Walking into Adrift, I found myself looking out for interior themes that befitted the castaway-esque moniker. There was none of that. Instead, the restaurant exudes a smart but relaxed urban vibe.
Past the entrance is a Ginza-style bar where cocktails take centre stage rather than beers, possibly to encourage diners to explore the unique concoctions by lauded New York bartender Sam Ross. There are 14 to try at S$23 a pop, and they come with bewildering names like Trouble Maker, Penicillin and Midnight Stinger. The only familiar one is the Singapore Sling but even this has been given an interesting twist.
The dining area is impressive. The menu, on the other hand, baffles. While it displays Myers‘ passion for combining Asian flavours with a Western twist, some of the proposed flavour combinations had my left eyebrow caught in a fish hook.
An example is the preserved green papaya soup ($29) with Maine lobster and sago. When it arrived, I found myself thrown off a metaphorical mechanical bull. There is not a jot of sourness. Rather, it’s surprisingly creamy like a green hued coconut soup. Unexpected flavours are matched by surprising textures in another dish, the grilled Maine lobster ($33). It came with a trio of grilled mochi that’s made in-house, although there is nothing soft or chewy in Myer’s version.
It dawned on me then that Adrift is a reference to Myer’s career that has spanned many countries and cuisines, and what he sets out to do is to take typical dishes and turning them on their head, bringing diners on a culinary adventure. It doesn’t always work but it keeps things interesting.
Beef Tartare, Sesame, Egg Yolk, Chili
Fried Oysters, Green Garlic, Black Lime Dip
Ricotta, Preserved Lemon, Okinawan Black Sugar
This gave me a new appreciation of the sharp flavours in the cured hamachi ($27) paired with refreshing ginger flowers and the delicate ricotta toast ($24) topped with okinawan black sugar and preserved lemon.
The desserts were more than decent, with the raspberry parfait ($12) at the top of my list. When I bit into the accompanying cocoa mochi and discovered that it was as bouncy as mochi should be, which by now is a surprise in itself, it was like coming full circle.
Adrift is located at Marina Bay Sands Hotel lobby, Tower 2, tel. 6688 5657
This review was originally published in the April 2015 issue of August Man magazine.