It is only recently that puffer fish, or fugu, is available outside Japan. And Singapore is fortunate enough to be the first in Asia, outside Japan, to have a trained and certified fugu chef working among their midst.
Helmed by Chef Tsukamoto, Fugu Fine Dining can be found in a modern looking, Japanese decked out restaurant in a shophouse along Mohamed Sultan Road.
If you are worried about the potential risks from eating puffer fish here, fear not. The internal organs of the fugu have been removed in Japan before they are air flown here. As such, it is more than safe to consume.
The signature dish is this elaborately plated fish of puffer sashimi. For a fish so revered, it does not have a strong flavour and what it does have is a great bite. It is leaner than most sashimi we are used to, and has a slight sweet and bitter aftertaste. It is best eaten with some ponzu to give it a bit of acidity to bring out the fish flavours slightly more.
And yes, I am still pretty much alive after consuming nearly a quarter of the plate you see above. I can get why it is such a delicacy in Japan. The thrill of eating something that can potentially kill you does give it a certain kick of excitement. Surprisingly, despite the lack of bold flavours, I did find myself getting acquired to it with every succeeding piece.
The fugu sushi has the puffer cut in a thicker, more conventional chunks to be layered on top of the vinegar laden rice and topped off with some luxurious gold flakes. As a sushi, it is really beautifully made and the purity of the puffer taste, coupled with the intricately crafted sushi portion is outstanding.
Despite the subtler tones, there is still a great deal amount of depth of flavours in each of the sushi bites. That simplicity of umami coming from just the combination of textures and flavours is really marvellous and it will certainly beckon me to return for more.
The fugu sake is something that I have not come across before. Yet, having a taste of it, it seems so organic and so typical of the Japanese to make full use of every thing from the prized fugu.
That sharpness from the rice wine, coupled with a theatrical torch of the sake glass does make for great entertainment. The slightly charred flavour does remind me a little of a shark's fin fragrance, albeit in a very unique and different manner.
|Fugu and Wagyu Hotpots|
Lastly, the fugu is used in hotpots here and admittedly, the cooked fugu fish has very little flavour and has a very chewy bite that is harder to appreciate. You can have a choice of either clear soup or my preferred soya bean milk base which is utterly delicious.
The soya milk is full of rich and creamy texture, and that balance of sweet and savoury is just perfect for the fugu to swim in and ending up in one's tummy. If you like shabu shabu, the beef waygu is definitely a highlight here too, especially when paired with the soya milk base. You hardly need any soya sauce dip after that soya bean bath.
In case you are wondering if they do have an actual puffer fish in the restaurant, take a look at the picture above. This fish is prominently displayed near the entrance and is an actual puffer fish. Yes, it looks almost adorable from some angles, but it is certainly the most dangerous fish on the menu in the world.
As for Fugu Fine Dining, I am truly appreciative of the owners for taking the effort to bring this delicacy here. Yes, it is not as dangerous as you will get in Japan, but certainly, the thought of paying the cost of an air ticket will ensure that coming here is almost like having the real thing there.
Eating dangerously? Dangerously tasty is more like it, especially when it comes to the superbly made sushi here.
Fugu Fine Dining Restaurant
14 Mohamed Sultan Road