I was in Dubai over the last weekend for the Alshaya Food Tour, which is basically a market research trip for a few American-based chain restaurants. Our group was made up of seasoned food bloggers and social media influencers whose job was to review and provide feedback on the food we had.
One of the four chain restaurants we tried was Shake Shack, famous for their New York-style burgers, milkshakes and ice creams.
Shake Shack started off as a push-cart hot dog stall inside Madison Square Park is now so popular that lines at the park are usually very long especially during lunch hours. True to its casual roots, it is a self-service restaurant where you need to place your order at the counter and wait for it to be prepared.
Since everything on the menu is prepared from scratch for freshness, it might take a while beforeit’s ready as compared to the usual fast food restaurant. So you are given a beeper that lets you know when your order is ready for pick up.
Here’s how the pickup area looks like. The food is arranged in a orderly fashion where the burgers would face the customers, as if they are smiling at them.
We had a few burgers to try so lets start with our favorite, the ShackBurger (double patty) @ Dhs 42. If you don’t know yet, all the beef patties at Shake Shack are made with 100% all-natural Angus Beef (which explains the premium pricing), cooked well unless requested otherwise. We must have missed that part about specifying the doneness, but the patty was still tender and juicy despite being well done.
One of things that sets the ShackBurger apart from a normal cheeseburger is their signature Shack Sauce, which is made with 11 secret ingredients and fresh lemonade for an uplifting touch of tanginess. The only problem I had with their burgers is that they could get a little greasy.
Instead of lettuce, the award-winning burger ShackMeister @ Dhs 32 has fried shallots sandwiched in between for an added crisp and natural sweetness.
If you feel a double patty burger is too meaty, you could consider having the Shack Stack @ Dhs 42 which is a marriage of the ShackBurger and Shroom Burger. A crisp-fried portobello mushroom with a meat-like texture not only complements the burger’s overall flavour, it also gives it a juicier bite.
I have mixed feelings over their hot dogs because for an extra 1 Dhs, I could enjoy a ShackBurger instead. When you compare a 100% Angus burger with a hot dog and the difference is only 1 Dhs, well the choice is a no-brainer.
That said, I was pleased with how the Shack-cago Hot Dog @ Dhs 25 fared but the hot dog could really use a much larger portion. Because when it arrived I was like “dude, where’s my hot dog?”
Pouring cheese on fries is not new but when it has cherry pepper on it then that makes it interesting. The pepper is completely optional but I highly recommend adding them for an extra kick. Otherwise, it’s just a normal crinkle cut fries that you could get pretty much anywhere else.
This was unexpected, but ShakeShack’s unique ice cream which they call Concretes are extremely good and could even give some big ice cream chains a run for their money. The Concretes are made by blending frozen custard ice cream with mix-ins such as cake, cookie dough, chocolate pearls and banana. If you are feeling creative you could even design your very-own Concrete.
Among a few that we managed tried, I feel the Dubai Malt (Dubai Mall special) is the best, followed by Shack Attack (chocolate based) and Red Velvet. What really made the Concretes great is that the taste is not cloyingly sweet while the portion is just nice for 1 person to enjoy by one’s self.
After trying Shake Shack’s burgers I think it’s safe to say that their buzz and reputation are justified. Notwithstanding the fact that we have plenty of home grown burger joints in KL, I think they will be a good addition to the local burger scene since they are not direct competitors.
Whenever you fancy having an honest cheeseburger, Shake Shack would be the to go to place. However, if they were to succeed in Malaysia, they will definitely need to offer a few chicken based burgers as well to cater to the non beef-eating consumers.
1st Floor, near the Waterfall
The Dubai Mall
Hours: 10am – 12 am