Talk about a fishy situation.
Police raided a members-only restaurant in Osaka, Japan on Monday after they discovered the secretive establishment was serving tiger blowfish liver, a deadly delicacy. A police spokesman added that no health problems have been reported at the restaurant, but local food safety authorities have banned the dining establishment from serving blowfish.
Blowfish is permitted on menus, but chefs need a special license to serve it and are restricted from serving the poisonous liver of the fish. Famous actor Mitsugoro Bando died in 1975 after eating blowfish liver in Kyoto leading to the fish’s dangerous allure and demand for the potentially deadly item.
The poisonous substance is called tetrodotoxin and is the reason dozens of people get sick each year and some even die, according to the Japanese Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry. Police said that the Osaka restaurant served farmed blowfish, which some studies by Japanese marine researchers say is not poisonous, but it is still outlawed.
The restaurant is part of a chain of four outlets, doesn’t have any contact information listed on the website, and new customers are only allowed in with a recommendation of a current member.