Kyoto Lab @ Ampang

The modern decor isn’t the only thing setting Kyoto Lab apart from other Japanese restaurants. The menu is as creative as you will find.. from playful appetizers to speciality sushi rolls, you will have a hard time deciding which delicious dish to settle on.

And the most interesting thing about Kyoto lab would be the syringes and test-tubes used to serve up experimental Japanese food to the customers. It’s like you’ve just stepped into some mad scientist’s lab.. hence the name.


Signature Mixed Sashimi

Kyoto Lab, opened by the owners of The Hill at Damansara Heights, shares the premises with The Pool, another bar by the same owners.


cold sake

Our recent dinner there started with the Kyoto Summer Salad (Mesclun salad with Vietnamese rice paper roll stuffed with crabmeat, prawn, asparagus and lettuce). This was serve with 4 different types of dressings, in 4 test-tubes. The accompany dressings were the Sesame dressing, Wafu dressing, Miso dressing and Tomato basil dressing. The flavours were good, and not as weird nor gimmicky as we first thought.


Kyoto Summer Salad and the test-tube sauces!

Then came the Gyoza (Japanese dumpling). These were just so-so for me, nice enough but not particularly memorable. The dumpling skin might have been too thick.



This was followed by the Signature Mixed Sashimi ( with a dash of truffle oil ) topped with fried garlic, spring onions & chopped chili. This was absolutely divine – my favourite dish of the night. A plate of salmon trout was served on a long plate, covered with chopped red chillies and fried garlic bits, glistening with promise. I bit into the raw fish slices and lovely explosions of sweetness, pungent garlic, crunchy spring onions assailed my senses. I waited for the sting of the chili to hit me, but it never came. I would have liked it to have been a tad more spicy!


Signature Mixed Sashimi served with truffle oil top with fried garlic, spring onions & chopped chili

Then came the rather creatively presented Sea Serpent Roll (Sushi roll with soft shell crab, salad leaves, tobiko and cucumber) coated with sesame seed and bonito flakes. The soft shell crabs crackled under ever bite and the sushi rice was of the perfect texture. Loved this dish.


Sea Serpent Roll – Sushi roll with soft shell crab, salad leaves, tobiko and cucumber coated with sesame seed and bonito flakes

We also had a Mix Tempura dish which did not do anything for me – the tempura batter was soggy. We had a chicken Yakitori which I didn’t like either, but that’s mainly preference because I don’t particularly care for that deep freezer chicken smell – an item I hardly ever order for yakitori.


mixed tempura


chicken yakitori

Another highlight of dinner was the Saba (Grilled Mackerel). Salt grilled, this was perfection on a plate. Hard to fault the freshness of the fish. It has just the right proportion of fish fat to white meat as well – another must order at the Kyoto Lab.


salt grilled saba

Then came the battery of cocktails. All supremely delicious.. but how ever did we survive them? They were potent, fragrant, made with sufficient alcohol and really had kick!


the fish bowl – white wine, cider, peach liqueur, peach infused tea and spices


Coco’s Nutz – malibu, rum, condensed milk, fresh coconut juice and coconut cream


the BOMB!


cointreau, red bull and skittles ! Totally whacky this one!


a special, off the menu concoction – cognac and wintermelon


My favourite of the night – Watermelon Slush – smirnoff, midori, lychee liqueur, watermelon


the classic mojito

A great night out. Will definitely be revisiting for the other dishes on the menu.

[Olympus logo]

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Kyoto Lab,
347, Jalan Ampang,
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 017 998 5577
Business Hours: Wednesday to Sunday,
5.00pm till late.


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