Lucky Tora Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang Review: Lucky me!
While trying to decide where to go for a few drinks and catch up with some friends, I remembered that a new bar had opened in Bukit Bintang at the end of November that I hadn’t yet gotten to visit, and so a plan was hatched. From the outside, Lucky Tora may just be another bar a few streets away from Changkat, beside the more famous Pisco, but as soon as you enter, the feeling of serenity and relaxation washes over you and you know you are in for a laid back evening.
The music was low enough for enjoyable conversation and the subdued lighting works beautifully with the curved wooden panelling on part of the ceiling. While waiting for my friends to arrive, head barman, Haniff recommended I try a cocktail called a Mr Miyagi (see top picture). It was an unusual sake cocktail with Assam plum and was the most quintessential of Asian drinks having a mixture of sweet and salty flavours. When my friends arrived we relied on a very knowledgeable server to guide us and started to order cocktails.
My friend Julie opened with a Mambo No. 5, a delicious combination of dark Plantation Rum, lime, ginger ale and bitters. Pauline started with a Tora! Tora! Tora! which had a layered taste from its mix of rums, gin, Amaro bitters, honey, cassis and bitters. I ordered an Ohaya Black, which was a bit like having breakfast in a glass. The first taste to hit your pallet is the espresso, followed by a creamy vanilla flavour courtesy of the pandan and then the surprise aftertaste from the Antica, tasting a lot like Rice Krispies! This cocktail was balanced out by the gin and Campari to make an interesting and intricate layered drink, not totally unlike a Negroni.
As a vegetarian with many allergies, the food was not suitable for me, but my companions were thrilled with their choices from the Japanese styled menu. They ordered sashimi ceviche and Szechuan-style gyoza to nibble on. According to the ladies, the ceviche was delicious, one of the best they had ever had and the gyoza was equally a success. With their taste buds tingling and appetites sated, it was time to order some more drinks.
This time Julie decide to go for a more traditional cocktail and her personal favourite, an Old Fashioned. As a connoisseur, she knows a good one when she tastes one and was very happy with the mix of bourbon, bitters and citrus. Pauline chose a Midnight Tokyo, and what a good choice that was. This drink was made from Ford’s gin, basil, lemon, passionfruit and a fluffy egg white head. It’s vivid green and white colours stood out next to my darker, more brooding looking choice of an Ume Fizz.
The Ume Fizz combines Wild Turkey 91 - a bourbon and rye whiskey - with plum, lime and ginger ale. With the fruit mixes taking some of the heaviness out of the whiskey, this is a drink I could enjoy regularly even though I am not really a whiskey drinker.
The clever menu choices, cocktails curated by one of KL’s finest mixologists and casual interior design make Lucky Tora the perfect spot for a relaxed evening with friends. Keep up to date with their events or if they are booked out (which happens, especially on weekends) by following them on Instagram.
Lucky Tora: 25, Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Phone: +60 12-679 0489
Open Monday to Friday from 12 - 3 pm, and from 5 pm till late; Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm onwards all the way until late.