After enlisting Chef Danny Yip of The Chairman for its first anniversary, Shake Shack has now teamed up with Matt Abergel, Chef-Owner of Yardbird, to celebrate its third year in Hong Kong.
Working in close partnership with Shake Shack’s Culinary Director Mark Rosati, Abergel prepared a special menu built around offerings from his Michelin-starred modern Japanese izakaya restaurant.
“We first met Mark when he started coming to Hong Kong to scout out the city and was planning the opening of the first Shake Shack,” said Matt Abergel. “Mark and his team immediately became regulars of ours at Yardbird. During one of our Chicken and Charcoal launch events in New York, I asked Mark if we could do Katsu Sandos with their potato buns, but he went a step further and offered us space in the West Village Shack. We share a lot of values and we are so stoked to be doing this together with Shake Shack on our 10th year at Yardbird.”
Leading the selection of items is the Chicken Katsu Sando which features a menchi-katsu (breaded and deep-fried ground meat patty) made from Yardbird’s locally raised triple yellow chicken topped with Bulldog Japanese tonkatsu sauce and creamy shredded cabbage, served on Shake Shack’s signature potato bun. Accompaniments include Flagrant Chick’n Bites, crisp fried white meat bites tossed with Flagrant Hot Sauce, and Sunday’s 50/50 Whisky, a canned cocktail mix of Shake Shack’s Fifty/Fifty (half lemonade, half organic iced tea) and Sunday’s Whiskey.
“I have the utmost respect for Matt and the team at Yardbird, and I am continually blown away by their culinary excellence and warm hospitality,” said Mark Rosati. “I am excited to showcase the Chicken Katsu Sando with Yardbird’s special triple yellow chicken katsu as well as use their Flagrant Hot Sauce on our Chick’n Bites as it’s one of the best hot sauces I’ve found in the world. I wish I could be there in-person to raise a Sunday’s 50/50 Whisky with the team as this is going to be an awesome event.”
The Yardbird x Shake Shack Hong Kong collaboration will be limited to 800 servings June 12, with the first 30 guests set to receive a limited edition Yardbird x Shake Shack Beach Towel.
Catch a brief interview with Mark Rosati about the collaboration and learn a bit more about what makes Yardbird special from Matt Abergel below.
For your second collaborative effort for Shake Shack Hong Kong, what did you want to showcase or express after being open for three years?
Mark: We were honored to do our first Hong Kong collaboration with The Chairman because chef Danny Yip is the ultimate Cantonese chef and we wanted to showcase Hong Kong’s culinary traditions. Now that we have been here for three years, it was exciting for us to partner with one of Hong Kong’s other great chefs, Matt from Yardbird, for his take on our chicken items.
Being a fan of Japanese cuisine, what about yakitori aligns with your outlook of the culinary arts?
The reverence for the entire chicken, the precision, the patience and the attention to detail is incredible in yakitori. I am always in awe of how yakitori chefs can coax such nuances from the same bird.
It’s safe to say Yardbird is a Hong Kong institution. What do you think has people coming back to your restaurant and what sets it apart from other places?
Matt: Our success is built on a lot of different things, but the most important factor is the people that we work with. We have an incredibly dedicated family of people always working towards a common goal. We have a really strong bar program and yes, of course, the simplicity of the food is a major factor. We are always focused on consistency and that is truly what has kept us in the position we are in after 10 years.
With Yardbird’s focus on chicken, what do you look for in your poultry that helps your offerings stand a cut above?
We use a locally raised triple yellow chicken butchered fresh daily for us at Yardbird. The highlights are its intense yellow fat and unbeatable chicken flavor. We’ve been working with Ivan at HopWo since we first opened on Bridges Street and we trust his expertise and dedication to his craft. He knows what we like and what we look for. The chickens are always exceptional and not only is it a great product, but also a great representation of what Hong Kong has to offer.
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