Japan (Tokyo) – First ever Shake Shack outlet in Asia

Photo 27-12-15, 11 47 23 AM

I’ve heard SO SO SO SO much about Shake Shack from my friends coming back from their U.S./ Dubai trips, and they all have nothing but good reviews about Shake Shack. I think good is an understatement. Raving reviews, more like it.

When I first saw that Shake Shack was opened during the time I was there on my trip in Japan, I was really excited, however I did not quite make it a must-visit place as I saw how crazy the queues can be from the Instagram reviews, as well as the fear of getting lost on the way there. I think I have briefly mentioned the experience of getting to Shake Shack on the Day 4 travelogue post!

The Place

Located at Aoyama, Shake Shack requires a 10-15 minute walk from the nearest train station. However, I’d say the walk there was one of the most stunning sights we’ve seen. It was so serene and peaceful, it’s just so.. Pretty.Photo 27-12-15, 10 20 24 AM
Seeing the Shake Shack outlet in front of my eyes was really one of the highlights of the trip. I know it’s lame, but I am what.

I mean, it’s like I’ve seen this everywhere online, except in front of my own eyes. So that in itself was a big deal! The queue that we saw was also a big deal. We took a quick glance and thought it was WOAH, but still okay.
Photo 27-12-15, 11 13 53 AMHowever, as we took a walk down to stand in the queue, we were actually discussing if we should give up queueing. You’ll see what I mean here..

I actually ran to the front and took a video all the way to the end, and the entire video took a whole 37 seconds. It’s crazy. Perhaps the longest queue I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

The good thing was that the wait was not as long as we expected. This was at 1115am, when Shake Shack actually opens for business at about 11am. We waited for about an hour-ish or a max of 1.5 hours to get ourselves served, and seated for a meal. Photo 27-12-15, 11 53 24 AM
The Shake Shack outlet has both indoor and outdoor seatings as you can see. It’s actually a rather spacious place with huge tables to accommodate big groups of diners!Photo 27-12-15, 12 00 47 PM
As it was one of the coldest day of December, the outside seats were not too occupied as everyone were desperate to get some warmth indoors.

Here are just some random pictures I took of the place.. Photo 27-12-15, 12 12 55 PM
I came to realize that I actually like the Shake Shack logo A LOT. It’s GREEN and it’s a burger! HAHA! Photo 27-12-15, 12 21 58 PM
Once you’ve reached the front of the outdoor queue, you may have to wait for the server to direct you into the store when “the time is right”. He also helps you to take a photo at the outside of the outlet, I think it’s for their marketing purposes, but it’s a nice gesture I’d say!Photo 27-12-15, 12 22 17 PM
I really liked how they coordinated the queue in such a way that once you’re directed into the compounds of Shake Shack, be sure to wait no longer than 10 minutes to be served. That is also the reason why you don’t see all the tables occupied because they don’t want you to have to wait too long for your food. Photo 27-12-15, 12 23 04 PM
They also have another server within the compound to pass you the menu so that you can make up your mind before you reach the counter. He’s also really patient in explaining the menu to the patrons.Photo 27-12-15, 12 26 28 PM
The fully occupied indoor area because everyone was freezing their butts off.
Photo 27-12-15, 11 26 06 AM
The queue inside which moved more quickly than I expected.Photo 27-12-15, 11 25 58 AM
This is legit. I took just 10 steps to get there. Legit. Photo 27-12-15, 11 31 55 AM
The kitchen in the background is pretty HUGE. And you can see them patties being made ala minute. Photo 27-12-15, 12 34 37 PM
Here they were saying oh shit got this Chinese foreigner like everything also don’t understand, how to take her order ah? OMO. Just anyhow piak and hope she understands ok. 

Okay they were actually trying to tell me that the Frozen Custard I ordered should be served later because it would melt. I UNDERSTOOD OK.
Photo 27-12-15, 12 37 54 PM They’ve got a really cute table for table tennis, probably for you to entertain yourselves while waiting for your food and burn some calories. I didn’t think any one in the right mind would do so in the super breezy weather.Photo 27-12-15, 12 40 14 PMUntil… I kept hearing the incessant laughters and slamming, and realized that this family was having some fun there, at the same time being a nuisance to the rest of the diners because they were screaming away and the place got really noisy thanks to them. Photo 27-12-15, 11 41 27 AMThe sheltered outdoor seating area is apparently built around a tree!

