It’s time for everyone’s favourite foodies Steve and Maura to try and convince us that they aren’t a pair of city slicker yuppies. Any chance of them achieving this was immediately lost at the first sight of one of their fedora-wearing friends at the dinner table. They should have called their instant restaurant Yuppie-Kai-Yay and just embraced it.
At the supermarket Steve told Maura to do ten press ups before getting a trolley. She retorted by saying something about burpees. Were they joking? Hard to know, they are both so dry it was like watching two corn husks blowing across the savannah. I love them, but I really don’t understand them. At the supermarket the pair discussed how task-oriented they were, and that they needed to make sure they always ticked things off their shopping list. Yep, you and everyone else in the history of supermarket shoppers.
Back at the instant restaurant The Expedition, they went all out on decorations. Typewriters, Polaroids, vintage globes – this may be the first dinner party ever hosted in a Typo store. Steve put on an explorer’s hat which I’m sure would have made the Corporate Dads explode (“looks like Joe 90 gone bush,” they would have said). The final touch on the restaurant was an “irreverent story about the instant restaurant so far,” written on parchment. The guests arrived in varying degrees of the “vintage glam” dress code. The Sporty Mums had gone all out with victory curls and furs, Tracey had put one glove one, and Aaron went for the vintage ‘black vest and a suit’ look. Sort of like a lazy Gatsby. In 2014.
The Foodies went for a Tuscan menu that impressed Ben. I don’t mean the food, I mean the menu itself. Printed on a map and folded up. Steve did an amazing Italian read-through of the menu that would make the Dolmio man cry. What a journey we were on. The starter of venison carpaccio came with more accoutrements than the instant restaurant itself. It was the starter equivalent of a Typo store. Truffle mayonnaise, balsamic reduction, capers, arugula, and the stars of the show – the little slivers of meat. Neil was freaked out by it all and likened it to cat food. Ben was disappointed there was no glazing on the meat, seemed very let down after all that excitement with the map and the Italian accent.
The ragu al carne with spelt pappardelle sounded like something made up, but looked like delicious spaghetti bolognaise. Everyone had this critique, inferring that it was a bad thing? I think you’re forgetting about a little thing called ‘being universally loved and delicious’. It got ripped to shreds. Neil was having a nasty night, calling it a dish from a “food hall or budget wedding”. Tracey and Dal both held the same view that it was just a “meat sauce for the kids.” In the defence of kids, some of them have very developed palates (such as a four year-old I knew who drank black coffee everyday). But it wasn’t great news for Steve and Maura, the pasta was too thick and the sauce was under-seasoned.
Dessert as always, was a time for sweet redemption. Their limoncello-filled bombolini with dark chocolate sauce and hazelnut ice-cream was crying out for a high score. Per favore. Lucky Ben loves a good Bombolini, and seemed impressed with the texture and the fancy filling. Aaron was having a bit of a problem with the bitterness of the chocolate and Dal maintained her constant state of unimpressed with the “donuts”. Somebody got a hair in their dessert, which was the most down to earth thing the Foodies had done all night. We saw our first bit of tactical voting in this round from Tracey and Neil who, in a last minute attempt to stay in the competition, gave them a harsh score of 5. Everyone else was won over by the slick starter and the difficult dessert, and the Foodies came away with the coveted score of 69. “I guess some people like donuts,” said Dal. I think she might be right.
Buzzword of the ep: Bombolini. New Zealander’s everywhere now know about Bombolini. Use it today!
Prop of the ep: alas, we never got to read the irreverent story on the parchment.
Screengrab of the ep: Neil doing what he does best (fashion, photography, and fashion photography)