Eat, Drink and Get Lucky!
BY HIRANMAYII AWLI MOHANAN
Located in Jalan Mesui, Lucky Tora stands out from the crowd for its vibrant, hipster aesthetics. Its mere façade promises fun and excitement with the placement of rattan chairs and tables out front, enveloped by potted plants. Its wall portrays Japanese pop icons while an eat, drink and get lucky neon sign raises intrigue and wonder.
As we made our way to the inner sanctum of Lucky Tora, we realised that the interior varied through the restaurant, each emanating distinct personality and aesthetics of its own. The main dining area screams old school Japanese home with wood accents and finishing. If you tread further in, you will find an electric blue brick wall with streamers cascading from above and its seating arrangement designed especially for couples.
Taking centre stage at the main dining area is the bar, helmed by mixologist Haniff (known from Locker and Loft). You can thank him for the creative cocktails found on the drinks menu. The man behind the contemporary, Japanese-Asian fare at Lucky Tora is Chef Edwin Yau (of Daikanyama and Wondermama). He has introduced a playful take on Japanese cuisine while still resonating with the local palate.
Mindful of the white-collared workers in the vicinity, Lucky Tora offers sumptuous lunch bowls that can keep you satiated the entire day.
Midnight Tokyo consists of Ford’s gin, lemon, egg white and passionfruit craddled by lime skin and sweet basil leaf. A refreshing drink for a warm afternoon, it quickly became our favourite for the hints of zestiness that peaks through and the aroma of basil and passionfruit teasing the nose.
Gaijin is a cocktail that sweet tooth will love as it exudes an overall sweetness, probably contributed by the apricot with an undertone of guava. This is an easy drink to pair with any meal.
CHICKEN KATSU BAO
Lucky Tora’s bestseller is the chicken katsu bao and we have recently discovered why; it’s an excellent accompaniment to beer. Deepfried chicken katsu is cradled by a soft bao and slathered on top is Japanese mustard, char siew sauce, tartar sauce, pickles and coriander. All we wanted to do was have more of this bad boy.
We want to thank the creative genius that came up with Lucky Tora’s sashimi ceviche. Cubed, assorted, colourful sashimis are amalgamated with tora-style salsa. Served alongside wanton skin, the right way to consume it is to take a spoonful of the sashimi ceviche, place it on the crispy wanton skin and drizzle some mayo. It makes for a perfect appetizer to awaken the palate or serves as a nice side to cocktails.
NYC SPICY TUNA ROLL MAKIMONO
Don’t underestimate the power that lies with these little NYC spicy tuna roll makimonos. Such is a traditional makimono, rice wraps around tuna, cucumber, spring onions, tanoki and crab meat. It packs potent flavours and heat, thanks to the julienned bell peppers atop as well as the homemade spicy sauce served with it.
BEEF CURRY KATSU DON
The beef curry katsu don comprised beef katsu, Japanese curry, rice and topped with two sunny side ups. It was a discovery of comforting layers of savoury, slightly sweet and an umami finish. The meat was tender with perfect thick cuts cooked all the way. The eggs boosted the flavoursome curry, leaving more to enjoy in each bite.
We picture eating Lucky Tora’s shoyu ramen during a cold, rainy day, finding comfort in the steamy, shoyu soup that’s perfectly flavoured. Floating in the sea that is the broth is springy ramen noodles, complemented by three big chunky prawn dumplings which contribute to the comforting balance of sweet and savoury flavours.
25 Jalan Mesui, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.