[Kuala Lumpur] Thai-Japanese fusion at Kaiju, APW Bangsar

Lunched yesterday at the three-days-old Kaiju Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant at APW, Bangsar. I marvelled at the 30-metre-long paper origami dragon winding its way across the open space above the dining area.

Some standouts on their inventive menu:

  1. Yoyoki Tuna Tataki, with Nam Tok sauce and Som Tum (green papaya salad) - superb rendition of the tuna. Som tum was not spicy but oversalted with ‘nam pla’ (Thai fish sauce).

  1. 555 Salmon Tata (Mashed potato, seared raw salmon, wasabi-garlic sauce and truffle oil, garnished with radish, pickled onions and candied lotus root).

  2. Okinawan Bittergourd Omelette with cubed duck ham.

  3. Salmon Manow Nabe with fishmeat noodles (salmon, squid, mushroom, tofu, Napa cabbage with Thai manow soup)

The spongey-textured fishmeat noodles were a revelation - loved it!

  1. Aroi Tori Karaage (fried chicken, spring onion, coriander, cheese, yuzu salad on the side).

  2. Desserts were mainly ice-cream. One that I really like is the Coconut “Ka-ti” ice-cream with red wine-marinated grapes. Gorgeous end to the meal.

  3. Another tasty dessert is the Salted caramel ice-cream, topped with coconut flakes.

  4. We had a couple of flavoured sake cocktails: “asam boi” (local salted plum) and Ribena (blackcurrant cordial much loved by Malaysians). Both were refreshing.

Kaiju is located in-between Agak-Agak and Case Study (the trendy experimental bar) at APW on Jalan Riong.

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The food looks great, but I’m more intrigued by the cocktails! Never thought of using Ribena in a cocktail, but I know what I’m trying this weekend (I buy Ribena here at the asian market – must have for my kids). And the asam boi cocktail sounds wonderful – I eat asam boi all the time and put them in my lemon/limeade too but I’ll have to experiment with using them in cocktails.

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I think the use of sake is a bit superfluous here. The sweet flavours of the asam boi and Ribena pretty much overwhelmed the sake effect. It could have been Spritzer or soda water instead of sake and will work just as well.

Kaiju has the potential to be really, really big. At the moment, it’s only 3 days old and the KL crowd has not heard of it yet. The crowds are still packing Breakfast Thieves 2 doors away.

Next door to Kaiju is also the much-talked about Agak-Agak, where founder Ilie Sulaiman replicates Jamie Oliver’s concept of “15”, training juvenile delinquents to become chefs. She’s much admired as one of KL’s food heroes.

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What? No foodie-wannabe fighting to be the first few to review a restaurant?

Hadn’t thought of Ribena as an ‘adult’ drink either. By salted plum, you mean those sweet salty dried ones?

It’s till too new - I guess the foodie bloggers will be coming in about now.

Yes, the salted dried plums, but rehydrated :slight_smile:

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold