Mike and Tarq’s Instant Restaurant

Mike and Tarq cook on MKR tonight, will their instant restaurant score higher than the bottom contestants on the MKR leaderboard? The father and son team are from far north Queensland. Mike is in hospitality and Tarq is a professional golfer. Their restaurant “Island Thyme” represents Mike’s affinity with the islands. He has lived in Fiji and Vanuatu.

sugar cane prawns with green paw paw salad and sweet chilli and red paw paw dipping sauce

Source: Twitter

For entree, Mike and Tarq are making sugar cane prawns with green paw paw salad and sweet chilli and red paw paw dipping sauce. Main is lamb saag with coconut sambal and for dessert Mike and Tarq are making baked pina colada.

They get their ingredients from coles and rush home to start on their dishes. Mike starts on the lamb for the main and Tarq starts on the prawns for the entree. Once Mike has trimmed the lamb, he starts on a curry powder and gets the lamb on the stove to cook slowly.

The guests arrive and they are instantly impressed with the decor in the instant restaurant. They sit down and take off their shoes to put on the thongs that are provided to them. Mike and Tarq are busy in the kitchen. Mike slices open a large paw paw and grates it up. Tarq is preparing the sugar cane. Tarq is finding the prawn mix a little sticky.

The judges arrive and are seated. The menu is revealed to the guests. Lauren and Carmen comment that the menu doesn’t seem very technical. Tarq is busy outside cracking open coconuts.

lamb saag with coconut sambal

Source: Twitter

Back in the kitchen they taste the chilis before putting them into the salad mix. They start shallow frying the prawns skewers. Once the skewers are cooked they plate them up with some sauce and salad mix. The garnish of leeks wasn’t cooking properly so tarq cuts up some more. Finally it works and they garnish the dish with fried leeks and prawn heads.

They take the dish out to the guests. The judges taste the dish. Rachel said a lot of things could have gone wrong with this dish but that didn’t happen tonight. The paw paw salad was lovely but perhaps dressed to early. Colin enjoyed the dish although the sauce was too sweet. Colin said the paw paw salad was nice but there was a little chilli missing from the dish. The other contestants taste the dish. Most of the other guests are really enjoying the prawns and the flavours of the dish. They even really enjoyed the crispy prawn heads. Lauren said she did not like the dish and Colin questioned if she was judging the dish more harshly after scoring low at her instant restaurant.

Mike and Tarq get back into the kitchen to work on the lamb curry. They decide to add a lot more chilli this time. Mike puts the rice into the microwave. The rice is out and they’re happy with how it’s turned out. They start making the sambal and a chutney.

baked pina colada

Source: Twitter

They also need to make the roti bread. Mike rolls out the roti and Tarq cooks them on a flat pan. At the guest table there is a bit of tension in the air as Carmen and Lauren have accused the others of being strategic and scoring unfairly.

Mike and Tarq begin plating up the curry. They take the dish out to the judges. While the other guests comment that the curry smells and looks amazing, Lauren and Carmen say it looks just like a standard curry. Rachel and Colin taste the dish. Rachel said it smelt delicious and it was devine. She loved the coconut sambal. Colin was expecting to be blown away by chilli but he wasn’t. Colin liked how the rice was cooked and he enjoyed the sweet chutney. He said the presentation was excellent. The other contestants taste the dish. Dee says she is getting some grit or dirt from the dish, maybe from the spinach. Lauren says the meat was inconsistently cooked but the others really liked the dish.

Tarq and Mike get back into the kitchen to make their dessert. Tarq created this dessert recipe himself. He puts the custards into the oven and hopes they cook evenly. He takes them out of the oven and turns them on to the plates. They have cooked successfully. Some of the custards are not coming out of the ramekins evenly and are splitting apart on the plate. They carefully attempt to repair the custards that have fallen apart. Tarq cooks his pineapple salsa and tops the custards with it. They take the dish out to the judges.

Colin and Rachel taste the dish. Rachel says the taste of this dish too her off to a tropical island. She got all the right flavours. Colin would have liked to have seen a little more alcohol in the dish. The other contestants enjoyed the dish with the exception of Lauren and Carmen. Lauren commented that she did not think it was as technical as her dessert.

MKR Scores

It’s time for the contestants to score tonights meals.

Dee and Tim 8/10

Hazel and Lisa 8/10

Chris and Cookie 8/10

Eve and Jason 7/10

Lauren and Carmen 5/10

Total score of 36/50

Now it’s time for the MKR judges to score the meals.


Entree 7/10
Main 7/10
Dessert 7/10


Entree 7/10
Main 8/10
Dessert 8/10

Grand total score of 80/110

This puts Mike and Tarq at the top of the MKR leaderboard

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One thought on “Mike and Tarq’s Instant Restaurant

  • Anna penaia

    Mike and Tarq did very well for their instant Restaurant. I think the judges could gave them a better score.
    Having their them as tropical made me feel like as watching it last night like I was on holiday in Hawaii. Mike and Tarq had fresh food such paw paw, coconut and fresh pineapple . this instant restaurant make me fell the wow sprit it was up there . Go team father and son.