he can get a little bit loud when he gets flappy,
but providing we keep him under control, erm...he should be OK.
Well, let's hope so!
As Karen's home is a bit short on space,
she's setting up her restaurant in her friend Sue's house.
Sue will be helping out tonight and probably checking
that Karen doesn't break anything.
Karen's second assistant is her boyfriend, Stu,
who'll be the restaurant's maitre d' and chief candle lighter.
I've never been a waiter. I know I've only got 10 people tonight,
but God, I'm so nervous. I really am, so if I start babbling,
-you'll have to stop me.
-You're babbling now, Stu.
Both cooks have been given an allowance of up to £200.
Martin decided he needed to spend £101 on his night,
so to make a profit, his guests will have to pay just over £10 a head.
And this is going to be close, because Karen asked
for just £7 less than Martin. So, to sneak into profit,
she needs only £10 per person.
So, we've got a gourmet night with a competitive twist,
versus a menu of sunny memories.
10 strangers are about to arrive at each house.
-Good evening! How are you?
At then end of the night it will be entirely up to them,
how much or how little they pay.
So, Martin and Karen will have to impress
if they want to make a profit.
Come out, come out, where ever you are!
But Chez Martin, before Chris can open up, there's an intruder!
I'm looking for a fly that's been around all day.
We've tried fly spray, we've tried swatting it.
I've hit it about four times and it's still going.
I hope it doesn't end up as extra protein on the menu!
It'll land on somebody's meal, won't it?!
It's got to be the strongest living fly I've ever met in me life!
Sounds like it's buzzed off, Chris! Unlike your guests,
-who are knocking on the door!
Ooh, and they seem a happy bunch, right from the off!
It looks really nice. The drinks are nice,
-so we've got a good start anyway.
Well, there's the killer one-two of the soft raspberry fizz tipple,
and home cooking smells to get them in the party spirit.
It smells nice, so hopefully the food will be good.
At Karen's, most of the guests are appreciative of the warm welcome.
When we walked in, we were greeted very, very nicely.
It all looks beautiful.
But behind the scenes,
not everyone's happy with the surrounding.
It very much looks like somebody's front room.
A nice location for a Christmas dinner.
Well, I guess you can't please everyone.
So, one of Karen's diners is less than impressed
with her Instant Restaurant, but maybe she can win him over
with her menu! Round at Martin's, the delicious cooking aromas
and welcome drinks have made a great first impression.
But now, it's time to bring the starters to the table.
Martin's first starter is a warm Gressingham Duck Salad,
served on a bed of watercress, beetroot and orange.
The dish is garnished with pomegranate seeds
and drizzled with a tangy chilli and honey dressing.
His second choice is a homemade individual savoury tart
with goat's cheese topping, a creamy mix of leek and roasted red pepper,
served on crisp salad leaves.
Both of the starters can be prepared well in advance,
which will get the meal off to a nice quick, crisp start.
They look quite nice. Quite bistro. Quite gastro pub.
I think they'll be popular. I might have a bit of competition there.
Yep, well we'll soon see.
Martin got his starters going early, beginning with the goat's cheese tarts.
I think there's a little bit of an art to pastry making,
and some people have it and some people don't.
I don't particularly have it.
Erm...and, a lot of the shop-bought pastries nowadays
are of a very good quality.
You even see some of the chefs on the television using shop-bought,
ready-made pastry, so it must be OK to use it.
Nothing wrong with taking shortcuts with the short crust.
The tarts were filled with a mixture of egg, cream, leek and red pepper,
before being topped with goat's cheese.
Martin's second starter is a warm duck salad.
His plan was to save time and stress by cooking the duck breasts in advance,
which turned out to be only partially successful.
The pressure's starting to build and it's getting quite stressful now,
strangely enough in a nice way as well. I'm sort of getting into this now and quite enjoying it.
So, yeah, this is pressure but nice.
