Fugu poison kills, and this is well-known by all and detractors give this as the primary reason for not worth the try. Only a handful of highly trained professionals can be entrusted with processing this toxic fish. And still poisoning is a common thing every year in Japan. What more can we expect elsewhere? Try or not to try, that is the question. The thrill, the excitement, the process – that’s why fugu meals are always an event in town.
“I cannot see her tonight.
I have to give her up
So I will eat fugu.” – Yosa Buson, Japanese Poet
Chef Moon of Mikuni has brought in the seasonal goodies for this winter – Fugu (globefish) and other fatty fish in their most tasty state in winter as seafood fattened up to prepare for the cold. Seasonal menus do not repeat themselves so go try them while you can! You will not be disappointed.
The Fugu Grand Tasting Set was supposed to bring out the best of this rather tasteless fish. Every edible part had been prepared in one form or another.
- Otoushi – Globefish Skin Jelly with Miso and Sushi, Fresh Beancurd Skin with Fugu Mirin Bishi, Hazelnuts
Fugu skin was not the best tasting part of the fish. Imagine sandpaper.
- Globefish Sashimi with Baby Leeks and Ponzu
Take a bit of fugu, fugu skin, leek and then dip it in the ponzu sauce. You can taste the light taste of fugu, the crunchiness of the skin and sweet-sour ponzu sauce. But if you eat the fugu on its own, it was really bland.
- Seasonal Tokusen Sashimi, Toro, Yellowtail
The Otoro (fatty tuna) was sublime, so were the other fish on this sashimi.
- Mikuni Style “Shinpomushi” with Coconut, Fugu, Abalone, Shirako, Matsutake Mushroom, Gingko Nuts
Soup in a coconut shell. Light, tasty, I loved it. Again, did not really appreciate the piece of fugu in the soup.
- Soy Braised Kinmedai Fish and Burdock, Shiso, Leaks
My favourite fish for braising or grilling in Kinmedai Fish. It is a delicate fish with a fatty overtone – perfect for grilling. Braising took out the oil that added the flavour to the burdock, which was quite nice as well.
- Globefish Karage and Japanese Sweet Green Chilli
Deep-fried fugu pieces which were like chicken garage except you munched through small pieces of possible death – a game of roulette using fugu pieces. OK, it wasn’t so frightening, but still the chore of trying to get to the tiny morsels of flesh among the soft bones was exciting and underwhelming at the same time.
- “Fugu Miso Nabe” Globefish Miso Hot Pot
The surprised was a burnt piece of skin that got stuck on the bottom of the paper nabe (hotpot). It was quite crisp and tasty. Of course the miso soup was a good palette cleanser for the gohan.
- Organic Salmon “Takigomi Gohan” with Fresh Seasonal Salmon Roe, Shiso, Seaweed
Loved the Ikura, briney and fresh, not sure the difference between organic salmon and farmed salmon if both were cooked the same way.
- Raspberry Ice Cream with Meringue and Hibiki 21
Hibiki 21 was one of the most celebrated whisky from Japan, and putting it in the dessert was beautiful end to the dinner. Wished they would put another shot in the meringue though.
Then we proceeded to the Winter Tasting Set.
- Otoushi – Hokkaido Fresh Salmon Roe with Kyoto Kabu Tofu and Monkfish Liver, Yuzu Jelly, Baby Leeks
I loved livers, and this particular combination was a great starter for the dinner. Angkimo liver with ponzu was my favourite.
- Seasonal Tokusen Sashimi Tuna, Yellowtail, Cuttlefish
The sashimi was wonderful, particularly the Ika.
- Crispy Snow Crab “Okakiko Age” and “Koshin Dikon” from Kyoto with Soya Dip
Not my favourite from the set, but you could taste from the tempura that it was not the crab stick tempura you get from the cheap sushi chains. The snow crab was light and savoury. The batter was fluffy and the daikon sauce added the final touches to a simple idea.
- Miso-marinated Spanish Mackerel
The fish was dry, and did not really stand out among the rest.
- Kagoshima Beef and Black Truffle on Rice with Miso Soup
Wow! It was out of this world. Every now and then, Chef Moon surprises you wish a gem. This was the gem – even better than the Fugu set combined. I could have just ordered this as a main course, a full portion. Generous shavings of black truffles on a Waygu-don with runny eggs and a sweet, savoury sauce. Give me more!!!
- Japanese Bean “Hana mame” with Red Bean Shiso leaf Sherbet, Popping Candy
Another Wow! Popping candy was such a nostalgic addition to this simple sherbet. Really had fun eating this dessert.
Enjoyed ourselves, the service was impeccable (we were sitting at the sushi counter), and with a FAR card, this would be quite affordable.
Fugu Grand Tasting Set
Winter Tasting Set
Level 3, Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road Singapore 189560
TEL + 65 6339 7777
FAX + 65 6337 1554