Jewel Changi Airport had opened to much hype, having housed a number of notable tenants such as Pokemon Center, A&W, and Shake Shack within its premises; all of which had seen massive queues around the mall during the preview period, as well as during the opening weekend.
Occupying a space that spans two levels at Jewel Changi Airport, Shake Shack’s arrival into Singapore is one that many had been looking forward to; Shake Shack operates multiple outlets over the world, having its roots being a hot dog stand at Madison Square Park in New York City. Due to high demand, queue lines for Shake Shack stretch further down the aisles within the shopping arcade, with approximately queue lines of four stages being set-up for the store. Patrons would receive a ticket at the start of the queue line, which they would be expected to hold on to until they reach the ordering counter, and the queue splits into takeaway and dine-in at the second last stage; one counter is opened for takeaway orders, while another is opened for dine-in orders. Once patrons had made their orders, a buzzer would be passed after payment is made, and patrons would be allowed to find their own seating within the premises. The interior is decked pretty much like a fast-food restaurant, though with better furnishings with furniture featuring wooden accents and cushioned seats; the back of the restaurant also being in view of the HSBC Rain Vortex which is much of Jewel Changi Airport’s most iconic feature. The menu at Shake Shack features mainly burgers and hot dog buns; most of the burgers featuring beef patties except for the ‘Shroom Burger, whilst also offering other items such as milkshakes, fries and concretes (essentially frozen custard with toppings mixed in). For patrons who fancy some alcohol to pair up with their burgers, Shake Shack also serves up wine and beer as part of their beverage list as well.
Going for the most classic burger available here at Shake Shack, we went for the ShackBurger; a Cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce, served together in between potato buns. Shake Shack allows patrons to opt for single or double patties with some burgers that they offer; we opted for the single for our order. It is worth noting that Shake Shack does not allow patrons to bundle up their sides and burgers as a set, so all items would have to be ordered ala-carte. We liked how the ShackBurger was a simple burger done well; the burger was well-portioned, whilst also well-proportioned; the textures being pretty consistent without feeling as though there was too much bread nor too much meat. The potato bun was light and fluffy, without being clumpy nor hard to chew, while the patty was moist, tender and flavourful; crusted on the outside, coming with melted cheese over the top. The other elements such as lettuce and tomato gave a juicy and refreshing bite, providing texture as well which gives a good break in between the carbs and meat, while the shack sauce helps to add a bit of very slight savouriness to the burger. Whilst simple on paper, the ShackBurger was something which showcases great execution, with thought placed into the R&D of the burger to achieve a great balance of flavours and textures; pretty on point.
The SmokeShack was a burger that featured the same beef patty as the ShackBurger, though coming with all-natural Applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce all in between the same potato buns served with the ShackBurger. Also similar to the ShackBurger, the SmokeShack also comes with single patty and double patty options, which we opted for the former. Whilst being portioned, and proportioned pretty much like the ShackBurger, the SmokeShack is more of a flavour bomb as compared to the ShackBurger. The Applewood smoked Bacon comes all savoury and crisp, with evident notes of smokiness from the smoking process, while the chopped cherry pepper comes with a hint of spiciness that builds up with every bite; a burger which would suit those who prefer more complex flavour profiles that may find the ShackBurger a little basic in terms of its composition.
Ordering a side to share, we picked the Cheese Fries; featuring crinkle-cut fries drenched with cheese sauce over the top, patrons can also opt for the cheese sauce to come at the side if they are more particular about how the cheese sauce may end up sogging up the fries. Unlike most crinkle-cut fries which are a little too thick and dense, sometimes being a little hard to swallow, the crinkle-cut fries are a little thinner than the commercially-packed crinkle-cut fries that we are familiar with, thus being a joy to have. Well-seasoned in salt, the melted cheese comes a little stringy for better texture, while not being excessively cheesy, unlike places which use generic nacho cheese sauce for their fries. Instead, the light cheesiness makes the Cheese Fries particularly addictive; something which we wiped out in a single heartbeat.
While the Pandan Shake is an exclusive item to the Singapore outlet that is all the rage, we went for the Vanilla Shake which is a classic that never goes wrong. We enjoyed how the milkshake is not frothy or airy here; instead, it is all dense and creamy without being overly sweet. A pretty good milkshake indeed.
Looking back at our meal at Shake Shack, it is no wonder how so many had hyped about Shake Shack even before its opening in Jewel Changi Airport. While we had not tried any of the outlets across the world to compare how the Singapore branch would fare against the others, it can be said that the burgers at Shake Shack are done well for how there seems to be attention to detail here; the burgers being sized just right, while the components are also of the correct ratio that makes the whole burger feel like one despite its many components at play, yet not feeling particularly overwhelming. We were also pretty impressed with the Cheese Fries and Vanilla Shake that we ordered; both on point in terms of flavour and texture as well. While the crowd is pretty daunting, service crews are pretty polite and even smiley, being pretty patient to address any queries from queue time, to menu items as well as where the queue lines are starting from. We spent slightly over an hour in the queue to order at the counter, whilst spending another 20 to 30 minutes to receive our food; finding a seat within the restaurant was considered a breeze considering how there were a decent number of seats in the establishment. Given how the food was, we thought the food was of good quality against the waiting time, and there is no doubt we would be returning again when the craving strikes, though it would definitely be better to do so once the queue dies down a little just to spend less time in the queue. Still, Shake Shack would certainly be a place to hit; a place we would not mind dining at within Jewel Changi Airport with a shorter queue.
Jewel Changi Airport
78 Airport Boulevard