Outback Steakhouse Tasting Session

December 30, 2014 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Outback Steakhouse Tasting Session
9 Raffles Boulevard
#01-99 Millenia Walk

277 Orchard Road
#04-01 Orchard Gateway


Opening Hours:
Daily: 11:30am - 2pm, 5:30pm - 10:30pm



http://outback-sea.com/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, Fundamentally Flawed, Dairy & Cream, The Ranting Panda, and The Artic Star.



Full Flavoured, Hearty Food At This Legacy Brand

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 8
Value for Money: 7
Budget about SGD $60 ++ per person.


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Founded in 1988 in Tampa, Florida, in the United States Of America, Outback Steakhouse is an international casual dining franchise with an Australia / Australian theme. A successful legacy franchise brand, Outback Steakhouse has 2 locations in Singapore, and is managed by Outback Steakhouse Southeast Asia, which also manages their outlets in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. All Outback Steakhouse outlets worldwide are tightly regulated by the headquarters in the United States Of America, to ensure that all menus and food quality worldwide are consistent.

Outback Steakhouse in Singapore has been around for more than a decade, since opening in 2000. As befitting its Australia / Australian theme, ambience at Outback Steakhouse is largely designed to mimic aboriginal and outback living. Lighting is dim, with large and sturdy teak wood furniture. Aboriginal paintings and artwork adorn the walls within the spacious interior. There's even a small outdoor al-fresco dining area. In 2015, Outback Steakhouse Singapore will be revamping their decor, to give the place a cleaner, modern feel, while still staying true to their outback theme.

Outback Steakhouse Exterior


Outback Steakhouse Interior



I find the service staff at Outback Steakhouse to be friendly and welcoming, offering greetings upon entry. They're also accomodating to requests, carrying them out efficiently. Orders are fulfilled rather quickly as well, and similarly, dirty / empty tables are cleared fast. Staff also came around to check on our meal, and see if everything was going fine, which I liked. I understand that staff also take customer feedback seriously, and as a result, have made tweaks to the menu / dishes, upon approval from the headquarters. As a result, while about 70% - 80% of the menu, dishes, and service is consistent worldwide, each country's Outback Steakhouse outlets have their own unique differences.

However, the manpower crunch in Singapore has affected Outback Steakhouse, and I suspect that they might be overwhelmed if the place was full, as staff strength is rather limited. I've also received feedback from others that service at Outback Steakhouse can be hit or miss, depending on whether an experienced staff serves you, or a junior staff serves you.

Outback Steakhouse Seating


Outback Steakhouse American Owned, Australian Themed


Outback Steakhouse Decor



Expect big, bold flavours when dining at Outback Steakhouse. Styled as a 'full flavour' restaurant, all dishes at Outback Steakhouse are heavily seasoned, predominantly sweet, salty, or savoury. The food at Outback Steakhouse isn't only big on taste, but of a consistently good quality as well, even after so many years. I understand from staff that dishes are tasted everyday to ensure consistency, and many of the spice / batter mixes are produced from a central kitchen in the United States Of America. The majority of dipping sauces are also hand made from scratch daily in the store!

As a steakhouse with an Australia / Australian theme, Outback Steakhouse specialises in cuts of beef steaks. Style is casual, taking classic American favourites and putting an Australian spin on them, with most of the menu names invoking the theme. Portions are suitably large, more than enough for 1 person. Prices are on the upper range for a restaurant, which is reasonable, as their food has good quality, and many items are hand made daily. Budget about SGD $40 per person for just 1 main course, about SGD $60 for a mains, dessert, and drink, and about SGD $80 per person for a 3 course meal with drinks.

Besides the tongue-in-cheek name, the Wallaby Darned (SGD $14.90) is an Australian style peach bellini cocktail. Featuring a peach puree with champagne, Smirnoff vodka, and DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps liqueur, mixed and served in a tall curved glass, this frosty cocktail is fruity and refreshing.

