Can't party with friends? Then smash these snacks and a movie instead.
Bron Maxabella

18 Aug 2021 - 10:26 AM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2021 - 10:32 AM

--- The Cook Up with Adam Liaw airs weeknights on SBS Food at 7.00pm and 10.00pm, or stream it free on SBS On Demand. Catch the late night snack episode Wednesday 25 August. ---


The worst thing about lockdown life is the lack of company. Well, the worse thing is actually sky-rocketing COVID numbers and no end in sight. But loneliness is up there.

No matter how much you love them, when it's just you and the same 5, 4, 3, 2, even no people, things can get really mundane, really fast. Every part of your being wishes you could get together with new buddies and a bunch of good food and conversation to match.

Sorry, not yet. But a really good movie might reduce the longing. Especially when you combine it with eating your cares away via a truckload of matching snacks.

So, pick your movie, fire up the tele and the oven and get busy. You've got a party to attend and you'll cry if you want to.

Dinner and a movie
Movies and food are two of the things we do best at SBS, and you can now enjoy the best of both worlds in this new column as we match delicious recipes with soul-nourishing films.

Blade of the Immortal

Get the party started with this action-packed manga thriller. A highly skilled samurai in feudal Japan has been cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. He promises to help a young woman avenge the death of her parents, leading them both into a bloody war. Warning: bloody is a very apt description for this gruelling film from prolific cult director Takashi Miike. But don't let that put you off because it's also irresistible fun!

Choice snack: Fat Pocky

Believe us, you're going to need something light, sweet and fun to take your mind off the movie from time to time. This cute take on the famous Japanese snack will help put the focus on the merry side of things.

Let's hit Japan for a snacking menu
Watching athletes do their higher, faster, stronger thing from the couch sure works up an appetite.


All heart and soul, Panga follows a retired kabaddi player ( Kangana Ranaut as Jaya) who returns to the sport after seven-years away raising a family. At its heart this little sports gem is really a romance film, charting the love between Jaya and her husband, who makes his own sacrifices to help her achieve her dream.

Choice snack: Proper Punjabi samosas

It has to be samosas. Not only are they one of the best late-night snacks around, but served with a cup of masala tea, they also perfectly embody the cosiness of the family in Panga.


In this incredibly funny, but equally dark comedy, six foolish men play a series of increasingly bizarre games while fishing from a luxury yacht in the Aegean Sea. It's a queasy look at the competitiveness of the modern male dynamic as seen by the focused eye of whip-smart female director Athina Rachel Tsangari.

Choice snack: Spanakopita toastie

The perfect snack in any language, this golden toastie packs in all the flavour of a traditional spanakopita with a tenth of the fuss. You'll want to make at least two as the first one will leave you wanting another. 

Pasteli (toasted sesame bars)

If you love a bit of crunch, these bars are for you. They are very simple to prepare with few ingredients, but mastering the perfect crunch can be elusive. 


This poignant coming-of-age dance/love story manages to rise above the inevitable clichés the genre so often leaps and bounds into. Polina follows a gifted Bolshoi ballerina who falls in love with a French dancer who introduces her to contemporary dance and a new life in France.

Choice snack: Pirozhki

There's a of angsty decision making going on in Polina, so you're going to need some comfort food to see you through. Pirozhki should do the trick. Just don't eat too many of these hearty beef and cabbage parcels if you want to be able to practice your dance moves while you watch.

The Assassin

In this exquisite martial arts feast, Nie, a general's young daughter is kidnapped and trained to become an exceptional assassin. When she fails a mission she is ordered to kill her betrothed, forcing her to choose between love and duty.

Choice snack: Rou jia muffins

You're going to need one hand free to help Nie fight her way to freedom, so Adam Liaw's rou jia muffins are ideal.

Scallop and chive dumplings

These delectable dumplings come from Li Shu Tim, the dim sum chef at One Harbour Road. The filling includes doubanjiang, the spicy chilli sauce from Sichuan province, but only a touch – Cantonese diners don’t like their food too hot.

Pork and chilli dumplings

Who doesn't love classic dumplings with a crisp pan crust? 

Steamed dumplings (jiaozi)

Jiaozi are one of the major foods eaten during the Chinese New Year, as well as year-round in the northern provinces. They look like the ancient golden ingots (yuan bao) used for money, and the name sounds like the word for the earliest paper money, so serving them is believed to bring prosperity.

My Big Gay Italian Wedding

When Italian mama meets gay fiancé, it's as much OTT fun and drama as you'd wish for.

Choice snack: Seadas

These Sardinian deep-fried dumplings are filled with ricotta, sultanas and lemon and smothered in warm, sticky honey. They are as sweetly divine as an Italian gay man getting married in his home town.

