I am proud to be a Singaporean for its well-known title of being a melting pot of flavours and foods. Another evidence of that statement is the opening of FUKU Fine Fugu Kaiseki Restaurant, the first-ever restaurant that specialises in fugu (pufferfish) to open in Asia outside of Japan. This exotic delicacy is safe for consumption, cleared by AVA (and no, my lips did not swell after this meal). The toxic parts of the pufferfish are removed in Japan before they are imported to Singapore, twice a week. The restaurant only serves Torafugu, also known as the Tiger Pufferfish, viewed as the most delicious one.
Fugu Sashimi (Tessa) ($39++/portion; pictured is 4 portions) :: These paper-thin slices of fugu sashimi are delicately prepared by the one and only licensed fugu chef in Singapore, Chef Koji Tsukamoto. Texture is more of the crunchy side, and tastes rather mild, with flavours enhanced only by the condiments, like the yuzu sauce that is commonplace in a fugu meal. If you enjoy Tako Sashimi, I think you would be fine with this. I do think this is worth sharing amongst your dining partners as a starter.
Fugu Karaage ($40++) :: This has to be one of the best-prepared Karaage I’ve tasted, with very light crisp batter encasing the tender juicy meat within. My only gripes are that it was a little too salty for my liking, and that the price is rather steep.
Fugu Sushi ($9++/3 pieces) :: The fugu sushi was beautified with edible gold leaf, and had a firm texture. I wouldn’t say that I was blown away by how unique the taste was, or anything like that; I would just say that I would, without a doubt, give this a try for its novelty and for the fact that it is something not easy to come by (well unless you travel to Japan on a frequent basis). Plus, it’s definitely reasonably priced.
Grilled Milt ($70++) :: In case you are wondering what the pictured dish is, it is an exotic, uhm, part, of the exotic fish – the reproductive gland of a male pufferfish. So basically, you would be eating the sperm of a pufferfish. The texture reminded me of a lightly grilled marshmallow, hardened (no pun intended) skin with a soft, mushy inside. Do you know, that every male pufferfish has two of this? I say there’s no worry of their extinction (kidding).
Fugu Hotpot ($70++/up to 2pax) :: Only launched some 2 – 3 months ago are the fugu hotpots’ two new soup bases – soya bean and red miso. The former lends a thicker consistency and creamier texture, while the latter gives a lighter and clearer touch on the palate. I personally like the soya bean broth for its heavier flavour, since the fugu itself is skewed towards the bland side. I did not find the hotpot particularly worthy, especially after having the beef shabu shabu (below).
Shabu Shabu Hotpot with Miyazaki A5 Beef ($70++/up to 2pax) :: Also recently added to the restaurant’s menu is this hotpot with A5 beef imported from Miyazaki (we were told that this is better than Kobe beef). The intricate marbling is testament to the quality of the beef. A couple of seconds in the hotpot is enough to cook it perfectly and not disintegrate it. The phrase ‘melt in my mouth’ could not have been used more aptly or accurately. For such delicate pieces of meat, I suggest asking the waitstaff to help cook it. Surprisingly, I find this more an attraction than the fugu itself here in the restaurant.
Promotion: 50% off second hotpot (any above). If you want to try it, drag more friends along for a more worthy deal.
Hiresake ($25++) :: Also known as Hot Sake with Tiger Fugu fin, this comforting alcoholic drink was ignited before our eyes for a few seconds. The fins of the fugu are dried under the sun to remove any traces of blood, then grilled before putting it into a hot sake for infusion to occur. The smell and taste were distinctly fishy, with the latter less so, and that should serve as a warning to whoever dislikes fishy smell and taste.
If you are as concerned about health as I am (which is moderately), fugu is low in fat content and high in protein. The skin is also high in collagen.
I cherish this experience a lot. It was genuinely something I have not tried before – or anything close to that for the matter. However, I must admit that this is something like dining in the dark, where just one experience (and I would encourage that) would suffice. If you are making a reservation, you can request for a private dining room (it can accommodate up to 12 pax); there is no minimum spending, so why not.
What’s worth paying for:
Shabu Shabu Hotpot with Miyazaki A5 Beef.
Address: 14 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-01, Singapore 238963
Telephone: 6235 8216 (takes reservations)
Opening Hours: 6pm – 11pm (Mon – Sat); Closed on Sundays.
This was a media session.