Fugu is fish to die for. Or from. Which is why very few restaurants in the United States are licensed to serve the delicacy.
Shiro of Japan in Westbury, which claims to be the only Long Island restaurant with such a license, has just gotten in limited quantities of the fish from Japan. Chef Hiro Ishikawa has designed a multicourse dinner around the fugu at $100 a person; reservations must be made at least two days in advance for a minimum of two people, since one fish yields two servings.
FYI: Fugu, also known as puffer fish, contains deadly quantities of a toxin that paralyzes victims, who eventually die from asphyxiation, fully conscious all the way. Ishikawa has undergone intensive training to be certified in safely serving this potentially poisonous fish. Even when safe, though, fugu has been known to cause a tingling sensation in the mouth. The fish is illegal in Europe.
Here’s the menu, available so long as Shiro's fugu supply holds out:
Chef’s selection of Japanese hors d’oeuvres
Steamed Japanese egg custard
Fugu sashimi (usuzukuri)
Grilled beef or pork on hot stone
Fugu chowder with table-cooked Japanese vegetables
Japanese lobster spring roll
Rice porridge with egg, scallion and fugu stock
Chef’s choice of dessert
Call to reserve, 516-997-4770.
Shiro of Japan is at 401 Old Country Road, Carle Place.
Above, Fugu and shrimp sashimi