Two amateur cooks create competing restaurants in their own homes. In London, Nicola Coleman dishes up fine dining while Sasha Cappocci prepares a Moroccan feast.
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Two rival amateur cooks are converting their homes into restaurants.
Check the microwave.
They've been given just one day and a budget of up to £200.
20 strangers will be coming for dinner.
At the end of the evening, they'll decide how much or how little to pay.
This is absolutely gorgeous.
If I ordered it in a restaurant, I wouldn't have been impressed.
Can our cooks do enough to impress the diners...
Oh, a bit hot!
..and make a profit?
Hello and welcome to Instant Restaurant, where two home cooks
attempt to create gourmet dining experiences for one night only.
Their guests will then decide what it's worth.
But will either of our cooks make a profit?
Copywriter Nicola Coleman is hoping to shine as a chef
by creating an instant restaurant in her North London apartment.
The name of our restaurant is Linfields and the concept
is great food with no gimmicks.
I hope that's going to work.
So do I! Nicola and her husband are old hands at throwing dinner parties,
but now want to take things to the next level.
We know we can cook for friends, and our friends always tell us that the food is fantastic.
It'll be quite interesting to see the reaction of ten strangers.
As well as the tastes of ten strangers,
she'll be up against Sasha Capocci, a mother of two from Barnet.
I'm originally from Morocco and I love very much Moroccan food,
so tonight I'm making lovely food for my guests
which I hope they will actually never forget.
Let's just hope it's for all the right reasons,
though Sasha has had plenty of practice.
I like to cook every day.
Every day I cook, really.
I never buy one of these already cooked meals or something.
But it's not just the food they'll be judged on.
As well as creating their menu,
they have to transform a room in their house
into an inviting restaurant.
To help the event run smoothly, both chefs are allowed two assistants.
Nicola is turning her elegant apartment
into an equally elegant fine dining room with an eye on every detail.
Completing the staff are husband Jeff and stepson Joe.
Joe will be front of house and Jeff will be helping in the kitchen,
though there'll be only one person claiming all the credit.
Well done, me.
They've even splashed out on some personalised chefs' whites.
Over in Barnet, in the house Sasha and her husband designed themselves, there's a surprise in the basement.
This little pocket of Morocco is where they entertain friends and family.
But for one night only it's going to become Sasha's instant restaurant.
And we give an idea for people who have never been to Marrakesh before
to see how it looks like and how the food is being served.
As Sasha likes cooking everything from scratch, she's got a lot to do.
But she has her two helpers.
I have helping me now Inge and Angel.
And they are very good at chopping.
With a feast to prepare, they'll need to be!
Both cooks have been given an allowance of up to £200.
Nicola needed £186 for her fine dining ingredients,
so to break even her guests will have to pay nearly £19 a head.
Sasha is hoping to create her Moroccan feast
on a fraction of that, and has asked for just £81.
So she needs just over £8 per diner to nudge into a profit.
So we have a battle on our hands between fine dining and a traditional Moroccan banquet.
Both instant restaurants are now ready, and their success or failure
is up to the diners who will decide how much they're prepared to pay at the end of the night.
All Nicola and Sasha can do now is hope they're impressed.
Can I take your bag?
Nicola has got stepson Joe to do the vital meeting and greeting,
which creates that all-important first impression.
It's beautiful, it's really nice. Nice apartment.
Very nice actually, very plush.
Very nice and, well, very cream.
Meanwhile in Marrakesh - oh, I mean Barnet -
Sasha's guests are settling into their subterranean salon.
-This looks like a real restaurant.
-This looks like Morocco.
Yeah. It's really impressive.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.
Mmm... Oh, that's nice.
Well, we certainly have two upmarket, ambitious cooks today, don't we?
Both Nicola and Sasha have made a great first impression.
But will the food live up to the surroundings? Time to find out.
Nicola is offering two choice of starter to her fine diners.
There's either a tartare of crab and prawns flavoured with chilli
and served with sweet and sour cucumber and melba toast...
..or chestnut veloute,
a thick, smooth soup garnished with cream, whole chestnuts and chives.
Both of these recipes have evolved over time.
They're made up by me, they're personal favourites,
and usually when we serve them to people, they absolutely love them.
If I was invited to this restaurant, I don't like the fish and I don't like the chestnuts.
So I won't order either.
Right, well, probably just as well Sasha's not on Nicola's guest list then,
especially as it's taken her all day to cook this evening's food.
Fittingly, the starters were the first to be made, kicking off with the veloute.
It's onion, carrot, chestnut, sherry,
a little bit of chilli and some sage.
Veloute means velvety, and to turn the soup super-smooth,
Nicola's little helper Jeff has to squidge all of the blitzed mixture into a bowl with a sieving mushroom.
Then chef tests it.
It might need some salt, actually.
-Looks like it's got the thumbs up.
-Is it good?
The second starter is a seafood tartar.
This pate is a mixture of white and brown crab meat.
Putting the brown in now.
Some salmon -
Scottish salmon - and some chopped-up prawns.
This is more of an assembly job than a cooking job, actually.
You need to chop the chilli up quite fine, because no-one really wants lumps of chilli.
I'm breaking these salmon flakes up a little bit.
You want some texture, but not a huge great...
I always thought tartare meant raw.
-Not serving raw prawns, are they?
-It's not raw, actually.
It's not raw. The prawns are cooked.
The salmon is cooked. The crab is cooked.
It is not really a tartare, it is a pate, isn't it?
But tartare sounds better on the menu.
Mmm, but tonight's not about how things sound, it's about how they taste.
I think it's fine. Jeff?
I actually think it needs a little bit more salt.
I haven't put any salt in it.
-Well, maybe some pepper.
-I've put pepper in it.
Maybe some salt. I think you may be right.
Not too much, but just a bit more pepper.
I've been doing a lot of cooking without salt or pepper recently,
because of the diet that we're trying to follow.
So now everything,
when I season it properly, now tastes very salty.
Let's just hope Nicola's low-salt cooking doesn't result in her losing the wrong sort of pounds.
Still if the worst comes to the worst, I'm sure the diners can always add their own.
Let's do another couple.
Later that evening, the customers wait patiently for their starters,
while Nicola and Jeff plate them up in the kitchen.
And they're certainly not skimping on the portions.
I'm happy with these.
How's the soup. Still need salt?
-It's now hot enough.
Great, let's get it out to the diners.
OK, Joe, we're ready to go with the starters.
So everyone except for the geezer...
Geezer?! That's not very waiterly!
So, is the chestnut veloute slipping down like velvet?
It's like tomato soup and cream.
Not Heinz, Campbell's.
I don't know why.
Oh, dear. Not the smooth reception Nicola hoped for.
Will her Titanic tartares fare better?
I'm the chef, actually.
-Oh, you are the chef?
-Make no mistake.
Right. Don't think they'll get that wrong again, do you?
But, is the tartare going down better than the soup?
And is there enough seasoning?
Out of Nicola's earshot, what's the verdict?
It just needed a little more pepper, which we got at the end, but it just needed that.
Oh, come on. You could have added a bit yourself, couldn't you?
It would have been nice if we'd had salt and pepper on the table just to add something to it.
Oh. Perhaps not.
I don't think it's supposed to taste like this, to be honest.
If it is supposed to taste like this, I probably would never have it again.
Blimey! Nicola's got a tough crowd in tonight.
I wonder if Sasha's diners will prove as difficult to please?
To begin her Marrakesh-inspired menu,
she's serving not one, but 12 different starters.
This meze of salads is designed to give everyone a real taste of Morocco.
It includes aubergine, carrots, spinach, courgettes, tomatoes,
beetroot, artichoke, peppers and, undoubtedly, salt, too.
I want the people to sample all these dishes and to taste all the flavours
of Morocco, and these are very traditional dishes.
That sounds absolutely amazing.
I wish I was there. It also sounds like a huge amount of work.
I've got no idea how one person's
going to be able to do that in the time.
And as if 12 salads aren't enough,
Sasha's also making home-made pitta breads.
I'm making it on a very traditional Moroccan...
I'm going to be doing this for 15 minutes.
No short cuts or breadmakers here.
I'm with Nicola, this looks like hard work.
The bread...well actually, I'm worried about the bread, but most of the time it works.
Sometimes it doesn't.
It's a little bit...
And especially today, it's a big quantity.
Normally it should be nice and soft,
not really hard.
You see what I mean?
Even if you go to the gym, you don't work out like this.
Who needs a gym when you've got a big lump of dough to pummel? And this is only the start!
This is Moroccan pitta bread,
which actually I'm going to be serving with
the meze, the small dishes there.
So this has to be ready.
