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neighbourhood deserves a first class place where local people can get great breakfasts’, healthy lunches and delicious but inexpensive dinners. Ben’s Canteen aims to be just that in Clapham, serving classic British food, done well in a relaxed atmosphere.

It has an informal, friendly atmosphere and a menu of old favourites; from eggs benedict for breakfast, sausage and mash pie on the lunch list and steak, pork chops and venison pie on the evening menu. We chose to try a selection of smaller dishes to sample as many options as possible. The all day breakfast scotch egg was a treat, a combination of bacon and sausage meat packed around a soft boiled egg, encased in black pudding crumbs. This can be found on the ‘small plates’ menu, but was almost big enough to be a meal in itself.

This was accompanied by cod cheeks with parsley pesto, a cut of fish usually thrown away but here it is the only cod on the menu because of the ethical implications of overfishing. Tasty and environmentally sound – bonus! The beef brisket slider is beautifully tender strips of grilled beef in a bun with bone marrow mayonnaise which goes down a treat with meat lovers. The mayo is apparently a nightmare to make, but totally worth the effort in our opinion.

Potted ham hock terrine comes served with home made piccalilli and toast, rich and tender but for us, the highlight was the deep fried pig’s cheeks with homemade salad cream. Melt in the mouth tender, they are the one dish we insist you order. All this was followed by a cheeseboard of four dairy delights including Stilton and Brie. The menu is definitely aimed at open minded carnivores, but those who give it a go will be rewarded.

One of the unique things about Ben’s Canteen is the range of free stuff and discounts that they offer. If you check into the Canteen five times you can receive a free tea or coffee, 10% discount for NHS staff, 10% off if you cycle to the canteen. If you’re an actor, artist or work in hosptality they offer discount drinks on Monday nights and also on Mondays, a three course meal is given away to a person who tweets ‘I want a free meal for 2 @benscanteen’ every week. Wifi, magazines, doggy treats, nappies and wet wipes are free every day of the week to customers.

Coming up soon are guest chefs including Masterchef winners, special Burns night menus and a beer matching meal with local brewery Sambrook’s, giving the perfect alcoholic accompaniment to each course. For more info on upcoming events, take a look at

Ben’s Canteen, 140 St John’s Hill, SW1