If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to sink your teeth into a variety of surprisingly sumptuous fugu dishes at FUKU, the first restaurant to specialise in the sought-after Japanese delicacy in Singapore.
Fugu, or pufferfish, is regarded as a sought-after delicacy in Japan despite possessing lethal amounts of toxin in some parts of its body. That’s why it’s so important these fish are handled by skillful, well-trained and experienced chefs so you get your blowfish meat prepared safely.
The restaurant is helmed by Chef Koji Tsukamoto, one of the few licensed fugu chefs from Japan. And here’s a sampler of some of the highlights on their menu.
We started things off with some Hirazake ($25), or sake infused with the dried fin of a pufferfish. It’s quite savoury and packs a punch.
It’s lit with a light fire to bring out the flavours from the fins. I liked this. While strong, it had a warming, comforting effect on the stomach. Fuku’s manager Rudy Danker warns many have gotten drunk on it so go easy, guys. Haha.
Our first fugu dish was this platter of Fugu Sashimi ($70). Thinly-sliced pieces of fresh torafugu, or tiger pufferfish.
This had an interesting texture and goes perfectly with the accompanying ponzu sauce. I find that pufferfish on its own has no real distinctive flavour. The real draw is really the texture, which is chewy, firm and when left with a little toxin, leaves a light tingle on the lips and tongue.
Next, we went with a comforting Soybean Fugu Hotpot ($60++) to share.
The soybean broth was light, milky and very fragrant. It went really well with the fugu which when cooked, had a softer, more tender bite. This hotpot also comes in Miso soup base for those who don’t like their soups creamy.
Next, the very addictive deep-fried Fugu Karaage ($40).
This had wonderful flavour, was fried to a crispy golden brown, and was juicy and tender inside. There wasn’t any need for a lot of seasoning. Just a sprinkle of sea salt and a dash of lime juice. This went amazing with the Hirazake.
And finally, something of a delicacy — the Spicy Milt ($110), or fish sperm.
I’d like to say that everyone feeling squeamish should cast their doubts aside and give this a try at least once. But the truth is, this isn’t really for everyone. I thought it wasn’t too offensive, and I’m generally up to try anything at least once. But this had a really strong flavour to it, although the salt and lime helped cut through the smell a little. But still, some people really enjoy this so give it a shot! After all, the Japanese regard this as the most prized part of the fish.
Overall, this place dishes up high-quality, fresh and safe farmed fugu. It’s definitely a novel experience for many of us who’ve only had fugu in Japan or the grilled dried versions that are more readily available. This can get price-y and the portions aren’t that substantial though, so be prepared to fork out quite a bit for this indulgence.
Monday – Sunday
Dinner time Only
6:00 PM – 11:00 PM