Thursday, September 17, 2015


Greetings from Dubai! :) 

At the moment, I am sitting in front of my laptop inside my hotel room in Sheraton. I almost never bring my laptop overseas, but am doing it right now to share some of my thoughts on this current trip. I'm actually going to write a separate thoughts on something like Dubai travel diary for this trip, so for now, let's focus on food reviews! 

I'm pretty sure most of you have known, heard or probably dined at IHOP before. But incase you don't even have a clue of what IHOP is, They are one of the largest franchised family restaurant chain since 1958. It originates from USA and as 2015, there are around 1650 of them in the states and some countries like Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the one I'm going to reviewing on, Dubai. They are mostly popular for the pancakes and all day breakfast, but they serve lunch and dinner as well. 

What's the one common thing about all American family restaurant? Yup, the HUGE portion! We Asian tend to have smaller food space so we don't normally eat in such big portion. I mean, even me as a foodie. The interior itself is nothing fancy as it always am a place where we can be casually dressed.

I would say what differentiates IHOP from the rest of American family restaurant is the wide variety of all day breakfast and their amazing waffle and pancakes. Like if I'm a mom and stay in one of the countries that have IHOP, I would probably bring my kids here often for their pancakes. Kids love that, right? 

As a first timer at IHOP, I literally went on trying almost everything. I went here with several friends and foodies, so no, I'm not crazily eat alone and order so many food. 

Big Steak Omelette (46 Dirham)
Tender strips of steak, hash browns, fresh green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheddar cheese. Served with salsa. 

I'll start with one of my favorite that day. I liked this one as I find it very unique. I am loving the idea of rolled omelette where every ingredients I listed above was rolled inside the eggs so I have all these mixed flavors just burst in one bite. I can really taste how well does each ingredients works altogether and it was yum. The fluffy egg paired with the fried hash browns rolled inside was just a smart idea, this way we got both the softness from the egg and the crunchiness from the hash browns. Not to mention, the steak was like super tender.

Spinach & Mushroom Hash Brown Stack (36 Dirham)
Golden hash browns topped with sauteed spinach and mushrooms, melted cheese, sliced tomato, an over medium egg, hollandaise sauce and green onions.

You can choose the kind of eggs you'd like. I chose poached, of course. Aside from the perfectly cooked eggs with the runny egg yolk, I didn't find anything stands out from this dish. It came with a sides of toasted bread (can choose white or brown wheat bread). I honestly feel the toast breads aren't necessary. Who comes to a restaurant and eat plain toasted bread with butter spread? It's better to just cut it from the menu and hopefully get some price deduction. 

Chicken Florentine Crepes (48 Dirham)
Chicken breast strips sauteed with fresh spinach, mushrooms and onions. Rolled inside two delicate crepes with Swiss cheese and topped with hollandaise sauce. 

The crepes thickness is good, not too thick yet not too thin that it breaks easily. The overall dishes was light and as a veggie lover, I liked how they stuffed seasoned spinach inside. The one thing I don't like is the over pouring of hollandaise sauce on the top of the crepes, making it kinda flabby and gross if you don't eat it directly. I mean, for me as a foodie who always take pictures first before eat, it took me a while to snap some decent photos and then the crepes will be like flabby and yuck. Don't blame me because I took picture first and ruined the texture. These days, who doesn't take pictures first before they eat? My suggestion, put the sauce separate on the side. 

Volcano Shrimp (42 Dirham)
Battered shrimp tossed in sweet and spicy Volcano sauce. 

This I like. Shrimp is like one of my favorite protein and I just love their version with its tangy sweet spicy sauce. However, I find it weird that they serve this on breakfast menu. Who eats shrimps for breakfast anyway? No, don't say me. I ordered this one for the sake of reviewing for you guys. 

Chicken & Waffles (45 Dirham)
Four all white meat chicken strips, breaded and crispy fried. Served with four waffle quarters, whipped butter and honey mustard sauce. 

Mazel tov! Crispy crispy yummy dish! Super like this one. The waffle was so good, soft and fluffy. Alone itself was nice already, yet you topped it with the sauce and it was excellent. Oh yes, one of the great things at IHOP is they serve all-you-can-eat sauces right in the centre of the table. They have four kinds of sauces to choose, Maple, blueberry, strawberry and my favorite one, butter pecan. We all know pancakes house in Jakarta doesn't come with all you can eat sauces on the table and they normally only have one maple sauce. The chicken? A bit thick battered but like super crunchy good. It was not at all greasy nor oily, yet the meat itself was tender and not dry.

Strawberry Banana French Toast (39 Dirham)
Six French toast with strawberry topping, fresh banana slices and whipped cream. 

The tempting presentation didn't do so much well on the taste itself. Generally it's okay but there's nothing much left to keep me digging in.

Original Buttermilk Pancakes (27 Dirham)
Five award winning buttermilk pancakes with authentic country flavor. 

I finally understood why the pancakes won five awards. It was so so good. In all my life, I never thought I could actually enjoy eating a pancake. It was so light, fluffy and moist. I poured the butter pecan sauce and it was perfect.

Cinn-A-Stack Pancakes (39 Dirham)
A stack of four fluffy buttermilk pancakes layered with a luscious cinnamon roll filling, drizzled with rich cream cheese icing and finished with whipped topping.

When I looked at the picture on the menu with the actual object, it was very different and it might be misleading at first as the one in the menu's picture was looking so tempting with drizzling of layered chocolates, and as you an see the actual one brought up to the table is hardly with any chocolates. However, as I took my first bite, I was sold as much as my first bite with the original one. I didn't anything cheesy yet it was chocolaty, moist and flavorful.   

Splashberry (16 Dirham)
A blend of IHOP's juicy red strawberries, lemon lime soda and premium orange juice.
Moving on to the lunch and dinner menu, with bloated tummy, we only ordered two items. Again sickening huge portion. I wonder why they don't come with options of full and half option for each menu. 

Ribeye with Blue Cheese Butter (80 Dirham)
Ribeye steak topped with blue cheese butter. Served with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. 

We went for medium. The meat was a bit chewy and hard to cut, and I hated how the sauce was so oily. Aces on the smooth mashed potatoes though. 

Grilled Balsamic Chicken (54 Dirham)
Boneless chicken breast with sauteed mushrooms, onions, diced tomatoes and a balsamic glaze. Served with steamed broccoli and seasoned red potatoes. 

Okay for this one, the chicken was very very tender and moist. One thing to point one, breast part usually dry, but theirs was not, at all. But I do feel the balsamic sauce was way overpowering, since balsamic is sour, I felt the flavors was like too vinegar-ish.

So, the verdict. I had a pleasant first timer here at IHOP, but if you ask me will I think IHOP works in Indonesia? Looking from the price itself, it obviously need price adjustment. I'm not going to pay around 120k rupiah for some pancakes. Aside from it, I'm not sure. Generally the food is okay. I like the breakfast menu and their waffles and pancakes are amazing but we Indonesian normally go for lighter and simpler kind of breakfast like bread, porridge or noodle and keep the big feast only for Sunday brunch. I was thinking it might work if they only open for breakfast on weekends, but on the other hand, IHOP's famous trademarks is where people go for daily breakfast, so honestly I'm torn. Probably if they do like happy hour thing for the price list on weekdays? Thoughts? 

** 1 Dirham = Rp. 3.950 as per September 2015

Mall Of The Emirates 1st level
E11 Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

No comments: