Bensoir! It's me, Benjamin. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You may have read stuff I've written elsewhere, but here on my own blog as Ben Viveur I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others, so pretty much anything goes.

BV is about enjoying real food and drink in the real world. I showcase recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. And as a critic I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended. Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monster Mashcakes and other Halloween tips

So, it's fucking Halloween again. The cuntiest American import since Mayor McCheese.

(I'm not entirely sure, technically, if we did import him and his wide, bunny, face, but as cultural references go it feels right, so I'm sticking with it!)

The Good ol' US of Stateside has given us many good things (especially in the world of food and beer) but the manufactured sentiment around what they call 'holidays' certainly isn't one of them. Apart from maybe seasonal ales and the Treehouse of Horror episodes of the Simpsons. They're usually pretty good.

Monster Mashcakes
Now, I'm lucky enough to live in an apartment without a front door that faces the outside world, so I shall be spared the worst excesses, but I've heard from others that the 'trick or treat' phenomenon has reached hideous levels in recent years and over the next few nights your doorstep will be infested with local scrotes in Harold Shipman costumes armed with rotten eggs and pump-action water pistols.

Fuck off.

I know I'm probably sound sounding like a grumpy, grizzled old grandfather, and some of you will be thinking 'pfft, it's only once a year, let the kids have their fun', so you can fuck right off too.

Fucked off yet? Good.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Two Unlimiteds

It's now been well over a year since my Grandma died and a lifetime of home-cooked Sunday lunches came to an end.

The rest of the family still meet for lunch on Sundays, but these days it's not usually one of us that's cooking it. Sometimes we'll go to one of our old favourite restaurants where we used to go with Grandma; sometimes we'll go to a pub; sometimes we'll try somewhere new so I can blog about it.

But, more than anywhere else, we go to the Princess of India.

It's an all-you-can eat buffet in Morden - a part of South London that has seen better times and which generally doesn't trouble the hit parade of foodie destiations. No, it doesn't look like much from the outside either, but then neither do the finest restaurants in India.

Apparently they do home deliveries from a normal menu, but then I don't live anywhere near Morden, and if I did live near enough for them to deliver to me, I'd make the effort to go out for all I could eat. Every time.