We recently visited Drift Dining & Bar located on Jalan Bedara, Bukit Bintang, or more easily remembered as the area behind Istana hotel.
This Australian restaurant seamlessly blends regional fare with traditional Australian food for a pleasant twist on the land down under’s popular cuisine.
Sydney-born chef Angus Harrison helms the kitchen at Drift Dining, and we stopped by to check out their famed contemporary menu that we’d recently read so much about. We immediately fell in love with the restaurant’s open concept, sporting a modern Aussie vibe, that was decidedly laid back, but trendy at the same time.
Massive still-life black and white photography adorn the walls, and we soon learned that the owner & proprietor of Drift Dining, Rob, took them himself, as he is an avid and accomplished photographer in his spare time. Speaking to Rob, we learn that his philosophy is uncomplicated – just as one drifts and should be ever evolving, trying new flavours, new experiences, so should the diner’s experience be, at Drift Dining. Everything from the menu to the service and staff, will strive towards this end.
The Albino (RM44) is Drift’s rather delicious take on the Negroni – Gin, Aperol, Antica, Wattleseed Bitters
Looking at the menu we noticed a big focus on local produce but with influences from across the globe as well as Asian touches. At the beautiful bar, you can find clever cocktails to amuse you, for hours on end. A good selection of choiced vintages by both bottle & glass are also available, and we could make out some familiar varietals from Australia, France, California, Spain, Italy & Argentina. We could not wait to get started.
Go on and ‘slide’ my way…. Pork Slider (RM12)
Good things come in small packages and this could not be truer, than of these bite-sized burger sliders that really pack a potent punch. Hearty, succulent, well-marinated Pulled Pork, Asian Slaw, Coriander and Mint sandwiched between fried buns make for a tasty snack – have this with more cocktails or even an ice-cold beer, and your life is pretty complete.
Fried Polenta (RM19) Gorgonzola Cream, Sauteed Mushrooms
This dish was Drift’s show-stopper. Don’t blame us if we went a little gaga over these sinfully delectable, cubes of fried polenta drenched in gorgonzola cream & sautéed mushrooms. Textural balance is what it’s all about – if you like gritty, earthy polenta, this is the dish for you. A crispy shell that gave way to the softer polenta within.. slathered in blue cheese & mushrooms, it was to die for!
Thyme Roasted Portobello Mushrooms (RM16) Garlic Butter and Brioche Crumble
If “vegetables are the new meat” then these earthy, almost meaty tasting Portobello mushrooms drizzled with garlic butter and brioche crumble fit the bill perfectly.
Crispy Skin Barramundi (RM39) Olives, Mint, Orange
Couldn’t find a fault with this next dish of crispy skin Barramundi served with olives, mint and orange. It definitely found the sweet spot between succulent & crispy!
Slow Braised Australian Lamb Shank (RM75) Palm Sugar, Black Vinegar
And to say that I have a real soft spot for lamb shanks, is an understatement. I just love the look of a hunk of meltingly tender meat, wrapped around the shaft. Stokes my carnivorous side, every time. This asian inspired dish had an unusual garnishing of enoki mushroom and a tart, multi-dimensional sauce thanks to the clever manipulation by the Chef, of black vinegar and palm sugar.
Tagliatelle (RM35) Crab Claw, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil Pesto
A comforting bowl of pasta dressed with fresh, zesty crab is perfect dinner fare.. and this shellfish is guaranteed to bring a splash of sunshine to anyone’s meal especially if it’s paired just right with a fragrant, nutty, pesto sauce.
The cocktail bar.. one of my favourite hangout spots at Drift Dining;)
Swipe Right (RM44) – Hendricks, Kafir Lime, Elderflower, Cucumber
Best cocktail for me today, was the Swipe right. The most apparent aroma would be that of kafir lime, giving way on the nose to the softer elderflower, and finally finishing on the palate with the unmistakably refreshing scent of cucumber. Wow, what a great cocktail. I would order this again and again without reservation.
Cinnamon Spiced Doughnut (RM24) Caramel, ‘Drift’ Strawberry Jam
Actually, if you ask me, this crisp churros with salted-caramel and strawberry jam dipping sauces (double dipping is encouraged!), are alone worth a visit to Drift Dining. Clearly, appearances can be deceiving and though small and unassuming, each mouthful is a mini revelation it itself. Go try it for yourselves, and say it ain’t so.. we doubt you’d disagree with us!
All in all, Drift Dining is a great place to visit for regional fare, blended with traditional Australian food for a pleasant twist on the land down under’s popular cuisine. We highly recommend it.
Drift Dining and Bar
No. 38, Jalan Bedara, Bukit Bintang,
50200 Kuala Lumpur