Irodori Tasting Session

Irodori Tasting Session
382 Havelock Road
#03-01 Riverview Hotel

1 Selegie Road
#01-14 Pomo

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6pm - 10pm

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, and SG Food On Foot.

Still A Pretty Good Japanese Buffet After All These Years

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 8
Value for Money: 9
Budget about SGD $38 ++ per person.



Since its founding in 2008, Irodori Japanese Buffet Restaurant in Riverview Hotel has been consistently drawing in the crowds with their delicious food made from fresh ingredients, wide variety of Japanese dishes, and very affordable pricing. Named after one of the owner's daughters, Irodori promise of a tantalizing all-you-can-eat buffet of authentic Japanese food sees them ranking among the top buffets in Singapore, and is a testament to their consistent standards. Even our former President, Mr. S. R. Nathan, has dined at Irodori.

Ambience at Irodori combines the traditional zen with minimalist. Oriental touches, clean lines, warm lighting, and wooden panelling in shades of brown and black set a homely tone. Being an ala-carte style buffet also means that Irodori has less furniture clutter around, as well as less wastage of food.

Irodori Japanese Buffet Menu

Service at Irodori is very good, and relatively consistent after all these years. The most important service element at an ala-carte buffet is speed; the speed at which orders are fulfilled, and the speed at which empty plates are cleared, both of which are performed very efficiently at Irodori. Staff are unobstrusive, quickly and neatly arranging food that is served, and also quick to clear away dirty plates, both of which require observation and a good amount of courtesy.

Irodori specialises in serving authentic Japanese dishes, mostly small bites, made using only the freshest of ingredients. For about SGD $40 or so per person, prices at Irodori are reasonable for a decent buffet. And as with any buffet, there are outstanding items you must go for, middle-of-the-pack average dishes, and everything else (don't waste stomach space items). Here are several dishes I felt most people should sample at Irodori.

The Enoki Shiitake Butter Yaki / Fried Mushroom With Butter Sauce actually features pan grilled mushrooms, in a delicious butter sauce, where the mushroom juices have flavoured the base, creating a creamy, earthy, fragrant dish.

Enoki Shiitake Butter Yaki / Fried Mushroom With Butter Sauce

The Buta Enoki Maki / Pork Roll With Golden Mushroom is savoury and juicy, nicely grilled with a slight char, and the meat just melts away in the mouth.

Buta Enoki Maki / Pork Roll With Golden Mushroom

You MUST get the Sashimi Moriawase / Mix Sashimi Platter, with its mix of only the freshest fish! Comprising salmon, salmon belly, tuna, yellowtail, mackerel, and octopus, this is the dish you cannot miss! For most value for money, get at least 2 or 3 rounds of this!

Sashimi Moriawase / Mix Sashimi Platter

Sashimi Moriawase / Mix Sashimi Platter

A rather unique signature dish, the Green Tea Tofu features a soft, wobbly, cold tofu cube infused with green tea essence, lending a fragrant, fresh aroma. Garnished with fresh cucumber, the contrast of crunchy and smooth textures work very well.

Green Tea Tofu

The Ebi Mentai Mayo / Grilled Prawn With Mayonnaise is a signature dish here, being outstanding because of its grilled to perfection texture, with the prawn being savoury and smoky but still slightly moist. The mayonnaise seems to be a seafood infused mayonnaise, with a delightfully umami taste.

Ebi Mentai Mayo / Grilled Prawn With Mayonnaise

Ebi Mentai Mayo / Grilled Prawn With Mayonnaise

The freshness of the Grilled Salmon Cheek shines through, as does the tasty, firm flesh. Simple, uncomplicated, but not so easy to get right. Fortunately, the chef here is able to get it spot on!

Grilled Salmon Cheek

The unique Dobin Mushi / Tea Pot Soup isn't a drink, or even a type of tea. Instead, it's a traditional Japanese seafood soup / broth, steamed with shrimp, chicken, soy sauce, lime juice, and matsutake mushroom, then strained. The result is an incredibly tasty and potent clear thin broth that tastes of the land and sea (surf and turf), earthy, fragrant, light, savoury, all at once. A must try for me!

Dobin Mushi / Tea Pot Soup

Dobin Mushi / Tea Pot Soup

The Korokke / Croquette may not float eveyone's boat, but is an above average dish from the chef here. What makes this Korokke / Croquette stand out is the use of sweet potato in place of regular potato, giving it a sweeter taste and softer texture.

Korokke / Croquette

Korokke / Croquette

A rather above average Shishamo / Grilled Japanese Smelt, which although slightly burnt at the head, has a wonderful amount of fish row within.

Shishamo / Grilled Japanese Smelt

The Tako Yaki / Octopus Ball is hand formed, as evident by the uneven surface. The sauce is sufficiently sweet, and the piece of octopus within is fresh, with the ratio of starch to seafood being just right.

Tako Yaki / Octopus Ball

Some of the items and dishes which I felt needed work / improvement included; the Age Dashi Tofu / Deep Fried Tofu; the Shiitake Teriyaki / Mushrooms In Teriyaki Sauce; and the Yakitori / Grilled Skewered Chicken. In the meantime, don't waste stomach space on these.

Overall, Irodori Japanese Buffet Restaurant is still the place to go for an affordable Japanese buffet with a wide range of authentic dishes, without breaking the bank. Communal dining is most encouraged, as are advance reservations because Irodori Japanese Buffet Restaurant can get very crowded during peak periods.