Wednesday, 16 September 2015
IHOP Mall of Emirates Dubai JK1235
My first experience with IHOP was years ago when I was in the US to send my daughter off to school there. My mood was mixed as I was about to leave her alone to fend for herself in the US at age 17. We had our first breakfast together in the US at IHOP and it really cheered me up (the girl was excited and happy to be set "free" in the US).
We were attracted by the homely, welcoming decor and the promise of good pancakes, that quintessentially American comfort breakfast food. The service was cheerful and I have since always associated IHOP with happiness and familial warmth.
IHOP at Mall of the Emirates
It's years later that I am at IHOP again. This time in Dubai's Mall of the Emirates. In a mall, the interior didn't have the same homely, country feel of small town USA.
Though the service at IHOP in MOE was equally friendly and enthusiastic, I missed that "American mum" type of experience. Our waitress in the US was a middle aged American lady in loud colourful dress and apron straight out of a 1960s LIFE magazine. Still, the simple, cheerful ambiance and extensive menu of hearty, American sized dishes at IHOP at MOE is appealing for groups and families. With so many menu items, naturally there are several dishes I liked - so I believe there is bound to be something for everyone too.
Vanilla flavoured coffee - under that white "rose" of sugary whipped cream, the coffee lacked aroma, coffee flavour was weak, and body was watery. It also tasted too sugary sweet as the whipped cream melted into the lukewarm coffee. Many people appreciate the unlimited bottomless "free flow" of coffee though.
Boneless Buffalo Chicken Strips - the white meat was a little dry and lacked flavour. The batter was also dry, almost gritty and overly salty.
New York Cheesecake Pancakes (AED42 / SGD16.80) - hearty stack of nice light fluffy soft eggy pancakes - what I always remembered IHOP for. The NY cheesecake tang was not pronounced perhaps it was easily overwhelmed by the strawberry sauce, icing sugar and whipped cream. That mushy strawberry compote out of a can was also too saccharine sweet.
Original Buttermilk Pancakes - the same fluffy pillowy IHOP pancake. Love it. That bloom of whipped cream topping was a little over sugary for me, so I just pushed it to the side.
Chicken and Waffle (AED45 / SGD18) - light eggy waffle with a slight crisp. Went very well with mildly sweet syrup. The fried white chicken meat though lacked flavour and was a little dry. Would be perfect it were a juicy thigh or wing with bone in :-D I also prefer my waffle served flat and uncut, so that I can playfully drizzle syrup into the pockets ;-p
Eggs Benedict (AED49 / SGD 19.60) - turkey ham was a little dry, stringy and quite salty. The eggs were slightly overdone and lacked egginess. The dull looking Hollandaise sauce didn't have enough lime and mustard to add to the taste profile. The bread at the bottom looked unappetising enough to deter me from trying it ;-p The hash brown side saved the day - it was crisp, slightly browned outside and still moist inside.
Strawberry Banana French Toast (AED39 / SGD15.60) - it was a little too sugary sweet from the bath of strawberry syrup and not sufficiently eggy in flavour in the toast. The toast lacked bounce. We were partly to blame as we waited till the French toast turned a little cold before we started to dig into it (food bloggers..... :-( ).
Chicken Fajita Omelette (AED40 / SGD16) - diced white chicken meat and various diced vege crunch wrapped in an eggy spongy roll. Likeable mainly because of the eggy roll.
Volcano Shrimp (AED42 / SGD16.8) - slightly crispy outside and crunchy prawn inside. The fried shrimp was smothered in a robust savoury sauce balanced with slight sweet and tangy flavour. Very popular but I prefer sauces to be less assertive and gentler in flavour so that I can taste the crustacean flavour and smell the prawn aroma when I bite into it.
Smoke House BBQ Burger (AED46 / SGD18.4) - the pretty buttered bun was a little dense and stiff. The thin patty was a little dry and lacked beefiness and juice. The BBQ sauce needs a little sweetness to balance the quite intense savouriness and saltiness.
Surf and Turf (AED99 / SGD39.60) - good sized grilled ribeye steak blanketed (hidden under) with kebab style grilled shrimps and fried potatoes.
The good sized slab done medium rare had the tenderness and beefy juiciness that I like. The grilled shrimps had good juicy crunch but lacked crustacean flavour.
I will come back to IHOP for their pancakes, waffles and the Surf and Turf available all day. I think IHOP, if located in a large suburban mall and priced correctly, is likely to be well received in Singapore especially for casual family outings and gathering of friends.
Disclosure: This is an invited food tasting.
Restaurant name: IHOP (International House of Pancakes)
Address: Unit K01C 1st Level - Mall of The Emirates, E11 Sheikh Zayed Road, United Arab Emirates
GPS: 25.119891, 55.199967
Tel: +971 4 385 0891
Hours: 8:00am to 12:00pm midnight (same menu served throughout business hours i.e. all day breakfast)
Date visited: 13 Sep 2015
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