Ben’s Canteen, Battersea

I love brunch and I love Ben’s Canteen’s brunch. Last time I went I had the Smashed Avocado on Toast with poached eggs and roasted vine tomatoes which was a light and yummy option. However, when I recently went for supper it was an evening of delights and disappointments.


I went for the Soft Shell Crab Burger served with Asian slaw and peanut mayo. I was looking forward to a deliciously meaty burger but was so disappointed as I couldn’t even taste any crab. On top of this I didn’t even get a hint of the peanut mayo. After raising the point about the very uncrabby crab burger to the waitress I was told it must just be because I got a small one. Great. The Crinkle Cut Chips unfortunately tasted like McCann oven chips – tasty but I expected more after paying £3.50. We also had a portion of the sweet potato wedges, most of which were perfect but a few rather large ones  (too large, for me) had crept into the bowl. However, I did have a great cocktail which was a Special for the evening: The Big Apple.

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Sarah had the Crunchy Chicken Burger – buttermilk spiced chicken with streaky bacon and slaw. It was a toss up between the crab burger and the chicken burger for me and I really wish I had gone for the chicken burger after hearing about how delicious it was from Sarah. She said the burger itself was really substantial and nice and juicy. The bacon was perfectly crispy too – MAJOR FOOD ENVY.

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I would certainly head back to Ben’s Canteen because I know they do great food and I love their brunch. However, I would not order the crab burger again. Also, as we left the restaurant not one member of staff said goodbye or thank you despite us walking past them which felt a little off. The service overall was friendly and quick but just a few avoidable hiccups.

Christmas Dinner: Budget Supermarket vs. Farmers’ Market

Christmas Dinner: Budget Supermarket vs. Farmers' Market
This is my cousin having been defeated by Christmas Dinner.

This year I had two Christmas dinners, the first with my friends at Uni and the second at home with ALL the family. So, I’m just going to provide my thoughts on each… of course taste is the main factor but also price and ease of cooking is considered.

Aldi (served 5):
Four bird roast (turkey, chicken, duck and goose, 1.58kg)
Cauliflower cheese
Pigs in blankets
Yorkshire puddings
Sage and onion stuffing (readymade)
Chicken gravy (readymade)
Total cost: £25
Total cooking time: 3 hours

Farmers’ Market (served 17):
Turkey (54.5kg)
Fennel carrots
Red cabbage with apple
Brussel sprouts
Petit pois
Pigs in blankets (made from scratch)
Chilli stuffing (made from scratch)
Sage & onion stuffing
Turkey gravy (made from scratch)
Total cost: £125
Total cooking time: 6 hours

With most things, the more expensive option is better than the cheaper alternative. This was no exception.

Round one: meat
The four bird roast had nothing on the turkey. It was tasty but each of the four birds tasted the same. There was a severe lacking of crispy skin and moisture for the Aldi meal although the glaze provided did add a nice sweetness to the meat. Also, there was stuffing running through it and you can never have enough stuffing.

Round two: veg
I hate to be predictable but again, the farmers’ market Christmas dinner won hands down. All the veg for the Aldi meal was bought and cooked from frozen so it seemed a bit mushy (I like a bit of a crunch). I suppose it was a bit of an unfair test as well because my Mum does the best roast potatoes going!

Round three: gravy
Well, I’m not a fan of chicken gravy, especially the readymade stuff. It’s got to be made from the juices of the meat unless it’s bisto! The readymade stuff was a bit watery, but it was needed due to the lack of moisture from the other elements of the meal.

Although the farmers’ market meal was the clear winner, I would happily have the Aldi one again. It was cheaper and much less hassle… simply a job of whacking everything in the oven. For the farmers’ market meal, the whole family was roped in. Elements of the dinner were divided up to cook at various members of the families house and then there was a race to the final destination so we could eat it all together. The turkey was born and bred in the same village as my house, transported to the next village, cooked and then returned to my house.

So should I be needing a quick fix Christmas dinner anytime soon, Aldi will be my saviour. But should I have the time, money and resources (family and oven space) then Farmers’ Market produce every time!

Here’s a few pics of each meal:


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Farmers’ Market:

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