Mm! A glutton for punishment, eh?
So while Martin enjoys the pressure in the kitchen...
If you want to go in that way. It's that one that's got the bad leg.
Chris squeezes three friends in at one table and a couple and a group at another.
Or should that be "crammed"?
I've got a table leg in between my legs but I'm coping, I'm all right.
The girls' starters are the first to leave the kitchen...
Oh, that's nice.
..closely followed by the couple...
-Thank you very much.
..which turns dining into a bit of a spectator sport
for the rest of the guests, while they wait for their choices to materialise.
Mm, looks nice, doesn't it?
OK, two duck to go then, Chris.
Ten more minutes pass.
Oh! Here we go.
Ooh, sorry, false alarm.
There's one tart to go on there.
Finally, 20 minutes after the first starters emerged, the last ones arrive.
Was it worth the wait?
I had the goats' cheese tartlet. Absolutely gorgeous. Really nice.
And the rocket compliments it really, really well.
Very sweet and sour. Very nice.
It was just enough. Just right, perfect.
It hit the spot.
But behind closed doors, not everyone's so complimentary.
It were a little bit rabbit foody, the starter.
There were a lot of leaves, a lot of fruit.
I like something with a bit more substance,
something with a bit more sauce.
It were kind of a bit of a mess on my plate
and the plate were cold as well. I don't like cold plates.
Hm, you're not supposed to serve salads on a hot plate.
Never mind. With one lot of starters over, Chris introduces the evening entertainment,
a sort of starter for ten but with no confirming.
There is a foodie quiz. There's a little prize. It is only a little prize.
I'll give you the answers at the end. OK?
-Have you worked it out?
-I haven't got my glasses so you're going to have to read it.
Question one, should salad be served on a hot plate?
Ah, this is too brainy for me.
Mm, fortunately, Chris is on hand with some obscure clues.
If you knew what the month of my birthday was, you'd know the answer to question three.
-What star sign are you?
-Put it down.
-OK, we'll play!
So Mystic Meg's off to a flier
and as the rest of Martin's quests tuck into a bit of food for thought,
let's see how rival Karen's dishes go down with her diners.
For her starters, Karen is serving individual ramekins
filled with creamy baked eggs, topped with mature Cheddar cheese
and just a hint of smoked paprika.
They'll be served with rustic bread soldiers. Very rustic bread soldiers!
She's also making a coca mallorquina, a traditional Majorcan flan of pastry,
topped with colourful slow-cooked peppers and garlic.
It will be served with Russian salad and Spanish Manchego cheese,
not so much a first course as a geography lesson.
The coca mallorquina is something I ate all the time when I was a holiday rep in Spain.
The baked eggs are a family favourite and I get asked
to cook them every time I go round to peoples' houses.
Both of those starters do sound much more adventurous than mine. Maybe I've played it a little safe.
We'll see about that!
At Karen's sunshine-themed restaurant, Aioli,
Sue helped Karen prepare the eggs baked with cream, which are made of eggs... and cream.
What could possibly be simpler?
This could be the worst nightmare of the night. This could take anything from six minutes to 15 minutes.
They're never, ever the same.
Crikey! That's encouraging.
Let's hope Karen's second starter, a dish that brings back special sunny memories for her,
is a little more predictable.
This is the coca, which is one of the starters.
It's a Mallorquin dish, so we used to eat it loads when we lived in Majorca.
They sell it at the bakeries.
Because we were always rushed off our feet and working 14 hours a day,
we used to pick up a couple of slices of coca at the bakery for breakfast every morning.
I love it! It's really, really nice.
It comes out a bit like a tart really.
And they should cook for about 15 minutes on a high heat.
Meanwhile, in the dining room, Stu is definitely looking the part. Ooh! Doesn't he scrub up nice!
I thought he was really professional, wearing a bow tie.
I thought he looked really good.
He was very, very... You could see he was nervous but that's to be expected.
