Pufferfish, or Fugu in Japanese, is notorious for being one of the most toxic fishes around but is also celebrated as one of the finest delicacies in Japanese cuisine. It can be lethally poisonous if not treated properly, but therein lies the heart-racing thrill for many fugu aficionados.
PinkyPiggu had a multi-course fugu meal at FUKU Fine Fugu Kaiseki Restaurant, the first-ever restaurant in Asia outside of Japan that specializes in fugu, and survived to share with you the dining experience! Yay!
Haha but actually, there isn't much cause for worry as fugu is 100% safe for consumption in FUKU due to the strict adherence to regulations by Singapore's Agri-food and Veterinary Authority. All the internal organs have to be properly and thoroughly removed in Japan before the fugu is flown to Singapore, and that includes livers and ovaries which are the most poisonous part. *Phew*
I can also trust the skills of head chef Koji Tsukamoto, the one and only licensed fugu chef in Singapore. He and his team members together have over 20 years of experience working as fugu chefs in Shimonoseki, which is touted as "Fugu Capital" and is the largest harvester of the fish in Japan.
FUKU's menu boasts of different parts of fugu prepared in quite a number of different ways, using the highest quality Tiger Pufferfish or Torafugu, which is billed as the most delicious edible species. I thought indulging in this prized fish would be expensive but on the contrary, it did not cost me any arm or leg.
Surpringly reasonable, the Fugu Course Ebisu set can be enjoyed for just $150. It's good for 2 pax with dishes including Appetizer & Gelatine Meat, Lightly-boiled Skin, Thinly-sliced Sashimi, Hotpot with Vegetables, Japanese-style Porridge and Seasonal Dessert. The Fugu Course Daikokuten ($250 for 3-4 pax) set will include additional dishes such as Deep-fried Fugu and Grilled or Steamed Milt. These dishes are available ala-carte as well.
My evening date with fugu commenced with chunks of firm Fugu Meat simmered in a slightly sweetened sauce, followed by slivers of crunchy Fugu Skin which was rather similar to jellyfish in texture. As the skin is said to contain a superb level of collagen which is beneficial for our complexion, I lapped it all up haha.
Fugu meat is low in fat content but is a rich source of protein, and to have it sashimi-style could be the healthiest way to enjoy it. Besides the delicate taste which had us finishing the portion in no time, we couldn't help but be in awe of the way the Tessa ($39) sashimi is exquisitely presented. The paper-thin fugu blossomed like a beautiful flower on the large round ceramic plate, specifically using one with printed motifs to showcase the translucency of each slice.
The Fugu Sushi ($9 for 3 pieces) was equally delightful, but it was the Fugu Karaage ($) which was extremely addictive and reduced me to point of casting all weight-watching efforts away.
Excellently seasoned and deep-fried to minimum greasiness, it was truly worthy of calories indulgence. As assorted parts of the pufferfish were used, some pieces came with more bones than others, some fleshier but all were lip-smacking. I can say this because my chopsticks
Another highlight was the Fugu Hotpot ($70 for 1-2 pax) prepared tableside by the chef. Other than the traditional Tecchiri clear soup base which best allow the original taste of fugu to shine through, there are also the recently launched Soya Bean, as well as Red Miso for a stronger boost in flavors.
The milky-looking soya bean broth proved to be creamy and thick in consistency, comforting in each sip and richly gratifying as a savory base to the generous pieces of fugu and accompanying tofu, mushrooms and vegetables. Not too hard to tell that it appealed greatly to the hotpot lover in me.
Besides pufferfish, FUKU also offers Wagyu beef ! Woohoo!
Just looking at those trays of well-marbled A5 beef imported from Miyazaki, Japan was enough to make us salivate the moment it was brought out. You can imagine the look on our faces as the premium meat is cooked quickly in the light konbu broth and we relished its melt-in-the-mouth tenderness. The Shabu Shabu Hotpot ($70) with these A5 Miyazaki beef is good for 1-2 pax to share.
FUKU Fine Fugu Kaiseki Restaurant
Address: 14 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-01 Singapore 238963
Contact: +65 62358216
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 6pm-11pm (last order at 10.30pm) / Closed on Sundays
Prices stated are subjected to 10% service charge and 7% GST.