Monday, March 7, 2011

Outback Steakhouse: identity crisis - Australian or American?

Outback Steak House is an American chain which opened with quite a bit of fanfare in Singapore some 10+ years ago. Yes, I said American, not Australian. It was established in Tampa, Florida in 1988, and is Australian themed. Apparently the founders were fascinated by Crocodile Dundee which was at its height in those days, and decided to start an Australian outback restaurant, even though at that time, they had never been down under.



My family has been coming to this restaurant since its opening...Edward used to love the place as a small kid...it was usually not crowded when we visited after church on Sundays, and he had the run of the place. Of course, now he is 17 years old...and not running all over. I don't know why we stopped going, but we haven't gone in a while, and thought perhaps it'll be a good idea to revisit last week.

The restaurant is now smaller...giving up one side to another, but still rather spacious. We started off with a soft brown roll, with whipped butter. Nice.



Although this is an Aussie themed restaurant, the portions are still American sized...meaning large...so we only went for one complete meal...one appetizer, one salad, and one main...and even skipping the dessert...and believe me, this is enough for the 3 of us.

Appetizer was to be the Blooming Onion...but alas, that was taken off the menu now, replaced with a similar dish, but instead of a whole onion, battered and deep fried, it was onion strips.



The batter made the outside of the onion strips quite crunchy. The onion within was cooked rather well...rendered quite soft, and caramalized the onion...sweet, hint of bite, and the smooth, rich, tangy sauce complemented the dish quite well.

For salads we had the Ceasar Salad with roasted chicken breast:



Typical of an American salad...it had meat...quite a sizable chunck of meat. The chicken breast was lightly roasted, and was very tasty, and still very moist and juicy. The salad had butter lettuce and Ceasar dressing...and was very fresh, crunchy. The dressing was a bit runny, but had the requisite richness.

And for mains, we shared a fairly large burger...the Mad Max:



The bacon strips, fried, but not till crisp hung out like tongues from the burger. The beef patty, I found to be excellent...ground beef, but very tasty:



More lettuce and a nice soft bun. Overall, not one comparable to the wagyu burger I had at Landing Point, but at almost half the price, is rather good. The fries which accompanied were very good too...fried till crisp on the outside, and starchy inside. Cool!

Overall, the servings are large...imagine one person eating this plus a large cake for dessert and perhaps a liter of coke...and even without dessert, this meal was enough for our family of 3 (including one hungry teenager). So rather good value. Service was a bit patchy as the server seemed to lack confidence and knowledge, but always with a smile and cheerful.


Outback Steak House
9 Raffles Boulevard
#01-99 Time2 @Millenia Walk
039596-Singapore
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