Wallaby Darned (SGD $14.90)


Wallaby Darned



Not made from Kookaburra birds, the Kookaburra Wings (SGD $14.90) are chicken wings coated in a salty, savoury blend of secret batter, deep fried to perfection. The meat is sill moist, while the skin is so yummy! But the most outstanding is their hand made blue cheese dipping sauce, smooth and creamy in texture, slightly tangy, slightly sour, slightly sweet in taste, without the unpleasant sharpness. So addictive I had to find other stuff to dip in it!

Kookaburra Wings (SGD $14.90)


Kookaburra Wings



The complimentary Bushman's Bread was so good, I couldn't stop eating it! The soft, fragrant dark wheat bread tears apart easily, and due to the mixture of molasses and cocoa powder, contains a slightly sweet, honey like taste. Dusted with cornmeal, and paired with a creamy whipped till soft butter, then presented pierced through with a knife like a bread ninja. Easily among the highlights of a meal here!

Bushman's Bread (SGD $Complimentary)


Bushman's Bread



The Typhoon Bloom (SGD $14.90) differs from the signature Bloomin' Onion appetizer served in American and Australia, due to the difficulty of importing 1 pound onions into Singapore. Instead, the version here features a large stack of hand cut onion rings (weighing 1 pound / 0.45 kilograms), battered in a blend of 17 spices, fried till crisp, then arranged into a flower shape, served with a spicy, tangy, dipping sauce.

Typhoon Bloom (SGD $14.90)


Typhoon Bloom



The Spinach Artichoke Dip (SGD $13.90) features the dipping sauce as the star, surrounded by rather generic, but crisp, tortilla / nacho chips. A creamy, chunky blend of fresh spinach, artichokes, parmesan cheese, and monterey jack cheese, baked till bubbly, it's extremely tasty. I wish I could just spread it over other dishes!

Spinach Artichoke Dip (SGD $13.90)


Spinach Artichoke Dip



The Alice Springs Chicken With Aussie Fries (SGD $25.90) features a savoury, flame grilled chicken breast, topped with a decadent mixture of buttom mushrooms, bacon strips, and gooey cheddar and monterey jack cheeses. The chicken meat is tasty, albeit slightly on the dry side, but still good enough to eat. Served with a tangy, sweet honey mustard sauce that is almost like caramel, and medium cut fries that have good potato taste. I would say, above average as a dish.

Alice Springs Chicken With Aussie Fries (SGD $25.90)


Alice Springs Chicken With Aussie Fries



The Baby Back Ribs With Aussie Fries (SGD $19.90 Half, $32.90 Full) carry good flavour, due to the excellent sticky, tangy and sweet barbecue / BBQ sauce that coats every part of the meat. The pork itself could have been smoked slightly longer to be more tender, but the meat comes off the bone rather easily with some cutting. Served with medium cut fries with good potato taste, this dish is worth ordering.

Baby Back Ribs With Aussie Fries (SGD $19.90 Half, $32.90 Full)


Baby Back Ribs With Aussie Fries



The Grilled Salmon With Fresh Seasonal Veggies (SGD $26.90) features a thick, fresh, slab of salmon fillet fish, seasoned then grilled perfectly. Properly soft, tender, and pulls apart easily, with very good flavour. The vegetables are soft and tender as well, simply steamed / blanced to allow the natural taste to shine. Very good!

Grilled Salmon With Fresh Seasonal Veggies (SGD $26.90)


Grilled Salmon With Fresh Seasonal Veggies



When we first received the Ribeye Steak With Fresh Seasonal Veggies & Mashed Potatoes (SGD $37.90), it wasn't done to our liking, so staff volunteered to redo. The next serving was much better, with a medium pink center to the tender, juicy beef ribeye steak. The 10 ounce / 0.28 kilogram ribeye is seasoned with a blend of 17 spices, giving it a savoury, flavourful taste. The mashed potatoes were very good as well, seasoned with herbs to enhance the taste. Pretty good for a steak, but only decent when compared to other high end steakhouses.

