Monday, March 28, 2016

Adrift By David Myers - Where West Meets East

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We dropped by Adrift @ Marina Bay Sands one weekday afternoon for a much needed reprieve from our hectic schedules. Overseen by one Michelin star Chef David Myers but run by executive Dong Choi, who had worked with Myers at the now defunct Sona (1 Michelin star in 2007) and Comme Ca.

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The Place

Playing neighbour to Rise (MBS's buffet restaurant) at the hotel lobby of tower 2, Adrift comes across as cosy and a little playful (bench made to look like swings) without all the airs of a celebrity restaurant (no loud music playing in the background like Bread Street Kitchen as well!). Floor to ceiling windows ensure plenty of light but a pity there is no view, except for a sculpture of sorts. 

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Amuse Bouche

This was 3 varieties of rice crackers served with a dollop of aioli; pretty interesting with slightly varying degrees of crisp and tastes. The purple one for example, tasted similar to keropok but with a tinge of rice wine.

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Warm Duck Salad

Very Thai styled salad with sweet mango, generous slices of not too gamy (and delicious!) smoked duck and fresh greens, all drizzled with a sourish, mildly spicy dressing. Appetising and a great way to kick start the meal.

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Baby Spinach

Boasting fresh greens, hazelnuts, shimeji mushrooms and truffle pecorino (raw sheep's milk cheese with truffle), what's not to like? Especially with the generous servings.

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Pork Tonkatsu Sandwich

Apparently one of Adrift's signature dishes, the pork tonkatsu sandwich was, as the name suggested, juicily tender, deep fried (but not greasy) breaded pork sandwiched between two slices of soft, fluffy white bread not dissimilar to the loaves sold in old neighbourhood bakeries. Served with shredded cabbage salad on the side. Pretty good but can't say I was blown away. 

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Wagyu Cheeseburger

Adrift's wagyu cheeseburger lived up to it's signature dish billing; a seemingly hand chopped (uneven texuture) and juicy beef patty layered with melted cheese, sitting on a beautifully crisp and buttered bun. The other bun was slathered with tomato jam and buried under a mountain of cheese shavings - personally preferred the butter variant. A worthy rival to Suprette's beef burger in my humble opinion.

We opted for a side of Pak Choy to go with the burger and it turned out rather average honestly. So much for choosing greens over more carbs.

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Yuzu Cheesecake

I'm not a huge fan of yuzu but the cheesecake turned out surprisingly good. The yuzu taste was rather dominant but didn't overwhelm the taste of the cheese and paired well with the black sesame ice cream and the wickedly delicious sesame tuile - sweet and crisp with a lingering sesame taste.

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Caramel French Toast

Now this was interesting given that coffee or kopi syrup was used as a drizzle instead of the usual flavours. I'm not too sure it worked in this case as the flavour didn't quite seem a natural fit with the coconut sorbet and the french toast (which tasted similar to bread and butter pudding - a tad crisp on the outside yet soft on the inside). Nonetheless I did enjoy this dessert quite a fair bit.

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Bill

Our lunch cost ~ $113 for 2 pax, which was relatively reasonable considering the competent quality of food and the friendly service. I could definitely envision a revisit, with reservations for the corner swing seats of course.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 7/10 (8/10 for the burger)
Value for money: 7/10

Overall: 7.25/10

Address: Marina Bay Sands Hotel Lobby Tower 2

Contact: 6688 5657

Opening Hours:

Breakfast
7am - 10:30am

Weekend Brunch
12pm to 3pm

Lunch
Mon-Fri: 12pm to 2:30pm

Dinner
Daily 6pm to 10pm

Late Night Menu
Sunday - Thursday 10pm to Midnight
Friday & Saturday 10pm to 1am

Bar & Lounge
Daily 12pm to 2am

Website: http://www.marinabaysands.com/restaurants/celebrity-chefs/adrift.html

Sunday, March 06, 2016

The Butchers Club - Famous Burgers All The Way From Hong Kong

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I had heard good things about The Butchers Club (TBC for short) in Hong Kong and its famed dry aged beef. So when it opened up a branch in Singapore late last year, I dropped by one weekday afternoon to have a go at the burgers.

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The Place

Occupying a decently sized unit at Clarke Quay, TBC was decked out in an industrial themed setting; cement screed floor, high table tops with metallic bar stools, downlights and "graffiti" art adorning part of the walls. 

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Duck Fat Fries

At $8+ a pop, this was one rather expensive packet of fat wedges with a sprinkling of salt. Deep frying in duck fat was suppose to make the wedges more fragrant but it didn't seem to have much of an effect, to me at least. Decent but no great shakes.

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Signature Burger

As the name suggested, this was TBC's signature burger. The beef patty came across as tender and pink in the center, smothered with a layer of melted cheese, topped with a crisp bacon and wedged between two buns; the top one was soft but a tad dry whilst the bottom bun was so crisp that I almost punctured a hole in my mouth when I got ambitious and tried to stuff in a sizable piece. That aside, I felt the overall flavour leaning towards the salty side and the beefiness of the patty did seem a little overwhelmed by the cheese. Final verdict? Overall flavour was pretty good but bordering on expensive and Suprette still does a better burger in my humble opinion.

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Bill

$60 for two (after a 15% credit card discount) isn't exactly cheap especially with the smallish sizes. Service is decent but I guess if I'm craving for a burger, Suprette would be still be my go to place.


Ambience: 6.5/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 6.5/10
Value for money: 6/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Address: 3A River Valley Road #01-01B

Contact: 6837 0675

Opening Hours: Everyday from 12pm | Until 10pm, Sun to Tues | 2am, Wed & Thur | 3am, Fri & Sat

Website: http://thebutchers.club/burger-singapore/