Outback Steak’living-room’

There’s a few reasons why eating out at Iftar time in Ramadan is a bad idea. Nonetheless, every now and then someone will suggest something like: “Let’s go to Outback Steakhouse for Iftar tomorrow!” and before you know it, you find yourself starting a miserable food experience.

As soon as my friends and I arrived at Outback Steakhouse (Tivoli Dome), we went up the stairs and picked a table that was right in front of the TV screen, because we wanted to watch the World Cup game as well. As soon as we sat down, we realized that the table was ridiculously wobbly. When I looked under the table, I realized that it wasn’t a problem with the stand, but rather with the top as it was not screwed in tightly. So one of my friends started spinning the table top to screw it back in place, as we watched our phones, wallets and bags go in merry-go-round. As soon as the game started, the LCD screens started to malfunction and eventually just went blank. Being an avid footie, my friend had to actually tell them to find an immediate solution, or that we would be forced to leave otherwise. Thankfully, they fixed it. And it was now high-time to order our food, because Iftar was slowly approaching.
The Ramadan menu (119 EGP) seemed like a good value-for-money deal. You get a Ramadan drink, a choice of soup or salad, aentrée and a mini-saucer of assorted oriental sweets as a dessert. Of course, when you see this (see image below), you order one… and it’s not available.

Bloomin' Onion
Bloomin’ Onion
After some thought, I decided to go with Alice Springs Chicken® for my entrée (description below).

Wood-fire grilled chicken breast topped with sautéed mushrooms, crisp bacon, melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar and finished with our honey mustard sauce. Served with Aussie Fries

The little ‘flame icon’ on the side is also supposed to tell you; that it really is wood-fire-grilled. When I asked the waiter what choices of soup and salad were available to pick from, he looked at me like was speaking a different language. I asked him what kind of salad it was that supposedly comes with the Ramadan offer. He looked even more puzzled and said: “It’s… Just a salad!”. I smiled.
It was now fifteen minutes to seven and with only a quarter of an hour left to Iftar time, we got our Ramadan drinks in small, disposable plastic cups. Hmmmm… So much for a Steakhouse.
Gladly, my ‘just-a-salad’ and Alice Springs Chicken® arrived perfectly in time. However, I looked at my entrée and felt like my mom had just thrown me some serving off the family dinner table. Zero green garnish, poor portion (in comparison to the size of the plate), no bacon, no honey mustard, two sachets of fast-food ketchup instead and I really struggled to understand the difference between the acclaimed Aussie Fries and their more common French relative. Yeah, they were just your regular commercially bought french fries! (Image below)

I don’t think Alice would have been happy to see this.

But because it’s only fair to give credit where it’s due, I must say that the cook on the chicken was pretty damn good and the taste was quite amazing, too. To me, grilling a chicken breast, is quite possibly one of the harshest tests to judge a chef by. It goes from tender, juicy and moist to over-cooked in a matter of seconds. Although I still felt like I was getting the living-room-at-a-friend’s-house service, I was quite happy with my meal.

We finally ordered the check and were ready to go, only to realize that there was some error on it. The difference would have given us just two pounds back and we couldn’t be bothered to wait for a re-print, so we just paid. Considering that I only got a tiny plastic cup of ‘Karkadeh’, no crisp bacon, no Aussie fries and no honey or mustard, I can say – with a very clear conscience – that the Ramadan menu is somewhat over-priced.

Oh, and luckily for my health, they forgot to serve me my that miniature dessert, too!


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