-He was very, very tentative.
-Of course. Very, very good service.
-And the fish.
-The fish as well...
Stu might have impressed the diners but he's not going down quite so well with Karen in the kitcen.
I don't understand. Why are you doing that by hand?
No, she wants the coca starter and the fish main course.
If you just put, "Table one, number of coca, number of egg, number of fish, number of omelette".
Tell you what, give me the pen and I'll write it out for myself and then you can read it out to me.
It's warm in there!
Table one, how many eggs?
-Er... one, two... Two.
-How many coca?
-OK, how many fish?
And how many... Is this table? I thought there were six people on table one.
Oh, no. I'm just doing the three there, sorry.
Do you know...
I'd head back into the dining room if I were you, Stu.
The evening's only just begun and I'm a bit worried about him already.
Grab those baked eggs and leg it!
Right, table one's ready, Stu. There's um...
Quick, she's getting feisty.
-Who ordered the...
It might be his first time waiting on tables but Stu's soon taking to it like a tuxedoed duck to water.
Or possibly a slightly stressed penguin.
I've got some spoons if you need them for the eggs... if you'd like a little spoon.
These starter dishes are choc full of memories for Karen but will they prove as memorable for the diners?
I had the baked eggs for starter. I thought it was lovely, really nice.
I've never had it before as a starter.
Couldn't taste the paprika but apart from that it was lovely. Really nice.
I had the tart.
Er, it was...nice. I expected it to be hot.
It wasn't hot, it was cold.
The starter, I had the coca mallorquina...
Ooh, get her!
..which was described as a Majorcan pizza-type flan,
but I still wasn't quite expecting it to be so pizza-like.
It was nice but, the only thing was, it was with the Russian salad,
and it seemed like the Russian salad was the main part of the dish.
And as Stu begins to clear the tables, Sue's earlier misgivings seem to have been correct.
-I think one of the eggs might have been too runny.
So, a few of the plates have come back from the starters,
and they've got a bit left on them, but another lot have just come back
and most of them have been eaten, so that's a bit of good feedback.
I'm like that...
I'd rather they all came back empty,
but we'll have to wait and see.
Ooh, and what about Justin, that cheeky customer
from before. He didn't like the look of Karen's restaurant,
but has she found a way to his heart via his stomach?
I chose the baked egg for starter,
and it was very much like something a child would serve up to you
at a children's tea party.
It was very runny egg and the white wasn't really cooked,
and it wasn't really in its shell so it didn't really cook properly, and it's...
left a rather...
distasteful taste in my mouth, I think.
Ooh, Justin's not a happy diner,
and some of the other guests
weren't exactly glowing about Karen's starters.
Martin's goat cheese tart and duck salad got mixed reactions,
but I don't think his foodie quiz is a good idea.
It sounds more like homework than a fun night out.
For his mains, Martin's going for gutsy flavours.
There's oven-roasted paprika pork,
served with swirls of potato-and-parsnip puree,
and creamy savoy cabbage cooked with bacon.
The dish is finished with a sauce vierge.
That's a posh tomato sauce, to you and me.
Or there's fillet of sea bass, topped with a herb-and-lemon gremolata,
served with crushed new potatoes and balsamic roast tomatoes.
People often say that you should cook sea bass "au naturel", so to speak.
But I think that sea bass can take those subtle flavours of a gremolata,
which gives it a little bit of a twist as well.
The pork, on the face of it,
sounds as if it's going to be very, very strong-flavoured,
but the paprika does cook out during the cooking
and it goes down an absolute treat every time I've done it.
They sound adventurous,
complicated and not the sort of thing I'd take on,
but if he does them right,
I think they'll go down really well with t'diners.
We'll know soon enough, Karen.
One of Martin's first jobs was to prepare the gremolata topping
for the fish.
It's like an Italian, er...
