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Eat Pray Love and pizza
Photograph: Supplied

10 dinner and a movie ideas for a great night in

Order food in Melbourne, take off your shoes, get comfy and make it an iso-date to remember

By Annie Hariharan and Yuri Smolyar
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Dinner and a movie is the quintessential date for a reason. But although Melburnians are still a little while off from being able to dine in at our favourite cafés and restaurants, we have excellent food takeaway options – and an extensive pop culture catalogue on Aussie streaming services. Combine them and you have a themed dinner-and-movie night waiting to happen. 

Some movies just make you hungry, and when you're in the mood for a certain something, nothing else will do. We’ve done the groundwork for you and found the perfect foot matches for some of our favourite films. 

Want some booze to go along with it? Hit up one of Melbourne's best bars that are delivering drinks

American Pie 1999
Photograph: Summit Entertainment

American Pie (Netflix)

Film Comedy

Food pairing: Apple pie, naturally.

This movie made parents around the world scared to leave any freshly baked pastry desserts unattended around their teenagers. The smash hit was part of the late '90s streak of R-rated comedies and is about four high school seniors who make a pact to lose their virginity before school finishes. The humble apple pie is an unfortunate casualty to the main character’s hilarious yet awkward exploration of his sexuality. However, if you would like to consume a delicious apple pie the old-fashioned way, try Pure Pie. The team hand make a wide selection of delicious pies and deliver them within 20km of Melbourne CBD. 

Rocky 1976
Photograph: Chartoff-Winkler Productions

Rocky (Stan)

Film

Food pairing: Eggs (preferably cooked)

This movie needs no introduction for people who have gone to a gym and imitated some of the famous workout scenes Sylvester Stallone immortalised in this '70s classic. Others, however, might recall that to fuel his enormous training routine, he “ate” what would be later known as the breakfast of champions – a glass of five raw eggs. We prefer our eggs cooked and reckon five wholesome eggs would better be suited for a great omelette or scrambled eggs. The folks at Ormond Provedore Café agree, with a fantastic array of egglicious dishes to choose from, while the team at Burdeggs can deliver fresh eggs to you if you want to get cracking (we recommend cooking them first).

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Bridesmaids
Photograph: Universal Pictures

Bridesmaids (Stan)

Film

Food pairing: Brazilian

One of the original and best gross-out female-driven comedies of the 2010s, Bridesmaids is an absolutely hilarious story with great character performances, relatable stories and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. One of the most famous moments is the dress fitting scene that took a hilarious turn for the worst when the whole bridal party got food poisoning from a previous night’s outing to a Brazilian restaurant. If you want to enjoy some local Brazilian food that will not make you feel the same way as the characters, try Bossa Nova Cafe for some gostoso comida.

Inglourious Basterds (Binge)

Film

Food pairing: Apple strudel

Arguably one of Tarantino’s finest movies, Inglourious Basterds tells an alternative, fantasised version of history. Here, a team of Jewish soldiers commit acts of retribution against the Nazis and change the course of WWII. All of Tarantino’s hallmarks are present – amazing dialogue, obscure yet perfectly fitting music choices, stunning set pieces and significant violence. One particular scene uses an innocent apple strudel to anxiety-inducing dramatic effect during a tense exchange between two key characters. The camera lovingly zooms in on the delicate pastry dish multiple times (even delaying conversation until the cream arrives). You’ll want to run out and get some of your own, so feel free to order a delivery of some authentic Apfelstrudel from Hofbräuhaus

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Eat Pray Love
Photograph: Columbia Pictures

Eat Pray Love (Netflix)

Film

Food pairing: Pizza

Yes, this is a clichéd option, but it can sate both our travel and food cravings. Julia Roberts stars as a newly divorced woman who goes on a year-long discovery journey starting in Italy, where she unabashedly consumes pizza and gelati. This movie is hardly an in-depth exploration of regional Italian cuisine, but the food is intrinsically linked to the plot and dialogue. If you’re curious about the pizza highlighted in the movie, try Pizza Napolitana from Baked in Elwood. If you’re in the inner-north suburbs, try pizza carnivora from 400 Gradi

The Lunchbox (SBS on Demand)

Film

Food pairing: Indian

This film is set in Mumbai and introduces us to India's famed network of food delivery. Dabbawalas (or tiffin wallahs) transport hot lunches from housewives to their working husbands using bicycles, trains and a colour-coding system for logistics. Although this is usually a foolproof system, a glitch means that two lonely people unexpectedly ‘meet’ and start exchanging food and emotionally honest letters. There are no tiffin wallahs in Melbourne, but Tasty Wheels will deliver South Indian food like dosas and okra stir fry to your homes. 

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Spirited Away (Netflix)

Film Animation

Food pairing: Japanese

On paper, this highly acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki animation is grim. A 10-year-old girl sees her parents turned into pigs by a witch and goes on a journey to free them from the spell. That aside, Spirited Away, just like many of Miyazaki’s movies, link food closely with the character’s storyline. Sometimes, the narration slows down to accommodate scenes of people cooking, sharing and eating food. Many of the foods shown are beautifully animated Japanese fare such as onigiri (riceballs) and sushi. To avoid being hungry while watching this, get your Japanese party platter from Grain and Nori or follow Son in Law on Instagram to order their adorable cartoon-shaped bao.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Photograph: Netflix

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Netflix)

Food pairing: Yakult

Netflix has really given the dwindling rom-com and teen movie genre a new platform, and many of the movies, including this one, are a hit with viewers. This movie is predictable and very cheesy but escapes mediocrity thanks to its talented lead actress. The surprise hit from the movie, however, is Japanese probiotic drink Yakult, which recorded an uptick in sales after this movie was released. It is sold in most supermarkets and Asian grocers in Australia. But if you’re a huge Yakult fan, consider a virtual tour of its factory in Melbourne or follow the company on social media to see when you can do an in-person tour of the facilities.

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The Good Place NBC
Photograph: NBCUniversal Television Distribution

The Good Place (Netflix)

Food pairing: Frozen yoghurt

The Good Place is proof that we live in the golden age of television. The series has an amazing ensemble cast who forward themes of afterlife, philosophy, religion, death and friendship even if they are self-absorbed dummies. One of the series’ central plots is that in the afterlife, people can sample unlimited frozen yoghurt flavours. This leads to some creative flavours like raspberry sorbet, cancelled plans and full cell phone battery, all designed to ‘taste as good as you feel’. But if you’re looking for more realistic frozen yoghurt flavours, try Yo-Chi, which allows walk-in customers and has delivery options. 

Hannibal - Season 3
Photograph: NBC

Hannibal (Stan and Netflix)

Food pairing: Something high-end

This TV show adaptation of the famous cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter and his relationship with an FBI profiler who becomes his greatest hunter is worth catching. Food features heavily in the series, with Hannibal’s kitchen and dining room providing the backdrop to multiple scenes, conversations and stylised montages. Food is also lovingly yet disturbingly portrayed on screen. Audiences cannot tell if a large array of meat dishes is animal meat or the human kind. All dishes, however, are of high quality and precision. If you want to enjoy a wide range of high-end dishes (not prepared by a serial killer, obviously), jump onto the Providoor website and choose meals from Melbourne’s best restaurants that are chef-prepared and delivered to your door for you to finish in your kitchen.

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