Drift Dining and Bar is a stylish establishment in Kuala Lumpur city centre that’s well-patronised for its diverse cuisine as well as extensive cocktail and wine list. Hailed as a modern Australian eatery, Drift is the brainchild of Robert Gilliland with the help of Donna Freeman, Ric Patterson, and Chef Angus Harrison, all of whom have made their mark in Sydney’s dining scene.
Situated just five minutes from the busy streets of Changkat Bukit Bintang, this non-halal restaurant occupies a rather secluded and verdant spot behind Hotel Istana. With a seating capacity of 70 diners, Drift Dining and Bar exudes a casual and relaxed ambience with its combination of cushioned high stools by the bar for casual meet-ups and wooden furnishings for a more refined dining experience.
Drift stands out amongst the hordes of eateries in Kuala Lumpur thanks to its produce-driven menu, which consists of 15 to 20 delicacies made with Asian, Italian, Greek and Spanish influences. Meanwhile, wine lovers will take delight in its diverse offerings of quality Australian, French, Californian, Spanish, and Italian brands by both bottle and glass. A selection of cocktails is also available here, such as espresso martini and passionfruit mojito. Its signature Drift Jars (RM68) are served in 1-litre jars with generous amounts of brandy, vodka, bitter lemon, and dark rum, making them ideal concoctions for a booze-filled evening.
We start with the truffle mushroom arancini (RM35) served on a bed of salad cream with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan. Drift’s take on this popular Italian delicacy is stellar – we love how the arancani is crisp (instead of greasy) on the outside while the truffle mushroom filling remains succulent and juicy. A top choice for seafood lovers, the torched salmon (RM24) is a savoury combination of salmon roe, fresh horseradish, wasabi, black vinegar, and cucumber slices atop a lightly cooked fillet.
Drift Dining and Bar takes pride in sourcing the best produce (both local and international) to create five-star delicacies without the hefty price tag, as proven with the poached chicken salad (RM29) with fresh red pepper paste, cucumber and mint as well as the seared haloumi (RM29), served with eggplant, semi-dried tomatoes, and tahini.
Our favourite dish of the evening is the slow-braised baby pork ribs (RM46) paired with a topping of crunchy apple and fennel salad. The pork ribs are marinated in Japanese yakiniku sauce and braised for more than 48 hours, resulting in an incredibly tender and flavourful ensemble.
For dessert, we sample the cinnamon-spiced Spanish doughnut (RM24) with generous sprinklings of cinnamon and sugar. Served with homemade strawberry jam and dulce de leche dipping, Drift’s sole dessert option is perfect for ending a meal on a sweet note.
Accessible, casual and affordable, Drift Dining and Bar’s winning combination of stellar cuisines, extensive wine and cocktail list, and impeccable service makes it one of KL’s best restaurants.
Drift Dining and Bar
- Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 17:00 - late
- Address: Ground Floor Bidara Condo, 38, Jalan Bedara, Off Jalan Nagasari
- Tel: +603 21102079, +6019 2936430