Review: Does Shake Shack Manila Live up to Its NYC Roots?
April 29, 2019
Well, it’s finally here. Since their announcement of a Manila branch back in 2018, the Shake Shack hype has been building up for the past few months. With a location and opening date coming real soon, it’ll be about time the Filipino public gets a taste of this NYC must-try. But one question stands: Is it as good as they say? Even more so – as good as it is in New York?
Luckily, you don’t have to wait until May 10 to answer that question, LA Wine & Dine got a first taste of some of their local offerings. From classic bites to Manila exclusive items, here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect come opening day.
Starting out as a hotdog stand in Madison Square Park back in 2004, Shake Shack starts us off with a dish reminiscent of how they started. Though known for their burgers, this hotdog sandwich topped with a lot of greenery offers something new even to the experienced sausage eater. With a slice of cucumber AND pickle, plus two sport peppers on both ends, this sandwich is a mix of textures with a good punch of spice at the end.
It’s hard to get fries wrong, but it’s even harder to make ’em better. Oddly enough, their crinkle-cut fries paired with gooey cheese makes for a simple yet effective combo. The fries’ ridges catch the cheese in its crevices, guaranteeing a good amount of cheese in every bite. Simple, cheesy, satisfying.
It finally comes to this. The classic NYC burger has reached our shores, but did its iconic flavor come with it? Well, YES. The first thing you taste when you take a bite is the juices of the patty, an indication of a good burger. Every other component is there to bring focus back to the beefy patty – the crunch of the lettuce for texture, the creaminess of the cheese to compliment the meat, and the bun (that sweet bun) that absorbs all those juices. Shake Shack has done right by us with bringing its quality taste that can truly cross oceans.
For the non-meat eaters out there, Shack takes the mushroom burger and pushes it a bit further with some cheese and panko. In place of a beef patty, they take a portobello mushroom, stuff it with muenster and cheddar cheese, rolled in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. It may not be the healthiest alternative, but it’s still meat-less.
On to the sweet stuff. Their “Concretes” as they call ’em, is a dessert made from frozen custard blended with certain mix-ins. What makes their Concretes menu special is that it’s made with local confections. The Manila version of the Shack Attack™ has Bucky’s brownies blended in as well as Auro chocolate chunks. Their Calamansi Pie Oh My is a serving of vanilla custard with a slice of calamansi pie from Wildflour blended in. Lastly, the Uuube-by baby (they don’t hold back on the nomenclature) puts a twist on a local favorite with a mix of ube, coconut marshmallow, toasted coconut, and crispy pinipig.
Another item on their Manila exclusive menu, Shack converts their signature shake to fit the local taste with this Ube Shake. Thick and creamy as a milkshake should be, there is an appreciation for Shake Shack and how they approach Filipino tastebuds – especially with desserts.
Overall, Shake Shack delivers with its classic items while at the same time keeping things exciting with localized versions of their dishes and drinks to appeal to the more discerning tongue – Thus, bringing an American comfort food experience tailored to the Filipino palate while still being faithful to the Shake Shack brand.
Shake Shack Philippines will open in Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City on May 10 at 11 AM.