Dining out, Events, Films
Comments 7

Dinner and a Movie: NZIFF Food Matches

The New Zealand International Film Festival is currently on in Auckland. Next week it will start in Wellington and Christchurch will follow that. The Koala and I LOVE watching movies. Like, love it to bits. We have varied tastes in what we look for in a movie but we can usually both recognise a good movie, even if it’s not our favourite genre. I like anything thought provoking or whimsical and The Koala likes anything with action. We both enjoy thrillers and scares.

Recently, we invited a group of friends to watch the cult classic Tampopo. It is a 1985 Japanese film about a woman, her ramen (noodle) shop and her search to make the perfect bowl of ramen. A foodie action comedy with some very innocent characters who contrast with some freaky food erotica. Naturally, we followed the movie by feasting at our local ramen shop. Sorry, we didn’t partake in food erotica.


That pairing may have been obvious, but I like to pair food with activities. It’s like wearing shoes that match your bag. A little bit fancy.

I thought it might be fitting to post my top NZIFF picks with a food match and restaurant for those who do the whole “dinner and movie” thing (or if you prefer, “movie and dinner”). Please note, these movies are not specifically food movies.

Here are my top 5 film picks and matching foods:


The Double

By director and actor Richard Ayoade famous for awkward indie teen romance: Submarine and acting in the comedy series: The IT Crowd.

An intriguing thriller about a shy, awkward clerk who meets his doppelganger who is charismatic and good with the ladies.

Food match: Double cheeseburgers
Recommended restaurant: Better Burger



By director Ari Folman famous for epic animated doco: Waltz with Bashir.

Hollywood actress gets pulled into the future: a surreal, rainbow world of animation, colour, drugs, happiness and suffering. Trippy stuff. Thought-provoking and unique.

Food match: Rainbow delights
Recommended restaurant: Milse


The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Documentary on Hayao Miyazaki and his animation studio, Studio Ghibli. Enter the world of the animation genius.

Hayao Miyazaki’s films are well known for their extravagant food scenes and he is a fan of noodles. Any Japanese would have worked here but since it is winter and since Hayao once cooked up a big ramen dinner for his animation studio workers, It’s got to be…

Food match: Ramen
Recommended restaurant: Ramen Do



By director Bong Joon-ho famous for Korean monster movie: The Host.

In the not too distant future, the world is reduced to the inhabitants of a giant train that loops around the globe. This is the story of the revolution of the train’s class system. There are a few foodie scenes for those that are looking for them as the poor eat anything to survive and the elite eat very well. Highlight of the movie: Chris Evan’s beard.

Food match: Sushi train
Recommended restaurant: Sushi Factory


The Young and Prodigious T.S Spivet

By director Jean-Pierre Jeunet famous for cult classics: Amelie and Delicatessen.

A ten-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana and travels aboard a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. Whimsical and feel good.

Food match: All American Redneck Ribs
Recommended restaurant: Lone Star

NZIFF Auckland is running until the 5th August 2014.

Are you looking forward to any of these movies? Have you seen any of the already?

Do you ever pair movies with a matching restaurant or is it just me?



  1. The Gisborne Gourmet says

    The Big Lebowski. With a White Russian and a bag if weed. Dude.

  2. Awesome picks! Love the pairing. Gonna check out which of these movies I can go to 😀 And omg Tampopo…that movie is cray hahaha. Now I feel like rewatching it with ramen too!

  3. I love the pairings, specially the double cheese burger one since I’ve tried it the other day, Le boyfriend on the other hand would need a movie called “The quadruple with and extra one”
    Some movie remind me of certain kinds of dishes…say..Amelie and roasted chicken but I’v never actually though of pairing them with actual restaurants. 🙂

  4. What a great idea! Am really missing watching movies (in a theatre I mean) now that I have bubs. Have you seen The Trip? When I saw that, it was before dinner time and I was SO hungry by the end.

    • I’ve seen the first The Trip, but not the Italian sequel. I’d love to match that with an Italian feast afterwards! After we watched Tampopo, we were starving for ramen. It was quite a long movie and we included several intermissions (the joy of watching movies at home).

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