Sunday, January 20, 2013

DANRO Japanese Hot Pot @ Serangoon NEX


I was quite excited when I heard about DANRO Japanese Hot Pot opening near my neighbourhood at Serangoon Central. It is a new concept from Ministry of Food (MOF). Danro is the Japanese word for 暖炉 which means steamboat and the restaurant specialises in nabemono referring to all varieties of Japanese hot pot dishes. This is the first hot pot restaurant in Singapore serving specialty hot pots from the different regions in Japan.

DANRO Menu-1
photo credit: MOF

Singaporean has been introduced to ramen from different regions in Japan and many ramen outlets/restaurants have also opened here. The new concept of MOF introduces Singaporean to the hot pots from the different regions (Nagoya, Kyoto, Hokkaido, Akita, Tokyo, Nara, Shikoku, Fukuoka and Osaka) in Japan. Currently Danro offers customers a choice of 8 different broth namely, Wafu, Wafu Miso, Chicken Miso, Tonkotsu, Chicken & Milk, Chicken Spicy, Chicken Paitan and Tonkotsu Miso.


By the way it is Eat ALL YOU CAN BUFFET at DANRO Japanese Hot Pot. Singaporean loves buffet isn't it? The buffet counter offers an extensive selections of steamboat items ranging from seafood, meats, greens, many others steamboat ingredients, cooked food and desserts.

Hot Pot Ingredients

Beef and Pork

The thinly sliced beef and pork are eaten shabu shabu style  Maybe I was too hungry, I just throw them all inside the hot pot. Anyway, it is free flow. I just need to go to the buffet counter to get more.

Goma and Ponzu Sauce

For a good hot pot meal, besides the broth and ingredients the dipping sauce is as important for the perfect meal. The Goma sauce goes well with white meat while the Ponzu sauce enriched the flavour of red meat. DANRO has also specially prepared sambal chill sauce for locals who have specifically requested for this house favourite and it was also my favourite. I was totally sold.

Fresh Cold Prawn

New on the buffet counter spread is the Cold Prawn. Two ways of eating it. It can be thrown into the hot pot or just have it cold.

Spicy Chicken and Tonkosu Soup Base


DANRO uses the Ying Yang pot or what we called the half-half pot so customers can get to have choices and try the 8 different broth. I got to try the following soup base, Spicy Chicken, Tonkotsu, Chicken & Milk and Chicken Miso. Accordingly to the restaurant, Singaporean prefers the chicken and pork soup base. Wafu broth is more suitable for the Japanese palate, the local may not be able to appreciate it. My favourite among the 4 soup base I tried was Chicken & Milk.


The Japanese has hot pot with Kiritanpo (grilled rice skewer) which is a culture and tradition in Japan. Kiri means cut and tanpo means rick stick. DANRO is probably the first restaurant in Singapore to be serving this tradition Japanese food and it is complimentary for each table. Currently DANRO serves the original and miso flavour kiritanpo.

Kiritanpo is freshly handmade in the kitchen and labour intensive.  The freshly cooked Japanese rice is first pound and mash, form cylinder sticks by hand, brush special sweet sauce and miso for flavour and toasted on an open fire till the exterior is slightly crisp. The rick sticks can be dipped into the hot pot soup or enjoyed with one of DANRO's specially made dips.



We know that having steamboat takes a bit of patient for the raw ingredients to be cooked. If you are really very hungry, wary not as the buffet counter also comes with cooked food. I am not sure what is the Japanese name for the 2 dishes above so typical local term I called them the Japanese Yong Tau Foo and Japanese BaK Kut Teh.


DANRO also has a section offering deep fried food. Besides the adult, the section will be a delight for families with children.


It is a Japanese restaurant hence inevitable there is also Sushi at the buffet spread.


There is also a dessert section offering delish desserts such as jelly, cakes, ice cream and fruits.

In Japan, having hotpot with handmade kiritanpo has a significance of reunion. DANRO hopes to keep this authentically traditional to promote the culture of "nabe wo kakomu" which means sitting around the pot, providing premium quality Japanese good at affordable price for family and friends to get together. To encourage this, there are special rates for senior citizens and children.

Weekday Lunch / Dinner
Adult: $16.90++ / $22.90++
Children (12 years & below): $9.90++ / $9.90++
Seniors (60 years & above): $13.90++ /$18.90++
Students : $14.90++ / $18.90++
Members: $14.90++ / $20.90++

Weekend Lunch / Dinner
Adult: $20.90++ / $24.90++
Children (12 years & below): $9.90++ / $9.90++
Seniors (60 years & above): $18.90++ /$20.90++
Students : $18.90++ / $22.90++
Members: $18.90++ / $22.90++

DANRO Japanese Hot Pot
Serangoon NEX
23 Serangoon Central
Singapore 556083
Tel: +65 66344608
Nearest MRT: Serangoon (CC Line, NE Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu, Sun & PH: 1130am - 330pm, 530pm - 10pm
Fri-Sat & Eve PH: 1130am - 330pm, 530pm - 1030pm

1) Alight at Serangoon MRT station. Take Exit B, E, H or G. Walk to Nex Shopping Mall Level 2 opposite Courts. Journey time about 3 minutes.


  1. wahh I can't wait to try it! :D looks good.

    1. Hope you enjoy it. Now we have a buffet near our place that we can go to :)

  2. The "yong tao foo" is called Oden, and the "bak kut teh", I think, is a variation of Buta Kakuni.

    1. Hi XY,

      Thank you very much! I have learnt something from you.

  3. wow the pricing looks very reasonable! And the prawns look so fresh! Moreover, I love the pork and beef thats thinly sliced!

    1. Yes it is quite reasonable. You should give it a try.

  4. Looks great! Did you have it for lunch or dinner? Since the food sometimes vary between lunch and dinner. Thanks!

  5. delicious Singapore food I remember Previous days

  6. I've been trying to look for a place for "Eat all you want" Japanese Steampot/Shabu and thank god I found your reviews,so detailed. Definitely visiting this place tomorrow for dinner :D

    Thank you for this wonderful review,keep up the good work!!

  7. My friend and i had our lunch there this afternoon. I would say this is the worst buffet i had ever have. It is not worth for money. There isn't a single prawn, not as what we see from the flyer or the website. The ice cream machine couldn't work smoothy, customers had to wait for 10mins for every round. There was a range of sauces....making me feel like i am here ti eat sauce, the fish for the steamboat is tastless. They use the instant noodles for the fried noodle with local fishcake and some chive. I don't feel like i am eating Japanese steamboat. Many of the things are local. I feel like i was being cheated by the advertisment. Next time i will take a look at the food they have before paying. Learn to be smart now.

    1. It is quite sad to read this type of feedback. It shows that they probably have cut corners and standards have dropped.