The sea bass is going to be pan-fried,
and then I'm going to whack it under the grill with the gremolata on top,
so it forms like a crumble crust.
Mmm, fishy crumble sounds interesting.
Meanwhile, the pork's been absorbing spicy flavours.
I need to keep a careful eye on it while it's in the oven,
so it doesn't go...
So it doesn't burn and go really bitter. Now, if starts doing that
before the cooking time is up,
then all I will do is put a bit of foil over it,
to stop that process and hold that process back,
but not the cooking process itself.
Although he's been able to do some prep,
most of Martin's main-course cooking is done at the last minute.
LAUGHTER AND CHATTER
The orders are in and - oh, dear.
Once again, Martin's cooking the dishes separately for the three groups in the dining room.
Bit of balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes...
And then we're going to whack them in the oven...
for a couple of minutes...there.
First lot's going to go out, next couple of minutes.
Green stuff, yeah.
The pork will be served with creamy cabbage with bacon.
But Martin's also got to prepare the crushed potatoes to go with the fish
and plate up the pork. Hope he's still enjoying all this pressure.
Sea bass, sea bass, sea bass...
It's in the oven!
And keep an eye on the cabbage!
Oh, dear! It looks like Martin's greens
have gone a bit black around the edges.
The only thing being fed round here is the bin.
Not happy with that one. If I'm not happy with it, it doesn't go.
And now Martin's fretting about his guests.
They've been waiting too long.
What have you lost now, Martin?
I've lost it. Lost it. Where is it?
Fortunately, the guests are too busy tackling the quiz to notice the panic in the kitchen.
Though I'm not sure they know many answers.
"What pub snack is technically known..." I don't know this.
I can't even say it.
Hypo... Ji? Ji?
"..with a sprinkling of sodium chloride!"
Hmmm. Arachis hypogaea.
Oh, I was never any good at Latin. Haven't got a clue!
I reckon that could be...
Good guess. Perhaps we'll get the answer later.
Back in the kitchen, Martin's still looking for his calm former self,
while Chris is doing her best to help.
Don't flap, calm down. It won't get out any faster, will it?
Can you get that in there?
-I'm sure I can.
-Well, some of it, anyway.
Just enough to get the one portion out at the moment.
One portion? Er, what about the rest?
Everybody's OK in there, don't worry.
You're not doing bad.
By the time the second lot of cabbage is ready, it's 45 minutes since the starters went out.
And now, no-one seems to be able to remember who ordered what!
It was an order of two, first.
There was one sea bass and one pork, first.
I haven't taken the three-table out, then.
That's the five, where's the three-table?
We haven't taken any of t'mains out yet.
Yeah, because there was the three-table first.
No, there was the two first, that's what you brought me in first and that's what I'm putting out first.
Blimey! I'm confused. Maybe they should just make it part of the quiz.
"Question 12. Who ordered sea bass?"
You've done one sea bass, so you need another paprika.
-Is that it?
-Yep. That one can go.
Once again, the girls' table gets served first...
-I won't be a second.
-That looks nice.
-It does look nice.
-What's that bit?
-I don't know. What's that? Is it cabbage?
..Followed by the couple on the corner.
Pork, wasn't it?
But once again, the remaining guests have drawn short rations,
or as yet, no rations at all.
At the moment, I'm concerned about how much time it's taking me to get meals out.
It's not quick enough at the moment.
For me, anyway. If I was sat out there, I'd be a little bit upset.
It's not bad. Twenty minutes.
Twenty minutes is quite long enough.
So two pork, three sea bass. Two pork, three sea bass.
That's no problem. Everything's ready, so we can serve and go.
-Standards are slipping.
-I know, you can't get the staff, can you, eh?
And you might not be getting any money either, Martin.
Your sea bass.
I don't like cold plates.
After all that, the plates are cold again
and this time, they really shouldn't be.
No, he's been really calm. Really calm.
So, after the big wait and the cold plates,
will the food save the day?
