Yes, you read it right! The long wait is over.
Pancake and breakfast lovers do not have to fly all the way to the States to enjoy a delicious brekkie. We now have IHOP in the Philippines! The restaurant chain previously known as the International House of Pancakes has opened today, February 15, 2013 at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Is it me or there hasn’t been much of a splash yet? The surprise to me is, the chain has so far limited its announcement to a few television announcements and press releases to blogs. But then again — when you have a strong brand such as IHOP, you don’t need to bring out the entire marketing arsenal. And so, word has been going around pretty well.
I always make it a point to make a stop to IHOP whenever I am in San Francisco. And now that IHOP has opened in Manila, of course, I just had to go there earlier today for breakfast. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to get there for the 6:00 a.m. opening in case the lines would be as horrendous as when Krispy Kreme opened here. But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that as of this morning, there were still a lot of vacant seats, even if there were quite a number of people already.
First impressions of the place? Unlike the diner look and feel of IHOP outlets in America, they’ve updated their interiors and made the place look more like a modern bistro. Very reminiscent of California Pizza Kitchen, my girlfriend mused. After all, the restaurant chain was brought here by the same people behind CPK. Despite the updated look, the IHOP here has not lost its cozy atmosphere, which we felt the moment we entered.
The main event, of course, is the food. We ordered a number of their famous breakfast goodies, which also happen to be our favorite. For first timers in IHOP, I would always recommend two general dishes that they are really known for: 1) Pancakes; and 2) French Toast.
The pancakes are smooth and fluffy, while the French toasts are sweet, and not oily at all. I hate it when French toast is cooked with too much oil or butter that it leaves a heavy feeling on your chest afterwards.
My favorite: New York Cheesecake Pancakes (P285). I fell in love with this when I was in San Francisco. And I am happy to say IHOP has been able to export this specialty well over to us. The pancakes were very creamy thanks to the (Philadelphia?) cream cheese, as well as the strawberries. Lovely. The servers were very confident about recommending this to us, and I made the right decision in order this dish.
My girlfriend, TJ, ordered the Strawberry Banana Pancakes (P265). Loved the bananas, which were incorporated with the pancakes.
We shared the Original French Toast as well (P225). Fluffy and not heavy at all.
We had bacon, smoked sausages and hash browns as our side dishes. We wanted some salty stuff to balance all the sweet treats.
The hash browns are a winner. They’re crunchy outside after being fried well, while maintaining the soft, comforting taste inside. TJ loved this most after the New York Cheesecake Pancakes.
The smoked sausages were a bit salty (sodium signal number 2 here!), but are a good contrast to the sweet taste of our other orders.
The staff here in Manila appear to have been well trained and were very pleasant. And for their first day,they score high in customer service. Our only hope is that they are able to sustain the good service.
Thank goodness we now have IHOP here.
Other interesting tidbits:
- For the health conscious, IHOP has options for you. They have oatmeal (which is apparently a partnership with Quaker Oats)
- They have a “Never Empty Coffee Pot” for P125 per person
- IHOP has a menu for kids that includes panckakes with faces made of bananas and whipped cream
- They also have sandwiches, salads, and other dishes for lunch or dinner. Breakfast dishes, of course, are all day and all night!
IHOP Manila Location and Operating Hours
IHOP is located at the Bonifacio Global City, at the W Global Center, at the corner of 9th Avenue and 30th Street. Where exactly is this? It’s pretty much in the vicinity of Bonifacio High Street. It’s very near The Spa. So the good news is, there is ample parking.
– Sunday to Thursday: 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 m.n.
– Friday and Saturday: 24 hours
– I know that many of you are looking for IHOP’s menu. Well, here it is 🙂