Gourmet

[Best Japanese Restaurants] Iimori Frankfurt – Authentic food and pâtisserie / Samstagsbuffet

Iimori is a Japanese restaurant and pâtisserie (famous for Matcha cakes) located in Dom/Römer, which is known among most of Japanese people who live in Frankfurt or non-Japanese who are interested in Japan.

On the ground floor there is a pâtisserie and a cafe, so you can enjoy homemade sweets such as cakes or drinks by taking a seat there or taking out. You can find a Japanese restaurant on the 1st floor. I’ve visited a restaurant only for the lunch buffet so far, however apparently they offer brunch or dinner too.

I’m going to write about a restaurant instead of a pâtisserie this time.

“Iimori” is a family name of the owner. A Japanese woman, Miss Atsuko Iimori is an owner here. I think I’ve seen her as a guide in a Japanese TV show when Frankfurt was introduced.

  • Where?

It is located very close to the popular sightseeing spot Römerplatz. It takes only about 30 seconds from the tram stop Dom/Römer. It is located in the same area as Jamy’s Burger, which I’ve introduced a few weeks ago in this article – which means, it’s the very busy area where both locals and tourists are around.

  • Atmosphere & interior

The atmosphere of the restaurant, including the interiors, is not exactly Japanese, but rather a femine European kind. There is an impression that the concept of pâtisserie is rather dominant in the interiors of the restaurant as well.

It has an atmosphere of like a traditional European palace, which girls (especially Asian girls?) must like very much.

  • How busy?

In the restaurant there are the main seating area, where the buffet is also located and the second seating area, therefore in total there are quite a good amount of tables. However, I think making a reservation should be a must, as it’s always very popular and full here!

I’ve visited here several times on Saturdays around 12pm – 1 pm (two people). Once we were luckily able to take a seat without making a reservation, but I think that was quite a fortunate case.

Usually we make a reservation just in case (you can just call them in the morning on the day you visit and it usually works. Probably it’s because we are just two people). Every time it’s almost or literary full, so we feel it’s good that we made a reservation.

Apparently online reservation is not available for the buffet, therefore we make a reservation every time by telephone.

  • Opening hours (Öffnungszeiten)

Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am – 9.00 pm

  • Service

Waitresses seemed to be all Eastern Asian women. They had a monotone dress on, which has an resemblance to the costume at a maid cafe in Akihabara 😀 They were kind and maintained our table always clean by swiftly collecting all the used plates.

  • What we ordered

① IIMORI-Samstagsbuffet 24,80 €

(Iimori Saturday Buffet)

②Drinks: Oolong tee 3,80€ and sparkling water 3,20 €

※ You can check the menu (Speisekarte) here.

Thanks to the Japanese owner, there are a plenty of authentic Japanese foods, with which Japanese people who live abroad would feel nostalgia like “wow”. What makes me happy personally is that there are several Japanese home cuisines – such as kinpira gobo (kinpira-style sauteed burdock), hijiki no nitsuke (cookedhijikia fusiformis), pumpkin salad, age dofu (fried tofu), stirred asparagus and mushrooms and others….

There are many Japanese restaurants abroad that serve authentic Japanese dishes. But not many of them serve casual home cuisine like the above, so I simply like it. Most of Japanese restaurants focus on one of the most popular Japanese dishes such as sushi, okonomiyaki, ramen, udon etc.

Therefore, for example pumpkin salad, which I haven’t had so long time since I left Japan, nicely gave me nostalgia.

Among the buffet my first favorite is sushi. I personally think the all-you-can-eat buffet for 25 EUR must be quite fair among authentic Japanese restaurants abroad. Nevertheless, there are many kinds of fresh and great sushi, which makes this restaurant prominent.

Apart from the typical German sushi kinds, such as salmon, tuna fish, shrimp and avocado, there are scallop, squid, slightly grilled salmon, eel etc. 🙂 There are an enough kinds of vegetarian sushi too (not only avocado but also asparagus etc.).

My second favorite is Iimori specialty sweets. There are several kinds of sweets in a miniature size, and among others the matcha (green tea) torte is fantastic. The bottom is a crispy cookie dough and on top of that there are each layer of matcha sponge dough, anko (sweet red beans pate) and matcha mousse (cream?).

It’s so delicious that I can eat so many pieces. This time there were also matcha tiramisu among matcha sweets.

Last time there was matcha macaron too 😉 Of course, apart from matcha kinds there are other kind of sweets too, such as cheese cakes and chocolate cakes. But I would strongly recommend matcha sweets here!

Besides that there are ice creams as well. There are rare flavors such as wasabi, besides standard ones like matcha. The flavor’s availability might be changing every day, but I think it’s worth trying as a refresh at the end.

Apart from those, what I find interesting is probably udon. You can do all the process of boiling the noodle, putting the soup into the bowl and putting toppings on your own. I, as a Japanese, can honestly imagine how it would taste quite well ( 😉 ) therefore I haven’t tried it (I easily become full, therefore at buffet my strategy is to eat only my top favorites 😉 ), but I think it must be very interesting for foreigners.

There are also typically popular Japanese dishes such as ebi furai (frittered shrimp), croquette, takoyaki, okonomiyaki and so on.

Ah, one thing which I find funny is that there are also “typical German foods” such as German breads and Caprese as the last resort 😉 I guess Germans or Europeans who visited here with friends, who are actually not very used to Japanese foods, might miss foods that they are used to while eating here. In such a situation they can just have breads or Caprese or so 🙂

(I think another reason could be that because it also has a pâtisserie here though.) It’s very kind that there is this kind of a safety net as well 😉

  • Review

Before I tried Iimori, when I missed sushi I visited the buffet at kaitenzushi (sushi circle kind). However, their prices are usually same as here, but they of course don’t have this much wide range of authentic Japanese dishes with amazing sweets. Therefore, since when I tried Iimori, I stopped visiting sushi shops.

I personally think it serves much better cost performance here than the sushi circle kind of sushi restaurants.

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