Fugu Course Meal? Errr...safe to eat? I was in dilemma last Friday. I saw in the newspaper that Yuzu at The Gardens is offering Fugu Course Meal for the month of November. The meal which costs RM150++ for 2 pax includes Soft Shell Crab Salad, Sashimi, Deep-fried Fugu, Fugu Hotpot and lastly, Fugu Porridge. Such a good deal right? First of all, I am not a big fan of fish, but for exotic fish like this, it's a must try for me. The temptation is too great to resist but then I was also very worried about eating such poisonous fish, which according to the Wikipedia, there is currently no antidote. Yes, I actually went into Wikipedia to learn more about the toxicity of this fish.
Anyway, I extracted some background information of fugu which will further explains why I was so terrified.
Extracted from Wikipedia:
Fugu (河豚 ) is the Japanese word for pufferfish and is also a Japanese dish prepared from the meat of pufferfish or porcupinefish. Because pufferfish is lethally poisonous if prepared incorrectly, fugu has become one of the most celebrated and notorious dishes in Japanese cuisine. Pufferfish contains lethal amounts of the poison tetrodotoxin in the internal organs, especially the liver and ovaries, and also the skin. Therefore, only specially licensed chefs are allowed to prepare and sell fugu to the public, and the consumption of the liver and ovaries is forbidden. However, a number of people die every year from consuming improperly prepared fugu. The poison, a sodium channel blocker, paralyzes the muscles while the victim stays fully conscious, and eventually dies from asphyxiation. There is currently no antidote and the standard medical approach is to try to support the respiratory and circulatory system until the effect of the poison wears off. Non-lethal quantities of the poison remain in the flesh of the fish and give a special desired tingling sensation on the tongue.
I guess the gluttonness took over me, I picked up the phone and made a dinner reservation. The person who answered the phone was laughing at me when I asked "You sure it's safe to eat"? Again I asked the same question to the waitress when I was seated. Anyway, I guess they should be more worried than I am, right?
After reading Boolicious post on Yuzu, I was expecting slow service as she waited for an hour for her food to be served. But I was surprised as within few minutes, our Soft Shell Crab salad was served. The salad dressing was good. It tasted like balsamic vinegar with wasabi, so each mouthful was sour and spicy....really appetizing to the palate. However, the two small pieces of soft shell crabs were miserably tiny. Very succulent, how I wish they could give at least half portion of a soft shell crab instead.
I was shocked when the Sashimi was served. I always watched on TV on how Fugu is thinly sliced and arranged like a flower on a nice colourful plate. But what came was Salmon Sashimi served on big glass of ice cubes. My mistake, cos when I referred back to the advertisement, it didn't state Fugu sashimi. No complain though cos the salmon sashimi was so fresh and of good quality. We totally enjoyed it....oishi oishi!
The star dish of the night finally made its first appearance, wearing a coat which is deep-fried-golden-brown in colour, accompanied by its' partner, MsLadies Finger. It doesn't look very impressive till I put it inside my mouth.
The outer layer was crispy and not oily at all while the fugu was cooked to perfection. The texture is much more tougher as compared to normal fish. It was almost like eating scallop. Sweet and juicy.
After the wonderful starters, the ingredients for the Fugu Hotpot was served on a huge bowl which consist of Fugu meat, head, liver and skin (aikss...didn't wikipedia said skin is toxic?), silky smooth beancurd, enoki mushrooms, Japanese leek, Garland Crysanthemum (Tung Ho), Shitake Mushrooms, Glass Noodle, Carrots and Chinese Cabbage. Got to compliment that the ingredients were really fresh and more than enough for 2 person.
We allowed the waitress to do it for us since we wouldn't want to overcook the Fugu. First of all, the broth was heated using the electric steamboat.
Once boiled, everything was dumped into the broth.
Tada.....after a few minutes of constant stirring, a hot bowl of fugu with condiments was served. Fugu cooked this way somehow tasted totally different from the deep-fried version. The boiled version tasted just like normal fish, hence nothing to shout about. But what I loved most was the wonderful broth. It was so clear yet full of flavour; sweet and tasty. Apart from the fish, I still enjoyed the hotpot very much. I felt much healtier too cos I seldom have so much veggie in my meals.
Once cooked, she put in some seaweed and spring onions as garnishing. Again, this doesn't look like the version I saw on TV. It was basically eating rice with broth!!! I like my porridge smooth and mushy, sigh, so this was a big big disappointment for me. Anyway I was already full so I didn't quite mind the porridge being wasted.
3rd Floor, The Gardens
Mid Valley City, near to Isetan
Tel: 03-2284.7663 or 2284.7763