When IHOP Restaurant Philippines (International House of Pancakes) opened its first branch here in Manila last month, people suddenly started hopping their way to IHOP BGC The Fort, to have a taste of this iconic brand that takes and still taking Manila by storm. People are excited to know IHOP Philippines' location, menu, price, and store hours. Everyone wants to know if the branch we have here in Manila is as good as the one they have in the U.S. Everyone seems to be curious if IHOP Philippines offers the best pancakes and breakfast fares in Manila. As most of you aptly put it, we are now experiencing IHOP Philippines craze.
Tip: Check out my previous post about IHOP Philippines The Fort Bonifacio Global City
Since IHOP Philippines opened and after writing about it here on YedyLicious, I've been receiving a lot of messages through Facebook and Twitter, including sms about how crazy the lines were. So, last week I decided to check the IHOP Manila craze and see for myself the long queue at IHOP BGC The Fort that people are talking about.
You see, I do not believe that patience is a virtue. It's a freakin' talent. No, it's a gift. The kind of gift that I am deprived of. I was probably sleeping my way to oblivion during the time that good heaven showered the earth with loads of patience. So, it is a known fact that you can rarely see YedyLicious lining up for something unless it is really important.
Yet, since I have been getting a lot of inquiries about the long lines at IHOP, I decided to check it out myself.
I was told that long queues happen during weekends, especially on dinner time. With a handful of patience (usually reserve for NBI clearance and other important documents processing queues) I talked one of my friend into revisiting IHOP at BGC The Fort to experience the long line this time, as a customer and not part of media.
We were at The Fort around 4:50 in the afternoon. I was eyeing to grab a table for dinner time so we came a bit early because of friends' warning about the long lines. Numbers of people are already lined up outside the store. Some were given monoblock chairs outside for comfort while the others were patiently standing.
My friend had his name enlisted and was told that we're 30th on the waiting list. We were also informed that the estimated waiting time is an hour and a half.
30th on the waiting list. An hour and a half waiting time. Not bad. My other friend informed me that during his visit, he was on the 65th on the list.
There was a food attendant assigned to call out the names of the guests on the list so be sure to stay close to the IHOP's entrance because once you missed your turn, the next guest on the list will be accommodated, and you would have to enlist again and wait.
I was this close to trekking my way to the nearest grocery store to buy all the pancake mixes I can get my hands on and head home at the comfort of my own kitchen. But then, the thought of freshly made buttermilk pancake with melting butter on top and drizzled with butter pecan honey syrup after an hour and a half was way too enticing than the idea of braving the traffic jam in Edsa. I succumbed, IHOP won.
We decided to kill time by checking out stores at nearby blocks and by the time we got back at IHOP,there were only 6 enlisted ahead of us. The queue moved pretty fast because not all those who had their names enlisted were patient enough to wait for their turn while the others just missed it altogether. While waiting, you can request for the copy of IHOP's menu so you can already decide what to have before you're seated inside.
We were given a table around 6:30 in the evening and upon checking out the entire place, it was really jam packed. The queue outside was starting to build up as well.
After placing our orders, I was expecting that it will be another long wait since there was a lot of diners, and most of them are in big groups. Surprisingly, after couple of minutes we were already given our drinks and the first dish arrived at our table pipping hot after couple of minutes more.
I have been wanting to try IHOP's Fried Chicken to see how well it fares with its local competitor Pancake House when it comes to extremely satisfying fried chicken. Too bad, it wasn't available when we visit. So we settled for other items on their menu instead.
There couldn't be more apt way to celebrate braving the long queue and long wait than to have a dish that has bacon on it. Bacon Temptation Omellete (Php285) was the first bacon dish on the menu that caught my attention.
It looked dry when it was served to us but to my delight, the dish was just perfect. Bacon pieces were generous and I love how the egg has a subtle crunch on the outside while maintaining moist inside. There are more bacon than diced tomatoes which was a good thing for bacon lovers like me. And while the Jack and Cheddar cheese added an extra flair to the dish, it was the special cheese sauce that made the entire deal worth raving for.
