Students of Imperial College London, we have been done a great disservice. There is a trendy, self-service, American burger place right beside South Kensington station. And it’s the one that doesn’t have a student discount. If you are tired of a specific number of men not appreciating you, you can do the slight trek to your closest Shake Shack. Yes, I know that means heading to Victoria or Piccadilly, but they have a new student deal to make it worth your while.
Shake Shack now offers two for the price of one on their burgers for you and your study buddy. Your lab partner will hate you a lot less for always being unavailable if you offer to get them a burger. Simply show this offer from your UNiDAYS account which you all have access to as students. This deal runs from Sunday to Wednesday, so make sure you are tactical about your visits. The deal says that the two people also have to be there as you order so may not be able to finesse yourself a double serving. I took a friend down to the one in Leicester Square during a day out in Central to see if it was worth the trip out.
Like with Pizza Union, you get a pager with your order with their green logo. In fact, these two restaurants have a really similar aesthetic. Green is their accent colour all over the store, giving Halloween vibes against a black backdrop. Their seats are mostly arranged connected to a long table so you will find yourself with not a lot of personal space most of the time. We got the Double Shack Burger and the Shack Stack, coming to £8.75 for the both of us. That comes out as less for each of us than the dog food they sell. Yes, they sell dog food. And no, I don’t know why.
Firstly, you’ve got to appreciate how beautiful these burgers are. These burgers are well put together. These burgers have done all their problem sheets. These burgers go for all their classes. These burgers manage to stay awake in their 9ams. These burgers submit their coursework early. These burgers are on 12 societies’ committee. These burgers already have their internships sorted. And they tasted good. Really good.
The Double Shack Burger is the remix for their classic cheeseburger now with an extra patty. The veggies were fresh and their special ShackSauce really complimented the whole thing. What surprised me was for the original price, the patties themselves are rather small. I know it’s quality over quantity because you can really taste the difference compared to your average burger spot but at that price, I need thicc with at least 3 ‘c’s.
The Shack Stack consists of their cheesy ‘Shroom patty and a beef patty for good measure. The ‘Shroom patty was actually the highlight of the visit for me and that is saying something as they were both so good. I know the vegetarians reading this are rolling their eyes as they don’t need another mushroom burger, but this was better than the actual meat. The deep-fried breading was crispy and really well seasoned yet the mushroom in the centre wasn’t overdone and still had its structure. I got a surprise at the cheese oozing out of the breading from my first bite. The portobello mushroom adds some serious height to the burger to mitigate the beef’s thinness. The beef still brings a great contrast to the crispy mushroom as you bite through. All the textures and flavours combining in each bite made this one an experience.
Places like Shake Shack represent a new trend. You get restaurant quality food while keeping the fast food feel to the establishment. The food looks like there was a lot more care and effort put into making it compared to the average Maccies (though the beef patties are still the same size). Everything here looks and tastes fresher. Yet there is still no one pestering you on if you want any more drinks or how your meal is going to get a tip like at a Byron’s and it stays open later than a service restaurant. It’s really the best of both worlds but this also brings both disadvantages. You can’t exactly book yourself a spot and those benches can fill up fast during lunchtime. And I’ve seen a fair number of fights break out on my late-night trips there. It’s not good for anything more than a casual meal with some standards. Food quality to price ratio is a very difficult one to balance but with this deal, the scales seem to have tipped in Shake Shack’s favour.