The news is everywhere: Shake Shack is coming to Hong Kong - on the rooftop of IFC mall, no less, in the space formerly known as Red Bar (RIP BYOB). Arguably one of New York’s greatest inventions, tied with jaywalking and eggs Benedict, Shake Shack is a, “modern day version of a roadside burger stand serving delicious burgers, chicken, hot dogs, shakes, frozen custard, beer, wine & more”.
Judging by the cult-like following the chain has amassed, it should’ve been called Shake Crack. What started as a humble hot dog cart in 2001 has blossomed into a delicious international craze, currently drawing crowds at locations across 12 countries. And, come 2018, Hong Kong and Macau (questionably termed the “Far East”, according to their official statement) will be the newest additions. By 2027, there will be fourteen outposts throughout both territories, so you’ll never be too far from crinkle-cut fries.
It’s slow fast-food, so expect big flavours, and a price tag to match - these are not your average McDonald’s burgers. They’ll be serving up 100% Angus beef burgers, Vienna beef dogs, and all-natural, cage-free chicken. As delicious as all of that is, real New Yorkers know that you don’t really go to Shake Shack for the meat, you go for the deliciously creamy custard. For the uninitiated, custard is an ice cream made with milk, cream and egg yolks. It’s dense and magical and probably the most delicious frozen treat you’ll ever have. Made fresh daily and served directly from the machine, it has the familiar texture of soft serve, and melts in your mouth almost immediately.
Now that you’re a Shack-expert, it’s time to order. If you’ve ever been to a hyped-up restaurant opening in Hong Kong, you know the rules: do not, under any circumstances, take risks. The lines are just too long. To help you out, we went straight to the original Shackers: New Yorkers. We asked them for their standard orders to give you some inspiration. As the Fung Brothers said, "We have to game plan what we're going to order." So pin it down now, because you've only got a year or so to finalise your first Shake Shack meal in Hong Kong.
“A ShackBurger, and then another!” - Nancy, Medical Sales
"I'm obsessed with the 'Shroom Burger!" - Safia, Chef
“Double ShackBurger with cheese, cheese fries and an earl grey custard cream.” - Aaron, Digital Finance
“Peanut butter shake (duh) and a ShackBurger with cheese fries. Appreciate the fries.” - Lydia, Barista and Illustrator
“ShackBurger with regular fries and a custard is the key to success.” - Rachel, Biologist
“Go with the classics. Single ShackBurger with pickles, regular fries and a vanilla custard. If you forget the pickles, throw out your whole meal and order again.” - Jesse, Writer and Brand Consultant
"Double ShackBurger, most definitely. On occasion, I'll go for the SmokeShack, but warning: it's a little spicy." - Michael, Advertising
“I love Shake Shack! I can’t believe it’s taken so long to get here. I go for a ShackBurger, fries and the homemade lemonade.” - Edward KB, Photographer
“Any of the shakes, the SmokeShack and the cheese fries!” - Megan, Writer
There you have it folks - the undeniable winners are the beef burgers and the custard. If you can’t wait to get your hands on an authentic ShackBurger, you can always head to South Korea or Japan where the franchise is already grilling up a storm, or curb your craving and watch our vegan burger blind taste test here.
Shake Shack, 4/F, ifc Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, shakeshack.com
Note: This article was updated on February 8, 2018.