It's right there, innit?
The pork is... It's really succulent.
It's actually melting on my tongue.
Normally, I find pork can be a little bit chewy.
And a little bit tasteless, I find.
Unless it's swimming in fat.
But no, this is just right. It's just spot-on. Perfect.
I wish that was a lager.
Time enough for that, Martin. There's a long way to go yet.
Yeah, they've all been cleared quite nicely.
That lady pinched that lady's tomatoes
cos she thought they were so nice.
It's all smiles and empty plates in the kitchen,
but what do the diners think, out of earshot, of their hosts?
For main course I had the pork, but it was a little bit dry
and the presentation was basic.
But on the plus side, the mash in the sauce I thought was gorgeous,
so that kind of made up for the rest.
The um... The main course, sea bass I had, was cold.
I have to say it was a little bit disappointing for that.
But still, the flavours were there, so it was nice.
I don't think it were a great meal. I think I've had better meals.
It... When I say nice, I just mean it was nice.
And that were it. It were nice.
That's all I can say about it, it were just nice.
Well, if the menu's not doing the trick,
there's still Martin's culinary quiz.
Let's leave them to it and nip over to Karen's.
For her mains, Karen is showing off her culinary influences from around the world.
She's making Indian style fish fillets cooked in a spicy garam flour batter.
They'll be served with sauteed potatoes,
shreds of pickled ginger and a lime and mango sauce,
and the dish is garnished with a salad which includes Bombay mix.
Her second main course is a Spanish tortilla,
or potato and onion omelette, served with bulgur wheat pilaff.
Finishing the plate are cubes of feta,
oven-roasted tomatoes and cinnamon onions.
The fish in batter is inspired by a wonderful meal we had in an Indian restaurant in London
and the tortilla was just one of my favourite dishes.
Fish and chips and omelette!
That's a bit harsh, Martin!
Unlike your fancy-schmantzy cooking,
Karen believes in letting her simple ingredients speak for themselves.
I like it because it's not about complicated recipes
and making complicated sauces and stuff.
It's about putting nice ingredients together,
so it can be two or three ingredients is a recipe
and you know it's going to taste really nice.
And it's not complicated at all.
After it's had a few minutes on the stove,
Karen will finish the Spanish omelette off in the oven.
Unconventional, but she promises it works.
Er... Are you sure about that?
No, it's not done yet.
That needs another few minutes.
With the tortilla, she's serving a bulgur wheat pilaff.
I'm heating it through, I'm going to add some herbs,
some preserved lemon, which is chopped up really fine
and some spinach.
Mix it all up together and use that as the base for the meal.
Well, she certainly likes unusual combinations, our Karen.
Her second main course is fish.
She's cooking fillets of basa,
a type of catfish with a mild flavour.
It's really nice. It goes quite a lot like haddock,
even though it's slightly thinner.
She'll be coating it in a batter made from garam or chick pea flour.
This is the batter I'm going to dip the fish in before I fry it.
So, a bit like when you get an Indian starter, that kind of...
Rather than an English batter, which is light and crispy. It's more dark.
You want it quite thick. You know, like a paste.
Rather than a liquid.
I'm going to need loads more.
She puts the batter aside until tonight,
ready for the fish to be cooked to order.
And the basa will be served with an unusual salad.
It's cucumber, skinned and deseeded tomatoes.
Coriander. A little bit of red chilli, but not much.
And then a little bit of salt and pepper, lime juice
and then at last minute, I'm going to toss Bombay mix in.
So it's nice and crunchy.
Mm! New one on me, but where on earth did she get that idea?
Do you know, traditional Indian street food salads have things called chevdo in sometimes.
Chevdo looks like cornflakes and Bombay mix mixed together,
so it's kind of like a play on that really, so...
And I have had it before in India and it was nice!
So we're doing four fish for table one first, aren't we?
