With Shake Shack now preparing to venture into Southeast Asian markets like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, it's interesting to investigate how Danny Meyer's illustrious American burger brand is faring with international partners in a far-flung foreign destination like the United Arab Emirates. The verdict: If Shake Shack Kuala Lumpur turns out to be anything like Shake Shack Dubai, Malaysia's burger enthusiasts will be in for a treat.
Shake Shack's venue in the world's largest mall feels sleek & upmarket, bolstered by an exuberant crew that keeps things running with an impressively polished briskness. Place your order at the counter & you'll be able to collect your food within five to seven minutes.
These are the epitome of everything we hope to taste when we sink our teeth into a well-made burger. The choices might not seem incredibly extensive, but each burger is distinctive enough & every one is worth sampling: the basic ShackBurger (a cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato & the famed ShackSauce), ShackMeister (a cheeseburger with crispy marinated shallots & ShackSauce), Shroom Burger (a vegetarian burger with fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster & cheddar cheeses) & our personal favourite, the SmokeShack (a cheeseburger topped with hickory-smoked veal bacon, spicy chopped cherry peppers & ShackSauce), built with 100 percent Angus beef, no hormones, no antibiotics.
Our top tip would be to order a double patty for the most fulfilling meat-to-bun proportion, especially when the patties are this delicious - nicely seasoned but not over-salted, consistently cooked to deliver a crusty char at first bite, followed by a juicy-savoury chew, served fresh & hot, paired expertly with the toppings to produce flavours that are resonant, not overbearing.
Flat-top hot dogs are also available, split & griddled crisp, with options like the Shack-cago Hot Dog (Vienna all-beef hot dog with Rick's Pick's Shack relish, onion, cucumber, pickle, tomato, sport pepper, celery salt & mustard), but they don't stand out as much as the mighty burgers. Dubai's prices are predictably expensive; a basic single-patty ShackBurger is AED26 (RM30).
Love the crinkle-cut fries, which have a dense, 'real' potato taste & texture - we could have eaten them all day, especially the one topped with cheese & cherry peppers. Dessert lovers will be intrigued by the Concretes - frozen custard ice cream with a mousse-like texture, spun fresh daily at the Shack, made with real sugar, not corn syrup, & milk from dairy farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones - with richly flavoured varieties that include Vanilla Toffee Twirl, Red Velvet & Strawberry Banana Trifle. Plenty of shake options are available too, from peanut butter to caramel, as well as a Fair Shake, which showcases certified organic Arabica Fair Trade coffee, to complement the burgers. We eagerly anticipate Shake Shack in KL.
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