IHOP – Hawaiian Series

After what seemed like the longest flight ever, we finally got to our hotel only to be told our rooms were not ready yet, fair enough considering it was very early in the morning but that meant it was breakfast time! We dumped our bags and headed straight to IHOP (International House Of Pancakes) across the road.

It was my first trip to the US of A and I was excited to see all the franchises that I had only seen or heard about through TV and movies. I was overwhelmed to say the least. It was my first American meal, it was too early in the morning, the menu was massive and I didn’t know what I wanted to eat. On top of all this, I found a few things unusual which would apparently be the norm as I learnt throughout my trip.

  1. I would have to get used to tipping, luckily most bills have it calculated on the bottom for you and you choose a percentage
  2. The wait staff are really nice, helpful and attentive, I guess that’s because of point #1
  3. A lot of soft drinks come with refills
  4. So many meals come with a side of pancakes

Breakfast~ (I didn’t take photos of the large menu because I assumed they have one online but they don’t have prices)

Breakfast Sampler with our sampler, two is the magic number! That’s two eggs, two hickory-smoked bacon strips, two pork sausage links, two pieces of ham, two fluffy buttermilk pancakes and our golden hash browns. Being the indecisive person that I am, this is what I ultimately ordered, a little bit of everything. To be honest, I did not enjoy the savoury side at all. Everything was cold on my plate, the potato hash was oily and tasteless and everything else was a bit rubbery. The only saving grace were the pancakes, they were big and fluffy and I loved their whipped butter.Chicken Florentine Crepes two crepes filled with grilled chicken breast, mushrooms, onions, & Swiss cheese on a bed of spinach topped with White Cheddar Sauce, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. This was served hot and was ten times more delicious than my savoury plate.

2 x 2 x 2  two eggs with two signature buttermilk pancakes served with two crispy strips of hickory-smoked bacon or two savory pork sausage links. For the people who want a little bit of sweet and a little bit of savoury. I love how they have so many ways to serve an egg as well!Strawberry Pancakes our stack of four pancakes crowned with cool strawberries and creamy whipped topping. 

The service was friendly and attentive, unfortunately the food was a bit of a hit and miss. I will just stick to pancakes.

It was nice to have a variety of syrups available but my favourite was good old fashioned.Venue: IHOP

Address: 1850 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI96815-1602

IHOP Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pancake like object trial#2 aka crepes

TimmyC’s love of pancakes quickly shifted to crepes when he discovered their crispy buttery goodness a few years ago and I thought while I was trying to get a good pancake, I could probably look into crepes as well.

A wonderful Belgian friend of mine made me some crepes for breakfast the last time I stayed with her; the crepes were delicious with a subtle sweetness from the vanilla sugar she uses. I didn’t find it needed much else but a touch of cinnamon to enjoy its buttery crispy goodness but she had hers with bacon, banana and syrup. Her recipe comes from an old photocopied recipes from Belgium and she was also nice enough to translate it for me so I could try to make them when I got home.


 

Crêpes (makes 15)

I had to double check with my friend that I had written down the right type of flour, I just thought it was an odd concept for something so thin and crispy to have self raising flour.
I forgot to make a well for my wet ingredients which just meant I had to mix a bit more but it incorporated together in the end.

Ingredients

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 500mL milk
  • 4 eggs
  • Butter for frying

Equipment

  • Fry pan with shallow sides
  • Spatula
  • 2x Mixing bowls

Method

  1. Sift flour into a bowl
  2. Mix through both sugars
  3. Make a well
  4. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl
  5. Put eggs and milk in the well and mix until everything is incorporated
  6. Ladle the batter into medium hot buttered pan.
  7. Swirl the pan instantly to cover the bottom of the pan evenly with batter
  8. Loosen edges with spatula when bubble start to form
  9. Flip the crepe without dropping it on the floor
  10. Cook for less than a minute on the other side or until golden brown

Tips

We were eating them by the stove top because we were impatient and we liked them hot. My friend placed all of the layers on a plate kept it warm in the oven until she was done cooking. You will have to keep adjusting the heat to the pan so the crepes won’t burn.

