Kyoto Lab @ Ampang

June 18, 2012

It might not be a mad scientist's lair of outrageous recipes, but this Ampang eatery, affiliated with The Pool, is nevertheless worth exploring for fans of Japanese fare.

Traces of inventiveness trickle through Kyoto Lab's menu: a salad with four test tubes of sauces _ miso, sesame, wafu and tomato basil _ looks dangerously gimmicky, but it's a fun concoction of fresh crispness and flavorsome creaminess.

Salmon sashimi and potato salad with a tangible taste of truffle oil. Good comfort food.

Can't complain about the timbale of prawns, avocado and crab meat ...

... or the almond-coated seafood balls, as well-executed as we could wish for.

Eel, of unquestionable quality too, much smoother than buffet versions.

Which came first _ the chicken wings ...

... or the quail eggs? No matter; both reached the same conclusion in our tummies.

Complimentary miso soup, cloudy with a chance of umami.

An experimental edge emerges again in the end: Asahi beer-battered tempura ice cream with Azuki beans and thick, milky sauce in a syringe.

The novelty value is high _ kids of all ages will have fun with this.

Cool cocktails: Rambu-tini, with vodka, triple sec and rambutan fruits.

Hershey's Martini (vodka, white curacao, chocolate syrup).

New York Flip (ron zacapa rum 23 years, vintage port, egg yolk).

Kesho Tsubo sake.

Kyoto Lab,
347, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
Open for dinner, except Mondays.