Winter is coming. And so is the pad thai you ordered 30 minutes ago. Binge watching your favourite television show, and summoning a tasty takeaway are both relatively new guilty pleasures, and coincidently, the perfect companions.
We've rounded up some of the most bingeable shows around, and matched them with character-inspired recipes (if you feel like cooking) and takeaway options that can be at your door in less time than it takes to cook a bag of oven fries.
Game of Thrones
Before the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros fell into the total chaos of season six, food featured heavily. From sweet Hot Pie carefully baking a Direwolf-shaped loaf of bread from Ayra, to the Dothraki blood pies, made with black pudding, George R. R. Martin even allowed an official companion cookbook to be released (beef and barley stew, or strawberries and sweet grass, anyone?). Hearty roasts, whole bird pies, mead and even honey chicken (that Jon Snow feeds to his direwolf) are on the menu.
MAKE YOUR OWN
When Sansa Stark held court with the noble ladies, lemon cakes were noted as her favourite food. Lady Olenna and Margaery Tyrell used the sweets to coax information about Joffrey out of her, and after hearing about certain family members deaths (no spoilers), her handmaiden tries to coax her to eat by offering the them again. Sub mandarin for lemon in these sweet citrus polenta cakes for the same effect.
Red wine, and lots of it, especially if your viewing buddies are anything like the Lannisters. If you're being a total Tyrion and run out halfway through a binge session, Jimmy Brings will refill your goblet with Lisa McGuigan Pinot Noir from Adelaide Hills or Tezona Tempranillo from Spain in less time than it takes to get through an entire episode in Sydney. Melbourne folk can turn to Deliver Me Drinks for late night libations. If you haven't seen "The Door" episode yet, you may want to upgrade that to a bottle of whisky.
The off-beat American comedy cartoon follows Bob Belcher and his family as they operate a humble burger bar, despite constant harassment from Bob's arch-nemesis Jimmy Pesto and his adjacent pizza parlour. His daily chalkboard specials rotate from "She's a super leek" (comes with braised leeks), to "The final kraut down" (comes with sauerkraut) and "Don't you four cheddar 'bout me" (comes with four kinds of cheddar) .
The Belchers from Bob's Burgers.
Sydney heavy weight BL Burgers' Blame Canada, with a layer of cheesy poutine fries, is the kind of mega burger that would get the thumbs up from Bob. In Melbourne, for a burger so good that Tina would want to touch butts with it, try New York Minute, with Manhattan Island themed options, such as the Hell's Kitchen burger, loaded with jalapenos and house-made hot sauce.
MAKE YOUR OWN
Pun-tastic burgers aside, it is the humble cheeseburger that makes up the core of Belcher's business. Let Daniel Wilson, from Melbourne's Huxtable, take you back to burger school with his wagyu cheeseburger deluxe, including recipes for the perfect pickles, soft milk bun and spicy mustard.
Make your own wagyu cheeseburger deluxe. Photo: The Huxtaburger Book
House of Cards
Frank Underwood, the protagonist of dark political drama, House of Cards, is the perfect Southern gentleman - on the outside. His chilling ruthlessness, best showcased in his camera-facing monologues, comes through in how he handles his food, too. Whether it's grimly tearing meat from the bones of barbecue ribs, firmly slapping together a late-night sandwich or destroying a political nemesis, Underwood has zero time for faffing about.
House of Cards' character Frank Underwood ponders his next plate of barbecue ribs.
Southern American-style ribs, obviously. We can't guarantee that they'll be as good as the ones at Freddy's BBQ Joint, where Underwood goes to indulge in early-morning bibbed rib breakfast, but at least they'll quench that sticky sauce-drenched barbecue craving the scenes tend to induce. Order a rack from Ribs & Burgers (in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) with extra sauce.
MAKE YOUR OWN
Peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwiches with a sliced apple, Frank Underwood's favourite late-night snack to prepare while delivering a cutting monologue to the camera. Whisky, sipped neat, is his preferred midnight tipple.
Most of the not-quite Kosher Pfefferman family's gatherings centre on food. As Mort, played by Jeffrey Tambor, transitions to Maura, his three children squabble over white paper bags of New York-style takeaway and elaborate Jewish-style deli spreads. Youngest daughter Ali's addition of tofu schmear to the usual deli order becomes a bigger point of contention than Mort's coming out over gender identity.
Jeffrey Tambor and the cast of Transparent.
Bagels, obviously. Brooklyn Hide may not offer a tofu schmear for Sydney-siders, but you can get a Manhattan-style cream cheese and house-cured lox, or the Midtown, with corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese. If dairy is off the menu (as Ali's personal trainer-turned sex buddy recommends), Melbourne's 5 and Dime Bagels boasts a vegan cream cheese.
