Singaporean pastry chef Cherish Finden on her favourite eats in London

Wondering what to eat in London? It is, after all, one of the most popular destinations for tourists around the world and is a food hub in itself.

You don’t even have to take it from us, because the statistics speak for themselves. The cosmopolitan city saw a total of 21.71 million trips made by international tourists in 2019, the year before the pandemic. Now that travel is starting to ramp up again, tourists are slowly but surely returning to the UK – after all, travellers do not need to take any pre-departure or on-arrival COVID-19 tests and no quarantine is required, making it a breeze to travel just like we used to.

It’s undisputed that London is home to many museums and cultural attractions and of course the infamously dreary weather, but its food can cause quite the contention.

While many have quite the stereotype that British food is bad, Singaporean pastry chef Cherish Finden believes otherwise: “I love British cuisine. Food such as Fish and Chips have become one of my favourite things to eat. There aren’t many things I enjoy more than good quality battered fish with chunky chips and some tartare sauce and ketchup on the side. It’s one of my favourites and is absolutely delicious.”

cherish finden pastry chef London-based Singaporean
Cherish Finden, Executive Pastry Chef of Pan Pacific London

Finden, who’s now based in Pan Pacific London as their Executive Pastry Chef, is renowned for her unique approach to patisserie, utilising ingredients from her native Singapore and combining Asian flavours with the traditional European art of pastry.

The award-winning pastry chef, with over 30 years in hospitality and more than two decades spent in London, has earned the title as a household TV Chef and international consultant in the country as well. According to her, London’s food scene is special because “the culinary world in London is fierce and there are always new trends growing and intensifying the competition“, coupled with the fact that there are “plenty of food markets to explore and discover new exciting cuisines.

To help plan our next trip to the city, we’ve sussed out Finden’s favourite joints in London to dine at. From hearty steakhouses to casual marketplace eats, read on for the full list.

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

London-based pastry chef Cherish Finden on her favourite eats in the city:

1 /5

The Duck and Rice

The Duck and Rice, founded by restaurateur Alan Yau, is located in the Soho’s Berwick Street. Here, the two-storey establishment features a pub on the ground floor — copper tanks and all — with a dining room above with the restaurant’s main menu. Think tons of brass, gold, a dizzying cast iron staircase and dim lighting that sets it apart from many old-school, if not kitschy Chinese joints. Favourites here include the Sesame Prawn Toast and of course, Duck & Rice.

“Their specialty duck is a personal favourite of mine and their dim sum has a unique western twist. It’s my perfect mix of good comforting atmosphere with great tasting cuisine.”

(Image credit: @theduckandrice via Instagram)

Address
90 Berwick St, London W1F 0QB, United Kingdom
Website

2 /5

Borough Market

Borough Market is a popular locale for both tourists and locals alike. Apart from quality fish, vegetables and spices, the historic market is also home to a ton of delicious restaurants, cafes and pubs too. One Michelin-starred Singaporean “Kopitiam” Mei Mei is also located here.

“If you’re a foodie, like myself, you’ll spend hours upon hours here being in awe of all the stunning sights and smells. You’re ensured to leave Borough Market with an emptier purse and a bigger stomach!”

(Image credit: @bjhtravel via Instagram)

3 /5

Camden Market

If you’re up for a walk around a marketplace that isn’t mostly sheltered, Camden Market is where you should head to. The bustling area is studded with hundreds of shops and stalls selling fashion, music, art, and, of course, good food. Popular food stalls in the area include Uh K Dogs n Juicy, a Korean hotdog joint, El Pollote Fried Chicken and Shawarma Bar.

The entire Camden Market area can be found between two underground stations, Camden Town and Chalk Farm of the Northern Line.

“Camden Market is my number one spot to go to for new upcoming trends in the industry. Creating food is an edible art and I still love to learn by taking in new ideas and every time I venture there I get excited with what new creations have been discovered.”

(Image credit: @yensfoodstagram via Instagram)

4 /5

Saikei Chinese Restaurant

Saikei Chinese Restaurant is where many London-based Chinese head to when they miss the full yum cha experience. The wide selection of dishes encompasses the classics like Prawn Dumplings, Char Siu buns, Steamed Chicken Claws in Black Bean Sauce.

(Image credit: @lucylovestoeat via Instagram)

Address
85 Bugsby's Way, London SE10 0GD, United Kingdom
Website

5 /5

Hawksmoor

Many head to Flat Iron for reasonably priced flat iron steaks in London, but if you’re a carnivore that’s big on indulgence and unparalleled quality, Hawksmoor is your answer. Indisputably known as the’Kings of the Red Meat’, Hawksmoor plays host to a menu of a variety of dry-aged British beef cuts like the Sirloin, Chateaubriand, prime rib and more. P.S the steaks are best slathered with a serving of grilled bone marrow and some beef dripping fries on the side.

Hawksmoor runs seven restaurant outlets in London: Air Street, Borough, Guildhall, Knightsbridge, Seven Dials, Spitalfields, and Wood Wharf.

“Celebrating and promoting the best of British farming and produce, their beef comes solely from British cattle and is treated with the utmost care and respect to ensure you have the most tender and flavourful steak. The meat truly does “melt like butter” in your mouth so make sure to savour every succulent bite.”

(Image credit: @theearlofmunch via Instagram)

Address
157A Commercial St, London E1 6BJ, United Kingdom
Website
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