Buffet Four Rooms

I LOVE buffets because I love to eat a little bit of a lot of things, if that makes sense. My parents are not so much into buffets because they say they tend to overeat. What makes a buffet good? Is it how many different items it has? Or is it how much of the spread is “the good stuff” (i.e. sashimi, crab legs, prime rib) versus “the fillers”?

My experience at Buffet Four Rooms located in the Mitsui Outlet Mall in Tagajo proved that a buffet doesn’t necessarily need to have a ridiculous number of items or lots of high cost items to make it good. Lunch was 1600 yen per person, and they imposed a time limit of 90 minutes which was more than enough for us.

Four Rooms - buffet hot items

Four Rooms - buffet hot items

Four Rooms - buffet desserts

Four Rooms - buffet desserts

We first started off with the salads and appetizers. Clockwise from top left: Zucchini and Eggplant Caponata, Marinated Tako and Onion, Herbed Cabbage and Orange Slaw, Penne Gorgonzola with Dried Fruits, Miso Caesar Mountain Vegetables, and Okara (a by-product of the tofu making process) and Nanohana (a spring vegetable) with Mustard.

Four Rooms - appetizers

Four Rooms - appetizers

Then, onto the entrees. Clockwise from top left: Spaghetti with Clams, Pizza, Fritatta of Spring Vegetables, Roast Chicken with Cream Sauce, Potato Gnocchi Au Gratin, Hamburger Steak with Demi Glace Sauce, Sawara (mackerel) Fritter with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Garlic Toast, Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato and Basil. Not pictured but also offered were Mini Omelette Rice, Udon with Traditional Condiments, Kakiage Tempura, Minestrone Soup, Chicken Curry Soup, and I can’t remember the rest. And of course, there was a full dessert selection, coffee, teas, and juices.

Four Rooms - entrees

Four Rooms - entrees

My mom and I agreed that the selection was not excessive, but more than enough. Everything was thoughtfully prepared, and I thought each of the appetizers was good enough to serve as an ala carte item on its own (which is rare to see on a buffet). Although there weren’t many beef or seafood items, we didn’t miss it because everything else was delicious and interesting. They had regular large plates as well, but we loved the plates they provide that have six little compartments so the flavors don’t mix – every buffet should have these! How many times have you eaten buffet food with the Au Jus for the Prime Rib poured over everything on your plate? The plates also allowed us to control portion sizes, preventing us from overeating.

4 Responses to “Buffet Four Rooms”

  1. 1 sachi March 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    that divided plate might be a good idea in japan,
    but local people might not like it because it looks like it only holds a little bit on the plate!

    i wanna go to the organic buffet in japan again.

  2. 2 sachi March 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    i think the divided plate looks cool though

  3. 3 NL March 19, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Wow! Everything looks so delicious and I, for one, love the idea of a divided plate. I actually try to make my own areas of division when I start putting food on my plate at buffets, but eventually everything runs into other dishes. 🙂 I also like the idea that it controls the amount of food you put on your plate….you can always go back for seconds instead of piling everything on at once.

    I really enjoy reading your eating blog, Ai! Keep up the interesting entries and I’m glad you’re having such a great time with your parents in Japan!

  4. 4 honolulueats March 20, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Sachi: Yeah, the plates only held a little bit. But they still gave regular plates too, which was good.

    Mrs. Lum: Thanks for the comment! I’m actually back “home” in HI now – I had a great time in Japan.

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