MAKE YOUR OWN
None of the Pfeffermans manage to abstain completely from temptation on Yom Kippur, but they still come together at Ali's apartment, over a table laden with bagels and deli platters, to break the fast. Try whipping up Alice Zaslavsky's kosher recipes, including kugel, a classic yiddish way to use up leftovers, and her boiled bagels with caviar dip.
Despite main character Abbi Abrams' determination to rise from lowly cleaner to personal trainer at Soulstice (the gym she works at), she isn't particularly interested in healthy eating. Nor is her best bud and offsider Ilana Wexler. Firecrackers (weed smooshed with peanut butter and graham crackers) are a favourite food, and everything else they eat is generally a um, side effect, of that first snack. After a particularly strong scooby snack, mixed with pain killers from wisdom tooth surgery, Abbi hits up Gowanus (a riff on Wholefoods) and rings up a $2000 grocery shop, including fancy Manuka honey.
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer from Broad City.
MAKE YOUR OWN
Abbi's dad kindly shouts the duo a fancy seafood dinner for Abbi's birthday, which Ilana ploughs through regardless of her shellfish allergy, swelling up like a fancy fugu. The reason? A chocolate lava cake promised for pudding. Skip the seafood (and the anaphylactic shock) and dive straight into dessert with our molten chocolate pudding recipe.
In the same wisdom tooth episode, Ilana sends her roommate Jaime, clad in a sexy nurse costume to 42 Squirts (an homage to real New York fro-yo chain 16 Handles) to find a frozen yoghurt flavour that best represents Abbi. He flips out with anxiety over the wall of flavours, purchases them all, and then goes into total meltdown over the topping choices. Skip the anxiety and just go all out with Gelato Messina. The weekly specials, such as So Wrong it's Right (cream cheese and caramel gelato with white chocolate potato chips and duck-fat caramel) or A Thrilla in Vanilla (mango and vanilla gelato with gingerbread and coconut cream), sound like they were conceived by the broads themselves.
Messina and chill. Photo: Katie Wilton
Orange is the New Black
For the ladies of Litchfield Prison, food is a weapon. Much of the series centres on the political power play over who runs the kitchen (as main character Piper finds out early on, when kitchen boss Red slips a special ingredient into her morning muffin). As prison budgets tighten and the food goes even more downhill, Piper uses ramen seasoning packets as currency to keep the other inmates in place, proving MSG is the real OG.
Orange is the New Black cast.
MAKE YOUR OWN
Flashing back to before she went to prison, Piper remembers when she caroused fiance Larry into joining her on an organic juice cleanse, with brown bags of organic farmers' market produce ready to be turned into pulp. The fresh, nutrient-filled fruit is far from Red's prison fare. Whip up a juice or green smoothie from our recipe collection and sip on the sweet taste of freedom, mixed with that basic white girlness that Piper emits.
Poor, simple Pennsatucky endures hell for a few simple doughnuts, delivered by new guard Coates, with certain caveats attached. The worst part? The doughnuts don't even look that good. Order your own, better version through Sydney's Grumpy Donuts delivery service with no strings attached (except that you'll have to pay real, actual money for them - no commissary budgets here). Larger-than-life Doughnut Time (in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Brisbane) will also deliver iced treats to your door within two hours of ordering.
Maple bacon bar doughnuts from Grumpy Donuts in Sydney. Photo: Alana Dimou
Judd Apatow's quirky comedy, starring the fairly awful Mickey and Gus, can be equal parts painful and pleasurable to watch. They don't eat a great deal (alcohol, cigarettes and weed are the main consumables of the show), but if it's the morning after a big night before, you can take take comfort in sharing your hangover with the leading lady.
Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust in the Netflix series Love.
One of Mickey and Gus' first dates (is it a date?) is a diner breakfast. Sydneysiders can order in from Kawa Cafe, and snack on french toast with grilled banana and maple syrup, or a grainy breakfast sandwich of bacon, egg and relish while revelling in the awkwardness. Oriental Teahouse can serve up a steaming yum cha breakfast of pork and chive, and chilli wagyu dumplings, plus pan-fried beef pancakes and egg custard tarts to Melbournians to clash chopsticks over, too.
MAKE YOUR OWN
The two lovebirds meet during a gas station run, when Mickey fails to produce enough coin to pay for her hangover soothing super-sized coffee. Grab some decent beans, grind them up and brew a hot filter coffee. Recycle a big old paper cup and drink with a packet of cigarettes to stay true to scene.
Black coffee is great for hangovers.