I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published October 20th 2011
Ever wondered what camel tastes like? Well how about crocodile? Or kangaroo? Head down to Outback Jacks for a taste of the outback.
Please note, I am the girl who, while not officially vegetarian, didn't touch a steak until I was 18 and often order vegetarian meals when dining out. But when my steak-worshipping boyfriend was craving a big slab of meat, I was only too happy to accompany him to this Australian-wide steak house to try some different meat.
We'd had recommendations to try the camel and crocodile meat and after all, I couldn't remember having seen them on offer at any other restaurant. The waitress, wearing her fitting akubra hat, took our order for two game burgers (one of each) and the fact that she didn't shriek in disgust relieved me. We then took a walk over to the meat counter where you can choose your very own cut of red meat to be cooked; we didn't assume that our game meat was fresh!
It didn't take too long for our meals to come, despite the restaurant being jam-packed full. It is like this every weekend so be sure to book a table in advance. Anyhow, the burger looked like any ordinary burger- a toasted bun filled with tomato, lettuce, melted cheese, caramelised onions and - a patty of camel. With trepidation, I took a bite.
To my surprise, it had the texture of fish and tasted like chicken! Isn't that how we all describe an unfamiliar meat, you say? Well let me tell you, guinea pig tastes nothing like chicken but that's another story. I'm not sure why but I didn't like the crocodile as much. I'm not sure what part of the croc we were eating either but the meat was definitely tougher and had a "gamier" taste (if you aren't familiar with the "gamey" taste, I urge you to work you way up, starting with kangaroo).
Don't worry if you're not game enough (sorry, couldn't resist that pun!) to try the camel or croc, there's plenty of other animal choices to keep you happy at Outback Jacks. There are steaks, pork, kangaroo meatballs, chicken, pasta, lamb, fish, prawns, oysters, even a veggie burger for you true vegetarians.
A big bonus is that kids are more than welcome to dine here too. There's a kid's room with colouring books, Play Stations and TV's to keep them entertained while the adults are deep in conversation or enjoying an alcoholic beverage from the bar. Just watch out for the "big kids" who will no doubt all want to try the 1kg Rump Challenge. Eat 1kg of meat in half an hour and receive your meal half price and get a free t-shirt.
Located at three venues in Adelaide, if a night at Outback Jacks isn't eventful enough for you, catch a movie at Marion, a walk along the beach at Glenelg or catch an AFL game (the Crows of course) at Adelaide Oval from next year.
May I just disagree? I am guessing you didnt go to the Marion branch, as when we went we found the service lousy, the staff unsmiling, no chance of choosing your own meat, the 'special offer' was as far from special as possible and the manager was rude and unco-operative. It was a massive let down, and the fact there were only three other occupied tables on a thursday night spoke volumes. Try Outback jacks, fine, but perhaps not Marion....