IHOP's omelletes are served with two buttermilk pancakes or seasonal mixed fruits. Naturally, we opted for pancakes. This dish also has an option to upgrade the classic pancakes to the flavored variants for an added Php50 only. Such upgrade is really getting a bang for your bucks since flavored pancakes alone ranges from Php200 to Php285. We upgraded our basic pancake to New York Cheesecake Variant.
We also had the Cheddar and Bacon Hash Brown Stack (Php295) because we couldn't get enough of the bacon and all the good things it may be partnered with.
On the menu it says that it comprises of golden hash browns topped with crisp diced bacon, melted Cheddar cheese sliced tomatoes, egg, hollandaise sauce, and green onions.
The bacon we were served was strips and not diced which I really don't mind at all. Tomatoes weren't diced, also not a problem. I just wish they put in more hollandaise sauce because it tasted so great I could smothered anything on it and eat it with gusto.
Cheddar and Bacon Has Brown Stack also comes with two buttermilk pancakes. Upgrade is also highly recommended just so you can enjoy other pancakes variants. For this meal we opted for the Blueberry Pancake. The Classic pancake on photo below comes with the steak we also ordered.
Since not being able to try IHOP's Fried Chicken was a let down, we compensated the sadness with the hefty order of IHOP's T-Bone Steak (Php695). It supposed to be served with seasoned red skin potatoes and steamed broccoli like what it says on the menu, I am not sure how we ended up having two sunny side up eggs and classic pancakes instead.
I could say that for its price, the serving portion of the steak was pretty impressive. I also love how it tasted. We asked for medium rare but we were given medium well. I am okay with it, my friend actually thought of sending it back, but opted not to since it tasted good anyway.
As much as I want to opt for their Never Empty Coffee Pot, I decided against it and opted for their Iced Coffee Mocha (Php145) instead since the heat that afternoon was no joke. Drinks are refillable at IHOP and I appreciate that they are pretty quick in refilling our glasses even if it's just half empty. I guess they read Anton's feedback regarding this on his IHOP blog post at Our Awesome Planet and improved on it significantly.
I wasn't able to try IHOP's Splashberry (Php175) during my first visit and to my delight, I extremely enjoy this drink to bits. I love how refreshing it tasted and the berries included were surely an added treat.
We finished our dinner around 7 in the evening and I was amazed at how many more people were lined up outside IHOP waiting for their turn to grab a table. I waited for long to have a dinner at IHOP and while devouring our feast, I was tempted to order for more to make up for the long wait. But the kindness for humanity in me prevailed and I decided to ditch the call for gluttony and have compassion for all the other diners waiting outside. We quickly finished our meal and leave.
The photo below was the view while we were on our way out.
The view from the stairs was pretty chaotic, little did I know, outside was more crazy! People have piled up for dinner time and everyone was excited t get their hands on this craze that is IHOP Philippines.
IHOP Philippines used to operate on 24 hours during Friday to Saturday but operating hours has changed and they are now open from 6am o 12midnight daily.
Until now, I have been hearing a lot of IHOP stories from friends who braved the long queue and patiently waited for their turn to try IHOP at The Fort. Mixed reactions and reviews are constantly dished out. Some of them says it's worth lining up, the others says it's a waste of time, while some is still patiently waiting for the long queues to subside before they visit IHOP.
As for me, I have loved IHOP before and I still love them until now. But will I brave the long queue again just to try some of the items on the menu? Well, I probably wait until craze subside before heading back again. And that came from someone who have dined at IHOP couple of times already. I am impressed with their food yes, and I am equally impressed by how well they are handling the numbers of people flooding their store since day one up to now.
However, since I am already confident that they can pull of great tasting breakfast fares and other dishes, I would love to experience IHOP in a different light. I would love to spend a leisurely breakfast or any meal time at IHOP without having to line up and think about all the other diners outside waiting for those who are inside to be finished with their meals.
Maybe not while the queue is as crazy as my appetite, but I will definitely come back.
How about you? Have you visited IHOP yet and braved the long lines? Do you think it's worth it? I would love to hear your thoughts!
30th St. cor 9th Ave.
The Fort, Bonifacio Global City
Contact Nos.: (02) 687-5677 / 0916 459 3391
Facebook Page: IHOP Philippines
Business Hours : 6am to 12am daily