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Thursday, August 22, 2013

The IHOP Philippines Experience

It's been quite a while since the the first IHOP store in the Philippines have opened. I didn't give it that much attention but I've been reading about them on the web. A lot of food bloggers have written about them; I see advertorials; I see them on the news and read them on local newspapers ... then I thought hmmm, this is probably something ei? But it's just another pancake store right? Or so I thought! So me and my colleague Erelyn visited the place one time recently and the experience was surprising!


It was during one of our busy week days after work when we paid a visit. A stressful day deserves comforting food, we said. It was still in the early hours in the morning when we thought there's not much folks waiting to be seated; and we would be able to finally taste what a lot of folks have been craving for. However, it wasn't that easy ... not as easy as we thought ...

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What surprised us was the bunch of folks waiting to be seated inside AND those queueing outside the store. Thought that ain't much huh? But nope! When we inquired inside, it turned out there were already almost 30 names before us! Wow! That many huh?



It took us about roughly forty-five (45) minutes before we got seated inside to WAIT. Take note; to still wait for our turn to be seated upstairs. I guess I underestimated the place and there's actually more seats than it seemed.





While waiting, I took a few photos of the area. It seems such a cozy place to be in with comfy seats and neat surroundings. It took us probably another 30-45 minutes before we got called to go upstairs. Gosh! Such a long wait!


My Firmoo Eyewear making an appearance! *wink*



Upstairs, the place was so jampacked and while the seats are actually comfy and convenient for even big groups to seat, it was a bit noisy and you can't enjoy that much privacy. I guess I was expecting a little bit more "ambiance" from the place since it's like a breakfast / cafe / restaurant / pancake shop so ... well, my expectations were not met. Nothing to worry too much though. I guess it was still all good.

Ahhhh! Refreshing Splashberry Drink!

Seating right next to the kitchen ...

View from the top ...

Everyone was so busy. All the staff and crew were everywhere! I can only imagine! There were tons of people that time of day - like 10AM ... and they're coming in and out of the narrow kitchen. I dunno ... maybe it has a wider space inside it but from the looks of it, it's too small. I wonder how they fit in their stocks. Well anyway ... we ordered our drinks first and I must say the refillable Splashberry is the best! It's simply amazing!

Erelyn and her orders!!!

International Crepe Passport

Ahhh this one I forgot what it's called .... darn!

Something from the "breakfast combo" thingies ...

The way the food is served is not as appetizing as it could be though. Yeah, still yummy but, I mean, look at the photos ... they seem to have been prepared in a rush and not arranged or placed accordingly. Or maybe the serving size is just not appropriate for the plates they use. I dunno ...

Me, while waiting for my foodies!
PRODUCT REVIEW:
  • Good quality food
  • A little bit pricey for the quantity / size, but still good enough
  • Some are too sweet
  • Splashberry's the best
SERVICE REVIEW:
  • Slow, probably because they're still new?
  • Unable to anticipate customer demands (i.e. a number of products are not available at 10AM - just when things start to get busy)
  • Roughly 1 hr & 30 minutes wait time to be seated?

RESTAURANT REVIEW:

  • Cozy, comfy, convenient
  • Too narrow space / alleys and kitchen but nice seats
  • Great location

Pick-A-Pancake Combo

Anyway, since there's not a lot of food available at that time of day; it was a bit frustrating, so I settled for this combo. It doesn't look as happy huh?

My Strawberry Banana Pancake from the Combo ...

... Which came in with Blueberry instead, because bananas were out of stock already ...

It's not that bad of an experience afterall. We still enjoyed the food. Maybe in more of our future visits, they'd have improved. I wouldn't mind giving them another try.
CHAI'S VERDICT: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✰ (4 Stars!!!)

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Would I recommend this? I'd still say, yes, I would. (^_^) Have you tried IHOP before? What can you say? Share with me. (^_^)


Chai

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