Hot Dog with topping – Bene Bene, Canary Wharf

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Was in a bit of a rush for lunch last Friday as the Canary Wharf office had a team event in the afternoon which I was involved in. Had to leave the office by 1300hrs and I only managed to free up some time to grab lunch at 1215hrs. Has been awhile since I had a hot dog so thought I give Bene Bene’s version a try.

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As you can see from the poster, you can have a hot dog as is for £3.50 or chose from up to 3 toppings for £4.50. Was not too sure which toppings to go for but finally ended up with jalapeno pepper, bolognese sauce and cheddar cheese. Added a side of coleslaw to complete the meal.

I think the serving staff is still trying to get to grips with the ordering process for the hot dogs. You give your order to the cashier which in turn repeats the order to a server just behind the counter. The problem is it can be quite hard remembering the topping combination especially when you have a few consecutive orders with slightly differing toppings. The poor server was literally shouted at by the cashier who has to repeat herself a couple of times for the order to sink in.

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Have to say I’m impressed by the size of the hot dog. Would say the girth of the sausage is close to a 50p coin which is pretty impressive. The sausage skin has the telltale snap of a good frank and the filling was rich, juicy and uniform in texture like a proper frankfurter. As for the topping, nothing much to wow about but it did the trick. Had to melt the cheese in a microwave oven when I got back to the office which was a shame.

I would definitely have the hot dog again but perhaps with some different toppings the next time.

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Bene Bene
Canada Place
Canary Wharf
London E14 5AH
0207 515 0205

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Smoked Mackerel Kedgeree Salad and Homemade Cauliflower Cheese Soup – Chop’d, Old Spitalfields Market/Junk’s Manor

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Poor Junk, victim of rubbish meeting scheduling again today. Back to back all day with only  1200 – 1400 free. To best make use of my time today, decided to pickup lunch on the way to the office. I know that Chop’d at Old Spitalfields Market prep their pre made salad in the morning so got one on the way. What? Only salad for lunch? Is Junk ill? No, I also have some leftover Cauliflower Cheese Soup I’ve made over the weekend so it will still be a 2 course lunch today.

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Won’t talk too much about the Cauliflower Cheese Soup just that I got the inspiration while glancing at the recipe section of a freebie newspaper. It’s basically onions, garlic, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, bay leaf, nutmeg, cream and lots of cheddar and Gruyere cheese. Gruyere cheese is crucial, it gives the soup a slight, sharp tang. How is it cooked?

  1. Saute the onion and garlic till soft
  2. Add in veg and water, boil till veg softens
  3. Save a few pieces of cauliflower for later and remove bay leaf. Give it a good whirl with a hand blender
  4. Add cream, nutmeg and grated cheese
  5. Season to taste

When I served it at home, I topped the soup with more grated Gruyere and gave it a few minutes under the grill. Makes it resemble it’s moniker. Give it a try, it’s not a bad recipe.

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Of all the pre made salads available at Chop’d, I settled on the Smoked Mackerel Kedgeree Salad as it has brown rice and I’m a rice bucket. I think the salad is an attempt to deconstruct kedgeree, a dish rich in colonial history so it contains most of the typical ingredients of the dish with the addition of salad leaves. Because I selected a pre made salad, it is not dressed and I was left to decide what dressing I would like. I settled on the green pesto dressing which I regret on hindsight, a creamy dressing would have worked better. But overall, a pretty satisfying salad. Pieces of smoked mackerel combined well with the boiled egg and hints of tarragon. The occasional morsel of raisins brings a slight sweetness. At £4.75, not a bad deal.

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Chop’d
2 Horner Square
Old Spitalfields Market
London E1 6EW
0207 247 8757