Friday 2 September 2022

Cherish Finden's Shiok - Expensive but worth it

Beautiful presentation, fantastic flavours but you will get a ‘shiok’ from the prices!

I had a £16 individual dessert in Bake Off Professionals star Cherish Finden’s new patisserie… and was it worth it? Find out what I thought of the Apple Tin below!

Cherish Finden is a celebrity chef known for her appearances as a judge on Great British Bake Off: The Professionals and as the pastry chef at London’s luxury Langham hotel. Her formidable demeanour combined with fabulous outfits and comments to the contestants that have launched countless memes have made her something of an icon, so when I read that she had opened a new patisserie just up the street from my office I decided to pay a visit.

Part of the Pan Pacific hotel but in a standalone building with its own entrance (so you don’t go into the hotel itself), Shiok! looks fairly unassuming from a distance, but as you get closer you can see rows and rows of perfectly formed sweet treats on the counter. There’s a seating area that gave off a peaceful, tranquil vibe - possibly because there was only one other couple in there on the weekday lunchtime when l visited. 

There are comfy chairs at the back and more formal hard chairs and little tables at the front, and the three staff hovering at the counter were friendly if a little intimidating - I watched one line up desserts in the display and check the distance between them with precision that the GBBO judges would have loved.

I spent some time admiring the display of treats, as much for their finesse and beauty as deciding which one I wanted to order. I have to admit having a bit of a ‘Shiok’ when I saw the price tags (this is not where the name comes from, and it apparently means ‘very tasty’, but perhaps it should be). Most of the patisserie was priced around the £15 mark and the one I chose was £16. Obviously aimed at the luxury market (I would say mainly tourists and business travellers) it is nonetheless an afternoon tea lover’s heaven. From traditional Singaporean biscuits to what looked like a chocolate tea pot, this is a feast for the eyes.

Cherish has revealed that the Apple Tin was inspired by her childhood where she would open a tin of lychees and eat them straight from the tin. Here, the tin itself is edible too- white chocolate printed with a design. Inside is caramel sponge, apple compote, apple slices and cinnamon crumble. Each mouthful was delicious, a perfect combination of flavours and textures, and at £16 it probably does scale up consistently from when you pay £50 for an afternoon tea for similar bite size patisserie (as the sandwiches and scones aren’t exactly the expensive part). Even do it was definitely a one off treat and not something I would spend that much on every week!

If you do get a chance to check out Shiok I recommend it - but don’t expect it to be cheap!

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