For my own convenience, I cooked them all in one hit and just microwaved them when I wanted one; they were hot but lost their crispiness. They looked ugly at first but it takes a few tries to get them thin and flip them without breaking.

Choose your condiments and you’re on your way! Tim likes maple syrup and ice cream (you’ll see a trend) but I like it plain and simple with hints of icing sugar and cinnamon. Layers of crispy thin crepes

La crepe – Westside

Of course while we were waiting for our food from Miss Van’s, my friend’s and I couldn’t help but be enticed by the delicious smells coming from La Crêpe the next shipping container over. There’s nothing much more to really write than they smell amazing, Nutella was made to be on crepes and they even do ‘take aways’ so there is no excuse not to get one… Or two.

Here is their menu, crepes range from $5.00 – $9.00. Which one would you have picked?The guy noticed me taking photos and struck a pose. My friend was talking to him and he was super friendly and had helpful advise for when we head to Paris.It takes skill to get a crepe that thin. My friend made her husband wait as she went to get a second one to take away. How cute is the packaging! It looked much easier to eat than on the plate.A photo of my crepe before it got quickly devoured.Friendly service and it didn’t take that long for us to get our crepes even though we were impatiently drooling.

Venue: La Crepe

Address: Westside Acton Park, Barrine Drive, Acton 2601

Opening hours: hopefully similar times to Miss Van’s?

***This place is now closed *** 😦

Breizh cafe re-run

—– 19th Dec 2013 —–

Pretty much straight away after I pressed publish on my blog about the first time I went to Breizh cafe, we jumped in the car and went to get crepes that TimmyC was craving for after seeing my photos. We happened to arrive just after the breakfast menu ended but they said if we ordered fast enough they would let us order from it. After I paid, I asked if breakfast finished at 11am and lunch started at 12pm, what would they serve in between, they said that they usually just sell coffee and cakes from the cabinet.

20131226-175441.jpgTimmyC thought his flat white tasted very bitter and it wasn’t very smooth, not a good start to the morning.20131226-175507.jpg

Sweet crepes with home-made salted caramel sauce ($8.00). The breakfast menu has simple crepes and when we enquired about the more OTT crepes on their lunch menu they said that the kitchen hasn’t prepped for that yet. The crepe was simple but tasty with a perfectly made thin crispy crepe adorned with nothing but salted caramel sauce and a bit of icing sugar.

20131226-175518.jpgPork sausage with cassoulet style white beans and toasted baguette ($13.50). The sauce to this cassoulet was so tasty but I couldn’t put my finger on what the flavours were, so I would take another bite and ponder some more and then take another bite until when I put my spoon in there was nothing left so I grabbed my bread and wiped up any remaining sauce. I wasn’t too keen on the white sausage, it just tasted like dull meat and herbs with barely any sear on it.

20131226-175531.jpgYou could see from my plate what I enjoyed most from the dish.

20131226-175721.jpg

Kouign Amann ($6.00). I somehow managed to convince Tim not to order another crepe and to get the cake that I talked up so much. The whipped cream was as fabulous as I remembered it to be but the cake however was very different. There wasn’t the toffee crust that built up around the edges of the cake, the top was not hard and sticky and all the ‘bread’ layering in the middle was rather dry and almost stale. This might have been in fact the same cake that had been sitting there since Thursday. I was so disappointed since my previous experience was so magical.

20131226-175602.jpg

20131226-175636.jpg

I was very sad about the kouign amann not being as good, I would hate to think that someone else went out that morning after I posted about it and got the same stale thing as we did. I ended up editing my thumbs up on Urbanspoon to the Breizh cafe after this visit. So far the sweet crepes have not been disappointing.

On a side note, this cafe has a 10% surcharge on Sundays so just be aware if you’re coming for a Sunday brunch.