Ribeye Steak With Fresh Seasonal Veggies & Mashed Potatoes (SGD $37.90)


Ribeye Steak With Fresh Seasonal Veggies & Mashed Potatoes



Disguised as a salad to make you feel better, the rather indulgent Aussie Chicken Cobb Salad (SGD $19.90) features either grilled, or fried chicken, on a bed of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and bread croutons, garnished with bacon, egg, cheddar and monterey jack cheeses. I loved the freshness of the vegetables, and the savoury, natural tasting grilled chicken, although the meat bordered on dry.

Aussie Chicken Cobb Salad (SGD $19.90)


Aussie Chicken Cobb Salad



I felt the Seasoned And Seared Prime Rib With Sweet Baked Potato & Corn On The Cob (SGD $39.90) was the best dish of the evening. The giant slab of tender, juicy, hand carved beef, slow roasted to perfection and served in its own au jus, is so appetizing and tasty! The baked sweet potato is soft, and has a coating of caramelised cinnamon sugar, which lends a slight crunch, and layers well with the natural sweetness of the sweet potato.

Seasoned And Seared Prime Rib With Sweet Baked Potato & Corn On The Cob (SGD $39.90)


Seasoned And Seared Prime Rib With Sweet Baked Potato & Corn On The Cob


Seasoned And Seared Prime Rib With Sweet Baked Potato & Corn On The Cob



The Chocolate Thunder From Down Under (SGD $14.90) has a base of a dense pecan brownie, thick with chocolate flavour, sitting in a pool of thick, warm chocolate sauce. Topped with a rich, old fashioned vanilla ice cream, chocolate shavings, and home made whipped cream, this is an indulgent dessert to satisfy chocoholics. While it's rather unique that they make their own whipped cream, the consistency is more firm than fluffy, and looks rather like ice cream.

Chocolate Thunder From Down Under (SGD $14.90)


Chocolate Thunder From Down Under



The majority of us felt that the Cinnamon Oblivion (SGD $13.90) was the best dessert we sampled. Featuring an ugly mess of warm, caramelised, sweet cinnamon apple chunks, mixed with cinnamon spiced bread croutons, crunchy pecans, and a sweet caramel sauce, then topped with vanilla ice cream and home made whipped cream. Messy to eat, doesn't look that presentable, but by gosh it's good! Highly recommended, especially for those with a sweet tooth!

Cinnamon Oblivion (SGD $13.90)


Cinnamon Oblivion



I didn't fancy the Banana Nut Cake (SGD $12.90), which had an unusual bouncy texture, almost like kueh-kueh instead of cake. Taste is good though, with the combination of toffee, cinnamon, nuts, and bananas.

Banana Nut Cake (SGD $12.90)


Banana Nut Cake



Overall, it's easy to see why Outback Steakhouse has endured for so many years in the highly competitive restaurant business in Singapore. Their combination of full flavoured, consistent quality food, with friendly service and a willingness to listen to customer feedback, has helped them stay ahead of the game. By no means is Outback Steakhouse the best steakhouse out there, but they remain a solid choice for an American / Australian / Western style meal.


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Update Sep-2016: Returned to Outback Steakhouse for the launch of their new dishes. Am happy to say that they've done pretty well, surviving the tough competition of the dining scene in Singapore. Ambience at Outback Steakhouse remains largely the same, Australian themed decor adorns the dimly-lit place, neatly packed with solid, dark wooden furniture. Service at Outback Steakhouse remains friendly and professional, with staff coming around regularly to clear empty / dirty plates. They're able to introduce each dish and describe it, which is nice. Food at Outback Steakhouse remains focused on their American style rotisserie and beef steaks, and the 'full-flavour' style still applies. As before, dishes are heavily seasoned, predominantly sweet, salty, or savoury, bold and intense in taste.

