Adrift by David Myers is one of the many eateries bookmarking Singapore’s behemoth Marina Bay Sands, which is dotted with dining haunts from superstar chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck and Daniel Boulud. Regardless of the competition, Adrift more than holds its own among its peers.
The eatery’s beauty is omnipresent from the get-go, with a glass encased dining area allowing splashes of sunshine to filter gently in as guests gaze at the verdant green of the trees and garden beyond.
The offspring of chef David Myers, an American who has travelled all over the world, gathering inspiration from different cuisines, the restaurant is the second in Myers’ mini Adrift empire, which also hosts an outpost in Japan (which has a Spanish slant to it) as well as a soon-to-be-opened Adrift outlet in India (which will have a Japanese influence).
“It’s a really fun brand that lends itself well to any type of cuisine, so it doesn’t have to be specifically Asian. For us, it’s kind of a template for whatever we’re inspired by,” said Myers.
Myers is also the man behind numerous other restaurants in Dubai and Tokyo like Bleu Blanc, Poppy and Salt Water Kitchen. A culinary wunderkind, he was previously nominated for a prestigious James Beard award and in 2003 was even named the best new chef of the year by Food & Wine magazine.
At a recent media lunch, Myers put together a carefully composed menu, highlighting his approach to the food at his Singaporean eatery.
“Our cuisine heritage at Adrift is really focused around vibrant flavours. I’m from California, and the farmers’ markets there are teeming with great ingredients. So at Adrift, we really want to bring that ingredient-focused food and make it as playful as possible.
“We actually get a lot of ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers Market in Los Angeles, they ship them over and then we try to do as little as possible to each ingredient. But there’s definitely an Asian bent to the cuisine, because I love the food throughout the region and the flavours are always so inspiring to me, so I like to bring that to our cooking,” he said.
The first course was a kampachi sashimi with grapefruit and soft tofu crème. The fresh slices of fish were cut almost carpaccio-style and were like sheets of silk in the mouth, textures that were offset by the plump, zesty mouthfuls of grapefruit and the satin softness of the ingenious tofu crème, which added a lightly creamy underbelly to the dish.
Next up, we sampled the agnolotti of suckling pig with gojuchang and Iberico ham. “The suckling pig was our fun, playful take on doing a Filipino lechon (roasted suckling pig). But instead of just serving it simply like that, we made it into a pasta,” said Myers.
The agnolotti was essentially puckered little dumplings stuffed with the pork, which was so tender, it was like putty in the mouth. The gojuchang didn’t really have a bold presence, and laid low throughout the meal while another sidekick – the Iberico ham – stole the spotlight with meaty, salty overtures that added depth and dimension to the meal.
The undisputed heavyweight champion of the entire meal was the next course – the Australian wagyu striploin with pickled perilla and white soy mustard seeds.
The wagyu was surreally good, like a wonderful dream seguing fluidly into reality. The meat was slightly charred on the outside with an inner core that was juicy and so meltingly tender, it was like clamping your mouth down on pure velvet.
The beef was a tough act to beat, but the dessert of 70% chocolate tart with fig leaf ice cream proved a worthy contender with a rich, pulsating chocolate heart that melded into a brittle tart base.
The surprise element here was the fig leaf ice cream, which was unusual but wonderfully herbaceous, with a slightly acidic undertone.
After the meal, many of my dinner companions could be seen sighing with pleasure, a few even untucking shirts and unbuckling belts to fully allow the joys of the meal to be indulged in without tight clothes getting in the way.
Having encountered such enthusiasm to his curated menu, Myers now says that he will likely be introducing all the items onto his permanent menu.
“They’re not on the menu at all, but I think after today, we’re looking at that, because there was such a great response, we thought we would actually put it on the menu,” he said, smiling.
Adrift by David Myers
Address: Lobby, Hotel Tower 2, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
Tel: +65 6688 5657
Hours: Daily, 7am-2am