IHOP (aka a typical American pancake house)

IHOP is a popular chain in the US that is known for serving breakfast all day (and in some locations being open 24 hours a day).

This particular IHOP became part of my life in college.  I was never a party girl, but when we occasionally did go out clubbing, IHOP was a great solution of where to go/what to do once the clubs closed (which in Boston happens at 2 am). For locals, it’s the one on Storrow Extension.

One of the things that is tough to find in Singapore is a good Western Style pancake, which is very different from a Japanese pancake.  Also tough to find in Singapore, a great syrup (much less a flavored syrup).  So IHOP was on our list of places to eat.

I decided to document our visit because there are many similarities between IHOP and most restaurants in the US.

Standard thing #1–Kids get a place mat menu with crayons.  This keeps Ellie happy while we peruse the usual menu. Some Singaporean restaurants do this, but it tends to be the American ones.  In the US, it’s the rare restaurants that doesn’t have it.

Detailed kids menu.  They try to make meals creative, like the smiling “make your own face” pancake shown in the top right corner.

The adult menu ranges from pancakes to waffles to egg dishes to chicken dishes and burgers.  Average price for an entree?  Less than $15.

My favorite thing about IHOP?  The syrup basket.  There is old fashioned maple syrup, strawberry syrup, blueberry syrup and boysenberry syrup.  Depending on what your pancake/waffles are covered in, you can pick whichever you want, and use as much as you want.  When you do get syrup in Singapore (outside our house), we’ve found the restaurants to be exceedingly stingy about how much you get.

Ellie enjoyed the pancake face kids meal.


We got regular buttermilk pancakes, Ravi tried the cinnamon apple pancakes drenched in caramel sauce, and there was also a waffle.  Extra sides of bacon were ordered.  Bottomless orange and apple juice and lemonade also flowed (see, Singapore, FREE REFILLS!).

The cost for this meal (which included a ridiculous amount of food)?  $40 USD, which is maybe 1/3 of what we’d pay in Singapore.

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9 Responses to IHOP (aka a typical American pancake house)

  1. OMG!

    I sued to go there late at night too.

    They always sat us drag queens all the way in the back, so we always found reason to walk across the room to the bathroom, or the car, or the waiting area etc etc.

    Then they opened one in Harvard Square and I went in drag and used the ladies and a nice old lady refused to get in there with me.

    Hope she was wearing her Depends…

  2. bookjunkie says:

    the buttermilk pancakes are making me drool. so yummy!

    sigh…..I wish IHOP would come to Singapore.

    I agree…..they are stingy with the condiments here. I always feel so greedy when I ask for more…I feel like Oliver Twist ;-p

    If I’m ever on holiday it’s gonna be IHOP, whether it’s breakfast lunch or dinner 😉 We used to have Denny’s in Singapore (holland village I think) that served good pancakes but it closed down some years ago… 😦

    • Crystal says:

      Denny’s is another one of those places I only went at 2am 🙂 Good memories!

      So sad that Denny’s is gone…I think I would actually be a regular goer here in SG.

      Honestly I’ve begun to cut to the chase when ordering and just say I”d like extra bbq sauce/whatever (at McDonalds I’m specific as to the number) and say if they need to charge me extra. Otherwise we can only break into the Oliver Twist monologues, agreed!

      I wouldn’t argue that IHOP has the *best* food…it’s a mid-range place, and the food quality can be up or down (see Dawn’s comment) but it’s usually worth a pass if you like that sort of breakfast all the time concept (which we do!)

  3. enlarged your pancake photo to torture myself further…it’s 1am and I’m hungry 😉

    Out of all the pancake mixes that are sold here…would you recommend Betty Crocker?…I kinda like it. What’s your fave brand?

    • Crystal says:

      At home I usually use the Bisquick pancake/waffle mix (with their recipe halved). You use bisquick, milk and eggs (sometimes a little extra milk if the batter looks super thick for pancakes)…make sure your batter is still a little lumpy and try to judge your pancake flip such that you only flip 1x. Also, the first pancake is always a toss in the garbage…don’t know why, but it’s a universally agreed upon thing. Then I top it with the dean and delucca real maple syrup (I buy it at the market on the 4th floor of Ion—pricey but worth it!). Delicious!!!

      When I’m home in the US I usually pick up some of the mixes from Williams Sonoma ( http://www.williams-sonoma.com/search/results.html?activeTab=products&words=pancake+mix&cm_sp=OnsiteSearch-_-GlobalNav-_-Button&type-ahead-viewset=ecomz ) and looking up that link just told me they do international shipping–knowledge that is dangerous for me to possess!

      There are also great from scratch recipes if you want to go that route. I’m lazy, so I often don’t.

  4. Dawn says:

    IHOP is generally pretty good if you want simple easy-to-digest food, or need food late at night, but I have had my horror stories there. Last time we went, they completely forgot to bring F’s food (Kraft mac & cheese – nothing that would have taken extra time to make), and making a toddler wait to eat while everyone else is eating is just not an option. (She ended up stealing from us and then not being hungry enough to eat her food when it finally came.) By the time her food came – about 20 minutes after everyone else’s – T’s food (which he had been holding off on while trying to entertain her) was cold, and when he eats cold, greasy food (he had eggs), his tummy gets very unhappy. We haven’t been back since. It’s also worth it to note that their “old-fashioned maple syrup” is really maple-flavored corn syrup; real maple syrup is quite expensive, even here, and most low-cost restaurants don’t even have it as an option. Our main IHOP-alternative, Bickford’s, does in fact give you only a tiny thing of syrup (though I think you can ask for more) if you order something that warrants it, and only one particular dish on the breakfast menu is advertised as being served with real maple syrup (and it costs extra).

    • Crystal says:

      When we lived in the US, it was almost always a late night option exclusively. But it’s funny the things you miss when you leave home!

      I agree that the service/food is variable and can suck. Which is when I tend to be a bitch and get things taken off my bill by the manager 😉

      Where’s the nearest bickford’s to cambridge these days? Didn’t most of them (sadly) close? I was a Bickford’s over IHOP girl for years.

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