My first unfortunate visit to Outback Jacks involved me choking on an unexpectedly gristly piece of rump steak, but I found myself there again for a friend’s birthday dinner last weekend. I vowed not to order a steak but I didn’t have high hopes, especially after seeing the restaurant’s awful ratings on Urbanspoon. Outback Jacks delivered a second terrible performance that warrants the following torrent of frustration…
Our group of roughly 15 people placed orders at 8pm when the restaurant was less than a quarter full. My only piece of advice if you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself at Outback Jacks is to order entrées, or you’ll starve while you wait. While we had a large table, I was still horrified that the first mains arrived 1 hour and 15 minutes after we placed orders (with the last couple of mains arriving a further 15 minutes later). I felt really sorry for those who didn’t order starters - they must have been starving.
Chook Wings (5 pieces for $7.50)
We waited about 25 minutes for our chicken wings, during which time we seriously contemplated popping down to Hungry Jack’s for a cheeseburger. These wings are the only good thing I have to say about Outback Jacks because the firecracker sauce is really spicy when you order the hottest “ass burner” option. However, the wilted rocket leaves covered in the spicy sauce were seriously unappealing and we left them uneaten.
Bangers & Mash ($22.95)
I enjoyed the mashed potato from my earlier visit, but I wanted to avoid the steak. I thought Bangers & Mash was something that couldn’t go too wrong.
About 15 minutes after we placed our orders, the waitress informed our group that the mash had run out, but told me separately that my meal was fine because it used a different mash. However, when the meals finally started arriving the waitress informed me that there was actually no mash at all. I asked about changing my order, but couldn’t wait another hour so I had no opportunity to choose something else.
The beef sausages were dry and unimpressive and despite my ravenous appetite by 9.15pm, I couldn’t stomach them all. I’ve never left unfinished beef on my plate at a restaurant before. The watery gravy tasted like a beef stock cube dissolved in water, YUCK. My friend gave me leftover mushroom sauce from her steak meal so I could dunk pieces of sausages to drown out the taste. I munched unhappily on wedges that tasted suspiciously like the ones I cook at home in the oven.
My meal was a total rip-off. I paid $23 for crap sausages, awful gravy, and boring wedges. Later, I found out that I could have ordered three sausages and mashed potato as “extras” for about $4 less. WHAT THE HELL?!
Big Jacks Rack ($44.95)
My friend selected the pork ribs in chilli plum sauce, with chips on the side. While these ribs are meaty and the sauce is quite tasty, for roughly the same price you could order awesome ribs from Tony Roma’s.
Big crocodile on the ceiling
Service was friendly, but inexperienced. While the alcoholic drink orders arrived quickly, the waitstaff were far less eager to bring out bottles of free tap water. The manager also picked a terrible time to ask for how our meals were. Everyone was hungry and just starting to eat their food, so nobody had the inclination to give useful feedback. The discounted price for my meal has not saved Outback Jacks from my restaurant blacklist.
Likes: chilli wings
Dislikes: choking on overpriced gristly steak, bangers without mash, long waits, and toilets that are dirtier than Hungry Jacks
Value for money: below average
Overall: don’t waste your time with Outback Jacks
13 Essex Street
(08) 9430 9690