Our attempt to hit up Hai Di Lao was thwarted by the sight of a queue, so we wandered over to Orchard Gateway, where we ended up at Outback Steakhouse. It's the first restaurant just after the connector between Somerset 313 and Orchard Gateway, and the meat-centric restaurant kind of fit our no-carb bill. We traipsed in with an open mind, but lowered expectations; we'd initially thought of Outback as an Aussie barbie version of Pasta Mania. So, it was a surprise that the food here was very decent, almost commendable. Just think of this as the cheaper, better Morganfield's.
In hindsight, it makes sense that Outback would serve above-par food, its flagship branch has been a long-term fixture at Millenia Walk. It's an oldie but still goodie, with hearty fare that's unpretentious and simple; the Flintstones would definitely approve. I'm glad we discovered this place, even if it's been around forever.
The Baby Back Ribs & Alice Springs Chicken Combo ($34.90), half a rack of juicy, fork-tender ribs burnished with a tangy bbq sauce that was finger-licking good, and petite chicken breast layered with sauteed mushrooms, crisped bacon and smothered in melted monterey jack and cheddar was flame-grilled to a moist perfection. This was sided by hearty handmashed potatoes, skins and all.
The Seafood Mix Grill ($29.90) was a massive platter of smoky grilled mahi fillet (watch out for bones), seared shrimp and scallops, set atop a piquant mango salsa, and paired with buttered steamed vegetables, and a somewhat middling corn on the cob. Of note was the fat succulent scallops, which were done perfectly.
The complimentary Bread loaf was another surprise as well. Crusty and piping hot, this was sweet on its own even without the so-so butter.
Orchard Gateway #04-01
277 Orchard Road
Tel: 6702 6842
Open daily from 11.30am to 10.30pm