I have been to a number of Japanese buffet restaurants and I must say this is one of my preferred ones because it serves my favourite mekajiki (swordfish) sashimi that comes in thick cuts and always taste fresh and sweet. I have had bad experiences where the sashimi served were either slightly frozen (not properly thawed) or simply tasteless but at Irodori, its sashimi lives up to expectations, at least to mine, on every visit so far.
At S$35++ per adult, you can order as much (don’t waste food though!) as you want from their menu of more than 100 items, ranging from sashimi, makimono (rolled sushi), yakimono (grilled dishes), nigiri sushi (finger press), temaki (hand roll), ippinmono (appetisers), agemono (deep fried dishes) to teppanyaki and more.
The moment you sit down, the service staff will take orders for drinks and serve you this adorable looking appetizer which is actually matcha (green tea) tofu with tempura crumbs as topping. Very light and refreshing – a good start to the meal.
The good thing about the buffet here is that food is only prepared upon ordering so hot dishes arrive piping hot whereas sashimi is freshly sliced on the spot.
I like sitting by the bar counter so I can see the chefs at work and sometimes engage in small talk with them when they are free. The sashimi chef working right in front of us always ask if we’d like another plate of sashimi whenever our plate goes empty. Of course, we’d never reject seconds or thirds. That’s what we are here for. Just to satisfy our sashimi cravings to our hearts’ content.
Despite that, it doesn’t mean the other food on the menu is not worth trying. There may be hits and misses but I’m sure everyone will find a few things he/she likes and may grow addicted to.
I tend to avoid carbs at buffets as usual so sushi is a no-no for me. But my husband always order the Irodori Maki which has mayonnaise on top and a few of his usual must-eat sushi just to fill himself up (even more) O_o
Each diner is entitled to one complimentary serving of grilled prawn with mentaiko (fish roe) which is just delish! It simply melts in your mouth. The only complain I have of this is that you only get to eat one prawn. It’d be lovely to have this on the regular menu as part of the buffet. But I can imagine some people only ordering this just to make sure they get back their money’s worth on the food. Then the buffet price will sure to go up to cover costs.
Every table will also get a complimentary serving of braised salmon head. And I only go for the meat on the cheek which is just so tender. For those who love fish heads, you’d definitely love this.
It’s quite impossible to try every single item on the menu but we are happy with most of the things ordered. A few notable dishes would be the beef enoki maki (beef roll with golden mushrooms), age gyoza (pot stickers), tebasaki karaage (deep fried chicken mid-joint wing) and yasai tempura (assorted fried vegetables).
Service is not impeccable but acceptable. When the restaurant gets crowded, sometimes its hard to get the attention of the service staff so there’s still room for improvement here.
While food quality and taste may not be a 10/10, I still find this a value-for-money buffet. Go for their generous cuts of sashimi – this is something not to be missed. Bon appetit!
Irodori Japanese Restaurant
382 Havelock Road
Riverview Hotel #03-01
Tel: 6737 2002
Opens: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.00pm to 10.30pm