Panzerotti (fried dough pockets)

Panzerotti are filled thin bread pockets typical of Puglia, the most traditional filling being tomato and mozzarella. Small, deep-fried, addictive!

The Mystery of Henri Pick

An editor discovers a masterpiece among a pile of rejected manuscripts. She tries to track down its unknown author, who may already be dead. This light-hearted, fast-paced, well-acted mystery flits through the charming villages of rural Brittany. It's basically a heap of fun.

Choice snack: Madeleines

No one needs a reason to bake a batch of Madeleines, but if you did, this movie would be it. A light, melting and endearing biscuit is exactly the right snack to munch on while you watch.

In Between

Three very different flatmates in Tel Aviv straddle the precipice between traditional Syrian culture and their free-spirited ways. The sharp script showcases a Syria (and particularly the nuanced women who live there) in light-hearted, apolitical way rarely shown.

Choice snack: Muhammara

A film this good requires dipping into again and again. It's fair to say you won't be able to get enough of this char-grilled capsicum and walnut dip either. 

Pumpkin kibbeh nayeh (spiced pumpkin and cracked wheat paste)

This is a vegan take on the classic Lebanese and Syrian kibbeh nayeh - a popular raw-meat paste - made here with pumpkin and burghul.

Sometimes Almost Never

This quiet, emotional burner has a gentle comedy at its heart. It stars Bill Nighy at his eccentric best, after all. It calls for an equally quiet, British kind of snack, but one with bite.

Choice snack: 18th century gingerbread

This is a very British gingerbread, but not as we know it. It's from a 1717 cookbook calledThe Compleat Housewife, or, Accomplish’d Gentlewoman’s Companion. It also packs in the spice - alongside the ginger and black treacle you'll add cloves, mace, and both coriander and caraway seeds.

English flapjacks

The classic flapjack is such an easy option for a quick arvo-tea treat and look all the more prettier (and sweeter) with a dusting of icing sugar.

Quinoa and sweet potato sausage rolls

These sausage rolls, filled with lots of good-for-you veggies, pulses, grains and seeds, are great for children who aren’t so fond of their veggies – our young one certainly loves them! 

Millionaire’s shortbread

These beauties have everything – rich chocolate, gooey caramel and a crunchy biscuit base. Make a batch next time your mum’s coming round for a cuppa: brownie points, guaranteed.

I Am Not a Witch

When an eight-year-old Zambian girl is convicted of being a witch after an incident in her local village, she is consigned to a witches camp in the desert. This politically-charged film is beautifully captured with both sorrow and humour by debut writer-director Rungano Nyoni. The compelling performance by Maggie Mulubwa as Shula is impossible to forget.

Choice snack: Fish frikkadels

Tasty fish meatballs are popular throughout the Zambezi Valley and will make a delicious complement to Nyoni's intense movie. There's a tangy pineapple salsa to go with them that will lift you through the movie's heavier moments.

Pop Aye

An architect (Thaneth Warakulnukroh) sets off on a road trip through Thailand to take his elephant Bong back to his hometown. Yes, this movie is as warm, joyous and slow-moving as that sounds.

Choice snack: Turmeric coconut chicken wings

All the flavour of a Thai chicken curry are packed into these moreish chicken wings. They are served with a spicy nahm jim jaew dipping sauce that would knock an elephant's socks off.

Never enough snacks
Fried pecorino with honey and summer herbs

Nigel makes the perfect crispy entrée with pecorino - a hard cheese made from sheep's milk.


Chipá are bite-sized cheesy bread balls that were invented by the Guaraní people from north-east Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and go so well with the bitter 'mate' tea from the region.

Fillet steak sandwich with tabouli and jar béarnaise sauce

Mikey puts a Mediterranean twist on a humble Aussie pub-feed classic. His tabouli infusion is a far cry from the standard four-leaf-mix.

School prawns with salt of the sea

Taste the sea anytime and anywhere with these mini prawn chips - with real prawns.

Vic's cheeseburger

This burger was born out of Anthony's love for the traditional American cheeseburger. He wanted to create his own version with all the things he loves. The secret is to use the best quality ingredients you can find.

Saganaki burger

A flavourful explosion of bacon, saganaki cheese, and pineapple. This burger brings umami in bucketloads.

Caramel peanuts (garrapiñada de maní)

You will always smell the distinctive sweet smoke of garrapiñada de maní in parks, plazas, on street corners or outside zoos and cinemas.

Baked sweet potato chips

Sometimes the world just needs sweet potato as a side.

Popcorn chicken with basil

Taiwanese food is a great mix of local dishes with influences from China, Japan and Southeast Asia. Popcorn chicken – yan su ji – is a popular street food in Taipei, and once you try it you’ll see why. The crunchy texture of the sweet potato flour coating is incredible.