Months after Shake Shack opened its first location in Xintaindi, I finally decided to go. I was one of the victims for the fake Shake Shack delivery, so I was very excited to try out this time around. It is safe to say that Shake Shack is still up to the hype with people lining up for a seat. After a good 20 minutes, I finally had my burger and seat to dig in.
I went with the classic Shackburger. The beef was impressively tender and juicy with the standard lettuce, tomato and cheese, while the bread was soft and wet. The famous Crinkle Fries was crispy and came with a good portion, but I found it a bit blend with no salt on top.
Unlike the fake lemon tea at most fast food chain, it was great and refreshing. I’m not a big fan of milkshake but its vanilla milkshake was powerful with strong vanilla flavor, and it will probably give you the sugar high afterwards.
The place was crowded but pretty comfortable and clean. I like its modern design and they also have an automatic hand washer next to the self-serving area, which we all need. The service was great and staffs were attentive and were constantly helping people to find a seat. I can see why people are in love with Shake Shack as it’s definitely above most burger chains. The second location is going to open in Jing’an and I’m expecting a long line for that too.
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.
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