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Monday, July 30, 2007

Outback Steakhouse, North Strathfield

Grilled Prawns $13.95
Six prawns grilled on the barbie and
served with the Outback’s own Remoulade sauce

There are no blooming onions and I'm not happy at all.

The blooming onion is literally the name of the Outback Steakhouse's signature dish. It takes pride of place on the front cover of their menu and yet when we check with our server he regretfully tells us that they haven't been able to get onions large enough for this deep-fried delicacy that opens up like a flower. Hmph.

Our server is all congenial-like, full of American-style hospitality in this Australian-themed restaurant that was started up in, you-guessed-it, the U S of A. I was a little stunned when the doors magically opened when we had first arrived, each door held open by a smiling female waitress. Directly in front of stood a lectern manned by three more beaming staff, each dazzling us with bright-eyed toothy smiles.

Bushies $9.45
Button mushrooms, seasoned and deep fried
served with spicy ranch dressing

Since there are no blooming onions to be found, Miss Behave and I instead share the grilled prawns and a plate of bushies. Our drinks arrive promptly and the food arrives toted along with a fold-up canvas table. There's a dramatic flap as the side table is propped open, the dishes placed ceremoniously on top, then humbly transferred across to our settings.

Six grilled prawns arrive artfully arranged on a honey wheat loaf base, the baguette-like offering drenched with herb butter, the bread sweet and chewy much like the buns you get at le Golden Arches. The prawns are surprisingly spicy, char-grilled in a sticky sweet marinade.

Deep-fried button mushrooms are a generous serve, almost enough for one person to eat solely as a main. They're steaming hot inside, fresh from the fryer.

Drover's Platter $24.95
Generous portion of ribs and chicken breast off the barbie
with chips and cinnamon apples

We both order the drover's platter: a portion that is more filling than it looks with its half rack of ribs, chicken breast and handful of crunchy fried chips (super crunchy, just the way I like 'em). The ribs and chicken seem to have the same spicy barbecue marinade. The ribs are sweet and sticky, reasonably meaty without being too fatty. There's a pot of barbecue sauce and another of cinnamon apples, unfortunately cold especially as it looks and tastes just apple pie filling.

After the excess of our entrees, I'm defeated by the size of my main. Around me it's mainly young families or young couples, all happy to dig into Caesar salads the size of Texas, huge mountains of pasta and piles of chips happily drowning in cheese sauce and bacon.

And if you can't be bothered eating in, you can order takeaway and they'll carry your order out to your car. They call it "curbside takeaway". I wonder if that comes with a fold-up table too.

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Outback Steakhouse - North Strathfield
Level 1, 3 George Street, North Strathfield, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8756 5741

Monday to Thursday 5pm-10pm
Friday 5pm-11pm
Saturday 4pm-11pm
Sunday 12noon-10pm
Free undercover parking next door

Also at Parklea
Lot 4, 1190 Old Windsor Road, Parklea, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8824 5012
Free undercover parking next door

Related GrabYourFork posts:
American - Tony Roma's
North Strathfield - Bar Biscotti
21 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/30/2007 11:59:00 pm


  • At 7/31/2007 2:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I managed to sample this place for the first time in Hong Kong.

    Somehow in the wilds of Causeway Bay we stumbled into this pocket of marketted Australiana.

    After a failed attempt to locate a particular Portugese restaurant.

    Even at six pm there was a queue. We ended up waiting half an hour. The food that time was similar to Lone Star.

    I'll marshall the family for a visit since its close by.

  • At 7/31/2007 11:12 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Andrew - I remember those days of Lone Star :) There's still a few around. Hope the family enjoys the meal. Bring empty stomachs!

  • At 7/31/2007 11:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i'm a regular reader of your blog and i am smitten with everything about it. i've been working at this particular resturant for the past year and i've been wondering how long it'll take you to visit us! the onions this season was too small to be cut into the usual "bloom" which caused a lot of dissapointment amongst guests. The entrees that you chose were better anyway =)

  • At 8/01/2007 12:28 am, Blogger bluang3lbby said…

    Love eating at Outback. Even though some on the chowhound boards express regrets with the food. They don't have the bushies here in the states. But I cant believe they didn't have a blooming onion. The drover's platter that you have posted looks so much yummier then the one I normally get when I go there. But my fave has to be alice springs chicken. And we always fight over the honey wheat loaves they give out. When I use to go with my 2 roomies, we would have to have at least 3 loaves of the bread before we were completely done with our meal.

  • At 8/01/2007 8:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Where can we go for the bloomin' onions? :( Regan REALLY wants me to try one since I'm crazy to not have one already, lol.

