May 12, 2017

Guenpin Fugu & Snow Crab Japanese Restaurant @ Maxwell Chambers, Tanjong Pagar ~ Japan's Largest Fugu Restaurant Chain Is Now In Singapore

Guenpin Fugu & Snow Crab Japanese Restaurant, Japan's number one torafugu restaurant chain with 96 outlets in the country, has launched its first-ever overseas branch in Singapore a few weeks ago!

Its location at Maxwell Chambers is not difficult to find, being easily accessible from Exit B of Tanjong Pagar Mrt Station (EW15). The 32-seater space is quite small though, accommodating just a few tables in the main dining hall, and two small private rooms.

We're happy that with the opening of Guenpin, there is now another specialty restaurant where we can enjoy puffer fish delicacies (besides FUKU Fine Fugu Kaiseki Restaurant at Mohamed Sultan Road).

While the thought of eating fugu might strike fear in some, there are stringent regulations that have to be adhered to in both Japan and Singapore. The poisonous toxins of the puffer fish have already been thoroughly removed.

On top of that, the fugu at Guenpin are prepared under the watchful eye of Chef Tomita, who has over 30 years of experience in handling fugu cuisines.

All cleared and safe for consumption. We are still alive. No worries lol!

Not all fugu are equal. Torafugu or Tiger Puffer Fish, is recognized as the highest grade of fugu.

Rich in collagen and protein, torafugu has lesser calories and fats as compared to other fishes, making it the perfect fish for good health and beauty.

Most of Guenpin's torafugu are flown in from Shimonoseki which is well known as Japan's puffer fish capital that specializes in good quality fugu.

We're in for a treat as the torafugu can be enjoyed in a variety of styles including sashimi, deep-fried, grill and hot pot.

PinkyPiggu recommends ordering the Set Course ($88 / $100 / $138 / $168) which allows diners to get a more rounded experience. Each set comprises of 5 to 9 courses, and is supposedly for one person, but we think the portion is sufficient for two people to share. Can always top it with some ala-carte items if the food is not enough.

Parboiled Puffer Fish Skin Sashimi ($14) makes an interesting choice in getting us started on this adventurous meal. It has a rubbery, crunchy texture that sure kept our jaw muscles working hard.

Guenpin's signature Thin Sliced Puffer Fish Sashimi ($28) came in translucent slices, and has a very mild taste.

With an international patent for a special ageing process technique, Guenpin is able to offer the not-so-typical Thick Sliced Puffer Fish Sashimi ($32) while retaining the tenderness of the fish.

Personally, I find the texture of the puffer fish to be chewy, and quite similar to having raw squid. The best way to appreciate it is to top it with lots of radish and spring onion, and dip it into the accompanying zesty ponzu soy sauce.

To enjoy fugu with a hint of smokiness, giving the Puffer Fish ($48) chunks a little time on the grill will do.

Comparatively, the Puffer Fish Hot Pot ($55) is a lighter option with vegetables, tofu, mushroom and kudzu noodle cooked in a clear broth.

The remaining broth from the hot pot is not wasted. With an order of the Porridge Set ($12), one can enjoy a comforting hot bowl of porridge after eggs and rice is added to it.

Although the porridge did the job of keeping our tummy warm and satisfied, it wasn't as flavorful as expected even after being boiled with so many ingredients.

Apart from puffer fish, Guenpin also serves up snow crabs!

We tried it in three different ways, namely Snow Crab Sashimi ($32), Snow Crab Tempura ($32) and Snow Crab for Grill ($48).

Its fresh, sweet, succulent meat was most apparent when enjoyed sashimi-style, though I must say the grilled as well as crispy deep-fried version were just as delightful.

The Snow Crab Tempura Rice Bowl ($19.90) is possibly the most affordably-priced in town. Just take our money!

During weekday, it is also worth checking out Guenpin for their lunch menu options such as Deep-fried Puffer Fish Set ($38), and Salmon Set ($32) which comes with rice, salad, soup and ice cream.

Guenpin Fugu & Snow Crab Japanese Restaurant
Address: 32 Maxwell Road, #01-06 Maxwell Chambers, Singapore 069115
Contact: +65 6634 2916
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri Lunch 12pm-3pm & Dinner 6pm-12am - Sat, Sun, Eve of PH & PH Dinner 5pm-12am

Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST (3) Correct at point of published date.

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* Written by Sam @sgfoodsteps, a guy who wants to take you on a food adventure.
* Edited with additional inputs by PinkyPiggu
* Photos by PinkyPiggu

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