For the owners of Love Shack, the primary goal is to elevate the status of soul food by making use of the best ingredients and best preparation methods possible. The masters behind Café Caribana and Garlic Rose were a bit apprehensive venturing into what was initially a purely burger-oriented concept because the area that was provided for them was located in the food court. However, fortune came tumbling their way, and SM Aura Premier provided them with a space where they could apply an all-day dining concept. Thanks to this space, the group was able to run with a concept that they could go full-throttle with, in terms of creativity. Everything from the slate grey wall brick to the colourful sofa prints was personally chosen by the owners.
Love Shack at Lower Ground Level of SM Aura Premier
A look at the menu reveals their burger creations as the main attraction. Customers, though, are beginning to grow fond of their other dishes which consist of pastas and rice meals, among others. According to the owners, it has been a pleasant ride so far.
Love Shack Burger Creation 1
First on our menu was Love Shack Burger Creation 1 (P260, with bigger beef burger - P315). This combination consists of a choice between beef and chicken patty, fresh mushroom sauce, caramelised onions, lettuce, and a helping of delicious gorgonzola cheese wedged between two slices of special homemade bread. It is then served with a choice of potato wedges or chips, mustard, mayo, ketchup, and dill pickles. Patrons can choose whether to take it with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. With this burger, I experience what I like to call, “love at first bite”. The bread is made so perfectly that it wraps the patty in a snug little hug when you bite into it, which is fantastic because it does not interfere with the presence of the burger. The owners were unable to find a bun that would blend perfectly with their burger patty, so they decided to create their own. The patty itself—we had the beef—is a wonder all on its own: thick, juicy and flavourful. This little treasure took them around three months to fully bring to fruition.
The Chicken Tandoori (P310) is one of Love Shack’s newest menu additions. Tender, tasty chicken cutlets are artfully arranged with grilled vegetables on a platter and are served with a fantastic salsa verde sauce. Additionally, we had the privilege of sampling one of their new sauces: a tomato-based, caper-infused concoction. Both are very much suited to the texture and the flavour of the chicken, which makes the tandoori a must-order dish all in all. For our pasta dish, we sampled the Tomato Shrimp Pasta (P280), which has recently increased in serving size due to popular demand. Its main ingredients are rigatoni pasta, fresh shrimps, tomatoes and cream. I actually like how they chose to use rigatoni noodles for this dish; it’s not one I see often in many restaurants, and I like how its chunkiness goes with the shrimp and the sauce itself.
Tomato Shrimp Pasta
Love Shack also specialises in homemade desserts. We were able to sample two of their mouth-watering top sellers: the Triple C (P180) and the Toasted Marshmallow with Soft Ice Cream (P180). The Triple C is a sinful polyamorous union of chocolate, caramel and cheesecake. It may sound like too much to take in, but this trio of sweetness makes for just the right amount of overall sweetness this time around—you have to try it to believe it. The homemade ice cream, on the other hand, is the epitome of comfort food dessert. It is very safe and pleasantly conventional, which is a perfect sweet ending to Love Shack’s barrage of comfort food.
Toasted Marshmallow with Soft Ice Cream
Love Shack is a bit of an oasis in an otherwise busy area. People ducking in and out of the department store area might spare the restaurant a curious glance or two, fascinated by the name and the welcoming ambiance it exudes. Why not cater to that burgeoning (I hope!) curiosity and walk in? It isn’t just a quirky name—its comfort food offerings do satisfying justice to a concept we all know well and love.