The complimentary Bushman's Bread remains as good as before. Soft, fragrant dark wheat bread which tears apart easily. with a slightly sweet, honey like taste due to the mixture of molasses and cocoa powder. Dusted with cornmeal, and served with a creamy, soft butter on the side. Presented pierced through with a knife, like a bread ninja!

Bushman's Bread (SGD $Complimentary)


Bushman's Bread



The Tomato And Mozzarella Bruschetta (SGD $14.90) is really good, super tasty! What makes this outstanding is the thick, cheesy slice of mozzarella cheese, topped with juicy oven roasted cherry tomatoes, a grassy fresh basil pesto sauce, all on crisp grilled French baguette bread slices. Big on flavour, incredibly satisfiying. Highly recommended!

Tomato And Mozzarella Bruschetta (SGD $14.90)


Tomato And Mozzarella Bruschetta



Seems the Typhoon Bloom (SGD $14.90) size has been tweaked. While before the onion rings were thinner, resulting in a more crispy texture, now the onion rings are wider, resulting in a slightly less crispy texture but more sweetness in flavour. The batter still contains a secret blend of 17 spices, packing lots of flavour. Good!

Typhoon Bloom (SGD $14.90)


Typhoon Bloom



The Sweet Chili Chicken And Shrimp With Fresh Seasonal Veggies & Rice Pilaf (SGD $23.90) features a tender, moist fillet of grilled chicken, along with partially deshelled prawns / shrimp, glazed with a sweet chili sauce. The resulting taste is sweet savoury spicy, complex and appealing. The rice pilaf was nicely fluffy with a fragrant aroma, and a slight sweetness, but the vegetables were overcooked and slightly mushy, crumbling easily.

Sweet Chili Chicken And Shrimp With Fresh Seasonal Veggies & Rice Pilaf (SGD $23.90)


Sweet Chili Chicken And Shrimp With Fresh Seasonal Veggies & Rice Pilaf



The new signature dish here is the Crab Topped Sirloin With Loaded Baked Potato & Fresh Seasonal Veggies (SGD $37.90). The most outstanding component here was the salt crusted loaded baked potato, tender and smooth with solid potato flavour, the salt crust and sharp sour cream lending a depth of flavour. The beef sirloin was done medium rare, moist and tender, yielding easily. Good, solid savoury salty flavour in the beef. The meat is topped with large chunks of fresh deshelled crab meat, lending a fragrant sweetness. We asked for the creamy hollandaise sauce to be served on the side, rather than poured over the dish. Tasty dish, albeit slightly pricey.

Crab Topped Sirloin With Loaded Baked Potato & Fresh Seasonal Veggies (SGD $37.90)


Crab Topped Sirloin With Loaded Baked Potato & Fresh Seasonal Veggies



The Ribeye Steak With Corn On The Cob & Sweet Potato Fries (SGD $39.90) features a nice slab of beef ribeye steak, as before, 10 ounce / 0.28 kilogram in weight. Still tender and juicy, still savoury salty, bold and intense in flavour. The beef carries beautiful char-grill marks, looking sexy. Straight forward, decent order. The corn was slightly mushy and soft though, but at least the sweet potato fries were nicely done, slightly crisp with a lovely sweetness. Good!

Ribeye Steak With Corn On The Cob & Sweet Potato Fries (SGD $39.90)


Ribeye Steak With Corn On The Cob & Sweet Potato Fries



The Key Lime Pie (SGD $6.90) is a classic American dessert, orginating from the Florida Keys area, in the state of Florida, United States Of America. The version here is a large, thick, filling slice. A refreshing, zesty tangy pie of key lime juice, egg yolk, and condensed milk, in a spiced pecan graham cracker that is grainy and crumbly, full of nutty biscuit flavour. Topped with whipped cream, a twist of lime, and graham cracker crumbs, this dessert is more sweet than sour, when it should be more strongly sour and zesty. Still a decent enough dessert. Worth ordering!

Key Lime Pie (SGD $6.90)


Key Lime Pie






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