Doha foodies have been eagerly waiting for news about an IHOP Doha opening since Gulf Mall opened its doors a few months ago. With the latest updates we know that the restaurant is almost ready and IHOP Doha staff members are being trained, but there are a few questions that are being asked.
UPDATE: IHOP Doha is open. Opening Times are as follows: Saturday – Wednesday 8.00am – 11.00pm; Thursday – Friday 8.00am – midnight.
‘When is IHOP opening?’
This is the most frequent question from Qatar Eating readers to date – almost as popular as the anticipation from readers for the PF Changs Review. Conversely, just as many residents can be heard asking ‘What is IHOP?’ And it is a fair question as the brand is mostly familiar to American breakfast enthusiasts. With IHOP Doha expecting to open its doors to the public soon, Qatar Eating sent Miss QE to check out the IHOP in Dubai, and report back on the food and what we can expect from IHOP Doha.
IHOP, Mall of Emirates Review
Established over 57 years ago IHOP is an internationally-recognised brand that offers all-day breakfast but its full menu also has lunch and dinner options such as salads, soups, burgers and steaks. However it is mostly recognised for its breakfast favourites of pancakes, waffles, french toast and crepes.
The Mall of Emirates branch is relatively new but its design scheme gives off vibes of 1970s fast food restaurants, with banquettes and a bland colour scheme of beiges and browns. There is nothing fancy about this place but the server was friendly and helpful in explaining the menu. She also explained the breakfast combo options available at IHOP which allow you to order eggs cooked your way with pancakes or waffles.
I had heard good things about the pancakes, omelettes and hash browns but ultimately decided to order the dishes that appealed to my sweet-craving palate – Double Blueberry Pancakes, Strawberry Banana French Toast, and I couldn’t resist ordering the New York Cheesecake Pancakes. For those of you who are familiar with the brand you must be smiling right now as you recognise that I ordered too much for one person, especially as the portion sizes are huge! You can order shorter pancake stacks so do order carefully or you will definitely be asking for left-overs to be packed.
The IHOP pancakes are made with a secret recipe that includes buttermilk which gives them a tangy, light texture. There are four sauce dispensers on the table with strawberry, blueberry, old fashioned and pecan butter options; I found the pecan butter to be the best. The Double Blueberry Pancakes had blueberries mixed into the batter and was topped with a blueberry compote and whipped topping. Ordinarily I would not enjoy the whipped cream but it went well with the fluffy pancake batter. I did not like the compote which had little flavour and tasted as if it had come out of a tin – you can find better versions on the supermarket shelf.
On the other hand the New York Cheesecake Pancakes was a winning dish – despite the frozen strawberries. Fluffy tangy pancakes with a sweet strawberry topping, powdered sugar and more of the whipped topping. The strawberries were cold and did cool down the hot pancake, but the berries are delivered frozen to Dubai, which is then reflected in how they can be served. It was the cheesecake pieces inside the batter that added flavour to these pancakes, and I polished off most of the dish.
The French toast was very fluffy with six brioche triangles covered in IHOP’s signature batter flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla. It was topped with the cold strawberries and fresh slices of banana and more whipped topping. The fresh bananas added greatly to the brioche and I can only imagine how much better it could have been with fresh strawberries.
What can we expect from IHOP Doha?
Overall IHOP in Dubai provides a value-for-money breakfast with dishes ranging from 35 to 70 Dhs; there are also unlimited refills for coffee and soft drinks. The restaurant was also very child-friendly, although I did not notice if the Dubai branch had a child’s menu but there is one on IHOP’s global site.
As a global franchise you can expect the same standards and consistency in their food, décor and service across all branches, so the Doha branch seems very promising as a family all-day breakfast option. I also discovered that IHOP has a new breakfast Double-Dipped French Toast which looks and sounds delicious…let’s hope it is on the IHOP Doha menu! We cannot wait and look forward to reviewing IHOP Doha once it is open.