A Californian favourite’s first outlet in Lower Parel is worth the trek only for its pancakes
Half NY cheese pancake
Cost/Value for money
We have noticed how in almost every other American film, fluffy, sweet pancakes make an appearance as a breakfast staple — from being flipped on the pan, to being drizzled with maple syrup. Growing up in the ’90s, our impressionable mind believed pancakes set everything in the world right. In fact, it could be considered synonymous to ma ke haath ka aloo ka paratha with makkhan that earned the title of the OG Indian breakfast on screen.
With the recent launch of iHop’s first outlet in Palladium, Lower Parel, the buzz and enthusiasm has been quite high. The Californian brand, whose acronym stands for International House of Pancakes, was launched in 1958, and is known for its American breakfasts.
Done up in white, blue and yellow, the space has a chirpy vibe. We slide into its blue sofa booths, and look around. A juice bar is whipping up milkshakes and drinks, while the sweet smell of batter wafts from the open kitchen. Splashberry (Rs 230), one of the popular drinks our server recommends, comes in a mason jar, with a pink bottom of strawberry crush topped with orange juice and soda. There is fruity company here, and it helps wash down our carb-loaded bites.
Garden crêpe (Rs 420) is dressed in a hollandaise, and the savoury crêpe is slightly burnt at the bottom and edges, making it too chewy once the dish has cooled down. The filling is a dull scrambled egg with mushroom and spinach.
The classic burger (Rs 490) comes with a side of perfectly manicured fries, but the lamb patty is bland. The burger game in Mumbai is pretty strong even at fast-food chains, and this offering just does not make it to the list.
The saving grace is the fiesta paneer wrap (Rs 390) that earns attention thanks to its paneer and corn filling that has a sharp cheddar and juicy ranch dressing. The side of crispy potato wedges is dusted with herbs.
A bit stuffed with savoury eats, it is time to turn the mall into a post-meal walking ground. We loiter for an hour, coaxing our belly to prepare for the second round of indulgence. On our return, we order a serving of Belgian waffle (Rs 300) that is served with a dollop of butter that slowly melts into the pockets. Four table sauces include strawberry, blueberry, pecan butter and old-fashioned (maple syrup). Turn by turn, we pour generously and take a bite.
Fiesta paneer wrap
The winner of our evening is the half NY cheese pancake (Rs 350). We order a stack of two of the original pancakes that are mixed with tiny cubes of cheesecake which add to a decadent bite. Topped with glazed strawberry and a dollop of whipped cream, it makes us smile. This is what we came for. And this is what we will come back for. Everything else on the menu is avoidable.
The interiors have a chirpy vibe
At Palladium, first floor, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
Time 9 am to 10.30 pm
4/4 Exceptional, 3/4 Excellent, 2/4 very Good, 1/5 Good, 0.4/4 Average. iHop didn’t know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals