The final instant restaurant is with our Wainuiomata darlings, Dai and Dal. The Laoation best friends are a culinary force to be reckoned with or, as Josh put it, “they are the secret assassins.” He also thought that they were Thai so, grain of salt. Their instant restaurant called Mint featured many jars of mint. They called it Mint because they like the herb mint and also think that their cooking is mint (as in good). They also like the colour mint and activist John Minto. They also mint their own money and keep their clothes in mint condition. Their favourite sport? BadMINTon. I’m tired, it’s the last instant restaurant, give me a break.
In the kitchen, the pair were more frazzled than they have ever been. Dai forgot the gelatin for the panna cotta and then broke the mortar. Dal was stressed and said she felt like “killing someone.” Was Dai about to die at the hand of Dal? Was the end of the mortar the end Dai’s mortal life? No, Dal took a deep breath and got over it. The guests had started to arrive. Steve was unsurprisingly wearing a fedora. They got settled in Mint and started doing an absurd round of toasts, which Steve managed to nail once again, thanking the dolphins. The menu had pork on it twice, which irked Tracey. “I’m a bit porkie’d out,” she lamented.
The pork dumpling starter in consommé was an experience for all, packed to the rafters with chilli. Tracey had a moment with a giant piece of chilli, but quickly recovered. She thought the meal was “off to a pinging start” despite losing her sense of taste at the first hurdle. The consommé was not as clear as the judges would have liked. There are two things I know about consommé: the first is that it always has to be clear, the second is that I don’t know what consommé is and never will. The main course of pork larb was the “meal of the century.” Guests were invited to use their hands and get all up in the sticky rice. Everyone bloody loved it. Everyone bloody larbed it.
Dessert was a coconut and lime panna cotta, that they had riskily decided to set in a glass rather than to de-mould it for the famous wobble test as seen in past restaurants. Gareth was not to be fooled, instantly biffing his out onto the plate like The Blob invading a tiny white ceramic town. It had a good wobble, but was also firm to the touch. Much like the perfect butt, I imagine. The sorbet was a little sour for some of the guests, and Gareth was worried the fusion of flavours may not have worked. Neil was preoccupied bullying Steve (“looks like Revenge of the Nerds”). Hey, that’s the Corporate Dads’ job Neil, you’re fired.
As it turns out, Neil was fired. After the group returned to HQ, the scores were revealed, and him and Tracey were eliminated. In a shock twist, the lowest second-ranked team was also going home. Because Dai and Dal wowed everyone with their larb, they were put straight to the top with a whopper score of 79. This meant the Sporty Mums didn’t make the team either. Douse the fire, melt the ice – farewell sweet teams.
Buzzword of the ep: Possibly fusion, possibly mint, possibly larb.
Prop of the ep: Hats (bowler and fedora)
Screengrab of the ep: Theresa eats the sour sorbet