For a taste of California with a touch of Asian flavours, head to Adrift by David Myers and be sure to check out their newly-expanded menu, mama!
There was much buzz when Adrift opened at Marina Bay Sands last year: Whiz kid Chef David Myers had already racked up accolades like “Best New Chef in America” and collected a trio of Michelin stars from 2007-2009 at his flagship restaurant in Los Angeles, but wanderlust soon got the best of him (he’s a passionate surfer and yoga devotee). In subsequent years he turned his focus to Asia; he’s a student of Japanese cuisine (he owns multiple restaurants in Tokyo) and has traveled far and wide across our diverse corner of the world.
While Adrift was billed as “Asian fusion tapas” upon its opening at MBS, I was pleasantly surprised to discover something much more complex and in-depth when I dined there earlier this month to try out the new menu, which features 80% new items. Don’t worry, mama: it still retains popular favourites like the King Crab Melt, Wagyu Slider Burger and Lobster Roll, but after that all bets are off as Myers brings in diverse flavours ranging from farm-fresh California veggies (he’s so tapped into his suppliers that they can hand-pick heirloom tomatoes at the LA Farmers’ Market in time to serve them the next day at Adrift!), to Thai-inspired curries, to hearty Italian pastas made in-house.
Most impressive and unique is how Myers can so deftly commingle cuisines without seeming gimmicky or jarring: an oh-so smooth gazpacho features a surprising, creamy quail egg and zingy ginger strips (to say nothing of the delicious burrata!). Buttery hand-cut pappardalle is topped with Japanese maitake mushrooms and citrusy Sudachi zest. “Citrus makes food pop!” the chef declared when he sat down with us after the tasting. He is very much about flavours that are “light, bright, vibrant, clean, and healthy.”
In total Myers works with 175 different suppliers from around the world, sourcing luxury components like oysters, caviar, and rare cuts of meat in addition to unusual fruits and veggies that can be hard to come by in Singapore. Particularly adventurous foodies would be well advised to seek out the indulgent Omakase menu ($155++), a bespoke 5-course meal highlighting the chef’s freshest whims. There’s also the 6-course “Timeless” set menu ($88++), which features tasting portions of what the chef terms “the year’s greatest hits”, including the King Crab Melt and an Iberico Pork Chop, among others.
Whereas the old menu emphasised mixing and matching tasting plates, the new menu is more traditionally structured while still allowing plenty of flexibility, as it’s organised into Snacks, Appetisers, Mains (Seafood and Meat), Sides, and Dessert.
From the appetizers, I particularly enjoyed the aforementioned gazpacho and the Wagyu Carpaccio, featuring a marbly meat sourced from Snake River Farms in Oregon and topped with a carrot ginger vinaigrette that simply makes it sing. The sides reflect Myers’ Californian sensibilities, with sexy veggie dishes like Crispy Cauliflower Fritters and Charred Eggplant Puree (so addictive!), and a creamy California Baby Artichoke dish with layers of lemongrass and chili.
One of my favourite snacks was the Crispy Karaage Bun with succulent fried chicken, harissa mayonnaise, and spicy cucumber salad that gives it a banh mi-like feel. Chef Myers waxed poetic about his quest to create just the perfect bun that would be “soft and enveloping” rather than overpowering or too flimsy. The buttermilk bao style, in my opinion, made for one of the most satisfying and tasty sandwiches I’ve had in Singapore.
Although Myers contends that he will happily put Adrift’s burger up against anyone’s in Singapore (the man’s from California, people! They know their burgers there), I’m actually more of a seafood girl myself, and I quite loved the Curry Poached Alaskan Halibut topped with Grated Coconut. This was obviously quite Thai-inspired – there’s a nice, unexpected spicy kick – but the fish was perfectly cooked and flaky, with a lingering sweetness (and slight crunch) thanks to the coconut.
Another of the biggest hits at our lunch table was the Beef Tri-Tip Steak with Crispy Garlic and Green Chimichurri Sauce, a sous vide dish the chef has been perfecting for quite some time. He puts his personal spin on it with a tempura shiso leaf and other delicate Japanese flavours you don’t normally find in a steakhouse setting.
I so enjoyed every stage of this meal (and found myself circling other menu items I’d have to return for) that I almost forgot about dessert, but Myers brought it once again, this time with a yummy Chocolate fritter atop cherry ice cream, surrounded by a symphony of California cherries, peaches, plus, and apricots. “Summer on a Plate” is what he said he was going for, and indeed that’s exactly how it tasted. Be sure to give this one a try, mama, before autumn comes around.
Adrift’s new menu launched last week; the new version has more choices, and allows for more flexibility, whether you’re dining in a big group, grabbing some late night bar bites to go with their killer cocktails, or are looking to do an indulgent date night with the hubs. I know we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to our celebrity chef restaurants here, but you should definitely make time for Adrift, mama.
Adrift is open daily and serves breakfast from 7 – 10:30am; lunch Monday to Friday from 12 – 2:30pm; weekend brunch from 12 – 3pm; dinner from 6 – 10pm; and late night bar snacks from 10pm to midnight (Sun-Thurs) and til 1am (Fri – Sat).
Adrift by David Myers, Marina Bay Sands, Hotel Lobby Tower 2, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956, Tel: (+65) 6688 5657, website