Playful take on Asian dishes

Playful take on Asian dishes
Bar consultant Sam Ross (left) and celebrity chef David Myers at new restaurant, Adrift.

Celebrity chef David Myers wants diners here to let loose and get social in his new restaurant Adrift, an East-meets-West sharing plates joint that has just opened at Marina Bay Sands.

The 4,000 sq ft restaurant-bar in the lobby of Tower 2 will offer a range of dishes that incorporate South-east Asian flavours and Californian flair, as well as a list of cocktails created by New York- based bartender Sam Ross.

The 40-year-old American chef tells Life! that he hopes the restaurant will "evoke a sense of wanderlust and timelessness".

He adds: "I want it to be a place where people can just get into a social moment with their friends and loved ones, have small plates that have fun, unique flavours that they can talk over and a cocktail programme to help loosen things up."

Myers, who has worked with French chef Daniel Bouloud and the late American chef Charlie Trotter, says the name Adrift is inspired by a picture he saw of three friends swimming in the ocean.

Instead of having their heads up floating, their heads were down and legs were up, hanging in the wind.

"To me, they're adrift on memory bliss," he says.

"Singapore is a hotbed of activity right now with incredible concepts and bars. It really almost feels like coming home," he adds.

He was part of the opening team for French fine-dining restaurant Jaan in 2001, at what was then the Westin Stamford.

Among the dishes that he recommends at Adrift is a playful take on the Singapore chilli crab sauce - a piece of fried black cod is served with a grilled mantou (Chinese steamed bun) like a taco and topped with chilli crab sauce ($31).

A traditional Vietnamese pork sandwich (banh mi) is made richer and more flavourful with the addition of foie gras ($32). There is also Myers' take on the classic crab melt sandwich, which uses King crab and grilled pimento cheese ($35).

Australian bartender Ross, 32, who owns downtown Manhattan cocktail bar Attaboy and was previously the head bartender of world- renowned cocktail bar Milk & Honey in New York for eight years, has created 16 cocktails for the bar in Singapore.

This is his fifth project with Myers. He has worked with the chef on restaurants in Los Angeles that include the now defunct Sona, and also French brasserie Comme Ca, and Hinoki & The Bird.

Ross, who has 16 years of experience in bartending, tells Life! that the idea is to keep things simple and focus on "really good quality booze" and fresh produce available in Singapore.

All the cocktails are made using fewer than five ingredients.

He says a "showcase on the menu" is a take on the classic Singapore Sling cocktail ($23). It is less sweet, using Tanqueray gin, fresh pineapple and lemon juice, with a dash of cherry liqueur added at the end for a pop of pinkish-red colour.

He says: "I love the Sling when made well. It's got a mad reputation for being something overly sweet, so we are trying to offer the best Singapore Sling. When you don't overly sweeten it with syrup, it really is a refreshing drink."

Other cocktails on the menu include his famed cocktail, Penicillin (Scotch, fresh lemon, ginger, honey, Islay float, garnished with candied ginger, $23), and Myers' favourite cocktail, Troublemaker (gin, sweet vermouth, fresh lemon, cucumber and strawberry, $23).

Adrift, at Marina Bay Sands Tower 2 Lobby, is open daily for bar and dinner services from 5.30pm till late. Lunch service is expected to start next month. For reservations, call 6688-5657.

This article was first published on Feb 24, 2015.
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