Lucky Tora, Mesui Road
November 30, 2018
Luck be a tiger tonight: Roaring into KL's city centre, this contemporary Japanese restaurant burns bright with playful plates that spur patrons to share their passion for fun, full-bodied food. From ‘crazy karaage’ with cheese and chillies to rum-&-raisin ice cream with salmon skin, Lucky Tora's selection - Tora means 'tiger' - exudes exuberance, exemplified by colourful bursts of mischievous wit throughout this vibrant venue.
While Japanese inspirations provide the fulcrum for the menu, the kitchen slides effortlessly toward other inflection points, with eclectic East Asian influences evident in the savoury prawn toast, deep-fried to a decadent crisp and layered with minced crustacean meat, made nuanced with wasabi cream (RM18), and the prawn gyoza, buoyed by a Szechuan-style spicy-sour dressing (RM24), both crafted for those carefree nights when calories can't be counted.
If you favour a lighter starter, the sashimi ceviche is a bright mix of raw seafood with zesty salsa to perk up the palate (RM22); alternatively, the tender and textured tsukune may only be a mouthful or three in size, but it punches above its weight in flavour (RM7), one of multiple skewers available for kushiyaki cravings.
While rice bowls and sushi rolls will charm carb-loaders, the kitchen is versatile enough to offer consistently tempting twists across the board - try the okonomiyaki, served hot and fluffy, heaped with wagyu beef in robust fermented bean paste (RM24), pragmatically paired with the La Prova Sangiovese (RM35 per glass). Lucky Tora's bar is no slouch, mixing Malaysian flourishes into concoctions like the sake cocktails - Mr Miyagi showcases the tangy chops of assam fruit (RM22) - and speciality highballs - check out the Kimochi, bringing together Angostura with coconut, pandan and basil seeds (RM35).
25, Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 12pm-1am. Tel: 03-2859-0489
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