Each one will be cooked for one to two minutes.
The pittas are individually cooked over a slow heat until they puff up.
They'll be served with the meze, which she hasn't even started yet.
-But after a flurry of stirring...
-This is the starter, yeah.
and finally a bit of dressing...
-How do I look?
-..it's all done.
Downstairs, the various salad dishes arrive at the table, but without
any explanation from Sasha as to what any of them are.
The diners are looking slightly confused.
Is that not the same as that one?
This is such a feast.
Having realised the only way to identify the dishes is to dig in,
the diners also then realise there's nothing to dig in with. So they have to fend for themselves.
-< What are you looking for?
Whoops, not exactly restaurant service.
But once they finally start tucking in, there's a gentle hubbub of appreciation.
And it smells so good.
Followed by the contented silence of people stuffing their faces.
Quickly followed by even more dishes.
The courgette one's probably the pick, and the peppers are very nice,
but I'm not too much of a fan of the spinachy one.
Oh, well, one out of 12 isn't bad.
Any other complaints?
There was so much food
it didn't really matter,
but just the artichoke to me just tasted like socks.
-It was horrible.
-I don't agree.
OK. Maybe two out of 12, then.
Back in the kitchen, and with the effort of getting the salads out,
the home-made pittas have been left to last.
The pitta bread should have come out slightly earlier,
given that it was sort of a meze thing,
all sort of salads that you could have put on the bread.
Every bit of food was delicious.
And I think I might be eating too much.
You just want more, because it's so...
The flavours are amazing, aren't they?
They're all different. And I tried absolutely everything.
So, that's a pretty impressive start for Sasha -
although she did leave her diners a little confused and looking for implements.
And Nicola's starters didn't quite live up to her diners' expectations.
Could do better?
So, on to the mains.
Over at Nicola's fine dining establishment, the diners have a choice
between salmon en croute, served with steamed green vegetables
and a piquant ginger hollandaise...
..and fillet of beef poached in red wine,
alongside horseradish mash, mostarda de fruta, and roasted seasonal veg.
Both of these are favourites of ours.
Whenever we have cooked them for friends, they've absolutely loved them.
That's why we chose them, in fact.
The fillets look nice,
the horseradish looks very strong.
But I don't know what is a mostarda de fruta. I never heard about it.
And nor have I, Sasha. Never mind, I'm sure all will become clear.
Meanwhile, Nicola's first job is to prepare the salmon fillets.
Here's a bit of this fillet of sole from France.
Looks like this dish is getting plenty of seasoning.
Nicola tops one of the salmon fillets with a thick layer of softened, seasoned butter.
Oh, could be a heart-stopper.
It is quite buttery, but it is not something you should eat every night.
But once in a while.
She then places the second fillet on top, to form a diet-busting salmon sandwich
ready for wrapping in puff pastry.
Yes, it is like a big salmon sandwich.
That is just going to go into the fridge.
Right, here I go.
I'm about to do a very exciting thing, which is roll out
some shop-bought puff pastry.
Well it's all right for chefs. Why not?
But it's a bit different from Sasha going ten rounds with her pitta dough.
I've got to roll this out
quite big, because it's got
to have the salmon on top of it.
I'm pretty confident that this will cook
in about half an hour.
This is an ideal dish for showing off.
-Ideal for dinner parties.
-Well, yes, or a restaurant.
-Or a restaurant.
-Now, showing off is all well and good,
but only if you can pull it off and after the slight disappointment of her starters, Nicola needs
to pull something extra special out of the bag for her mains.
I'm being a bit tougher on myself in the way that
I'm putting things together and cooking things today, because
it's in a restaurant setting, rather than for friends and family.
Not to be outdone, Jeff's been equally ambitious with the beef dish.
I'm actually going to poach the steak tonight, which is not something that people will know.
It sounds quite unusual, but it is apparently quite
an old recipe. Chefs have been doing it for a long time.
I'm very confident how it works.
It comes out absolutely perfect, medium rare.
If anybody likes to have well-done steak, this is not the dish for them.
So the diners can have their steak anyway they like it, so long as it's medium rare.
And when the orders come in, they are split right down the middle. Five steaks, five salmon.
The steaks are going in to be poached
and these are going to take 25 minutes.
And while the guests wait for their mains, Nicola's got another trick up her sleeve.
I'm going to make a hollandaise sauce in the microwave.
Shall I put the vegetables on?
Which is probably a deadly sin in chef world, but I'm going to do it anyway.
I'm going to put it in the microwave.
Best laid plans. Jeff, the microwave seems to have died.
What? No, not possible.
Maybe the kitchen gods have been angered.
Has the switch gone off?
-Where is the switch?
-Don't say I've unplugged this.
Get out of the way.
I hope no-one's unplugged this in my absence.
That's unbelievable. That has never happened before.
How did that happen?
-We have no hollandaise.
But people have ordered it. Think man, think.
No, it's plugged in and switched on, believe me. Just died.
The microwave's died.
That is unbelievable.
How did it happen?
I have to look up how to make it in a different way.
But Jeff is not interested in sauce.
He wants to solve the mystery.
I tell you what it is, it's a switch up here that's been switched off.
He's sounding confident.
Has he cracked it?
That is probably my fault.
It's on. Hurrah!
Yes, he has. So whose fault was it then?
When I pushed a plastic box into the cupboard, it switched the switch off.
Well never mind, at least you fixed it. It should be fine now.
Oh, it can certainly go wrong.
It can certainly go wrong.
It can curdle, it can split, it can do all sorts of things.
And no sooner said than ruined.
I think that's gone wrong and I think it's unfit to serve.
You've got plenty of time, Nicola.
I know, I can do it again.
-Have we got another butter out?
I'm doing it in bursts of ten second this time to be on the safe side.
This is looking a lot better.
-This I going to be fine.
-Hurrah, the hollandaise is back on the menu.
Oh, a bit hot.
So with the sauce for salmon now sorted, Jeff prepares to serve up the five orders of beef.
It is looking how it's supposed to look.
While Nicola starts carefully carving up the salmon.
It is being more trouble than usual here.
Let's just hope it'll all be worth the effort.
To complete the mains,
Nicola now just needs vegetables, so after slipping them from the hot pan on to a nice cold plate,
she transfers them to other cold plates containing the beef and salmon.
-I hope her diners aren't looking forward to a hot meal.
-I think everyone's very happy.
-People can last for a few more minutes longer but...
Now is the appropriate time.
It may well be. But Nicola's still not ready to send them out.
This is fruta de mostarda.
This is from Italy, actually.
It's fruit in a sort of mustardy syrup.
So there you go, mostarda de fruta is a cold fruit accompaniment,
which Nicola now proceeds to add to the rapidly cooling plates of beef.
We serve our vegetables at room temperature.
Oh, I think you're going to be serving
everything at room temperature if you don't get a move on.
-Take these out?
-Yes, you can take them out.
-Which table is it?
-It's the first table here.
Come on, Jeff, just get them out there before they freeze.
Nicola and Jeff may finally be happy, but will the diners think it was worth the wait?
The salmon en croute with seasonal vegetables.
-That looks lovely.
-Go on, off you go.
So is it more to their taste than the starters?
Probably it needs more seasoning I think.
It's a bit bland.
-Do you agree?
-Yes, there is no seasoning on it, it seems.
Joe actually told us the beef fillet was going to come out medium rare.
I thought it was cooked a little overdone. The vegetables were nice.
The only thing was the plates were cold so the dish did go cold quite quickly.
It was quite like pub food.
I wouldn't... If I had ordered it in a restaurant, I wouldn't be impressed at all. It was really bland.
As I was getting through it, it got blander and blander.
I tried it with the hollandaise sauce.
It was supposed to have a ginger in it. I couldn't taste no ginger.
Bland pub food - oh, dear. Not the final dining experience Nicola and Jeff wanted.
Do you think this is under-seasoned?
They must like their food very salty.
Or just a bit of old-fashioned taste.
Back in Barnett, Sasha's diners are bracing themselves
for their mains after the marathon of delicious starters.
Thankfully this time there's only two choices.
A lamb tagine with prunes, decorated with boiled egg.
Or a chicken tagine, with preserved lemons, new potatoes and olives.
So, if tagines aren't your thing, you are dining in the wrong Moroccan basement.
These two dishes are a favourite of mine, especially the lamb.
It is not too sweet, full of flavour.
Well, Jeff would love this.
And although there are two tagines there, I think they are different enough for that not to be an issue.
Well, maybe Nicola should send Jeff over the Sasha's as a reward for fixing the microwave.
I actually marinated it overnight
and I put some ginger, some pepper, salt and some saffron in there,
threads, you know.
