Danro Hot Pot Buffet


Anything buffet-related, I'll be up for it. After scouring through food reviews online, I've decided that Danro seemed like the most wallet-friendly buffet outlet in a neighbourhood mall like nex. (I've been to Seoul Garden umpteenth times so it's highly unlikely I'll head there again.)

Honestly, nex is like a foodie haven. Once you step into the mall, you'll be greeted by restaurants and food outlets at every single corner, ranging from Vietnamese fare to Chinese to Japanese to Peranakan to Italian. If I hadn't already had a place in mind, I suppose I'd spend a whole hour deciding on what exactly I should have for lunch! You'll really be spoilt for choice.

Danro is opened by the Ministry of Food, and it's located on the second floor of nex.

As we went on a Sunday afternoon, I made reservations in case the place was packed. However, there weren't many patrons at around 12pm. They were so understaffed that we had to wait for quite a while before the service crew heard the bell and headed towards the cashier. Needless to say, I didn't exactly have a favourable first impression of Danro.
I tried to see if I could still get the student price but sadly, they only have discounts for children and senior citizens. =( Being a weekend, of course prices would be steeper than usual. Though they stated $23.90+++ for adults, in the end, it totalled up to around $30 per head when service charge and GST were included.  

The place offers 8 soup bases from different regions of Japan and it's very much like shabushabu where you get to cook your own food in the hot pot. We chose Chicken and Milk Broth and Wafu Miso as those were the top 2 recommended soup bases. 

While waiting for the soup to start boiling, we went to take a look at the food up for grabs.

The cooked food section includes sushi, fried pork chops, black pepper pork, fried gyoza dumplings, braised vegetables and etc. Nothing spectacular. =/

I cheered up a little at the next section for I saw the mini bowls of potato salad, somen with soba sauce and Japanese onsen egg! 

They looked much more picture-worthy and presentable. Taste-wise, they were pretty decent in an average way. I think the potato salad appealed to me the most. 

They had prawns that weren't exactly fresh, some green mussels, sliced pork, chicken and beef (yes, those sliced meat were the best). Just swirl the sliced meat around in the boiling soup for around 10 seconds and it'll be tender and nice. Personally, I though the milky broth was rather special at first but gradually, I got sick of the milky taste. The wafu miso turned out to be the most popular soup base among the 3 of us who dined there.

The rest of the ingredients at the stations were typical yong tau foo ingredients so it made me wonder if I was actually at a Japanese hotpot buffet restaurant or simply a more atas DIY version of the food court yong tau foo stall. :(

Typical of all buffet places, they have a soft drinks dispenser. 

When we were there, they didn't have their trademark kiritanpo. What a bummer. 
The only other interesting station that caught my eye was their DIY sauce station, where you get to mix your own sauces with this whole row of ingredients provided by them. My sauce was slightly sour and spicy. By my standards, I reckoned it was awesome but sadly, my mom doesn't appreciate my "master dish". 

The ice-cream were "scoop your own" ice cream. I tried the black sesame and matcha flavours, which weren't too bad. However, I was really disappointed that I couldn't make my own soft-serve ice-cream, as advertised by food bloggers on their various blogs.

The atmosphere was really good for it was quiet enough for us to have a nice uninterrupted conversation.

Halfway through our meal, we had plates stacked all over the table and the staff were rather slow in clearing them. I suppose they are REALLY lacking in manpower. The refilling of soup bases had to be done by ourselves too! (and as they only have a few standard miso and chicken soup bases, your original soup base would be diluted quite a bit.) 

Overall, I think once is enough. I wouldn't head there again, not at this price, not with their spread of food, and not with this service. It was an acceptable meal with a nice atmosphere and thankfully, their exotic soup bases redeemed them a little, but I still don't think it's worth the price that we've forked out. 

Danro Japanese Hot Pot Buffet (Serangoon NEX)
#02-04/06 Serangoon NEX
23 Serangoon Central
Singapore 556083
Tel: 6634 4608
Opening Hours: 
Mon to Fri: 11:30 am - 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Sat to Sun: 11:30 am - 3:30 pm, 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm

*Update: The NEX branch has closed w.e.f. 9 March 2015. Their other outlet is at Bugis Junction #02-45.

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