Thursday 28 August 2014

Tokyo – Genpin Fugu Karurazaka : Japan Fugu Experience

Fugu or Puffer Fish. The cute and adorable creature status symbol as delicacy in Japan is legendary. The cute and adorable creature can also be lethally poisonous if it is not handled properly, the Chefs in Japan must be certified before they can handle this fish. The liver (the fattiest but the most poisonous part) and other toxic parts of the fish has to be disposed in a seal container marked toxic.

So in our first visit to Japan, LD's cousin D asked if we wanted to try fugu. Not to miss a chance of our lifetime, we did not hesitate to reserve a place for this.

Genpin Fugu - Karurazaka
Torafugu (Tiger Puffer Fish)

Genpin Fugu, Kagurazaka was our pick for the restaurant as they were well-recommended by JTB. Booking was made through and the rest of the details are available below. As the restaurant was so highly recommended by JTB, we were 99% sure that we will be in the safe hand. We ordered the Tenraku set which cost us JPY 6,580.

Genpin Fugu, Kagurazaka are not a big place. The first floor is the kitchen and the guests are seated on the second floor. We got a table with zashiki style of seating (low traditional tables, sunken floor and pillows to seat on). The service staff are utmost friendly, as they tried very hard to understand us.

Zashiki Seating

We started our Fugu gastronomy journey with Yubuki (Parboiled puffer fish skin sashimi) and Tessa (Thin sliced puffer fish sashimi). The skin is actually quite thick. The texture is chewy and tasteless. The combination of spring onion, orange daikon, lime and ponzu sauce provide the taste for the fish skin.

Yubuki (Parboiled puffer fish skin sashimi)

The fugu sashimi slices to the extent of translucent. Excellent skill from the chefs. Texture is springy or slightly resilient, but it has more taste compare to the skin. This time around you can decided on what condiments to be added to the ponzu sauce. There is an option for thin slices if you prefer, known as Butsusashi.

Tessa (Thin sliced puffer fish sashimi)

As we finished the raw selections, we proceed to deep fried, bbq and shabu shabu cooking method. Torafugu Karaage (Deef Fried puffer fish meat). It uses similar marinate as the chicken version (Tori Karaage). Crisply but not oily. It taste tender but slightly springy. You can actually taste a stronger fishy smell in the fugu without the ponzu sauce. Served with fried sliced eggplant and green chilli for balance.

Torafugu Karaage

For Yakifugu (Puffer fish BBQ), the skin and fugu meat are marinated in ponzu sauce. You actually have to do the BBQ yourself, and it is quite challenging since this is our first experience with fugu. We were given the skin, the meat and the bones of the fish to BBQ. The skin actually shrinks when it hits the bbq. Texture wise still chewy. The bbq fugu is slightly charred but tender. It is not fishy due to the marinate. LD says the bbq green chilli is very nice, has a similar taste profile as capsicum.

Yakifugu (Puffer fish BBQ)

Yakifugu (Puffer fish BBQ)

Tecchiri (Puffer Fish Hot Pot) provide a comfort food version of things. Cook with enoki mushrooms, silken tofu and vegetables. For dipping sauce, ponzu with white and orange radish and spring onions. The fugu in shabu shabu tasted clean and crunchy, and add to the sweetness of the broth. At this stage, we are actually at 90% full.

Tecchiri (Puffer Fish Hot Pot)

Tecchiri (Puffer Fish Hot Pot)

After we cleared the ingredients in the hot pot, the service staff brought some rice and eggs to make Zousui (Japanese Rice Porridge). Using the left over broth from the shabu shabu, rice, eggs, and spring onion was added. The rice just soak up the richness of the broth, while the egg provide the velvety texture to the porridge. We were so stuffed, but this dish is just irresistible. YumYum!!

Zousui (Japanese Rice Porridge) - Ingredients

Zousui - How can you say no to this?

Zousui - Individual Serving

For sweet endings, we can choose from Yuzu sorbet or Maple Syrup Sorbet. LD and I decided to stick with something light and refreshing Yuzu sorbet, while D opted for the later.

Yuzu Sorbet

Overall, we are glad that we manage to 'live' through the Fugu Gastronomic experience. I can come out and says “I Survived the FUGU Challenge”. I don't think the fugu taste extremely special however it is the experience that counts. So if you are going to Japan, give this Fugu experience a try. Kanpaiiii!! Cheerssss!!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 8.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Fugu Experience: 9.5/10

Genpin Fugu, Kagurazaka.
5-35 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku,
Tokyo, Japan.
(Nearest Station: 1-minute walk from Ushigome Kagurazaka Station on the Toei Oedo line)

T: 03-5225-3029
W: (English section)
Opening Hours: 
Monday to Friday 12:00 to 15:00 (LO 14:00); 6:00 to 23:30 (LO 22:00);
Weekends 16:00 to 23:30 (LO 22:00)

Booking through:
Dinner at Genpin Fugu, Kagurazaka.
Booking are made through:

For other branches, check the website

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