Shake Shack, Leicester Square, London
Cheese, cheese, everywhere. That’s the good part. Everything else about Shake Shack UK was disappointing for me. Originally starting out in Madison Square Park in a literal shack, the chain had exploded globally and eventually found it’s way to Leicester Square here in London. I’d always remember that was a fervour from my friends in New Zealand who raved about it in NYC. But whether is a weak import or bad timing, it didn’t do anything for me.
As with any lunch time, it’s busy and there’s a chunky queue. You get greeted and handed a menu which is nice. You’d think it would help speed up the ordering process but no, people still wait ’til they get to the counter to decide. How infuriating.
My order was for the ShakeMeister single patty for £6.50 and a Cheese fries (£4.00). You get given a buzzer when you order as there’s a bit of a wait until it’s ready. That’s good, it’s all custom made. The kitchen churns out the food though – it’s almost as if they know someone will eventually order it.
The burger feels very small and sloppily prepared. The bun is more like a milk bun size, so it’s not a full thing. And you can’t quite see it, but there’s the tiniest of squirts (remind me how much I hate that word) of the ShackSauce. The oozing cheese made up for it but the preparation is sloppy stuff.
The meat wasn’t in a patty form either, it was split. That was a bit more pathetic. It felt like a such a greasy eat. I felt unclean. The fried shallots were nice and the fries were as expected. Even deconstructing the burger (a la take the bun off) makes it feel unappetising. It looks like it’s pleading for you to put it out of its misery. Which it is.
Other burger disappointments: Fatburger, Camden Town; Five Guys, Soho