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Blowfish at the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai

Are you someone who likes to take risks? You could brave the elements and scale Mount Everest. You could jump out of a plane with nothing but a nylon parachute and a prayer. Or, you could make the pilgrimage to India and order Fugu, the Japanese puffer fish so toxic it causes up to 50 deaths per year. Eat it anywhere but a licensed restaurant and you could face an untimely demise. India, did I say?   Yes!  This is a dish that  is no longer served exclusively in Japan. It’s now available at the  Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai‘s San-Qi Restaurant, the first and only restaurant in India with a Fugu-certified chef. Chef Kato Toshikazu first tasted Fugu at the age of 18, when he started working in the kitchen at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo. After years and many hours of practice, he’s now licensed to thrill San-Qi diners who want to try the famous fish. And many do — the hotel imports two orders of Fugu from Japan a month!

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I’d happily jump out of a plane, but there’s no way I’d want to eat Blowfish! What if the chef’s having a bad day and cuts the wrong bit?!

  2. Climbing Everest nowadays is done on oxygen climbing steps and holding onto ropes installed previously by guides. Climbing Everest is no longer the achievement it once was. Read Joe Simpson’s “Dark Shadows Falling”.
    But getting back to Fugu, what is supposed to be so great about eating the fish? Surely it can’t be about bragging rights as more motorists get killed than Fugu fish eaters each year. It is only the liver that is toxic and unless its removed completely only then will you die a painful death.

  3. To Matt… what if someone doesn’t check your parachute properly?

    To John… indeed, conquering Everest is no longer the same accomplishment. In addition to what you mention, we have better knowledge about nutrition, weather, clothing, etc. All that aside, I’d say it’s still quite an achievement.

    As for what is so good about Fugu, I guess none of us will ever know unless we try it! By the way, it’s not just the liver… also the ovaries and skin can be toxic.

  4. I’ve been reading a book called ‘Extreme Cuisine’ by Jerry Hopkins recently. It’s all about various foods which westerners find exciting or downright weird. Fugu gets a section to itself.

    Apparently Captain Cook suffered from having “but just a taste” of the liver and roe in 1774. James Bond was also poisoned in the novel “From Russia With Love”. He survived, of course, and it was revealed in the next novel that the poison had been from the sex organs of fugu.

    Apparently, eating fugu is a very macho thing to do in some societies. Hey! Look how brave I am!

    It’s a fascinating subject but I think I’ll research it further and maybe write an article about it one of these days.

    Meanwhile, there are more than 100 species of blowfish and most are quite safe to eat. It’s the ones containing tetrodotoxin you have to watch out for.

  5. I would love to do this! You gotta trust that the chef got to where he is for a reason. I wonder if they make you sign a waiver?

  6. think if i was going to chance i would rather do it in japan its home – not sure why but you gotta take the chance!

  7. I know it may be the four seasons but unfotunately i have trusted top name brands in the past and ended up with food poisoning – call me cynical. I think if I was going to eat blowfish Tokyo rather than mumbai would be my destination. mind you i would probably end up being distrated by all the other fabulous food available and forget about the blowfish!

  8. I agree with Irene’s comment about top hotels and food poisoning. I got the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever had in all my years of travelling from the Pearl Continental in Peshawar.

    Much later, I encountered similar horrors at the Sheraton in Penang but I didn’t get sick because by then I had a better understanding of food hygiene.

  9. I am confused how you didnt get sick cause you had a better understanding?? Food poisining is food poisining, it doesnt matter if you understand it or not, you still get sick.

  10. Nice! I am ready to jump from the plane with nothing but a prayer. Well, good examples you have taken to describe the consequence of eating Fugu. It’s really shocking to know about this fish and the cost of the fish is your life. Absolutely, I don’t want to take risk.

    It is foolish to go for adventure in eating. Thank you for sharing this great information

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