Sheikh and Shake

While burgers are all too common in Dubai, Sheikh and Shake is unusual in that it offers an independently run and entirely home-grown fast-food concept. It’s given a local twist thanks to the charming, keffiyeh-clad logo of a milkshake in Arabic dress. When I visited, the weather was pleasant and the fast-food diner setting inside didn’t seem particularly diverting, so I took a seat on the al-fresco terrace. Despite the casual-dining concept, staff still provided table service and the friendly waiter seemed pleasingly au fait with the menu. On offer were a selection of burgers made with fresh (not frozen) Australian beef and pizzas created using Italian ingredients, plus a few salad and hot dog choices. I started with the jalapeño poppers: guilt-inducing deep-fried peppers stuffed with cheese. As the waiter had promised they weren’t too fiery, and despite the stodge-ridden description, they weren’t overly heavy or greasy. The letdown was the quality of the cheese: while creamy and gooey, it also had a cheap, artificial edge. Burgers had been the main draw for me, so I weighed up the signature and seriously stacked ‘super sheikh burger’ versus the selection of three mini signature burgers on the sliders plate. The waiter tipped the balance with his recommendation, and I went for the sliders, a combination of the classic sheikh, the mushroom sheikh and the smoky sheikh. The burgers varied in quality, although overall they were well made and satisfying. Amid the decent bread and meat, the overly sweet and artificial-tasting barbecue dressing in the smoky sheikh and the tangerine-coloured and plastic cheese in both the smoky and classic burgers let the side down. The mushroom sheikh, however, was a knockout, made with emmental, caramelised onions and mushrooms. The burgers came with a giant portion of fries: they were seriously crisp and doused in a flavour-packed, smoky barbecue, paprika and oregano seasoning. I also tried the Oreo shake, which was creamy, not overly sweet, and very enjoyable. It’s great to see a new independent venue fighting over the fast-food territory, and aiming to improve the quality of ingredients on offer. Sheikh and Shake is like the rebel alliance to the Empire of global burger chains. If it pays more attention to the quality of the cheese, this Jedi will return. The bill (for one) 1x jalapeño poppers Dhs17 1x oreo shake Dhs19 1x sliders Dhs40 1x small water Dhs6 Total (excluding service) Dhs82

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