And it is overnight and I'm cooking it with onions and I'm going to put in some
hot water and leave to it cook very slowly so it's very nice and soft.
Hmm, that doesn't sound like it's going to be bland.
I hope it's going to taste really good.
But since I have been making it, people actually are dying for it. Really good.
And I think it will be good today as well.
Next, Sasha begins tagine number two with chicken.
You see, I don't have to do it this way, but I'm doing it the better way,
I'm making them a little bit brown.
Normally you put them in the dish and you put the water all over and that's it.
But I don't want to do that.
I'm doing it the hard way.
This one-pot cooking is the complete opposite to Nicola's more elaborate dishes and
it looks like there will be plenty of salt and pepper in Sasha's mains.
Just make it move.
All the sauce.
Both tagines will cook on the stove for several hours.
Then the meat is served up in individual dishes.
Inge, can you come please, because this is going to get cold.
The worst thing is just to serve the food cold.
Oh, cold food, nothing worse.
Can you give me the eggs? Put the egg on each top.
The tagines make their entrance.
-Oh, it looks gorgeous.
-Your chicken's more tender than mine.
And everyone starts tucking in.
But in her haste to get the food out while still piping hot,
Sasha's forgotten the potatoes for the chicken tagine.
They are going to finish their chicken before the potatoes arrive!
Oh, my goodness!
Deep frying them in a wok may not be very Moroccan,
but at least it will mean they are as hot as everything else.
Sometimes they burn.
Now we don't to burn.
It's nearly there. I'm going to leave them. Give me some tissues.
And after a liberal sprinkling of salt,
they get sent down to diners just as they think they've finished.
So with all the dishes now served, what do Sasha's diners make of their Moroccan mains?
It was a big hunk of meat and it fell straight off the bone and
beautifully cooked. You couldn't fault it.
-That was really professionally done, actually.
A lot better than I've had in a lot of restaurants.
That is a really good cut of meat.
It doesn't seem to have much fat. Very tasty. Very, very tasty. And with the prunes, it's beautiful.
Take the lid off and to find the old chicken there was quite a surprise.
But it's beautiful, yes.
Cooked thoroughly well.
And, yes, it's great.
And if all that wasn't enough, Sasha has one final side dish to serve up.
The men loved them. The men absolutely loved them.
We thought they were good,
-but obviously for different reasons than the men.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
The dessert was great! LAUGHTER
We had prime seats.
Well, I think we know which dish went down best with the boys at Sasha's.
But her main course of Moroccan tagines was a real hit
with all the diners and in spite of Nicola and Jeff's best efforts, their guests were not happy
with more under-seasoned dishes, cold plates and overcooked food.
But, that could all change with desserts.
For her dessert, Nicola is making a pear and frangipane tart, served with amaretto cream.
And a chocolate marquise, a creamy confection, served with creme anglaise and a home-made biscuit.
Mmm, I hope they're as good as they look.
I'm very confident about the desserts.
We have deliberately chosen one chocolate-based dessert and one fruit.
That way we felt we had all bases covered.
Hmm, they are really lovely and actually I love these ones.
Very promising! The marquise is an an uncooked chocolate mousse cake that needs time to set.
So it was the first dessert Nicola began this morning.
I'm melting chocolate now for my
chocolate marquise and I'm just adding a little bit of Grand Marnier.
That is the last of the Grand Marnier, in fact. I added a little bit more before.
So we will wait for that to melt and in here...
I've got orange rind, liquid glucose,
which gives a really sort of unctuous quality to it.
To the chocolate orange mixture,
Nicola folds in whipped cream and egg whites.
I am now going to pour this chocolate mixture
into a prepared terrine dish,
which I've sort of oiled very lightly and lined with clingfilm.
So it'll be a lot easier to turn out when the time comes.
I'm happy with that.
Jeff's making the accompanying biscuits.
But will they come up to the chef's high standards?
Now, these are satisfactory, really. Satisfactory.
He's also in charge of the pear and frangipane tart.
What've got here, is I've got seven portions of this thing.
So if more than seven people want this, we have a problem.
We have to say that, I'm sorry, the pear...
-There's been a run...
-There's been a run on pear tart this evening.
I actually think that most people are going to go for
the chocolate side of it,
because they're going to want to know what
the Garibaldi biscuit tastes like.
Perfect. Thank you.
So, I'm pretty clear on the pear element,
but what's in the frangipane, Jeff?
The frangipane, which I'm coating this thing with,
is made of ground almonds, vanilla...
Nicola, what else is in it? Remind me.
-One egg. Sugar...
Well, whatever's in it - it sounds pretty good.
And, after a spell in the oven,
it LOOKS pretty good.
It tastes absolutely fantastic, and I'm really pleased with that.
Nicola's going to put some sugar on that.
So, he's confident about the tart -
but not, it turns out, about how many people have ordered it.
How many of these do I need? Three?
-Was it three chocolates?
-I need one more plate, then.
There isn't a plate missing. We've only got ten. 12...
So there is one missing? I don't understand.
We'll do it on a different plate.
I'll get this one sorted out.
-This one as well, yeah?
Well, there's definitely some confusion about numbers,
but at least this time the diners won't be unhappy
when the food turns out cold. So, what will they make of them?
MAN: Great flavour...
I have to say that this is absolutely gorgeous.
The mousse is just perfect,
the orange - it's just... Yeah, everything. Just lovely.
-And the crunchy bits in the pie... It's just really lovely.
I originally ordered the pear tart.
And then I saw
the other dish. What's it called?
-The chocolate, orange chocolate.
And either way I'm quite happy.
I'm really enjoying them both.
This cream thing is just...divine. I'm trying to take small bites
so that I don't finish it, because it's just so nice. It's just lovely.
Something you would get in a top-class restaurant. It's fabulous.
This isn't called Instant Hotel, is it(?)
THEY ALL LAUGH
Going to show us to our rooms now?
Wow. Nicola's diners are so happy, they want to stay!
Her desserts are an unqualified hit.
It is lovely, actually...
Oh, you've got to beat that, Sasha.
Well done, me. Well done, me!
For her dessert, Sasha is first serving little Moroccan sweetmeats -
delicate pastries filled with nuts, flavoured with rose-water and honey.
And the centrepiece of the dessert course
is this spectacular traditional couscous seffa,
flavoured with cinnamon, raisins and roast almonds,
sprinkled with icing sugar and served with mint tea.
I have never seen this dish here in restaurants, and er...
it's very popular and very traditional.
And I hope it will go well.
I've never seen couscous used in a dessert.
So, Jeff - I want to go to Morocco now!
In keeping with all her dishes tonight,
Sasha prepared her couscous the old-fashioned way.
I'm going to steam it.
And while I'm steaming it, I'm going to stop and have a cup of tea.
The couscous needs steaming three times, to keep the grains separate
and give the dish a fluffy texture.
Then I will take it off now, reduce the heat and then put it in, er...
..in a dish, here.
A little bit of salt...
It's OK, because I'm going to put a little bit of
raisins in it, will make it sweeter,
so I won't do that.
The couscous in Morocco is really very popular, and they love it
because they have got a very sweet tooth as well. So it's always there.
It's just the couscous,
and then I've got the er...raisins,
and I'm going to put some butter, just to make it a little bit, er...
little bit of taste of butter.
And I'm going to put some sugar, a little bit of sugar,
and then I'm, er... I'm going to serve it.
Could be an acquired taste.
Sasha's also serving up a plate of Moroccan sweetmeats
made from scratch.
I love my desserts,
and I think it's very time-consuming to do this, all these things.
So I hope they can appreciate it.
Oh, I hope so too.
The final course of exotic Moroccan treats is served,
starting with the pastries.
Who ordered the cakes?
THEY ALL LAUGH
Closely followed by the couscous seffa.
So I'm going to present it in this dish here,
and I've got some water inside to make it a little bit warm.
Keeping it warm?
Ooh, that's a good idea(!)
So far, Sasha's diners have loved
every one of her traditional courses,
but can the couscous dessert make it a hat trick?
-Oh, my goodness.
MAN: Sort of like rice pudding.
-Oh, I can smell them cakes.
-This has got, like, brown sugar in and everything.
It's quite dry.
-Mmm. I looked at it
and I was saying "It's going to need some cream."
There's a lot of wows for the cakes, but how has the couscous gone down?
A really nice flavour, it's very authentic,
but it's incredibly dry. I must admit I am struggling.
The mint tea's lovely and that kind of works well with it,
but the couscous itself I am struggling with a bit.
It's really quite dense and feels like quite a mouthful.
