What does the modern design of Shake Shack outlets and our heritage architecture have in common? Not much, we’d think, but the soon-to-be-opened Shake Shack at 89 Neil Road blends both remarkably in its design-focused space.

The iconic Shake Shack I-beam listed with its food items; the one in Neil Road is the only one in the world to get the rose gold treatment. Photo: Shake Shack

A nod to its culture-rich Chinatown neighbourhood, the second Shake Shack store in Singapore (the first is at Jewel Changi Airport) takes on a nostalgic charm, with references to Peranakan and colonial heritage. The 450 sq m space is clad in pastel pink and mint hues with touches of rose gold (in place of its distinct use of stainless steel) that is in line with the Peranakan-inspired decor.

It is also integrated with lush foliage that harkens back to Shake Shack’s birthplace in NYC’s Madison Square Park. Photo: Shake Shack
A private space can be sectioned off for private events. Photo: Shake Shack
Photo: Shake Shack
Photo: Home & Decor

An standout and unexpected feature would be the mural with two tigers right at the end of the store. And if you find them familiar, it’s because they pay tribute to Tiger Balm’s iconic motif.

Fun fact: The restaurant occupies what was once Eng Aun Tong factory, which manufactured Tiger Balm.

You’ll find a range of Singapore-exclusive merchandise in a corner of the establishment that are created in partnership with local creatives like artist Samantha Lo and Bynd Artisan. Photo: Shake Shack
Photo: Home & Decor

Countertops are laid with terrazzo, once shunned for being old-fashioned (think our old HDB estates) but are now making a fashionable comeback. It adds on to the nostalgic vibe of the decor but gets a modern update with a pretty blush pink hue.

The original neoclassical bones of the historic building is retained, including its shutters. Patterned Peranakan-style tiles lend to its nostalgic ambience. Photo: Home & Decor
Photo: Home & Decor

It also called on Singaporean artist Sam Lo to create a striking 13.5m by 8.5m mural that draws on its Chinatown neighbourhood on the building facade. Auspicious Chinese symbols like the Lucky Bat and Qilin, Malay roof eaves and colourful Peranakan tiling, as well as Art Deco flourishes give the otherwise white exteriors an eye-catching flair.

She says: “The mural brings together something old and new, East and West. It symbolises everyone coming together to form a community.” She says: “The mural brings together something old and new, East and West. It symbolises everyone coming together to form a community.” (Quote source: The Straits Times). Photo: Shake Shack

But of course, we won’t be waxing lyrical about its architecture all day. Here are the new bites you can expect at the fine casual restaurant’s Neil Road establishment.

Photo: Home & Decor

Making its debut in Singapore and exclusively available at the 89 Neil Road outlet (until 9 Feb. It’s available island-wide from 10 Feb) is the Chick’n Shack ($9.20). 100% natural and antibiotic-free chicken breast (if it makes you feel any healthier) is bathed in a buttermilk marinade, deep fried (…or not) and sandwiched between two pillowy potato rolls together with a dollop of buttermilk herb mayo, pickles and lettuce. The crunchy breading is sinful but not too greasy, and the chicken is tender.

Clockwise from top: Eye of the Tiger, Shack Attack, and Open Sesame. Photo: Shake Shack

There are also two new concretes (blended frozen custards) based on local flavours – Eye of the Tiger and Open Sesame. Eye of the Tiger has a vanilla custard with lychee, raspberry and lime zest, and is studded with bits of shortcake. Open Sesame has vanilla custard with black sesame paste – the black sesame flavour packs quite a punch – and is topped with decadent Plain Vanilla brownies and gold-dusted chocolate. Yum.

Plus: Get a Shack Attack and you’ll be helping to support Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA) since 5% of sales of the Shack Attack concrete goes to the non-profit organisation which provides opportunities for the disabled through arts.

Shake Shack at 89 Neil Road opens on Feb 7 (opening date) from 7.30pm to 12am. From Feb 8 onwards, it opens from 11am to 10pm (Sundays to Thursdays) and 11am to 12am (Fridays and Saturdays).