[Updated May 2015] FUKU the first restaurant in Singapore that specialise in fugu puffer fish, has introduced three new offerings which includes Soya Bean Fugu hotpot, Red Miso Fugu hotpot and Shabu A5 beef hotpot.
“What? Puffer fish sperm” This is by far the most exotic food item I had this year.
Dare or not? Deciding whether to go dine at FUKU, probably Singapore’s first fugu kaiseki restaurant, took me a few days. In the end, the notion of “we only live once” won.
It is not all the time we can enjoy this delicacy right at home, not in such as full course manner.
While some Japanese restaurants serve blowfish as appetizers or sashimi, none has taken this bold step of serving menus ranging from $150 per person for a 6-course (Ebisu) to $580 per person for a 9-course Wild Fugu set.
There is even Hiresake which is hot sake with Tora Fugu fin.
This Shichi-Fuku set requires a 5-day advance booking, each item showcases a different preparation style with various parts of the Fugu. You end up eating almost every part, except for their poisonous internal organs of course.
If you worry you may die or get paralysed from all the blowfish horror stories you read online, FUKU’s chefs have more than 20 years of experience as Fugu practitioners. All the air-flown fish (prized Tiger Puffer) have to be removed of their toxic and cleaned, while some are farmed varieties that are bred without the poisonous organs.
Puffer fish may be a significant item of the Japanese food culture, but I suspect that it would take Singaporeans to warm up to fugu – may it be because of the fear, cost, or simply the lack of appeal.
The meal was a fugu-fugu-fugu all the way. From the Yubiki appetizer of gelatinous Fugu skin, thinly sliced Fugu sashimi, deep fried Fugu Karaage, grilled marinated collar to Tecchiri Fugu hotpot.
Many eat fugu not so much for its taste, but for its novelty, risk factor.
On its own sashimi style, the meat was close to bland on its taste, chewy not too tender. It was of no surprise that the crispy fleshy Karaage with a dipping sauce was the favourite of many.
Truly one man’s meat is another’s poison. The diner next to me was happily slurping the dish of Fugu Shirako ($80). That means ‘white children’, in other words, puffer fish sperm.
I had afterthoughts after a first piece (try yourself don’t imagine), which also had an inexplicable aftertaste, and decided I didn’t need that much protein for the moment.
The fugu season runs from December to February, though they are available all year round at FUKU. Should you have it? Why not – if you want to add puffer to your bucket list.
FUKU Fine Fugu Kaiseki Restaurant
14 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-01 Singapore 238963
Tel: +65 6235 8216
Opening Hours: Dinner 6pm – 11pm last order at 10:30pm (Mon-Sun)
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