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Food review: Adrift at MBS

Audacious flavour combinations and hip ambience make for uber fashionable dining.

Bold food combinations, a swanky decor and a location that attracts the well heeled. These factors make Adrift – a two-month-old restaurant at Marina Bay Sands by one-Michelin-star American chef David Myers – the latest It place.

The experience starts upon entry: the up-tempo music, strong wood accents on walls and floor, dim lighting and an attached bar exude a lounge-like vibe. Completely on-trend, even the food is meant to be social. Not only is it served on tapas-style small plates meant for sharing, it features daring combinations that mix East with West in a way that’ll surely get your table talking.

Take the beef tartare, for instance. It resembles a typical dish of diced raw beef served on a crostini, but take a bite and it will surprise you, for it is reminiscent of yukhoe, a South Korean raw beef dish with egg yolk, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Beef tartare with drips of raw egg yolk, South Korean style.
Beef tartare with drips of raw egg yolk, South Korean style.

Then there’s the Arctic char with curry, spiced tomatoes and sweet onions, inspired by Myers’ jaunts to local hawker centres.

This Nordic freshwater fish tastes similar to salmon and the novel blend of ingredients originating thousands of miles apart may seem strange, but it works, as the fattiness of the fish complements the curry beautifully. Informing this approach are the chefs’ diverse cultural backgrounds. While Adrift is opened by Myers, he is backed by South Korea-born executive chef Dong Choi from Los Angeles restaurants Comme Ca and Sona.

Both are Myers’ creations which are now closed; the latter was awarded a Michelin star in 2007.

There are some misses for sure, like the raw hamachi (yellowtail fish) cured in banana shallots, galangal and kaffir lime served with creme fraiche, which lacks the freshness of sashimi and the umami of soya sauce.

But, still, props to the chef for thinking creatively. Because it’s not just the cosmetic factors that makes Adrift a fashionable place, it is the sheer guts in treading such bold culinary ground.

Hotel Lobby Tower 2, Marina Bay Sands.