Fuku Kaiseki Restaurant ふく
14 Mohamed Sultan Road
Like many others, fugu or puffer fish is one of the delicacies I had constantly considered of trying in Japan whenever I was there but am so filled with trepidation whenever the thought of a 0.000001% probability of being killed floats past. Well, not so much now after the lovely invitation from Pris and Jascelyn to have a great Fugu kaiseki course at Fuku kaiseki restaurant! The first Puffer fish restaurant in Singapore, or rather the first one in Asia outside Japan, this Fuku restaurant would definitely prick the ears of Japanese cuisine aficionados. Absolutely safe not just due to the high knifing skills of chef Koji Tsukamoto, a strict adherence to the regulations set out by the AVA of Sg requires all Fugu to be treated in Japan first before importation, which guarantees us of its zero toxicity! Only 20 out of over 100 species edible, Fuku Restaurant uses Torafugu or Tiger pufferfish, touted as the king of all puffer fish!
Apart from the main dining hall, Fuku does provide two pretty private rooms for you to have a more placid experience with your puffer fish and we are here this time for the recently launched daikokuten 大黒天 menu which costs $250 for 3-4 pax. Considering the amount of effort to get these puffer fish edible, such a cost is in my opinion, very well-justified. There are other hotpot set menu available too depending on the size of your group.
Appetisers – Fugu boiled in the lightly sweet sauce, the first bite does indeed have a texture similar to chicken with a greater springiness. And a bowl of collagen-packed fugu skin served at the side was easily slurped up as its marination in the light vinegar mixed with pieces of chilli padi helps to excite your palates.
Definitely one of the highlights of the night, this plate of beautifully plated Fugu sashimi does speak out for the chef’s knifing skills! Evenly sliced to a razor thin piece (that you could see what’s underneath), these fresh springy slices of Fugu tasted so succulent, even more so when dipped into the spicy daikon ponzu sauce specially concocted by the restaurant! This was indeed one of the most well-plated sashimi I’ve ever seen.
Not part of the course, this lovely warm sake boiled with the puffer fish fin tasted thicker and sweeter than the usual alcoholic sake sold outside.Not part of the course too, but definitely the other highlight for the night, these Fugu sushi nigiri were indescribably memorable as they were made from generous thick, slithery slices of Fugu that gave it an unprecedented consistency you would never have expected from a good sushi. Seemingly expensive at $20 for three pieces, this only requires a $9 top up if the hotpot was ordered.
Fugu Karaage anybody? This is the third highlight for dinner, and purportedly the heaviest tasting course of all. Lightly fried to a golden brown hue, each chunky piece of Fugu tasted really fragrant with the oozing collagenic juice upon each bite. This is perhaps the healthiest karaage I have had so far.
Now, we were very lucky to have two additional hotpots (which are not included in this daikokuten course – soy base fugu and A5 beef from Miyazaki) on top of our clear soup fugu hotpot. A quick note – If you prefer to have a hotpot over a set menu, each hotpot costs $70, be it fugu or the A5 beef.
While the clear soup was the one that created more anticipation, the soy base clearly won our hearts more with its creamier and more elegantly fragrant aroma. Personally, I felt the clear soup too clear for its own good that resulted in its blander taste, which is usually not the case at the more upmarket Japanese restaurants in Japan.
And the A5 beef from Miyazaki was literally melting already when it was placed over the hotpot, thus its blurrer picture quality. You could really imagine how soothing it was when it melts in your mouth!
In a traditional Japanese Kaiseki course, the carbs or rice would usually be one of the last to fill your tummies up! Not moving away from the norm at Fuku, smooth egg porridge is served together with a stronger tasting Kombu seaweed to give it an extra oomph! While I want my porridge to stay light at the same time, I would have preferred my broth to have a little more taste.
And so, that is the wholesome Fugu kaiseki course that I’ve experienced at Fuku restaurant. Having had many Kaiseki courses in Japan (clearly one of the favourite cuisine), Fuku restaurant does have an authentic methodology in presenting its Fugu dishes into different courses, that would yield her customers one of the more authentic Japanese experience. As I couldn’t compare it to any of those from japan, this experience was quite mind-blowing in some ways, with my great adoration for the fugu sashimi, sushi and karaage. Once again, thank you Pris and Jascelyn for hosting dinner!
Oh, and if you want to catch it, Fuku will be having a promotion in June where each hotpot would only cost you $60!