  • At 8/01/2007 11:26 am, Blogger papa lazarou said…

    had a pretty average meal here before.. but the highlight was that onion !!! the only reason i'd go back to that place!

  • At 8/01/2007 12:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow--I had no clue they had Outback here in Australia! I ate at it dutifully back home, more because when you live in a suburb, it's the fanciest meal you can get. Big fan of the Alice Springs Chicken. Even bigger fan of Lonestar!
    You crazy Aussies. Next thing you know, Taco Bell will be over here! And trust me...that may not be a good thing...

  • At 8/01/2007 9:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can absolutely feel your disappointment about the Bloomin Onion being available. I wonder when it will be back. They ought to do an ad campaign when they do come back as I'd definitely go just to have another one!

    I wonder if the goodness of mushrooms is cancelled out by the deep fried batter :P Still, it looks good!

  • At 8/01/2007 9:59 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Devastated blooming fans everywhere! The blooming onion was actually the primary reason I elected to eat there, but hey, the food we ended up having was all very tasty regardless. Glad you're enjoying GrabYourFork. I hope the onion blooms once more :)

    Hi bluang3lbby - The honey wheat loaf is mighty addictive. We didn't get free bread beforehand, but I couldn't stop myself from eating the entire roll holding up our bbq prawns. I think that's primarily why I struggled to finish my main (a very rare ocurrence).

    Hi Tracey - That's a good question. I saw them in Tokyo but that's not much help to you :) We might both have to wait for it to come back onto the menu at Outback.

    Hi Papa Lazarou - I really want that onion.

    Hi Leena - Taco Bell did make a brief appearance in Sydney, but it didn't last very long - about a year or two? We used to get the ads with the chihuahua. I think I may have eaten there once only.

    Hi Lorraine - Oh I think the goodness of mushrooms is only enhanced by the deep-fried batter :) Calories on the other hand, hmmm.... another story!

  • At 8/06/2007 5:20 pm, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Haven't been there in ages but yes the onion is good, very good.

  • At 8/07/2007 9:12 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Veruca Salt - I am insanely jealous. I want a blooming onion! :)

  • At 8/22/2007 2:24 pm, Blogger Sydneyguy said…

    I went a Saturday night and it was packed!! Apparently you can book ahead!!
    While we were waiting the waitress brought us some snacks to eat!!

    That marindae bbq sauce or whatever it is, its really something different, im not sure whether i liked it or i ate it just because it was there!! It came with the camalari (did i spell that wrong?)

    Service was good, so good my friend tried to pick up a waitress!!

  • At 8/24/2007 10:59 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sydneyguy - Ahh I always try and book if I'm eating out on a Saturday night. There is a definite American style of service here and the marinades do have a spicy piquancy.

  • At 10/30/2007 1:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've yet to try their ribs...but the steak was pretty good and i love how it comes with a complimentary side dish and fresh baked loaf of bread with a slab of butter. For a franchise, it definitly beats Lonestar in that category.

  • At 11/01/2007 10:09 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Jen S - It's been ages since I've been to Lone Star, but I agree, I think the range and quality is better here.

  • At 11/27/2007 6:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I regularly went to the Outback when living in California, but not for the food, just so I could get a beer that wasn't warm, flat and either too sour or too sweet. Hey, even a Fosters tasted good. BTW the food was quite good, especially the bloomin onion. :)

  • At 11/27/2007 11:01 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - You know things are bad when you start appreciating Fosters :)

  • At 2/08/2009 8:49 pm, Blogger Aunt-T said…

    Hi Helen!

    I've been reading your blog for a long time now.

    I went to outback steakhouse for a friend's birthday last year. They had the onion. I have to say, I've never been a fan of onion rings, and it was a playful way of serving it.

    I did really enjoy their potato soup. It was their soup of the day that came with the steak and the best soup potato soup I have ever tasted.

    The things I enjoyed most about this place were the complimentary bread and butter. ... "I can't believe its just bread and butter". It was WONDEROUS. (or maybe it wasn't complimentary? can't remember for sure)

    Unfortunately, I found the steak plane, and their sauce 'so so' but the chips fantastic.

    So there's my 5c.

  • At 2/08/2009 11:33 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Phoebe - Ahh I still haven't had the chance to try the onion rings here *sigh* It's not often one hears glowing compliments about potato soup and mmm.... I do love good bread and quality butter.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, and hope you continue to enjoy the blog :)

  • At 2/28/2010 7:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am after a recipe for the bushie mushrroms, they're awesome. Anyone know of any??

  • At 3/04/2010 5:03 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - I'm not aware of any recipes for them but I'm guessing a light dredging of flour along with a spice mix would do the trick?


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