Opening Hours: 7:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M.
Phone Number: (02) 588-24-68 or (02) 845-17-81
If Pancake House was a person, s/he'd be plain, down-to-earth and can blend perfectly into the background. But make no mistake: S/he's sturdy enough to last from 1974 onwards.
Tracing its origins to the now-defunct Ayala Arcade on Magallanes Avenue, Pancake House is one of the Max's Group of restaurants. It might not be as flashy as its sister establishments, but the fact that it has over 80 branches around Metro Manila suggests that it's not unpopular either. With Pancake House's place of origin in mind, and the strategic location of its branches in Makati, we feel it's an appropriate subject for today's review.
At first glance, there's nothing fancy about Pancake House. It's a casual dining establishment through-and-through. But once you take a seat, that's when you'll notice what's special about it.
See, their coasters have the words "Welcome Back" on them. If you're a first-time diner, this may surprise you. Why would they welcome "back" someone who's never been there before? Then you read the first page of their menu, and it hits you: They want you to feel as though you're eating in your own home. (We'd like to post a picture of the exact wording in the menu, but that would be copyright infringement.) Considering how much Filipinos value their families, it's easy to see why this restaurant became a hit in this country.
The Cash and Carry branch — which we visited — was a little cramped, though. It's also hard to spot from inside the mall (since the entrance doesn't face the main hall like the other restaurants'), so you might want to head outside and find Pancake House from there. Alternatively, you can look for the mini-entrances on Cash and Carry's ground floor, and spot Pancake House along the way.
Despite their name, pancake isn't the only thing Pancake House offers (though it's certainly their best-known product). They also have full meals like the Salisbury Steak, which comes with gravy, bacon bits, carrots and corn.
For the dessert, we originally wanted the Halo-Halo Jubilee. However, the staff told us that the sweet banana — which is arguably an important ingredient in this cold dessert — was unavailable, so we had the Waffle Foldover instead.
Since we were thirsty, we ordered one Orange Freeze.
By the way, all the meals we tried — except for the Waffle Foldover — were marked "Specialty of the House" in the menu. Based on what we tasted so far, their offerings are okay as far as "casual dining food" is concerned.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to try their famous pancakes. But we did observe other diners who ordered the same, and we can tell you this: Their pancakes are almost the same size as dinner plates. You can eat them on their own, or as a side dish to the restaurant's other, tastier dishes.
The service is a mixed bag. On the one hand, they gave us the most comfortable seats available, given that the place was crowded at the time. They also served us the refreshing drinks first, which is a good thing in this scorching summer heat.
On the other hand, we wished they could have served us water unasked. Sure, we didn't expect them to be as high-brow as more expensive establishments, but it's still a gesture that can make a world of difference in the life of a tired, hungry customer. After all, isn't a homey atmosphere what Pancake House is all about?
Overall, we'd recommend you try this one out. For the most part, it captures the feel of an international food chain, plus the distinct coziness of Filipino restaurants. Next time you need a pancake, look no further than the Pancake House near you.