Tonight on MKR, NSW couple Janelle and Monzir scored the first perfect 10s of the competition from judge Manu Feildel and Nigella Lawson for their Sudanese entrée, a treasured family recipe from Monzir’s dad.
A nervous Janelle and Monzir presented their entrée of Sudanese Lamb Cutlets with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad to Manu and Nigella.
Nigella was a big fan of the dish, saying it had just the right amount of heat. “Janelle and Monzir. Here’s to you two. I mean, that was knockout. Thank you. I have to say, Monz, you said that you like your meat well done and you didn’t do it well done. You got so much flavour and the texture was so luscious.”
Manu agreed, saying the duo had exceeded his already high expectations with their entrée, leaving a proud Monzir in tears.
Janelle and Monzir plate up their main of Imam Bayild, feeling the pressure after the success of the entrée.
The teams around the table agreed that the dish wasn’t seasoned or cooked enough.
Manu said the dish was presented well but was lacking punch. “I’m going to go straight to the point. For me, it’s just missing flavour.
“You’ve got to be heavy on the salt. Love the rice. I love this. So not a disaster, it’s not a bad dish, but it could have been a little bit better.”
Nigella also praised the team’s rice but echoed Manu’s critique on the lack of flavour. “That rice was a dream. It was soft; the grains were wonderfully separate. The pine nuts are wonderful and that light taste of stock.
“But you needed the fire on that eggplant. And I think that it was beautiful, but perhaps it would’ve been better if it had been less pretty, and each layer had just a little more depth of flavour.”
As a professional cake decorator, expectations were riding high for Janelle’s dessert of Chocolate and Peanut Layer Cake.
Nigella said the team’s cake was “enchanting”, but respecting Janelle as a serious cake maker, she also shared her constructive criticism. “It was beautifully arranged on the plate; I could see these precise layers. That was a lovely start. It was a wonderful cake because it had the right balance of salt and sweet. It wasn’t overly sweet. The vanilla ice cream you made, I felt that the vanilla slightly encroached onto the peanut layer. It could have done without the vanilla ice cream, I think.”
Manu liked the gooey and spongy texture of the cake but felt they could have left one component off the plate. “The sauce is absolutely delicious. The ice cream, it’s good ice cream. So, you’ve got goodness on the plate. But I think you’ve got too much at the same time. When you get too much of sweetness, it’s more like less is more sometimes.”
At the end of the fourth instant restaurant, Janelle and Monzir scored 84/110 putting them in second place on the leader board, just three points short of Kate and Mary.