Saturday, January 25, 2014

I Know This Great Blowfish Place...

Ever since I heard that line from an old movie, I've been curious about Fugu. I've always wanted to say thar line, and now I can...

At Kitsho Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar, you can enjoy the notoriously popular Fugu (blowfish or pufferfish) four ways...and it really is a great blowfish place.

Kisho Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar serves a wide range of authentic Japanese dishes, including Fugu. With four private rooms, the modern and contemporary look of Kitsho adds a cool vibe to one's dining experience. 

With over 27 years of experience, Executive Japanese Chef Masahiro Mizumoto's mastery is evident in Kitsho's wide variety of fresh sushi and sashimi dishes (more on Kitsho's extensive range of authentic Japanese dishes in a later post),  and also certified with a license to serve Fugu. I remember numerous sightings of pufferfish in previous dive trips some years back, a slow and ungainly fish, almost comical, and even more so when it puffs up like a balloon. But the deceptively innocent looking fish contains large doses of toxins that can be lethal, making the preparation of Fugu a meticulous and precise process. And so far, there is no known antidote to the pufferfish's toxins. Which makes Fugu an even more exciting dish and an awesome one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Kitsho Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar.

The preparation of Fugu is strictly regulated and controlled, but to those who experience this unusual and celebrated dish, it is well worth the risk. The process of serving Fugu involves the careful removal of organs concentrated with toxins with surgical precision. At Kitsho Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar, Executive Japanese Chef Masahiro Mizumoto prepares Fugu in four flavorful ways, starting with sashimi, followed by kara-age (fried), a steaming hot pot soup, and a hearty congee to cap your Fugu experience. Fugu four ways, and prepare to be blown away by blowfish at Kitsho.

The first course is then served, paper-thin slices of Fugu sashimi elegantly plated with spring onions, lemon, and garnished with flowers and the pufferfish's tail in the center. The extremely thin slices of Fugu have this translucent look, adding to the almost mystical feel of the dish. On one side of the dish, other parts of the Fugu, like the belly skin and tendons, are also served.

Chopped green onions and chili radish are then served for the dipping sauce. Just pour some ponzu and you're set. Unlike the usual wasabi and soy dip for sashimi, the lighter ponzu sauce adds a citrusy note that blends well with the delicate flavors of Fugu without overpowering it. A squeeze of lemon adds that finishing touch with a refreshing sharpness.

As you pick up a slice of Fugu, gently roll the translucent piece over a fresh and crisp green onion. Dip your rolled Fugu in the chili radish ponzu, and go for it. I remember closing my eyes, waiting for a tingling sensation in my mouth. The Fugu's chewy yet soft texture delivers a subtle sweetness like no other sashimi, followed by delicate layers of flavor from the ponsu, chili radish and green onions. And to think that the subtle flavors come from an extremely thin slice of Fugu gives you an idea of the concentrated flavors of this dish. On the next round, include a piece of belly skin and tender cartillage along with green onions in the roll for yet another flavor and texture experience. Delicate flavors, delicously different, and one truly unique and awesome experience. But there's more...

For the second course, Executive Japanese Chef Masahiro Mizumoto prepares the fresh ingredients for a steaming hot pot, including the remaining slices of Fugu, fresh greens, enoki mushrooms, tofu, large  mushrooms and glass noodles. Prepared tableside, the aroma of the hot pot lingers as you patiently wait with anticipation for your bowl.

And after a few minutes, the Fugu hot pot is ready. Each individual bowl is served with a combination of vegetables and tender Fugu. The plates of bone from the Fugu attached to the delicate meat add so much flavor to the steaming hot broth, complemented by the nuttiness of the mushrooms and sweetness of the vegetables. The quality and freshness of the various ingredients are evident in each bowl, with clean flavors.

For the third course, cuts of the remaining Fugu are breaded and deep-fried for a unique Kara-age dish. The chewy yet soft texture of Fugu is perfect when deep-fried, and the subtle flavors punctuated with lemon is all you need. The play of textures, with a crisp outer layer and an almost butter-like and creamy Fugu combine well in each and every bite.

And finally, a hearty and comforting rice congee completes your Fugu experience. The remaining broth from the previous hot pot is used as a base for this dish, packed with concentrated flavors. Rice and the remaining chunks of Fugu are then added, and served steaming hot. Different flavors, all from one Fugu. And one awesome experience. Stay tuned for my next post on Kitsho's Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar's other dishes...

Have you tried blowfish? I know this great blowfish place...

Kitsho Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar is located at Traders Hotel, 3001 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila or call 708-4888 for inquiries and reservations.

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  1. Replies
    1. Hi Candy, this was an awesome experience, great to hear from you!

  2. That is some beautiful and artistic food. :)

    1. Hi Ramona, I can now check Fugu off from my bucket list, great to hear from you!

  3. Would you know how much to dine eating fugu?

    1. Hi, Fugu is a rare and premium delicacy that is difficult and tedious to prepare, and definitely an experience. One order of Fugu served four ways will cost around P 3,800++. at Traders Hotel's Kitsho Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar, whose executive chef is licensed to prepare the exotic dish. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    2. Thanks for the reply! Can't wait to have my chance to try this!

    3. You're most welcome, enjoy your Fugu experience!

  4. Hi! Is the 3800++ good for one person only?

    1. Hi Hanna, the price is for the dish, served four ways. But I'll have to check if they already increased the prices from last year. Thanks for visiting my blog!


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