OUTBACK opened quietly in the Soho Fuxing Plaza behind the buzzing Xintiandi area but has been attracting attention ever since for its quality beef dishes and its thoughtful menu that includes snacks and seafood.
Originally from the United States, Outback is synonymous with the modern steakhouse for great steaks at great prices in a casual and fun atmosphere. Chris Sullivan, Bab Basham, Tim Gannon and Trudy Cooper first opened Outback in 1988 in Tampa, Florida.
Although an American brand, the concept of Outback is inspired from a vast, remote place of natural beauty in Australia and all the quality beef cuts are directly imported from farms in Australia.
The selected cattle in natural farms with no added chemicals or additives are transported to go through aging process just for Outback that ensures tenderness, juiciness and flavor.
The appeal of the restaurant — decked out with Aussie motifs — is practically universal. It might not be the most stylish dining room in town but it offers the right vibe for those who simply want to enjoy a hearty meal.
Diners need not be huge steak fans to get a good meal here as appetizers and other fares are also cooked to perfection.
You can keep it simple by starting with a Shrimp Scampi Flatbread (58 yuan/4pcs), Crispy Baby Calamari (48 yuan) or a big portion Rainbow Salad and a glass of house wine. I’ve started my dinner with the crispy flatbread, topped with grilled shrimps and mixed cheese — crispy with nicely decorated toppings, this is a starter done right.
The Seafood Cioppino (148 yuan), recommended by the waitress is a true seafood lover’s comfort food with a mixture of shrimps, mussels, scallops, fish, calamari, corn on the cob and potatoes. It’s rich and tastes best with roasted baguette slices.
There are some great options in the seafood and chicken sections of the menu but, for obvious reasons, the steaks are what draws most customers. The menu gives a good introduction of different steak cuts. I tried the premium Emperor’s Cut which was beautifully tender with gentle ribbons of fat and served alongside classic sauces, creamed spinach, and one side dish of your choice.
The steak was perfectly cooked and seared.
Outback also serves up Surf & Turf platters such as Filet Mignon/Sirloin and Hand-made Crab Cakes (228yuan/178yuan) or Filet Mignon/Sirloin and Boston Lobster (half) (268 yuan/218 yuan).