The plight of the bluefin tuna could fill a long and heartbreaking book. According to WWF, the Atlantic bluefin tuna population has declined by at least 51%, while the Southern bluefin tuna has experienced an 85% decline over the last four decades. Its cultural significance and importance to the Japanese people cannot be understated; bluefin tuna auctions at Tsukiji fish market can fetch prices of over hundreds of thousands of US dollars per fish, and record-breaking sales take place almost every year.
Maguro nakaochi tuna with grated Japanese yam
And although connoisseurs swear by wild-caught bluefin tuna – notorious for its “critically endangered” classification by WWF – and pay an exorbitant price for the dubious honour, scientists are busy at work taming and farming these oceanic giants for food consumption. The good news is that farmed and sustainably sourced tuna are now available for sale beyond Japan, and Japanese cuisine specialist FUMI is showcasing a specimen from Kyushu, weighing in at a whopping 50kg, for its brand-new tuna-cutting series, alongside a specially crafted tasting menu and limited-time tuna dishes on the à-la-carte menu.
Bluefin tuna steaks
Farmed bluefin tuna from Kyushu, weighing in at 50kg
Carved expertly by a team of veteran sushi chefs prior to the sit-down meal, this should prove to be a spectacular sight and performance for diners to behold (if you’re into that kinda stuff and have a strong stomach, that is). Bookings for this unique dinner are open now and take place every Thursday night until the end of March 2019.
Chopped tuna sashimi don with scallion set
Highlights of the tasting menu ($888) included a sashimi platter of toro, chu toro and maguro cuts, a chopped tuna sashimi don and a delicately fried tuna red-meat gillette, but we particularly loved the umami-rich stewed tuna and the beautifully presented and refreshing tuna carpaccio.
We don’t want to state the obvious here, but suffice it to say that the crowning elements of the dinner were simply the freshness of the ingredients and the fact that the fish came from a sustainable source. Selected dishes from the tasting menu can also be found on the limited-time à-la-carte menu, which is additionally beefed up with offerings like tuna noten hand rolls ($118), grilled tuna fin ($138) and extremely limited servings of the colossal tuna head – of which there are only eight pieces available per Thursday session – so if you’re keen for a taste of this rare delicacy, best get your orders in ahead of time.
6/F, California Tower, 30–32 D’Aguilar Street, LKF, Central, 2328 3302, click here to book now
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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