24 Market Building, The Piazza Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8RD (map)
American burger phenomenon ‘Shake Shack‘ opens their first store in Covent Garden this week. Here are some scenes from the preview held last night on Wed 03rd. Doors open to the public on Fri 05th July 2013.
The London appetite for burgers shows no signs of slowing down. This week I can count at least 5 venues opening with burgers on the menu. However, the talk amongst the London foodies is the battle between the two American giants ‘Shake Shack‘, and ‘Five Guys‘ who are opening 5 minutes walk away. I had never tried either, but amongst the online burger community it appears that Shake Shack have a very loyal fan-club.
Their deluxe burger option is ‘Shake Shack‘ burger. It is effectively a ‘double burger’ a beef patty topped with their vegetarian ‘Shroom Burger (“Crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with melted cheese”), lettuce, tomato and shack sauce. This is probably one of the most colourfully photogenic burgers I’ve seen. The green, red and yellow of the lettuce, tomato and the cheese really make a visual impact. The curly style lettuce looks amazing and the bun is deliciously light. Aaron, the very smiley Shake Shack “Cross Trainer” sent from the US, tells us that the burgers are flown in from the US but they have tailored the London menu to work with local partners. The menu confirms that they are using products from St John’s Bakery in their desserts, Cumbrian pork, and Aberdeen Angus beef from cows “grass fed on Scottish pastures”
The “Shack-cago Dog” is described as “Authentic German all-beef hot dog dragged with the dragen with Rock’s Picks Shack relish, onion, cucumber, pickle, tomato, sport pepper, celery salt and mustard”. I have no idea what is in the “Rock’s Picks Shack relish” and I’ve never seen ‘sport pepper’ on a menu outside the US. However I can confirm that the end product is good, if a touch too salty for me. The sausage itself is a nice thick beef number, cut down the middle. A very welcome change from pork dogs for one of the Jewish guests who lamented about the lack of beef dogs in London!
Brought your dog? There are two “Treats for those with four feet” on the menu too. The ‘Pooch-ini’ (“Red Velvet Dog Biscuits, peanut butter sauce and vanilla custard”) and the ‘Bag O’Bones’. (“Doggie bag of 5 red velvet dog biscuits by Bocce’s Bakery”).
Desserts are focused on “Shakes” and “Concretes” which are made from a base of ‘Frozen Custard’. “Our dense, rich and creamy ice cream-spun fresh daily right here at the Shack! The foundation of our shakes and concretes.” Aaron, the Cross-Trainer explained that the shakes use a more liquid custard while the “concretes” use thick dense custard. We were offered the “Red Velvet Cake Concrete”, which is a special, usually reserved for Fridays. Looks great, has a unique taste, somewhere between ice cream and frozen yoghurt but difficult to describe. Best to try it and the rest of the menu for yourself!