The Menu
Photo 27-12-15, 11 24 09 AM Photo 27-12-15, 11 24 00 AM
Here’s how their menu looks like – Just FIVE solid burgers and loads of desserts. Look! They even have food for dogs!

The FoodPhoto 27-12-15, 11 46 06 AM
We ordered 2 burgers, 1 side of fries, a frozen custard and a shack-made lemonade.

The shack-made lemonade had 2 options – original or the featured flavor. We chose the featured flavor of Cranberry, and it was amazingly refreshing! Of course, it was expectedly sour as well!

1. ShackBurger (DOUBLE) -¥980, S$11.50Photo 27-12-15, 11 46 32 AM
Just look at that price. Ridiculously affordable, and look at them patties.

Photo 27-12-15, 11 48 19 AMI had my doubts about how good the burgers at Shake Shack could get, however, one bite into this, I was blown away. That soft, fluffy buns, and the OH SO JUICY AND FLAVORFUL beef patty, finished off with the perfectly melted cheese and shack sauce. Enough said. The BEST burger I’ve had. Ever. I now understand why people rave about their burgers all the time. I want to cry just looking at this.Photo 27-12-15, 11 50 06 AMMy mother who was not quite a burger eater, actually fell in love with burgers thanks to Shake Shack. She goes to Omakase in Singapore just to get her burger fix on her own. CRAZY I KNOW.

2.SmokeShack (Single) – ¥880, S$10.30 Photo 27-12-15, 11 46 45 AM I decided to go for the SmokeShack which is basically their cheeseburger topped with applewood smoked bacon and chopped cherry pepper. Anything with bacon goes with me actually. Photo 27-12-15, 11 49 04 AM
On top of the cheeseburger goodness, the bacon was not overly chewy, and the best part in this burger? It was the chopped cherry pepper! It tasted similar to our chicken rice chili, just minus the garlic, but very fragrant and the heat was just perfect.

3. Cheese Fries (small) – ¥400, S$4.70Photo 27-12-15, 11 46 52 AM
I did not find this highly raved cheese fries to be all that impressive unfortunately. It was good, but just slightly bland and I preferred it to be of a thicker consistency for that mouthfeel. Nonetheless, it was a good accompaniment to our fries, and hey, that small portion was huge!

4. Walk in The Park (small) – ¥480, S$5.60Photo 27-12-15, 11 49 32 AM
The flavors on the frozen custard menu were really enticing, and I initially thought this was like a milkshake or some sort, when I read frozen custard. Turns out, it was actually like ice cream.

I was torn between the Shack Attack, which has chocolate custard, milk chocolate popcorn brownie from Dominique Ansel Bakery and Valrhona chocolate chunks, and The Walk In The Park! Photo 27-12-15, 11 47 10 AMAs you can see, I went for the Walk In The Park instead because I saw that 5% of their sales of this particular flavor would go to the after school activities for kids at NPO After School (npoafterschool.org)!

In this cup, you’ll get a vanilla custard, with yuzu-miso caramel and matcha macaroon, dusted with matcha and soy bean powders. Sounds pretty good to me! This was okay, but it was really sweet, and the health conscious angel in me was resisting every mouthful! If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this is definitely something that would please you!

Closing Remarks

I had the BEST burger experience of my life at Shake Shack, and we did not regret the 1.5 hours standing in line in the December winds at all. The burgers lived up to the massive hype my friends had made up, and every time I look at these pictures from Shake Shack, I crave for burgers. It is THAT good.

For those who are going to Japan, do give Shake Shack a try if you’ve got the time, and hey, you could go visit Harajuku, Shibuya and Omotesando from Aoyama too – just follow the guide here!

P.S. I heard they are thinking of opening NINE MORE OUTLETS in Japan by 2020!

How to get there?
Tokyo, Minato-ku, Kita-Aoyama 2-chome, 1-15,
(Just type Shake Shack into google maps when you’re there)

Opening Hours
Daily; 11 AM – 10 PM

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