As “outback” is often identified with Australia’s desert landscapes, it generally refers to a steakhouse among food lovers. Outback Steakhouse to date is recognized as the largest steakhouse chain in the world with over 1,000 locations in 22 countries.
Contrary to common belief that Outback Steakhouse originated from Australia, the food giant is actually founded by an American in Florida, USA. The correction was made by Prasoon Mukherjee, the man responsible for bringing Outback Steakhouse to Southeast Asia, with two outlets in Singapore, three in Indonesia, one in Bangkok, one in Kuala Lumpur, and four in the Philippines. He launched the chain’s latest outlet at the Bluebay Walk in Macapagal Avenue in November.
West to east
According to Mukherjee, it was the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee, starring Paul Hogan as an American reporter searching for a crocodile poacher in an Australian outback, that inspired the name and concept of Outback Steakhouse.
It was after founder Chris Sullivan watched the film that he thought of opening his own Australian-themed restaurant. The timing was perfect too because he had just retired from work and had $1.5 million in his hands.
Sullivan immediately called his friend who is a chef, and in 1988 built his first Outback Steakhouse in 1988 at Tampa, Florida. The rest as they say is history.
And just like Sullivan, Mukherjee is taking the Outback business here in Southeast Asia (SEA) very seriously, 20 years since opening the first branch opened in the country. He bought the Outback franchise from the Bistro Group in 2010 and took his time to decide on the right location for expansion.
Donald Tenorio, Mukherjee’s Filipino operating partner for both the Philippines and Singapore explained, “It has taken this long for the brand to expand because we are always looking for strategic locations for our restaurants. We want to be located at high visibility areas, like the ones we have in Libis, Glorietta, and Alabang.”
Best steaks and more
Talking more about the food, Mukherjee said that as a steakhouse, Outback is committed to serve only the best. “When dining at Outback, guests only get the best steak as our cows are grain-fed for 90 days in Australia or the US,” he proudly shared.
As such, the restaurant’s biggest sellers are always the beautifully marbled Rib Eye, the Outback Special, New York Strip and Victoria’s Fillet.
Besides these beefy choices, Outback has also made a name for its burgers and ribs as part of a versatile menu comprised of chicken, seafood, crisp salads, freshly made soups, sides and pasta dishes.
And just like the steaks, the quality of all their ingredients is a priority, assured Mukherjee. Salmon is sourced from Norway, while pork ribs and dairy products are bought from European markets.
“All our ingredients have to pass standards set by the US, and we can only source from select suppliers. This ensures the quality of our food and at the same time allows us to offer good price points for our customers because of global purchasing contracts,” explained Dilip Krishnan, marketing head of Outback Southeast Asia.
To keep up with changing times—and the steep competition in the food industry—Outback Steakhouse launched new dishes in time for the opening of the latest branch for southern Metro Manila. These include the bone-in ribeye, pork porterhouse, BBQ pulled pork fries, and crème brulee, among others.
Moreover, the beverage list is also expanded for more happy hour for customers. Among new concoctions are Gold Coast ‘Rita, The Wallaby Darned, Great Barrier Punch, Sydney’s Cosmo, and flavored mojitos or margaritas.
For more information, visit Outback Steakhouse Philippines on Facebook.