International House of Pancakes comes to our neighbourhood
Serves American breakfast
Atmospherics: in the perpetually bursting-at-the-seams Cyber Hub, the newest entrant is causing waves: no mean feat. Whether or not you have managed to bag a table at IHOP is determined by your luck. I was curious enough about this phenomenon to check it out one scorching afternoon. Here’s what I found, in a nutshell: the pancakes, coffee and crepes are not bad at all, but on the other side of the balance, service, cleanliness and efficiency processes are glaring in their omission. First of all, the two doors of the diner open out onto the inside of an office building in Cyber City as well as onto Cyber Hub. On the day of my visit, there was a sign on the Cyber Hub entrance saying “Please use this gate”. For a chain headquartered in the United States to call an entrance or a door a ‘gate’ is shocking enough, but “this gate” was inside an office building! Later, I saw plenty of customers entering and leaving from the Cyber Hub entrance, so it was rather confounding. The restaurant is irregularly shaped, making it a challenge for staff to carry plates and glasses (I saw very few trays, strangely). Flies in the outlet outnumber diners 3:1, but there was no sign of an electronic fly-killer or an air-curtain. The plate that my pancakes came in appeared to be unwashed. I was revolted but did not want to attract attention, so kept quiet.
Table talk: The original buttermilk pancakes (Rs 150) were great value for money, flat and fluffy and if the butter atop them was inadequate to go around two pancakes, it was a minor point (my other option would have been to order a creamy and fruit topped pancake with more sugar than I could handle). The Khurja plate that it was served in was out of place in a QSR and the dish-washing team is woefully inadequate – or maybe I had been given an unwashed plate. The garden stuffed crepes (Rs 325) were topped with mass-produced hollandaise and filled with chopped spinach, slivers of mushrooms, cheese and scrambled eggs. Like the pancake batter, the crepes too were pleasantly lacy. The cold brew original iced coffee (Rs 150) was without ice-cream or sugar as I had requested and had a delicious undertone of caramel.
Plus and minus: they need to hire a quality assurance agency pronto.
Must try: double blueberry pancake; Belgian waffle; breakfast sampler
Food: 3.00; Service: 2.50; Décor: 2.50
Ground floor, Cyber Hub
Open from 8 am to 11 pm
Credit cards; no alcohol
Meal for two: Rs 1,500