This was an impromptu burger review after I had to meet someone in Mandurah for work – I figured I might as well do a quick Google search and see where was the best place in town to get a burger. Aside from the usual fast food suspects, there was a Grill’d and a place I’d never heard of called The Shack Burger Parlour. Figuring it would probably be a while before I was in Mandurah again, and you can find Grill’d pretty much anywhere these days, I decided to give The Shack a go.
Located on the Dolphin Quay, The Shack is an American-style burger restaurant, serving burgers, chips (yes they call them chips), hot dogs (called American dogs), thickshakes and concretes, which are frozen custard desserts. Deciding one sweet treat would be enough, I opted for a chocolate peanut butter shake ($8) to go with my Shack Burger ($13) and chips ($5), which brought the bill to a not inconsiderable $26. Thrifty diners would be better off with the burger combo, which replaces the shake with a bottomless postmix drink and lowers the cost to $20, which is pretty good value.
The chips were thick-cut and covered with The Shack’s special seasoning which is strongly -flavoured but pleasant enough, though I would have preferred plain salt. They were also nice and hot and stayed warm for a long time – a built-in advantage of thicker chips. While most were fine, a few chips were under-cooked in the centre – not good – and none had a particularly crisp exterior. I’d get the onion rings next time.
The shake was nice and thick, not too sweet and had a good balance of chocolate and peanut butter flavours. This was my first time having peanut butter in a shake and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. The only downside was a slight eggy note, which made me wonder whether they use raw egg as a thickening agent – nothing wrong with that, though it would have been better if it didn’t come across in the taste.
The Shack Burger is the most basic burger on the menu, but it’s far from being a basic burger. The soft, squishy potato bun was filled with lots of (too much) tangy, slightly spicy ‘shack sauce’, a soft leaf of lettuce, two slices of cool, juicy-sweet tomato, a slice of American cheese, a single beef patty and a little diced raw white onion. There were no pickles, but with the tanginess of the sauce, I didn’t really miss them. The veggies seemed to have been pushed to one side for presentation, so I ended up with little lettuce and no tomato in the second half of my burger. It’s a well-constructed burger that initially held together well, though the bun did get a little soggy and started falling apart after a while (this probably wouldn’t be a problem for a faster eater).
The patty was small in diameter but nice and thick – I would guess a third of a pound – and was nicely charred on the outside and slightly pink in the centre. It was juicy without being too greasy and had an open texture and great depth of beefy flavour. The perfect amount of creamy American cheese melted slowly from the heat of the meat below, adding to the flavour and mouthfeel. I was getting full towards the end of the meal, so I left a few chips, but didn’t want to waste a mouthful of the burger. Very satisfying and highly recommended – I can say without hesitation that The Shack Burger is…
Have you had a Shack Burger? What did you think? Comment below and let me know.