Restaurant Review: Shake Shack at Villagio Mall
INFO: Open 11am to 11pm, Sunday to Wednesday, and 11am to midnight Thursday to Saturday; Shake Shack, Villagio Shopping Mall, 4413 5395, www.shakeshack.com.
Simple cuisine it may be but get burgers right and you’ll have a queue that stretches out of the door. Just ask Shake Shack which has witnessed 40-minute lines regularly since it officially launched in Qatar at the end of November.
There was plenty of excited chatter among the American community when the New York fast food chain, which labels itself as a modern roadside burger stand, announced plans to open in Villagio. Nobody even seem concerned that “yet another burger eatery” was replacing one of Doha’s very few healthy eating restaurants, Pain Quotidien.
Deciding to find out what all the fuss was about, we headed down there for an early supper. Having been warned about the queues, we thought earlier would be quieter – we were wrong, but standing in the queue for 10 minutes gave us time to scan the enormous menu on the wall.
The atmosphere is buzzing, a hive of activity comes from the open-plan kitchen and waiters rush around the place. The music is loud, there’s constant chatter and the staff seem genuinely happy to be working there.
The queue is long, but getting a table isn’t too difficult. It looks like they were expecting the utter inundation they have received and so have plenty of places to sit both inside in the funky New York loft-style restaurant and outside in the mall.
A buzzer vibrates and lights up to tell you when to go and collect your order. Two cheeseburgers, two portions of curly fries and two chocolate milkshakes waited for us on a tray alongside a ketchup and mustard dispenser. The burgers, which are organic, are so deliciously succulent that the juice literally runs down our arms. The fries are fat, crispy and taste like they’ve been made fresh just for us. But it’s the milkshake that will have you salivating. Thick, but not so thick it has to fight with the straw to make it to your mouth, and so creamy and flavoursome that I wish I’d gone for a large one rather than a small.
Granted, it’s more pricey than you might expect to pay for a burger and fries, but if burgers are your thing, it’s worth every last rial.
On the menu
Single scoop in a cup or cone of ice cream: vanilla, chocolate or flavour of the day QR12
Shack Stack QE37
desserts Double frozen custard in a range of flavours QE27