Outback Jack’s, Belconnen

18 May

I don’t expect Outback Jack’s in Belconnen Mall to be packed, but it’s so busy on a Friday night that we’re told there’s no table for at least another hour. If so many couples, friends and families are convinced, we’ve got to check it out, so we schedule in lunch the next day.

Lunch is a little quieter and we easily get a table in the restaurant. There are a few interesting features which stand out instantly:

  • the big, big, steak knives
  • the climate-controlled wine cellar, which patrons are encouraged to attend and select their wines
  • a glass-walled kids’ corner, with what looked like video games (kids eat free Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday)
  • outback artwork for sale by local artists, including Col Ellis (the guy with the gallery at the Old Bus Depot Markets)
Col Ellis artwork beneath a very large windmill

Col Ellis artwork beneath a very large windmill

 

Beers are reasonably priced

Beers are reasonably priced

After determining that beers are reasonably priced ($7.50 for a pint), we take a squiz at the menu. It’s lengthy, and on top of that there’s a special lunch menu. It’s strange, but I’m tempted by the crocodile or camel burger!

Special lunch menus

Special lunch menus

$7.50 pints of 150 Lashes

$7.50 pints of 150 Lashes

I find the larger menu a little overwhelming. Where to begin, between burgers, big entrees, and the steaks, ribs, chicken and fish? This is a restaurant which doesn’t have many vego options: apart from extras like corn on the cob and chips, the only items I can see on the menu are a pesto pasta and nachos. Even the salads all have meat!

Still struggling to choose, we order much bigger than we should.

Bruschetta ($9.95)

Bruschetta ($9.95)

The bruschetta is garlic bread with a ‘special mix’ on top. Boyfriend notes there’s not a lot special about it. If you’re going to add cheese, I’d expect it to be a little melted. It’s not quite the bruschetta you’d expect – there’s a distinct lack of tomato – it’s still not a bad dish.

The chicken wings come with hot sauce to your choosing. I ask for ‘very mild’ and in response I’m offered barbecue sauce! I’m happy to stick with the hot sauce – but I’m not sure if my request for mild goes through. This hot sauce has a decent kick to it – I can’t begin to imagine what the ‘ass burner’ tastes like. The chicken itself is moist and tasty, but the wing coating is a bit bland and boring. To offset the hot sauce, I’d love a blue cheese or similar cream sauce. I like them, but struggle to finish with the heat (am I just a big softy?).

Chicken wings ($9.95)

Chicken wings ($9.95)

Bushranger salad basket ($19.95)

Bushranger salad basket ($19.95)

Again, the salad Boyfriend orders isn’t quite what he expects. The edible tortilla (… overcooked) is filled with chicken and big chunks of tomato, and sat on top of sour cream. The tortilla is a huge turn-off, and is mostly discarded.

Wagyu burger ($25.95)

Wagyu burger ($25.95)

Burgers are – strangely – generally cheaper than the salads (coming in at ~$17.95), except for the Wagyu burger ($25.95), which is highlighted as their best. Of course, I can’t go past it.

The bun is garlic infused and cheese melted on it, and between it is a moist wagyu mince pattie, coleslaw, tomato and lettuce. The bush chutney is served on the side, but the moist and flavoursome pattie almost makes up for its absence in the burger. Almost. On top of this, there are handfuls of chips and onion rings. It’s a packed plate!

Inside of the burger

Inside of the burger

It’s tasty – on par with Grill’d’s Baa Baa Burger (which I think is rather good) but with the wings I’ve made a big mistake – I’m overfull!

Outback Jack’s is clearly a great place for families and reasonably well priced. It’s not a place for vegetarians, nor any person with a small appetite. I’d love a few tweaks to the menu – some blue cheese sauce with the wings, and made some different bun options for the burger – but it’s a chain, and I’m realistic about what changes can be made! I can imagine things could get a bit harried on a busy night – there’re a lot of elements to this restaurant, let alone a lot of menu items, and I’m not sure they could all be pulled off with too many customers … but that’s just a guess.

Date: Saturday, 17 April 2014

Cost: $88.80 (two pints, two entrees, two mains)

Value for money: Good… but on the upper end for the quality

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile

Want more? Try their website.

Outback Jacks on Urbanspoon

 

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3 Responses to “Outback Jack’s, Belconnen”

  1. Gary Lum May 19, 2014 at 4:48 am #

    Good read Tara. I’ve not heard good things about Outback Jacks. I may have to check it out when I’m adding some carbs back in.

  2. theunicornmum May 20, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    I have been wanting to try it, most especially their all you can eat ribs – but I have been forewarned that they’re a little overhyped and service isn’t crash hot either. Hence why I haven’t been, I will try and go next week though after reading your review. A camel burger, did you say? 🙂

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