Ben’s Canteen is one of my favourite local restaurants and always a reliable option for a Saturday night. Their mission is a) to create an alternative to a pub for a relaxed weekend, and b) serve up delicious (and Aussie-inspired) brunches. My Ben’s top three dishes and drinks: 1) their DIY doughnuts, 2) their halloumi fries, with fennel and cucumber salsa, pomegranate ketchup and lime & coriander yoghurt, 3) their ‘blushing’ margaritas.
The doughnuts are creative, with delicious fillings which you ‘inject’ using the plastic syringes. The technique takes a while to perfect – the Bread Ahead workshop at Christmas taught me to use a knife to create a hole and then pipe/inject in the filling. The fillings have varied over the year; last time it was a berry jam (my fav.), caramel and vanilla custard, but at Christmas, they had an amazing mincemeat version. I detect some working on the dough as well – the last version I tried (I’m on my fifth go now) was lighter and less ‘doughy’ than on a previous visit. I was also amazed by how many doughnuts appeared in the one serving Sam and I shared – 7 (and they’re not that small…).
Ben’s Canteen has a chilled vibe plus some impressively generous perks for the regular visitor – once you’ve been enough times, you receive a VIP card and 20% off your bill.
So to do the maths – 7 doughnuts at £6.50 with the discount = a doughnut for 74p!