The venerated house of pancakes
- 14 Jul 2017 at 04:00
- WRITER: ERIC E SURBANO
The Setting: The International House of Pancakes, or IHOP as it's most commonly known, has been a beloved breakfast staple in the good ol' US of A since 1958. While it does have the word "international" in its name, it was only a few weeks ago that the American breakfast chain finally opened its first store here in Bangkok. Located on the ground floor of Siam Paragon, IHOP sits right over the small artificial pond. Seating in the current location is limited, but it's planning to open up a bigger space up on the fourth floor by the end of the year. Because of this, it's best if you get there early. Besides, the menu is a breakfast menu. Actually, since Paragon opens at 10am, let's just say that it's perfect for brunch. You know what, we take it all back. Pancakes are perfect any time of the day, whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or when you wake up at 3am in the morning feeling hungry. IHOP won't be open then, though.
We started off with the obvious: pancakes. They've got a wide variety that could cater to your whims and desires, proving that it truly is the house of pancakes. This becomes obvious when you take a look at the menu and realise the pancake selection takes up one whole page. Along with these pancakes, each table comes equipped with four syrups you can lather on the fluffy delicacies: blueberry, butter pecan, strawberry, and old fashioned (aka maple syrup). Of course, these are just syrups, and although they may help, it wouldn't matter if the pancakes themselves weren't delicious. You can rest easy, though. The pancakes were great. We mentioned they were fluffy and that's true for whatever type of pancake you get. And, in our humble opinion, fluffy pancakes are the best pancakes.
We tried three of IHOP's pancakes, starting off with the Original buttermilk (B180). Nothing fancy about it. Just a simple double stacked pancake topped with butter. It's simply classic deliciousness and it goes very well if you mix the old fashioned and butter pecan syrups together. Just pour a generous helping over these fluffy babies and dig into 'em. The second type of pancake we tried is the New York cheesecake (B195). This tasted more like a dessert than an actual breakfast dish, thanks to the strawberry jam and whipped cream on top. But hey, we're not complaining. We decided to try it out with the Blueberry syrup and thought we were going to have some sort of fruity overload, but it actually complemented the strawberry quite well. Last but definitely not least, we tried out the chocolate monstrosity known as the Chunky chocolate (B195). Made with chocolate batter with chocolate chunks and topped with chocolate ice cream, this is not for the faint hearted ... nor is it wise to have if you're just not that into chocolate. But for chocolate lovers, this is definitely the option for you.
Aside from pancakes, IHOP also serves another one of its close relatives: waffles. For some strange reason, many waffles served around the city are crunchy and quite tough to chew. But IHOP's waffles are legit. They're soft and -- much like the pancakes -- fluffy. They were as near to perfect as you could want and were not overcooked, thankfully. We went ahead and tried the Berries and cream waffle (B195) which is basically like the New York cheesecake pancakes only this time they're... well, waffles.
Banana crepes with Nutella.
As previously mentioned, IHOP's pancakes are deliciously fluffy, and with two stacks, it may fill you up pretty quick. If you want something a little lighter yet still want a pancake of sorts, IHOP's got a selection of crêpes for you to choose from. We went ahead and tried the Banana crêpes with Nutella (B195), yet another dish that would surely please chocolate lovers. You can never go wrong with banana and Nutella. Actually, you can never go wrong with Nutella.
If, for some strange reason, you want something other than pancakes or any of its alternatives (in which case we have to ask why are you at the International House of Pancakes?), IHOP has got you covered. We tried a sandwich dish they've named the Egg cheese ham stack (B240). It's a given that IHOP's specialty is pancakes, but if we ignored that for a little while -- an act that could possibly be punishable by death -- the Egg cheese ham stack is IHOP's star dish. As a generously stacked (duh) sandwich topped with melted cheese and an egg whose yolk runs over when you cut the thing in half, this is a recommended go-to dish if you're not feeling pancake-y. If you're still looking for a lighter, non-pancake alternative, try the Banana foster brioche (B195), a soft French toast drizzled with caramel and topped with whipped cream.
Egg cheese ham stack.
To complete your IHOP breakfast/brunch experience, order the Never ending coffee pot (B150), which basically means you get your own pot at your table. Stop laughing, you know what we mean when we say "pot".
Value and Verdict
We're thrilled IHOP has finally opened here in Thailand and we're definitely going back.
Berries and cream waffle.
G/F, Siam Paragon