Friday, 26 June 2009

Outback Steakhouse

2/F, JP Plaza, 26 Patterson St, Causeway Bay
Visited 25th June 2009

A couple of Aussie mates decided we couldn't fight it any longer and had to try this Australian styled chain. Part of a massive global company the Outback Steakhouse has seven outlets in Hong Kong and is spread all over the globe; with fifty branches in Texas alone. Despite the name the Outback Steakhouse isn't Australian, but an American chain, founded in Florida. The Causeway Bay branch is in JP Plaza, above the cinema. While its big restaurant there was a line when we arrived and we were stuck waiting for ages; they did however offer us a little tasting serve of chips to curb our appetite.

This place is clearly aimed at carnivores and all the slabs of meat have quaint sounding Australian names. I couldn't pass up an 'Outback Sirloin', while my friend had "Alice Springs Chicken" and sample of fries we tried were "Aussie chips". "Topped with melted Monterey Jack, bits of bacon and a spicy ranch dressing" the chips were really tasty, though I'm not the slightest bit sure how American cheese and 'ranch' dressing makes them "Aussie". My 8oz steak was OK and despite being overcooked was still tasty enough. The 'Alice Springs Chicken' came smothered in mushrooms, bacon and cheese and was pretty sickly; again the relationship to 'Alice Springs' was fragile, especially as the ingredients made it more 'Swiss' style chicken. The biggest let down with the food was the sides and sauces - average wedges, a tub of terrible, ultra processed coleslaw, a tacky ice-cream scoop of starchy mash and thin sweet 'pepper' sauce. To drink we had some happy hour priced wine by the glass and I liked the fact that it was served in a mini-carafe.
So what did I think? The food was uninspiringly ordinary with mass produced sides and sauces. I was impressed that we were offered snacks while waiting to be seated; however it was obvious that there were lots of spare tables and the only reason we were stuck in line was inefficiency and poor coordination. The drinks were reasonably priced during happy and the mains weren't too bad; $134 for the chicken and $148 for my sirloin. Our bill was $920 for four; not cheap, but not terrible for steak and wine. My big problem with the Outback Steakhouse was that I just don't understand how it calls itself an Australian restaurant? I actually find it all a bit insulting when it's so obviously a soulless American Chain. Outback Steakhouse, I won't go back.

Visit restaurant website.

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