I took the plunge and went along to the original Shake Shack outlet in Xin Tin Di this past weekend, there were throngs of punters as the rain had abated somewhat, and duly queued leading up to the bank of cash registers, the main menu board is listed in Chinese, you have a general idea what to order, well it is a fast-food burger joint after all.
My regular dining partner went to look for a seat/perch, whilst I meandered around the stanchions, upon reaching the counter an English version of the menu is whipped out and the following order was placed.
1x Shack Burger single size
1x Smoke Shack single size
1x Shack-Cago Dog
1x Crinkle cut fries
1x Cheese fries
2 x Brooklyn Brewery Seasonal beer.
I love the following line taken from Shake Shacks American website….Prepare for a culinary journey, I trust Shake Shack are not in the running for a Michelin Bib.
The Shack-Cago Dog, had all the elements of a beef hotdog that you find on the streets of New York, the burgers however whilst tasty are small, after several mouthfuls were gone, the buns were soggy, and no one should have to endure soggy buns, the burgers reminded me somewhat of the fare on offer at a Wimpy burger bar back in the UK in the early 70’s long before the golden arches arrived, sort of cheap and cheerful, those at Shake Shack were not.
Perhaps the saving grace was the crinkle-cut fries, which remained crisp and something I had not seen at a fast-food burger joint for some time, not sure one can justify the price differential of 9rmb for a plastic pot of cheese dip for the same size portion of crinkle cut fries.
I should point out that one had to wait for the order to be prepared, you are given an electronic pager, you then proceed to the counter and collect your order, and dispense your own ketchup and mustard, along with a separate Louisiana style hot sauce in a stand-alone, bottle where every Tom, Dick and Harry then unscrews the bottle cap…. hygiene not that great.
If William Shakespeare were still alive today, and writing this review, I am sure this is where he would have coined the title from this soggy bottomed fast-food burger joint and written Much Ado About Nothing, for frankly, the place is overhyped for the price paid, 335RMB for two.
SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.