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Shake Shake in Central review: are the burgers really worth the wait?

(Source: www.scmp.com)

The recent, much-anticipated opening of the popular New York-based Shake Shack is giving Hongkongers a taste of the trendy chain’s American burgers, shakes and fries.

Located on the rooftop of the IFC in Central where Red Bar used to be, Shake Shack has a spacious outdoor seating area overlooking Victoria Harbour. The environment is without doubt the best you can get for fast food in Hong Kong, especially on a sunny and breezy day in early summer.

The hype around this store that opened in May has been driving hordes of fans to the new shopfront (there have been reports of enthusiasts lining up for two hours to have a taste). We went at 5pm on a weekday and only had to wait for a few minutes to place our orders, but at least 30 people were queuing outside the shop by the time we left at 6.45pm.

Among the hottest items on the menu is the signature ShackBurger. We ordered a double ShackBurger (HK$76 (US$9.50); a single is HK$50) and were impressed by the generous amount of beef used.

The potato bun was soft and sweet, and went well with the two patties of juicy beef, lettuce, tomatoes and the original cheese sauce. It was extremely filling, too, but we felt a little greasy finishing it. Some ketchup might have balanced the oiliness from the cheese and meat; customers can help themselves to ketchup and mustard (as well as other condiments and utensils) near the counter.

Next up was a Hong Kong exclusive, the Milk Tea Shake (HK$42), which is made with vanilla frozen custard and black tea. The texture was thick and creamy, but the taste was a little too sweet to do justice to its inspiration. After all, the delicate balance between bitter black tea and rich condensed milk is what makes Hong Kong-style milk tea so unique. A slight adjustment of the ratio of tea to milk would make this drink perfect.

We also ordered a Shack-cago Dog (HK$39), which was a decent beef hot dog with some crunchy and refreshing ingredients including relish, onion, cucumber, pickle, tomato and pepper. The crinkle-cut fries (HK$27) were hot, crisp and fresh, and were a delicious pairing with the hot dog and the burger.

Overall, Shake Shack was quite a nice experience. We wouldn’t want to line up too long for the food, but we were more than satisfied to have a solid meal at wallet-friendly prices atop one of the most upmarket shopping centres in Hong Kong.

With this latest branch (finally) opening, it gives customers in Hong Kong the opportunity to brag subtly about their extensive travel experiences to their friends as they list which Shack Shack branch was the best they’ve visited, from New York to Korea to Abu Dhabi.

Shake Shack, Shop 4018, Podium Level 4, IFC, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 2522 5611. Open: 11am-11pm.

While you’re in the area:

More Info: www.scmp.com

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