Since opening its doors in 2015, Adrift by David Myers quickly rose as one of the most highly acclaimed and reputable restaurants in the region luring in locals, tourists, and food aficionados. Set stylishly in Marina Bay Sands, a stunning location at every angle, we met the globetrotting celebrity chef who has brought influences and inspiration from his travels to a table filled with fresh and vibrant flavors the likes we’ve never tasted before.
The American Michelin-starred chef boasts a culinary empire that spans Singapore, Dubai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Sydney. His success includes numerous accolades and TV appearances on shows such as Iron Chef America, The Today Show, Top Chef, Master Chef US, Master Chef China, and Hell’s Kitchen. With his impressive track record and infamous reputation, there is so much to learn from David Myers’ culinary journey.
At Adrift, dishes are meant to be shared, izakaya-style, why did you choose this concept for your restaurant in Marina Bay Sands?
We wanted to launch an izakaya-style concept because there was no restaurant like it here when we opened. It was not a very well-known concept at the time. We wanted to bring the fun vibe of L.A. to Singapore where sharing brings joy to everyone. We want guests to enjoy multiple dishes with an interesting palate and experience it together. We wanted to evoke fun while offering unique flavors that people could enjoy all throughout the course of their meal. Adrift is more casual and relaxed.
While having grown up in California, you are deeply passionate about Japanese culture, where is this coming from?
I am definitely passionate about Japanese culture. I went to Japan for the first time after my visit to Singapore and I instantly fell in love with everything. From the ambiance, culture and the food, everything about it just seemed to resonate with me in some capacity. I adore the simplicity of food and being ingredients driven. There is such a great history to it. You’ll notice that Japanese chefs are artists. Their focus is impeccable–if you’re a sushi chef that’s all you do and if you’re a yakitori chef that’s all you do. That’s why the details are insane and their focus, very impressive.
The menu at Adrift features American, Japanese, Modern Asian and Western dishes, what are some of your favorite ingredients to work with
I love Japanese citruses. It’s always a great way to enhance dishes. I love yuzu and sudachi. I love seafood in general. The healthy component of it and the lightness is just pleasant all the time. We love great steaks from Japan and Australia. We truly focus on ingredients like our ethos and we have ingredients coming from all over the world.
Adrift is a restaurant with a bit of Californian touch. With so many misconceptions about American food, what is “Californian flavor”?
Yes, that’s a great question, there seems to be many so what is really Californian cuisine? Many people think it’s all about fast food. California for me represents the freshness and impeccable ingredients coming from the ground to the table. We are blessed in L.A. and San Francisco to have amazing products all year round. I want to bring that style and lightness to our dishes and the quality of ingredients here.
For curious diners, what are your top suggestions of the Adrift menu?
Well, I think the beauty here is you can try many things. We have small and big dishes ideal for sharing with friends. I think our lobster rolls are a really good place to start. It’s amplified by flavors, and it’s a healthy and fun dish that showcases a playful edge of our brand.
Adrift’s bar program is quintessential to the dining experience, what’s behind it?
I definitely think that drinks and great cocktails are everything. We brought the top mixologist in the world here. Sam Ross who is the founder of the prestigious New York bar Atta Boy has been a long-time friend. He has done all of our bars and we wanted him to bring that style of cocktails here. We focus on classic concoctions while utilizing unique fruits from around the world. It’s all about carefully-crafted drinks that are fun and beautiful. It’s certainly something new in here.
As per your Instagram handle, you call yourself a Gypsy Chef, so, is the world is your oyster?
It’s quite funny because I didn’t name myself that. We were doing a TV show and at the end of it, the team told me, you seem to be traveling everywhere that’s amazing, you’re like a real gypsy. I thought it was very apt because we have restaurants all around the globe. I love to travel and it’s my biggest inspiration as a chef and helps fuel restaurant ideas that we have. Adrift is born of the ideas I’ve had in my travels from the past. You’ll see pictures of my favorite places on the walls. All the design elements are influenced by travel and my love for places.
Adrift is partaking in the global meat-free movement offering The Impossible Sausage Roll on its menu, what’s your take on this matter?
I think it’s great! For our guests who are vegetarian or vegan, it’s a great dish for them to have. It’s simply a clever and brilliant idea. This challenge has always been out there. And, I think on a global perspective the ramifications of meat and being able to focus on sustainability is just fantastic. It checks all the boxes and an initiative needed for this generation.
With a few international projects as well as TV shows on your chef’s belt, what else does your job entail?
That’s a really good question, and one I’ve never been asked before. My job is everything. I’m a businessman, a coach on another hand, a guide as well as an entertainer with our guests. It’s like a show and every night is a performance. We have to deliver an overall experience.
With so many achievements in the culinary field, what keeps you excited these days?
I still find myself still thrilled to fly to a new country and try new food. I was just in Mexico recently and I tried the most amazing ceviche in the world. Apparently, there are two styles of ceviche. One is from the northern part and more tomato-based while the one from the southern region only has lime and salt. And, it’s insane with light, clear, intense and beautiful flavors. What makes me happy? I am happy when I taste great food in a new place while experiencing the culture.
What are the cities on your travel bucket list?
I really want to go to New Zealand. I also want to go to Egypt and Lebanon. Having experienced a lot of it in Dubai, I definitely want to go to the source. Tel Aviv is apparently amazing and also Morocco, I definitely want to go back and revisit places in Asia. It’s always a wonderful experience. I’ve always wanted to explore every place in the world with interesting food.
Follow Chef David Myers at @gypsychef
Adrift by David Myers Marina Bay Sands Singapore, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore, +65 6688 8868, www.marinabaysands.com