Author: Alex Chua
Puffer Fish Sushi
Step into Guenpin and be instantly transported to an authentic eatery in Japan. Run by a major Japanese fugu restaurant chain, this is one of the rare places in Singapore where you can savour delicious torafugu (tiger puffer fish) and snow crab cuisine. While ala carte options are also available, Guenpin’s torafugu courses (Guen Puffer Fish Course – $88 per person/ Tenraku Puffer Fish Course – $138 per person) give you a bona fide fugu dining experience. Tuck into expertly sliced sashimi, dig into a homely nourishing hot pot before ending on a sweet note with freshly-made ice cream.
Cozy and casual – the 32-seater outlet in Singapore is the brand’s first-ever overseas outlet.
Guenpin is helmed by Chef Tomita, who has over 30 years of experience handling fugu cuisines. Known for its strict standards in selecting torafugu and quality ingredients, this fugu specialist also has an international patent for its ageing process to bring out the freshness and quality, ensuring the intense flavour and tender texture are preserved.
Thick Sliced Puffer Fish Sashimi
The course starts off with a simple, earthy bowl of Parboiled Puffer Fish Skin Sashimi, followed by the Thick or Thin Sliced Puffer Fish Sashimi. While this is not my first time trying this succulent fish, the luxurious plate of melt-in-the-mouth sashimi are refreshing and doesn’t disappoint. Rich in collagen and protein, torafugu is the perfect fish for those who desires good health and beauty (who doesn’t).
Puffer Fish for Hot Pot
Next comes the main star of the course. The Puffer Fish Hot Pot consists of torafugu, tofu, vegetables, mushroom and kudzu noodle cooked in a clear broth. A heart-warming and nutritional dish, collagen extracted from the torafugu is poured into the broth to enhance the nourishing effect. The remaining broth is not wasted once you have savoured the food – you can order a comforting porridge set to add eggs and rice is into the broth. Perfect for a rainy weather or a gathering with your close-knit friends.
Fresh Snow Crab for grill
Besides torafugu which the restaurant is renowned for, Guenpin also serves snow crab, prepared in 3 different styles – sashimi, tempura and grill. The grilled snow crab is a wonderful treat for the taste buds. The sweet, succulent meat is accentuated by the grilling process. The dish comes with three different dipping sauces: sweet miso, chili and minced garlic.
Snow Crab Tempura
The snow crab tempura is coated in light, fluffy batter which matches superbly with crunchy vegetable tempura. The rich, creamy meat is so fresh and tender it falls right off when you bite into it. Personally, I would choose this option due to my closeted love affair of fried food but all aredelicious on its own.
Goma ice cream
Ending the course with a sweet touch, the dessert is a scoop of ice cream with flavours such as yuze, goma (sesame) or matcha. Not very exciting, but it does the job without being too overbearing.
Overall, I find the food, the ambience and the décor speaks on an overarching theme synonymous of Japanese philosophy – of simplicity, tranquillity and striking the right balance. While it is geared more on the pricey side, you are paying for the overall experience and it is definitely worth a second visit.
Guenpin Fugu & Snow Crab Japanese Restaurant
Address: 32 Maxwell Road, #01-06 Maxwell Chambers, Singapore 069115
Contact: +65 6634 2916
Mon-Fri Lunch 12pm-3pm & Dinner 6pm-12am
Sat, Sun, Eve of PH & PH Dinner 5pm-12am