I recently got the chance to visit Thailand’s first ever IHOP in Siam Paragon to find out this was the same pancake loving restaurant I ate previously in Vancouver.
So, here’s a quick low down. In March, Coconuts Bangkok reported IHOP (International House of Pancakes) is going open its first ever restaurant in Thailand, bringing delicious pancakes into the Kingdom. Finally, I think to myself, I can relive the days of eating pancakes again, just like I did in Vancouver! If you know me well enough, you probably know the above statement is sarcasm. My expectations for amazing pancakes isn’t high simply because many American chains that open here are ‘dumbed’ down and authenticity chucked out the window. Bye, bye authenticity! It was nice not knowing you!
IHOP is located in Siam Paragon, Ground Floor, and in front of Harrod’s. If you have no idea where it is, ask the information kiosk. Or you can plow through the Food Court, look for Kasikorn, Bank and hug the wall. You’ll find the restaurant in no time.
In my head, I envisioned IHOP to be in a large restaurant against the wall or something. Nope. The restaurant is based on a little island, surrounded by a man made pond.
I got to the restaurant roughly close to 7 PM. The restaurant was packed with less than fifteen tables, I think. Outside, there was a small line. I gave my name and the waitress informs me I had to wait for four more queues. No big deal, I wasn’t in a hurry or anything. Once our turn came, my friends and I were lead to a small table and we sat down and looked at the menus.
Let me tell you right now, the menu is incomplete. The menu offers pancakes, French toast, omelets, shakes, and average beverages. We were told the rest of the menu items will come on a late date when IHOP opens a second location on the 4th floor. The waiter tells us the ground floor location is unable to make any other dish since other dishes will create too much smoke and there’s no vent to expel smoke. Makes sense, right? Nobody wants to see Siam Paragon burned to the ground in ash and cinder.
Each table had four IHOP sauces for those who want to add a bit more flavor to their pancakes.
So, what did we order? Did we come all the way here to eat pancakes? Nope. We ordered plain French toast with whip cream topping, French toast with strawberry and blueberries, French toast with strawberry and banana and three glasses of water. And remember; the water is very important later as you’ll see why. The entire restaurant buzzed; it was full house that night and I expected delays in our food. Luckily, within 5 to 10 minutes, we all received our orders and admittedly, they looked alright.
As someone who loves shoving French toast into her face, my bread was slightly cold as each piece of French toast is premade. Yeah, I get it, but it would have been nice if they served warm French toast (or at least, have it be a little crispier, IMHO). It makes a huge difference! The strawberries and banana pieces are okay. Nothing mind-blowing there.
Luckily, the powdered sugar made all the flavors come together, even if my dish was a little soggy from the strawberry jam overload. Obviously, it’s not a bad thing, especially if you happen to be a strawberry jam whore. But, if you’re like me who doesn’t like too much jam, you may not enjoy it.
Until now, we haven’t received our drinks. I flagged down the waitress and told her our water hadn’t been served yet. She apologized and left. I didn’t think too much of it until we all finished our meals. Then I knew we weren’t going to get our drinks. The table behind us, who came after us, got their shakes. We ordered three glasses of water.
I had to flag down another waiter and told him to remove the drinks from our bill.
My overall experience with IHOP was unsatisfactory. It’s not the same experience I had at Brentwood Mall in Burnaby, but that’s expected right? The French toast pieces were a little too thin for my liking and the fruits weren’t fresh. The only reason why I finished my dish was because of the powdered sugar. I was a little disappointed with the service overall, but I’m not going to bash them or criticize them or anything; mistakes can happen. However, I do hope they improve on their overall services and overall quality of their food.
For someone who’s never had a piece of French toast or pancake in their lives, they might enjoy IHOP as their first time experience. But for veteran pancake or French toast aficionados, IHOP Thailand is a disappointing letdown.
Should you try it? No, not really.