I'm frying the fish, so I'm dipping it in the garam flour batter
and then just putting it in hot oil. It doesn't take long to cook.
Karen carefully garnishes the plates with dots of mango and ginger sauce
and shreds of pickled ginger.
Plus that Bombay mix salad.
I wonder what the diners will make of it.
Next the Spanish omelette and bulgur wheat dish is plated up.
That's if Karen can find any room for the omelette.
Ah! There you go.
Then Stew whisks them into the dining room,
where it's up to the diners to tuck in and deliver their verdicts.
I thought the fish was fairly nice,
but I thought the batter was too thick and stodgy.
I would have preferred it to be a lighter coating of batter.
I tended to cut away the batter and just eat the fish in the middle.
But it was OK. Altogether, I enjoyed it, but it wasn't anything special.
The potato omelette didn't have that much flavour
and the bulgur wheat, a bit herby.
But the onions and tomato were really tasty,
but I just would have liked a little bit more of it.
I had the Spanish potato omelette.
I found it very ordinary.
And Karen's favourite diner doesn't like them either, and has a request.
Is there anything else you want? Do you want to try the other main?
No, you're all right. I'm all right.
Do you want me to take that away?
Is everything all right?
He didn't like it.
I asked him if he wanted the other meal, and he says no, he's all right.
What didn't he like about it?
He said, "Can I have some chips from the chippy up there?"
And then he said, um...
Then I said, "Oh, you don't like it?"
He said, "No."
-It is cooked.
-Yeah, it's cooked.
I asked if he wanted to try the other meal, and he said no, I'm all right.
I wonder why he didn't like it.
'Well, there's no pleasing everyone, as Justin can't wait to tell us.'
'Not what I would call fine dining.'
I'm glad I did go for the fish.
The nicest thing about the fish was the little bit of ginger
which took the taste away from my palate.
The fish wasn't really what I'd call a fillet,
it looked like a tail of fish to me.
The batter wasn't crispy.
You would maybe assume that fish batter normally is.
I don't think Justin's really enjoying his evening, do you?
And I'm not sure there's anything Karen could do
to make him any happier.
Well, at least her other diners are a bit more positive.
Martin's mains went down well, although his diners did have to wait
rather a long time for the food to arrive.
So, how will the desserts go down?
Martin's hoping to impress his diners
with a choice of two classic puddings.
He's making a cranachan,
a rich concoction of cream, oats and sugar
to which he's adding a tropical twist with passion fruit,
and mango, and a solitary Scottish raspberry.
He'll also be presenting a traditional tarte tatin,
where apples should be caramelised to a golden brown,
topped with buttery pastry and baked in the oven,
before the whole dish is turned out to serve.
It's the sort of dish that can take years to perfect.
Never done a tarte tatin before, but how difficult can it be?
Again, the cranachan, reasonably easy to do, but I've kept the twist theme
in there by using the mango and passion fruit.
I think he's playing it safe here, they're quite easy to put together.
Well, maybe, but Karen doesn't know that Martin is a tarte tatin
virgin - not that he's daunted.
I'm working on principle that it's going to be similar to turning out a Spanish omelette,
which I have actually done lots of times before.
So yeah, hopefully, no problem.
Well, good luck, Martin.
Just before service, he stews apples and almonds
in an ovenproof dish before rolling out his pastry,
covering the apple and popping it into the oven.
Now all he can do is cross his fingers and pray to St Delia.
Meanwhile, in the dining room, the food quiz is finally drawing to a close.
What's the most common use of bean sprouts?
'I know! I know! Mung beans.'
Yeah, but they look weird.
Back to the puds, and the cranachan is looking pretty good.
But only two diners have ordered them.
Look at them babies.
So it's eight for the first-time tarte tatin.
It sounded good, it sounded good.
'Ooh...oh no. They're not caramelised.'
'But what does it taste like?'
I had the Normandy apple tatin, and it was the best course of the night.
It was gorgeous. Really nice apple cooked in the tart,
and the cream complemented it brilliantly.
It was great. Hence the empty plate.
It was OK, a bit bland, actually.
And I weren't keen on all that chocolate going on.
But I'm trying this other pudding next.
'Hang on. Is everyone having both?'
I tried that Krakow, or whatever it's called.
'Are we in Doncaster or Poland?'
I didn't like the crunchy bits in it, but it were nice apart from the crunchy bits.
I had the apple tart first, which were really nice, I enjoyed it.
The second one. It's nice, I don't really like cream, to be honest.
I'm only eating fruit at bottom.
But the fruit's really nice, cold and refreshing.
Well, on the whole, the desserts seem to have gone down well.
Doubly so, in fact, with most people trying both.
So, can Karen beat that?
She's serving a bitter chocolate and orange tart,
served with strips of confit orange peel, and whipped cream.
Her second dessert is crema catalana,
a traditional Spanish rich custard, topped with caramelised sugar,
garnished with five raspberries.
Count 'em, Martin!
The chocolate orange tart is a family favourite,
it never lets me down.
The crema catalana is a traditional Spanish dish, and it's all about
sunshine and holidays and good times.
There's an awful lot of eggs in this menu.
Eggs in the starter, eggs in the main, eggs in the dessert.
Has she taken out shares in an egg producer?
Well, maybe Martin's got a point.
Early afternoon, and Karen's made her crema catalana -
it's a sort of Spanish creme brulee,
with milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and, yup, eggs.
You either grill it or use the blow torch. I think we'll grill it.
If you grill it, it heats through nicely, so it's more of a warm pud.
Her second pud, the bitter chocolate and orange tart, is a rich blend
of chocolate, cream, milk, and yes, you've guessed it, more eggs.
Can you hold that steady for me, darling.
You've got to fill it up as much to the rim as you can.
If you put that on the top shelf of that oven really steadily.
Thank you, my darling.
He's really good for getting stuff in and out of the oven.
'Aah, it's nice to be appreciated.
'Even if it is for the little things.'
Stu brings out the puds, even managing not to drop them on Justin
in the process.
Ooh, that looks good.
Lots of "mmms", that's good.
Are they going down as well as it sounds?
I've had the creme brulee, very tasty.
Only one slight criticism, I just like it caramelised a little more.
But that's my taste. But it was very tasty.
I had the chocolate and orange tart for dessert.
Overall really nice, and I just had some of my boyfriend's creme brulee
and it is lovely. Very nice.
'And I bet you can't WAIT to hear from you know who(!)
'Doesn't look happy, does he?'
Orange is very, very sweet.
It's not great.
It's not great, and, er...
Well, the pastry on the orange tart isn't really anything to write home about either.
It'll be motorway services on the M62 for me on the way home.
I think Karen will probably volunteer to drive you there.
Over at Martin's,
'the evening ends with the results of the quiz -
'so, what was that really tricky question again?'
Which pub snack is technically known as "Arachis...
"hypogaea", with a sprinkling of sodium chloride?
That's salted peanuts.
GASPING ALL: Oh!
'Oh, of course! We all knew that, didn't we(?)
'After 20 fiendish questions, the grand prize.'
"Quiz Winner". ALL: Oh!
'Well, she seems pleased!
'And there's a round of applause over at Karen's.'
Thank you very much, everybody, for coming and eating today.
I hope it's been all right for you.
'But Justin just can't resist having the final word.'
I don't think I could do it again!
I wouldn't recommend you do!
That's a shame.
I think we've probably got quite a good idea
what one of the guests thought of their evening,
but it's up to ALL the diners to decide how much or how little
they want to pay.
But will it be enough for Martin and Karen to make a profit?
It's a very close call.
Martin spent £101 on his gourmet quiz night,
so to break even, the guests must leave an average of just over £10,
but what did they think of their meal?
