If there's one thing on my blog that I take seriously, like really seriously...it's burgers.
From juicy chin dribblers to burgers encased in Scotch Eggs, if its sandwiched between two buns, I'm pretty sure I'll eat it...
But with new burger places popping all the time, it can all get a little meh.. you know. There needs to be something really different for me to sit up and take notice...
So how do you make burgers exciting again, you ask? By pairing them with wine, of course.
Yes you read that right. Burgers & wine perfectly paired based on their tasting notes and it's all happening South of the river at Ben's Canteen.
Now it takes a lot to get me over the River but I promise Ben's is worth it.
It has an ultra-cool shabby chic vibe with colourful distressed wooden tables and a bright neon sign hanging over the bar - oh and the most friendly staff ever. Laid-back, helpful and perfect at getting that balance of servicing your table but also leaving you just to chill and enjoy your evening.The menu is pretty simple but they specialise in burgers, wine and brunch - the holy trinity as I like to call it. And every night from 5pm, they combine the first two to give you their special burger & wine pairing menu...but more on that in a minute.
First you need to start with, you guessed it, the starters. Like I said, Ben's Canteen is all about simple food, but that doesn't mean boring. They've got some of your favourite 'pub' style dishes but they've taken them up a whole gear with some clever twists.
You've got DIY guacamole, which you make in your own pestle and mortar; and spiced duck nuggets but we couldn't resist the aptly named 'Ben's Epic Scotch Egg' (£6). It was *ahem* epic.
Next was the chicken wings. Now don't even get me started on how much I love chicken wings. We order them almost every time we see them on a menu: case in point; Yardbird, Almost Famous and those chicken wings at Porky's...so I have pretty high standards but I can confirm these were INCREDIBLE.
Juicy, moist and fall off the bone tender, they had just the right amount of spice and were so
messy addictive. Slather a little bit of my favourite Cholula hot sauce on those bad boys and I was well on my way to food coma heaven.
Three perfectly cooked, slider sized burgers, paired with the perfect wine. I know you want to see these babies a little closer...
First up is the classic cheeseburger. A 7oz beef patty cooked till pink, topped with American cheese, Ben's Canteen's special sauce and washed down with a New Zealand Pinot Gris. Perfectly cooked and just oozes all that salty deliciousness as soon as you bite down...
Next is The Hawaiian - a pulled pork burger topped with pickled red cabbage, homemade slaw, mustard, BBQ sauce and a PINEAPPLE fritter! It was salty, sweet, fruity and just perfect with its pairing of chilled pinot noir. I've never had chilled red before but this was a stroke of genius.
and finally my favourite, the Posh friend chicken burger paired with a glass of Mumm Champagne - naturally. I adore spicy food and this is one HOT burger...it's not for the faint hearted, stuffed to bursting point with kimchi, spring onions and a lethal Korean hot sauce - you need those bubble to take the edge off!
All the burgers above are served full size on the main menu but the slider option is definitely the way to go in my eyes...just make sure you save room for dessert.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter brownie. I repeat, a chocolate and peanut butter brownie - served with peanut butter ice cream no less. Heaven and a heart attack all neatly presented on one plate.
Seriously though, the food at Ben's Canteen is really good and the atmosphere just so or even better. Just by putting a tiny spin on the idea of burgers made for a really fun evening that Tom and I both really enjoyed.
We visited the Battersea branch but there's another Ben's Canteen in Earlsfields...and they both do Bottomless Brunch, which I am 100% heading back for, make sure you do the same!
140 St John's Hill
Battersea, SW11 1SL
* Our food/drink was complimentary
All opinions are honest