I’ll make no bones about it: this Ruby Assembly blog is for you if a) you live in Melbourne, b) you love Netflix and c) you love Deliveroo.
This is the season to put on your best activewear (no judgement) and to snuggle up on the couch, ready to indulge in a hefty wallop of streaming tv while ordering up big from your fave gourmet restaurant. And whilst today’s Ruby Assembly blog is certainly not sponsored by Netflix, Stan or Deliveroo -it is heavily inspired by this triptych’s influence on our cosy winter weekends. This Ruby Assembly blog is about the utter indulgence and healthy selfishness of catering only to yourself and your whims in the best, laziest way possible.
Here’s our hitlist of the best in drama on Netflix, Stan and iView, paired with suggestions for matching gourmet takeout from Deliveroo. Genius, amirite? Winter’s only got one month left – so you’d might as well enjoy it, friends!
Stranger Things, Netflix.
Do you like ominous 80’s electro soundtracks like those of The Twilight Zone? Do you remember with faint terror the raised cover artworks on Stephen King novels like Pet Semetary and It, and trashy teen horror novels series like Point Fiction and Goosebumps? Did your Mum worry that playing Dungeons and Dragons would potentially make you into a cult-member? Then you are going to love Stranger Things. Dripping in an incredibly accurate nostalgia and starring Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine, this is like a hybrid of The Goonies and The X-Files with a smattering of The Stand. I can’t really tell you much about the plot without spoiling its slow-burn creeping terror feels – suffice to say if grand adolescent adventures and creature features littered your consciousness as a child, you should invest some time in this short series.
Watching Stranger Things? Order in The B.East on Deliveroo.
Beasties on the screen, B.East-y burgers in your belly! A Brunswick East institution, The B.East have our favorite burgers and authentic Americana fare. Hearty and filling, try their Classic beef burger or the apocryphal Clint Beastwood chicken burger. Don’t pass up the chilli-cheese fries, either.
The Bridge, Stan.
MAN I LOVE NORDIC DRAMA. They do crime so well, what with their bleached-out cinematic grey-blonde palettes, anti-heroes and awesome Eurovision accents. The Bridge is a police procedural which has Swedish police detective Saga Noren and her Danish counterpart Martin Rohde solving a murder case together: a body has been found on the bridge separating Denmark from Sweden. Saga is a fabulous character – depicted as having characteristics ‘on the spectrum’, she negotiates her way through personal relationships with a level of frankness that separates her from friends, family and partners. Martin and Saga’s friendship develops over two seasons, their private and professional lives weaving together in the most unexpected and shocking of ways. PS. The Bridge has a winning theme song you won’t be able to get out of your head.
Watching The Bridge? Order in from Meatball and Wine Bar on Deliveroo.
Pom, pom, pom – just like the Swedish chef, what could be more Swedish than meatballs? Richmond’s Meatball and Wine Bar have made a fine art of puns involving the word ‘balls’ – who could say no to a hearty meal called ‘Balls and All’? Customise your meal by choosing your ‘balls’ (pork, chicken, veggie, beef or fish), your side (cannellini beans, potato smash, creamy polenta, house pasta) and your sauce (red, green or white). Order a side of their honey-drizzled parmesan wedges and you’ll be high-fiving yourself for your good taste in crime drama and gourmet takeout.
Beautifully made with painstaking attention to detail, J.J. Abram’s 11.22.63 is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. Starring James Franco, this mini-series is set in Camelot-era America, steeped in the nostalgic romance of JFK and remembrance of better, simpler times. It’s a strange, sweet and sometimes scary tale of a time-travelling assassin – which, although literal, never challenges your suspension of disbelief. I’m married to a Kennedy enthusiast who dislikes fiction, but 11.22.63 still grabbed his non-fiction loving attention immediately. This is one to watch with your history-buff, conspiracy-theory pals – a clever little watch of a tale, tightly wound and perfect at its completion.
Watching 11.22.63? Order in The Beaufort & Ikes on Deliveroo.
Go back in time with The Beaufort & Ikes, who describe their fare as “Smoked flavours, southern pulled meats. Don’t overthink it.” With classic Americana burgers, the ‘Pound O’ Chicken Wings’ and ‘The Shroomburger’ for the veggos and vegans in the crowd, The Beaufort & Ikes is downhome cooking to compliment J.J. Abrams’ Dallas of the 1960s.
Absolutely Fabulous, Stan.
That rarest of dramas, Absolutely Fabulous highlights the rich, varied, funny and full lives that women lead for themselves independent of their roles as mothers or wives. Void of narratives surrounding men (chasing them, losing them, pining over them), Absolutely Fabulous is a paean to female friendship through thick and thin. Naughty, funny and utterly fabulous, Edina and her bestie Patsy work in PR and fashion. They smoke constantly, drink Bolli and pick on Eddy’s long-suffering daughter Saffron. They go on holidays to France and Morrocco and New York. They don’t give a damn about anyone but each other. They’re my go-to girls for light and kind entertainment.
Watching Absolutely Fabulous? Order in Oriental Teahouse Little Collins on Deliveroo.
Be naughty and nice at the same time, just like my old mates Eddy and Pats: eat temple food (as Nigella Lawson might call it) from Oriental Teahouse. Indulge in a soft and delicious array of steamed dumplings (veggie included!), practically virtuous ricepaper rolls, garlicky Chinese greens and more. It’s fancy takeaway that’s tasty but not heavy on the frying. Make yourself a cup of green tea and you’re set for a great night in!
Other honorable mentions go to The Tudors on Stan, Broadchurch on Netflix, London Spy on Netflix, Trollied on Stan, The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle on Stan and Fortitude on ABC iView.
Never ordered Deliveroo? Let me corrupt you with an invitation that will give you a discount on your first order.
Wearing: Country Road dress, Wittner ‘Ebbony’ boots, H&M woollen hat and wrap
Location: Thornbury, Melbourne
Photographer: Breeana Dunbar