The starter, main course and dessert were very nice.
The ambience was very nice.
I thought it was well worth the money.
I thought it was a fantastic restaurant
and I had a really good time.
It was a nice meal but we were sat in someone's house, not in a restaurant.
Karen spent £94 on her summer-inspired meal
so for her to break even, the guests must leave over £9 each.
I thought it was superb. I had a really nice night,
I enjoyed the company - it's been fantastic.
I really enjoyed tonight, it's been lovely.
Completely different food to what we'd normally have.
The company's been fantastic and they've all done really well,
'Uh-oh, heeerre's Justin!'
Never go here.
I've eaten catered food every day for a year from outside caterers
and that was not what I'd call quality, edible food.
Even the coffee at the end tasted like it was stewed.
Forget about it - I paid absolutely nothing.
'Justin has left the building.'
You can't please everybody, but if you run a restaurant,
you don't take it personally. But with something like this,
I think, "God, everything's so personal.
It does kind of like hurt you.
But manners come into it as well.
If you don't enjoy something you can just say, "I didn't enjoy it",
but to keep making comments about it is a bit brash.
Would we do it again?
You did it, and you did it too!
You got to the end, you fed people.
-But you did have the rather lovely Justin the diner.
-Tell me about Justin.
-He was a bit of an awkward customer.
There was no pleasing him. We saw the plates coming back
and I did realise he was somebody we couldn't please,
but I didn't let it get to me.
I thought you stayed incredibly calm and composed.
I tried to.
The feeling was that you really wanted to bring a bit of holiday,
a bit of sunshine to people.
-Do you feel you pulled that off?
-I think we did a bit.
The food and stuff like that.
But the time of year and the fact that we were quite formal
and Stu had his tux on and that sort of stuff,
I think maybe we didn't do it as much as we'd have liked to.
But we did a little bit of that and I think the food was, you know,
quite holiday food, so yeah...
Maybe Stu in Bermudas next time?!
Maybe, you'll have to talk to him about that!
He's quite game for anything really, so he probably would!
Would you do it again?
Erm... I'm not sure about that, probably not.
Even though I think we handled it quite well,
the stress was enormous.
Cooking for friends and family, it's for free,
and they're quite happy to accept whatever you give them.
Cooking for paying guests, oh, wow.
OK, Martin, on a scale of one to ten,
on what you expected and hoped for,
what number would you give me?
-Oh, that's quite good! You had a good night?
Yeah, I had a good night. I really enjoyed it.
And what was the most difficult part of the evening?
For me, the most difficult part was getting everything out warm.
I think a lot of people have found that.
That's their number one problem.
Was there ever a point that you wanted to cry?
Do you believe him, Karen?!
And what about your completely potty idea of cooking
Tarte Tatin for the first time when you opened a restaurant...?
I don't agree that was a completely potty idea!
-No, the recipe sounded easy enough!
What can go wrong?!
Were your apples perfectly caramelised?
-See! A little practice, maybe, Martin!
Anyway, I'm sure you're both dying to know
whether you made even a penny.
Well, let us not wait a moment longer...
Martin...you spent £101.
Your diners donated...
-Which means you made £87!
I can't BELIEVE that!
you spent £94.
Your diners donated £193.
Oh, wow! That's ace!
And you made a profit of £99.
-I wonder how much Justin left(?)
Mmm, yeah - probably nothing.
you were brilliant all night.
Fabulous cooks - thank you so much.
And thank YOU for watching -
I'll see you next time on Instant Restaurant.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Nadia Sawalha presents as two amateur cooks go head-to-head to see if they've got what it takes to create a restaurant in their own homes for one night only - and make a profit. Former holiday rep, Karen Bielby, wants to give her diners a taste of sunshine as she opens her Instant Restaurant for one night only. But will her eclectic menu be memorable for some discerning diners? And how does rival Martin Le Vogeur fare with an evening with a competitive edge?