A Sneak Peek Inside Shanghai's First Ever Shake Shack

By Cristina Ng, January 14, 2019

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The first Mainland China Shake Shack opening at Shanghai's Xintiandi is finally happening next Thursday, January 24. Opening hours will be 11am-11pm Sunday to Thursday, and 11am to midnight on Fridays and Saturday. The first 200 people in line will receive exclusive Shack earmuffs. 

Located in the middle of Xintiandi, the design merges the aluminum and white marble of Shake Shack's iconic modern burger counter with the traditional shikumen elements such as dark wood wainscoting. String lights decorating two skylights pay homage to the chain's original Madison Square Park Shack. Including outdoor patio seating, the restaurant has seats for 144 guests. 

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Image by Cristina Ng/That's

If the wait at the wildly popular gourmet burger joint's Hong Kong opening last May are any indication, you may want to line up now. Read on to find out our recommended items. 

While famous for burgers, Shake Shack started out as a hot dog cart, giving their all-beef Flat-Top Dogs served on a non-GMO Martin's Potato Roll a special place within their brand story. Guess what? They are also damn delicious. The Shack-cago Dog (RMB39) is a classic 'dragged through the garden' Chicago-style dog featuring tomato, onion, relish, mustard, cucumber, pickled sport peppers and celery salt. 

flat-lay-hot-dog.jpgImage courtesy Shake Shack

The groves in the awesome Crinkle Fries (RMB25, with cheese RMB34) provide additional surface area for extra crispiness while picking up more gooey cheese sauce and ketchup. 

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Image by Cristina Ng/That's 

The classic Shackburger (RMB47/single, RMB68/double) is a cheeseburger featuring a top-secret proprietary blend of beef with lettuce, tomato and 'ShakeSauce.' 15 years ago, they worked with an American butcher to get the balance just so. For the Shanghai store, the beef mixture is the same, but the grain-fed, hormone-free Angus beef is sourced from Australia. It's kind of burger that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Shake Shack's Jacqueline Gonzales (Global Director of Marketing Communications) calls it "the taste of New York." 

Try the burger with ShackMeister Ale (RMB51), a collaboration brew with Brooklyn Brewery that took a year to create. A slight bitterness cuts through the richness of the griddled beef nicely. Shanghai's Boxing Cat Brewery contributes to the beer list with their Right Hook Helles and Contender Extra Pale ales.  

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Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Vegetarians get ready for a killer 'Shroom Burger (RMB68) whereby a whole roasted Portobello mushroom is stuffed with cheese, breaded in panko crumbs and fried. Lettuce, tomato and 'Shack Sauce' complete this umami bomb. 

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Shake Shack culinary director, Mark Rosati demonstrating that intense cheese pull. Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Turns out this number was so popular that meat-lovers got jealous and started ordering their cheeseburgers with a mushroom patty on top and the Shake Stack (RMB85) was born. When we started getting too full on the preview items, we created a makeshift 'Shake Stack' by consolidating our burgers onto one bun. Verdict: it's a winner. 

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Image by Cristina Ng/That's

In addition to the fresh spun vanilla and chocolate frozen custards, they have concretes and shakes. Well-known for location-specific items and highlighting local brands on their menus, Shanghai is no exception. The Shanghai-only shake called Strawberry Yu(zu) Garden (RMB45) is a fun, fruity concoction of blended frozen vanilla custard, strawberry sauce and yuzu juice topped with whipped matcha cream cheese, whipped cream and matcha powder. You should be seeing this all over your social media feeds. 

Three Concretes (RMB39/small, RMB58/large) are available. If you've never had one, think blended custard with crazy toppings whirled up at super high speeds. 

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Image courtesy Shake Shack

The Shack Attack is a variation of a classic concrete, with the brownies coming from Shanghai's own Al's Baking Co. The additions of chocolate sprinkles, fudge sauce and cocoa powder make this one intense chocolate experience. 

Straw-Bei Li Cheesecake features Al's Baking Co. cheesecake with vanilla frozen custard and strawberry puree. 

On the Bund is a mashup of locally inspired flavors such as banana, shortbread, caramelized peanuts, Sweet Teeth (another local brand) caramels and salted miso caramel sauce. 

Mark your calendars and find out why so many New Yorkers consider Danny Meyer a national treasure. Shake Shack's culinary director Mark Rosati (an alum of Meyer's Gramercy Tavern) sums it up by saying that even though Meyer "serves Michelin star food, his real passion in life is hospitality" and at Shake Shack "you are all our favorite guests."

If you can't handle the lines, hopefully their plans for 25 shops in Shanghai and East China before 2028, means getting your hands on a Shackburger will one day be easy. 

We pressed for the location of Shanghai's second shop, but they aren't ready to say. Stay tuned for more info as it comes in. 

[Cover image by Cristina Ng/That's]


See listing for Shake Shack. Read more Shanghai Food & Drink News.

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