There is a curious new pancake variety at the international restaurant chain International House of Pancakes (IHOP). This new pancake is dressed in a favorite seasonal snack — the bibingka, the flat rice cake cooked over live coals and topped with slices of salty duck egg (itlog na maalat or itlog na pula) and grated coconut meat, popularly associated with the Christmas season.
The so-called bibingka pancakes have generous slices of salty duck eggs and cheddar cheese between two buttermilk pancakes, and sprinkled with muscovado sugar, shredded parmesan cheese and desiccated coconut meat. Topped with a scoop of butter, they are served on banana leaf for a traditional feel. Surprisingly, they taste like the real bibingka, only much finer and tastier. The heavy rice flour is replaced by the buttermilk mix, with which IHOP is known for. The eggs and the cheese cut back the sweetness and provide a nice counterbalance.
The bibingka pancakes were launched in time for the Christmas season, much beloved by Filipinos, together with other new items concocted by IHOP Philippines including the dulce de leche pancake and the Malagos Chocolate drink.
IHOP does not only allow international branches to innovate and create new dishes for their markets, it encourages the practice, said IHOP Philippines brand manager Patricia Malong.
Since it opened in the country early 2013, IHOP Philippines executive chef Paolo Angelo Gutierrez has introduced several original items that has become popular. The Filipino breakfast items, for example, was introduced in March 2014 on limited time offer, but they became so popular that the restaurant has decided to include them in the regular menu. These Filipino breakfast items are the popular silog combo meals consisting of fried rice, fried egg and a meat such as the tapsilog (tapa, sinangag and itlog or fried marinated beef, fried rice and egg), tosilog (tocino or sweet cured pork), longsilog (longganisa or chorizo), etc.
Now, IHOP Philippines deems the Christmas season as the best time to introduce new tiems on special limited edition offers.
“Holidays are a big part of our campaigns,” said Archie Rodriquez, president and CEO of Global Restaurant Concepts Inc., which owns and operates IHOP in the Philippines. “We are proud to celebrate this joyous season with our diners with a Filipino touch.”
Global Restaurant Concepts Inc. also operates Ramen Iroha, California Pizza Kitchen, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Gyu-Kaku and Morelli’s Gelato.
“We are very sure that these items bring back childhood memories of a more traditional way of celebrating with family and friends in every bite,” he commented, referring to the bibingka pancake, the dulce de leche pancake, and the hot Malagos chocolate drink. “These tasty treats combine IHOP’s classic recipes with Filipino flavors, giving holiday diners the best of both worlds.”
Compared to the bibingka pancake, the dulce de leche pancake is much sweeter with the two buttermilk pancakes filled with fresh bananas, spread with dulce de leche, topped with a drizzle of dark chocolate syrup, and topped with whipped cream.
IHOP provides you with an excellent hot drink to accompany the new pancakes — the hot Malagos chocolate drink. The drink is made from single-origin cacao beans grown in the Malagos Gardens of Davao City. It tastes almost like the beloved tsokolate eh, creamy and sweet, like velvet to the tongue.
|The holidays are sweeter with IHOP’s Dulce de Leche Pancake, two buttermilk pancakes filled with fresh bananas, spread with dulce de leche, topped with a drizzle of dark chocolate syrup, and crowned with whipped cream.|
|Every cup of the Malagos hot chocolate is made with all-natural, single-origin beans grown and harvested by Davao’s farmers and cheerfully prepared at IHOP’s kitchen.|
Aside from these Christmas items, IHOP Philippines also offers its recently added items, including burgers and desserts.
Aside from the worldwide favorites pancakes and omelets, burgers are also popular in the Philippines. This is one American food item Filipinos embraces to the point that it has been considered by many as a comfort food, having grown up with it. So, the all-day breakfast restaurant welcomes the burger in its menu. All burgers come with IHOP’s own secret sauce along with a choice of seasoned fries or onion rings.
Gutierrez’s new burgers seem to be hybrids of two popular items. Western Hash Brown Burger and the Sunrise Burger, for example, are burgers infused with breakfast elements. The first is made with hash browns, American cheese, tomatoes and bacon, while the Sunrise Burger with sun-dried tomato pesto, red onion rings, American cheese and sunny-side-up egg.
On the other hand, the Philly Cheese Steak Burger and the Cheesy Mac Burger combine the burger with favorite American dishes. The former is a classic Southern burger with provolone cheese, Philly meat, green bell pepper, onions, mushroom and red potato seasoning, while the latter is smothered with macaroni and cheese, bacon, lettuce, dill pickle and more cheese sauce.
The new dessert items are the bread and butter pudding, a slice of warm bread pudding topped with a drizzle of banana caramel sauce, vanilla sauce, honey-pecan nuts and a scoop of vanilla ice cream; and the stuffed and rolled chocolate crepe, chocolate crepes with cream cheese filling, choco hazelnut spread, vanilla sauce topping, dark chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, a side of strawberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
With these new items, the people behind IHOP Philippines hope to bring more excitement to guests dining in their restaurants. The introduction of IHOP was a major development in the local food industry, attracting numerous foodies. The restaurant has been able to sustain the interest of diners, opening three more branches this year. It is aiming to further strengthen its presence in the Philippines.
Branches have opened at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City; the UP Town Center on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City; the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City; Century City Mall in Makati City; Filinvest City in Alabang, Muntinlupa; and the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City. A branch at the Ayala Fairview Terraces mall in Quezon City will be unveiled soon. IHOP is also looking to open branches in the provinces outside Metro Manila as well as in Southeast Asia.
Aside from adding branches, IHOP Philippines will also be offering catering services for consumer and corporate events in onsite and offsite locations.
“At IHOP, Filipino diners get to enjoy all-day dining from original buttermilk pancakes to sandwiches to ribeye steaks,” Rodriguez said. “The brand has been serving delicious food for more than five decades, from breakfast to dinner, and we are proud to create new moments and memories with our diners here in the Philippines.”
|Carbonara pasta. Fettuccini pasta tossed in velvety cream mixed with crispy bason, ham, fresh mushrooms and shredded Parmesan topped with sunny-side upp egg. Served with garlic bread.|
|Italian chicken pasta. Grilled chicken over fettuccini pasta, spinach and mushrooms in a house-made tomato Alfredo sauce topped with shredded Parmesan. Served with garlic bread.|
|Pot roast pasta. Chunks of moist, slow-cooked pot roast in a bed of creamy penne, mixed with sauteed tomatoes and a zing of sour cream. Served with garlic bread.|
|Sriracha chicken and waffle. Two pieces of fried chicken covered in a sweet and spicy combination of butter pecan sauce and sriracha on a Belgian waffle with a scoop of whipped butter.|
|Sunrise Burger. Have a taste of sunshine with this burger made with sun dried tomato pesto, red onion rings, American cheese, and sunny side up egg. Made with IHOP’s own secret sauce and served with a choice of seasoned fries or onion rings.|
|Western Hash Brown Burger. Unleash your inner cowboy with this bad boy made of hash browns, American cheese, tomatoes, and bacon. Made with IHOP’s own secret sauce and served with a choice of seasoned fries or onion rings.|
IHOP is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and until 12 midnight on weekends. For the Christmas season, the flagship branch at the Bonifacio Global City accepting orders 24 hours a day and seven days a week from Dec. 16, 2014, to Jan. 3, 2015. To know more, visit its Facebook page (IHOP Philippines); follow its Twitter and Instagram accounts (@ihop_ph); or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.