Finally, under the recommendation of my buffet-kakis, I had ala carte buffet lunch at Irodori, Riverview Hotel..
Important note: Must make reservation!
Due to the mid-size capacity and its restaurant's popularity.. it was full when I was there on a Saturday..
first up! the signature Green Tea Tofu is a complimentary dish.. it'll be on your table when u arrive.. with no surprise, the silken tofu was smooth in texture and the green tea taste was refreshing.. it cleanses your taste buds before your binge! great first dish..
next up was also a complimentary dish.. not sure what's the name of the dish so I shall name it - Steamed Salmon.. it was seasoned to perfection and the taste was just right! the saltiness of soy sauce and the natural sweetness of the salmon just balances out.. I can gobble down a bowl of rice with this..
Why Ebi Mentai Mayo was a complimentary dish?!?!?! How I wish I could order 10 of this delicious prawn! trust me.. it was that good..
Final complimentary dish which I do not know the name of.. Let's just call it Fried Salmon with Ikura Mayo.. The mayo was good to go with any fried items.. I rather they separate the mayo from the fried salmon coz a few of them were so drenched in it that it became soggy.. taste wise was pretty average..
I was still okay with the standard of the food up till now when only complimentary dishes were served.. subsequently, my horrible food journey began.. (with a few good moments here and there)..
Salmon Steak was a huge shock for me.. It tasted okay.. but the two pieces of salmon was really miserably small.. real small.. not that I would expect a huge piece of salmon coz it was ala carte buffet so small portion would make space for other stuff.. I totally understand that theory.. but the two pieces (close to slices) of salmon were so thin and dry inside and oily outside.. oh gosh..
Saba was another average dish.. *yawns*
Pork Roll with Golden Mushroom woke me up.. the pork was tasty and I finished 4 pieces by myself.. heehee..
I thought Beef Roll with Golden Mushroom would be as nice.. BUT! it was not even half as nice as the pork version.. the beef was like chewing gum.. hahahahaaa.. I spat out the ever-chewable tendons.. not ordering this ever~
Why can't I find a decent Chawanmushi at a buffet? this is so disappointing.. yes it has all the basic ingredients like naruto maki fish cake, chicken chunk, etc.. it does not have the taste of a good dashi stock.. *sobs*
Ebi Tempura was FANTASTIC! I ordered this twice! the prawn was of a good satisfying size.. considering the affordable buffet price.. I think the standard of the tempura was comparable to that of Sushi Tei.. :D
Tea Pot Soup was another FANTASTIC dish.. it was soup served in a tea pot.. I'm not sure what ingredients was added.. but I saw mushrooms in the tea pot.. the soup made me feel better after that awful chawanmushi experience.. (^o^)
I ordered Mixed Sashimi to see if their sashimi was fresh in general.. sad to say, only salmon and swordfish can make it.. the rest of them such as tuna, snapper and octopus, were just not very good..
Irodori Maki consists of lobster salad.. it was so good that I had two plates of this to myself.. but the generous amount of mayonnaise was too much for me..
Torikaraage (Fried Chicken) was totally a deja vu! two small chunks of chicken.. LOL lor.. really.. it was tasty alright but I was so speechless by the portion that I did not order again.. hahaha.. I need to order again everytime I want to eat a piece of fried chicken?! that's a joke.. I'm not expecting big portion of it but a reasonable portion.. I'm sure they can give 5 to 6 pieces in a plate for two persons right??
Salmon Sashimi came when I was about to stand up and leave.. I ordered this at 12.15pm.. this plate came at 1.45pm.. no doubt it was nice and I finished it anyway..
Did anyone realised that I ordered too little for an ala carte buffet??
YES! I still had the space to accommodate that last plate of salmon sashimi.. because I was not full after spending more than 2 hours in a buffet restaurant.. it was the first time I stepped out of a buffet restaurant and could still think of what to eat next..
for $35++.. the variety they offer is more than reasonable.. and like all restaurants.. there would be hits and misses.. but Irodori fared badly in portion and waiting time.. I ordered many dishes and I had to wait ALL THE TIME.. as you can see from the photos above, my table was NEVER full.. more than half of the time I was waiting for the dishes to come and for the waitress to attend to me.. not only they were understaffed.. the orders just DO NOT COME.. it was an unsatisfying buffet experience..
the waitress asked for my understanding.. citing that "the orders are jammed up" because many people were ordering.. if it's a new establishment, I can totally understand that excuse.. but it was a Saturday and the restaurant was fully booked (I saw their reservation paper with all the tables marked with customers' names).. I thought that they could have been more prepared..
I couldn't continue sitting there waiting for the dishes which I do not know whether they would come or not.. for instance, the salmon sashimi that came after 1 1/2 hours.. I don't think I need to spell it out how ridiculous it was..
I do not think I will be back for second visit.. it was just nightmare.. after this unsatisfying buffet.. I'm soooo looking forward to going for another one to quench my thirst for fresh sashimi, good Japanese food and great buffet spread at a decent and responsible buffet restaurant..
Irodori Japanese Restaurant
382 Havelock Road
#03-01 River View Hotel
Operating Hours: (Daily) Lunch: 11:30 - 14:30 Dinner: 18:00 - 22:30
Buffet Lunch & Dinner Adult: $35++, Child: $22++ (Below the age of 10)