The Christmas season is here.
Sure, some may argue it’s still only November, and that even Thanksgiving isn’t until Thursday. But the lights on Regent’s Street have been switched on, I’ve eaten my first mince pie, and I’m currently listening to an acoustic cover of Winter Wonderland on Spotify.
So while some of you may hate me for it, in my world: it’s Christmas.
And what do we do at Christmas in my world (silly question, really…)? We eat.
I’m kicking off the season of joy with a festive burger extravaganza. Every week from now until The Big Day, I’ll be posting a review from one of London’s best Christmas burger joints.
So loosen your belts. Because today we’re starting with Ben’s Canteen, and a monster turkey burger…
I’d never actually been to Ben’s Canteen before. I’ve heard brilliant things about their brunches though, and after this visit, I’m now desperate to go back again!
We started the night with two hours worth of bottomless bubbles, and a portion each of their utterly DELICIOUS Karma Cola ham croquettes.
(I had to Google Karma Cola, but apparently it’s a natural alternative to the usual sugary colas. It’s full of pronounceable ingredients, and it’s as good for you as it is for the people across the world who help make it. So that’s pretty cool.)
The croquettes are crispy and crunchy on the outside, beautifully soft and savoury on the inside, and even more perfect once you’ve dipped them in the cola BBQ sauce.
A perfect winter starter.
Basically: Ben’s nailed it with his Xmas Turkey Burger.
Sage brined and buttermilked turkey breast, layered with more of that delicious Karma Cola ham, squashed stuffing, chunks of brie, bacon & chestnut mayo (!!!), mulled wine & cranberry sauce.
Throw in some green cabbage, buttered brussel sprouts, and a brioche bun, and you, my friend, have yourself a burger worthy of Santa.
It is DELICIOUS. The turkey is crunchy on the outside, and soo tender on the inside, the stuffing and cranberry sauce are wonderfully festive, the cabbage adds a token bit of greenery…
Overall: this is a seeeeeeeriously good (and huge) Christmas burger.
10/10 – would eat again. And again. And again.
Fries with burgers are so last Christmas. This year, it’s all about the loaded roast potatoes, which are exactly as brilliant as they sound.
Duck fat roasted potatoes topped with brussel sprouts, crispy bacon, sausage and sage stuffing, and spiced red cabbage (my all-time favourite).
Drizzle them with Ben’s red wine gravy, and then stuff as MANY into your mouth as you can. Share them only if you must. (You must, because there are so. many. potatoes.)
My only very slight complaint is that the potatoes were a little bit soft, and had that odd sort of spongy texture they get when they’ve been reheated. Which I suppose is to be expected in a busy restaurant, but it was a bit of a niggle, and did stop this dish from being absolute perfection.
Sensibly, Ben’s chosen a very simple option for dessert: mini doughnuts.
Specifically, DIY Doughnuts that you can fill yourself. You get three syringes filled with three festive sauces, and you just “inject” each doughnut with your preferred filling!
My favourite was the brandy cream, but the mincemeat was also really lovely.
Not such a big fan of the orange sauce, but then I have quite a lot of hatred for orange flavoured sweet things. (A Terry’s Chocolate Orange is my idea of food hell. It can go sit in a corner with the olives and celery.)
The doughnuts themselves were lovely and fresh. Light, dusted with sugar and utterly moreish.
A perfect festive finale to a perfect festive feast!
Ben’s Canteen are offering the option of two hours of bottomless prosecco (or 5 bottles of beer) with their Christmas menu. The full menus start from £25 per person, which I think is a BARGAIN for the size of the food portions and the amount of drink you get.
They’ve also just launched a brand new business venture: Bloody Ben’s Blood Mary mix.
I had a chat with Ben (the actual Ben!) before dinner, and he said that so many people had asked for the recipe to their classic brunch Bloody Marys, that they decided to just get in there and sell it themselves. (Why not, right?)
The snazzy bottles are full of liquid spice mix, which you can then stir into your own tomato juice and vodka, making it as spicy (or not) as you like.
It’s a clever idea, and would make a delicious little stocking gift for any Bloody Mary lovers in the family!
If you’re looking for a great spot for a festive feast in South London, I’d 100% suggest Ben’s Canteen. They have two branches, one in Earlsfield and one in Clapham Junction, and you’ll have to pre-book if there’s more than 6 of you.
The decor is casual, the atmosphere bright and fun. The staff were so friendly, and great at keeping us topped up, despite it being a (surprisingly) busy Wednesday night.
The food was fab, with a few tiny hiccups (but nothing that another glass of bottomless prosecco wouldn’t cure!), and overall, I was really really impressed.
*I was a guest of Ben’s Canteen for this visit.