Shake Shack launches its Christmas menu | Launch review
By the time we finally located the Shake Shack in Westfield Stratford City, tucked down an auxiliary boulevard outside the main shopping centre, it was around an hour from closing. This in itself would have proved unremarkable, had it not been for our server’s demeanour. Few are that friendly so deep into a shift, but he waited our table and made sure we were seen to. This absence of the usual hovering and wringing of hands is a rare treat in an industry that is increasingly anxious about checking in on its customers.
It was a good start, and the Alpine Burger made it even better. Oozing with thick Appenzeller cheese sauce and slathered in bacon, it trod the line between rich and overwhelming with surprising deftness. Its three strong ingredients combined to form a diverse but unified whole, a beautiful combination that’s easily one of the strongest burgers on the menu. The bun was a little soft, but that seemed insignificant as we tucked into a moist patty and marvellously fatty strips of smoky bacon.
The fries that accompanied it were excellent: crisp on the outside and yielding within. However, that isn’t surprising since Shake Shack have always done some of the best in the business. They passed the acid test of mayonnaise, their crunchy shells combining perfectly with the condiment’s luxurious texture.
Two new drinks were also available. The first, a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, was exceptionally rich and indulgent. The salt helped to cut through the creaminess, although it was a little heavy and an entire cupful seemed excessive. The promised caramel notes were largely missing, translated into sweetness and not a lot more. The Mulled Wine had a similar problem, lacking the tart edge that normally goes so well with its spices. Heavy on the sugar and cloves, it was a good effort but one that was very much a mainstream appropriation of the drink we all know and love.
With two solid festive treats and a beautiful burger on offer, Shake Shack Stratford might be the perfect place to escape the throngs of shoppers and treat yourself this Christmas season.
The new festive menu is available at London Shake Shacks, from 10th December until 16th January 2016, for more information visit here.