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Blowfish/Fugu in NY?

coveblue Nov 4, 2009 07:21 AM

I'm coming up to the city next week and I'd love to try fugu (for the first time). I've been searching the board and googling like crazy. I've come up with a short list of restaurants where fugu has been mentioned, but I can't find it on any of their menus online. :(

Anyone know where is a sure bet to find some fugu while I'm in town?


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    halo RE: coveblue Nov 4, 2009 07:53 AM

    i think fugu is illegal in the US so restaurants usually don't have it on the menu. i know masa and kanoyama serve it in their omakases.

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      sushiman RE: coveblue Nov 4, 2009 08:27 AM

      The poisonous fugu is illegal.

      You get two types of fugu here.

      The first is domestic and non-poisonous.

      The second is from Japan. It is the poisonous varierty but has been meticulously prepared so that NONE of the poison is present in the fish. That was the only way that they could get permission of export it here.

      IMHO, the japanese variety is a waste of time. It has had several days to oxidize and the flesh itself is not that interesting. I have had it fresh in Japan and it is totally different. The domestic is actually nicer to eat here.

      Just as a point of fact, there are exactly 5 fugu licensed sushi chefs in NYC if you are curious. That is what I have been told by one of them.

      1. u
        uwsister RE: coveblue Nov 4, 2009 08:58 AM


        1. egit RE: coveblue Nov 4, 2009 10:24 AM

          I don't know for certain, but I believe Nippon in midtown east has it seasonally. I don't know whether or not it's domestic or japanese, or "contraband."

          I'm not sure where you'll be staying, but I think Nippon is on east 52nd street near 3rd or Lex.

          1 Reply
          1. re: egit
            Lau RE: egit Nov 4, 2009 06:29 PM

            i was about to say nippon b/c they definitely have it (google it), restaurant nippon is on 52nd between 3rd and lex on the north side of the street....i've actually been meaning to post about that place sometime, i think it flies under the radar for some reason, but its actually quite good

          2. tastyeating RE: coveblue Nov 4, 2009 11:31 AM

            Morimoto's has it.

            88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

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              ian9139 RE: coveblue Nov 4, 2009 11:50 AM

              the last time i was at Sushi Yasuda (spring), Fried Fugu (i am not sure what part) was on the appetizer special menu.

              Sushi Yasuda
              204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

              1. Asumnuthin RE: coveblue Nov 5, 2009 09:53 AM

                Ive had it done three ways at Kanoyama, but it was a special, better to call ahead.

                175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                7 Replies
                1. re: Asumnuthin
                  NYAngeleno RE: Asumnuthin Nov 5, 2009 07:19 PM

                  I've also had fugu at Sugiyama. I don't remember them telling us what type it is, but I believe it's the Japanese variety, because I had the telltale numbness/tingling in my mouth after eating it.

                  251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

                  1. re: NYAngeleno
                    E Eto RE: NYAngeleno Nov 5, 2009 07:34 PM

                    Tingling is not a telltale sign of eating fugu. For the most part, there's no such sensation.

                    1. re: E Eto
                      sushiman RE: E Eto Nov 6, 2009 06:26 AM

                      Tingling would be a telltale sign if it was prepared in Japan the old school way.

                      Unless the fugu was smuggled in here with the poisonous parts intact, it is highly unlikey.

                      1. re: sushiman
                        Silverjay RE: sushiman Nov 6, 2009 07:41 AM

                        I've eaten wild fugu usuzukuri sashimi (which I think is the best way to eat it) 3 or 4 times in Japan and have never felt tingling. As I have alluded to in other threads, all this drama about fugu mostly amounts to annoying internet copy and a pretty good Simpsons episode.

                        1. re: Silverjay
                          NYAngeleno RE: Silverjay Nov 6, 2009 08:47 AM

                          Thanks for the info guys (gals?). The only thing I'll say in my defense is that I didn't expect any numbness going in, so it wasn't a confirmatory sensation. I had eaten fugu once in Japan before and don't remember the feeling. That said, we'll chalk it up to (1) some side garnish or (2) some psychosomatic effect caused by my imagination. (most likely) :)

                          1. re: NYAngeleno
                            Lau RE: NYAngeleno Nov 6, 2009 09:59 AM

                            did you guys like it? i've only had it once and i thought it was fine, but nothing special

                            the best thing ive had from fugu was the skin, which was lightly pickled i believe and was served as a panchan from a korean restaurant in LA that specializes in maewoon tang and they use fugu (maewoon tang was just okay)

                            1. re: NYAngeleno
                              ian9139 RE: NYAngeleno Nov 9, 2009 11:34 AM

                              I thought that when fugu flesh (the majority of what you'll eat) was prepared correctly none of the poison would remain intact, hence no tingling. Therefore, there would be no significant difference between wild and farmed except perhaps in terms of taste and perceived danger.

                              On the other hand, I have read that the liver, illegal but often served in Japan, will produce a small tingling sensation if prepared correctly.

                              Please correct me if I am wrong.

                  2. financialdistrictresident RE: coveblue Nov 6, 2009 02:55 AM

                    We had fugu at Kyo Ya.

                    Kyo Ya
                    94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

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