There's lots of good flavours in it,
but it's just a tad too dry for me, I think.
-Do you like it?
-Well, it is nice. It's really tasty.
I'm finding the couscous really dry. I'm struggling with it a little bit.
And it's really filling again,
and I'd just made room for pudding after a break
but a couple of mouthfuls in and I'm really full again.
So, maybe Sasha's couscous was one Moroccan dish too far.
But Nicola certainly salvaged her culinary reputation
with her desserts.
But now, it's time for the diners
to decide how much their evening's worth -
and remember, it's entirely up to them
how much or how little anyone pays.
Will it be enough for Nicola and Sasha to make a profit?
Nicola spent over £186
on her fine dining evening.
So, just to break even
the guests must leave nearly £19 each.
But what are her diners' verdicts?
It was a good filling meal.
I enjoyed the atmosphere, the company,
more than I enjoyed the meal to be honest.
I only really enjoyed the appetiser and the dessert.
The overall food was great, the quality of the food...
Bit bland in places, but the desserts sold it for me. I had two!
I enjoyed myself thoroughly. We also gave Joe a tip for his service.
Does that go toward the profit?
No, of course not, it's service.
-I think that SHOULD go toward the profit.
-Give the wine back.
Yeah, give me that...!
Sasha only spent £81 of her £200 budget,
so she'll go into profit if the guests leave more than £8 each.
And it certainly looked like
they enjoyed their evening.
I was really pleasantly surprised, I had a really great evening.
I had an amazing time. It was fantastic.
The service was amazing, the house was beautiful. Loved it.
The entertainment was good.
It was more than satisfactory. The food was good as well.
You've changed your mind!
Wow, guys. You both worked so hard,
but I think created amazing evenings.
Did you enjoy any of it, Nicola?
No, we really, really enjoyed it, but it was beyond exhausting.
-Yeah. Rewarding, but exhausting.
What was the most rewarding moment?
The chocolate dessert. Everybody went mad about that.
Oh, and also three of the girls when they left asked me for a doggy bag,
because they couldn't actually manage the cake at the end
and they wanted to take it home.
There were some people that complained about the seasoning,
but you'd been on a non-seasoned diet.
Well, I was particularly careful about the seasoning,
because I had been on a diet and we weren't eating a lot of salt.
So I put a lot of seasoning into things, and...
I don't know, there were only I think one or two who complained about the seasoning.
How do you feel about the people that complained? Be honest.
It's their prerogative. It's their prerogative.
Customer's always right. ..You sound like a restaurateur to me already.
That's one thing I'm never going to be, Nadia, is a restaurateur.
-Has it put paid to any ambitions?
Absolutely put paid to it, yes.
And the same with Jeff?
Er...well, he might be able to be persuaded,
but he'd want to train for a while in a commercial kitchen.
And how about you, Sasha, were you exhausted? You didn't look it.
I cook for ten people every day, or more.
For me it was...like another day.
People really loved the food, and it was interesting watching it -
as the meal went on, they loved it more and more.
They didn't really know what to expect.
Well, this was the whole idea -
to have so many different dishes, to give them a whole taste
and then to try all the dishes.
I think they must have felt like they were IN Morocco.
Because they were eating Moroccan food
and they were sitting in a Moroccan area
so I think...it was, yeah, it was like they were in Morocco.
So would you do it again?
It was very difficult, but actually I managed.
They had so many things to choose from -
if they didn't like this one they would have this one.
They certainly had that. There was plenty of choice!
Yes, there was plenty of choice.
OK. Well, I'm sure you're dying to know whether you made a profit.
So, Nicola. Now, you spent...
Is that all?
And your total donations were £236.
-Meaning a profit of £49.75.
Well, that surprises me.
Why? Why are you surprised?
-Because I didn't think we would have made a profit.
-Well, you did.
-Thank you, Joseph!
You spent £80.50.
Your diners donated £250.
Which means you made a profit of £169.
-Are you pleased?
-Oh, my gosh. Yes.
-You really should be, guys.
-You did a great job.
-That was actually...
-Oh, thank you.
Really? Oh, my God, yes.
For once, yes!
Well done. Well done.
OK, that's all for today
and 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.
This time the battle of the rival amateur cooks comes from London. Nicola Coleman is dishing up fine dining in her instant restaurant while Sasha Cappocci is hoping to wow her diners with a Moroccan feast. But can either of them do enough to make a profit?