After much pre-arrival hype and hubbub, popular New York burger chain Shake Shack finally opened its doors in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City today, and like other much-awaited restaurants, this one had Filipinos lining up for hours.
Some were reportedly already there last night, way before the 11am opening this morning.
Pasig City resident Carmina Manalo lined up before 10pm last night because she thought there would already be a long line.
“I wanted to be one of the first 100 [in line],” she told Coconuts Manila.
The 39-year-old was ecstatic that she was first in line. She said in Filipino: “I just saw it (Shake Shack) on Instagram and wanted to try. Those who go to other countries say it’s the go-to [burger place].”
She brought food, two water bottles, and fresh clothes to prepare for her sleepover.
While Pasig to Taguig is a relatively short ride, the second person in the queue came all the way from Laguna province. Victor Velasco told Coconuts that he traveled from Laguna at 1am and got to the queue at around 3am. He said he heard about the opening on the news and that he plans to bring his mom and sister some goodies from the burger joint.
We also got to talk to Gino Cabigao and Kenneth Reyes, who were one of the first ten in line. The college friends were originally born and raised in New York but moved to the Philippines three and five years ago, respectively. Cabigao was even sporting a black Shake Shack shirt.
“Really great burgers. My favorite’s the Shack Stack. I’m excited for the Ube [shake],” Cabigao told Coconuts.
“It’s hard to find a good burger in the Philippines. I think bringing Shake Shack here in the Philippines will give people that good opportunity to have a good burger. I’m excited to see how Filipinos react to it,” Cabigao added.
“It’s cool to see stuff that I miss from home here now in the Philippines, so I don’t feel so homesick anymore,” Reyes said.
Most customers, like us, lined up at around 9am and were entertained by singers and dancers while waiting. Shake Shack also revealed a vibrant art mural outside the store created by Filipino artist Jappy Agoncillo.
We got inside around 11:30am, just 30 minutes after the restaurant opened its doors.
Just beside the order counter is some Shake Shack merchandise.
We ordered the ShackBurger, SmokeShack, ‘Shroom Burger, Crinkle-Cut Fries, and the Manila-exclusive Ube Shake. There are only two Manila-exclusives on the menu, the other one being a Calamansi Limeade, which is just calamansi juice, really.
Once we placed our order, we got our food pretty quickly — it only took about 15 minutes before that buzzer that tells you to collect your grub at the counter went off.
Shake Shack is known for its all-natural Angus beef burgers, which is why we got three, starting with a classic, the ShackBurger (PHP250/US$4.79). It’s a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce served on a non-GMO potato bun.
The beef was tender and juicy with a little grease oozing out each bite. The combo of the lively green lettuce, the melted cheese, and tomato slices went well together. But the overall taste of the burger was quite subtle, lacking an oomph and wow factor a simple burger needs.
Next up was the SmokeShack (PHP365/US$7) which is a cheeseburger with all-natural Applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper, and ShackSauce.
SmokeShack’s chopped cherry pepper placed on top of the burger patty gives lovers of spicy food that extra kick they look for in a burger. However, it’s still tolerable for those who can’t handle much heat.
The different components give the burger a sour yet savory flavor.
The ‘Shroom Burger (PHP445/US$8.52) is meat-free. It is made up of crisp-fried portobello mushroom that’s stuffed with melted muenster and cheddar cheese and topped with lettuce, tomato, and more of that ShackSauce goodness on a potato bun.
It’s overwhelmingly good, even for non-vegetarians. It was cheesy, earthy, and rich. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but if you’ve got extra cash, don’t hesitate to get this bad boy.
The burgers were paired with Crinkle-Cut Fries (PHP130/US$2.49) which is slightly salty and quite addicting. Customers can add PHP50 (US$0.96) for a cheese dip.
The Manila-exclusive Ube Shake (PHP190/US$3.64) was spot-on. It’s vanilla frozen custard blended with ube (purple yam) that’s a richer version of the Filipino-favorite ube ice cream.
Shake Shack will most likely get longer queues in the coming days as more and more people add to the hype but we can say that it’s worth the wait.
Shake Shack is located at L/G Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Open: 11am – 10pm