Review: Family brunch at Drift Dining & Bar

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When you editor asks if you’d like to review a “Sunday boozy family brunch” in KL, does anyone ever turn that opportunity down?

We were excited to partner with Drift Dining & Bar, a modern Australian restaurant and try out their popular brunch, now reinvented as a family-friendly one with the introduction of a bouncy castle.

As HFMD paranoia is running high at the moment, I was pleased to see that the bouncy castle looked new, well maintained and clean!

To start with, the restaurant is easy to find on Waze and parking was easy with street parking, garages or valet at Hotel Istana just across the street.

I tried to entice a couple of friends to a boozy lunch after church on Sunday but I may have been appealing to the wrong crowd. There is also sticker shock at first if you’re a large family: RM120++ for food only, RM250++ for food & free flow wine, beer, Bloody Mary or RM 350++ food & bubbles (Cava). Though as I found out later, it was well worth the price with the added bonus that it was free for the littles.

The brunch is available every first Sunday of the month, and the menu changes every month.

Food at Drift’s boozy brunch

For August, they had a lovely menu that included freshly shucked oysters, tiger prawns, smoked salmon, duck, lamb, churros, and some really yummy sides.

The restaurant caters to vegetarians or gluten free diets if you let them know in advance. I hadn’t done that but they kindly did let me make up a rogue pescatarian dish off the dishes they already had and really tried their best to accommodate as much as they could. Those that don’t want the Boozy Brunch can order from the á la carte menu, that has vegetarian and gluten free options.

I was very impressed with the quality of food and how well they did each dish. The seafood was fresh and coupled with the fact that unlike most brunches, they serve everything cooked to order and table side, I was happy to let my little foodie eat and try everything without the worry of a tummy bug.

Her absolute favorites were the mains, she single-handedly demolished the duck and lamb and was so delighted to find out they had perfectly sautéed some yummy fresh green beans, carrots and cherry tomatoes just the way we like it, barely seared, crunchy, well-seasoned yumminess. We may or may not have ordered another two more portions, which you can do as long as they have stock.

My husband and I loved the simple dishes done deceptively well. It is a true mark of a good restaurant to be able to take a few ingredients, picked at their freshest, flavor them well and make it all marry and dance on your palate. My favorite was the cherry tomato salad with fresh basil pesto, lemon dressing and balsamic gold. A bite of it and I immediately wanted to memorize all the flavors to recreate it in our kitchen later. We also really loved the warm poached tiger prawns. They were served with a side of Thousand Island sauce but we didn’t even need it.

That’s the heart of Drift Dining & Bar I would say, simple, flavorful, uncomplicated, yummy. The kind of food you imagine making at home when you have friends over, comforting but still a little fancy, and that’s the atmosphere and vibe of the place too.

Casual, easy, fun. There were lots of large groups around us of: friends just gathering for a meal together, the kids laughing and playing, the kind of crowd that doesn’t care if your little plays peekaboo with them through the see-through window a hundred gazillion times.

Ella Grace, our three-year old, loved the bouncy castle and there were kids from the range of 18m to about 10 year olds playing there. I would say that this set-up is perfect if you have a little one that plays well independently and doesn’t need much supervision. We brought along a little basket of activities in case she got bored (or the bouncy castle was gross) but other than a little cutting activity at the start before she warmed up, she didn’t even touch the rest of the basket and we spent about three and a half hours there. She was happy just to play and bounce and make new friends while daddy and I got to have a little mini date.

I would say the only few gripes we had was that halfway through dining, although we were seated inside, the table just behind us started smoking, which we wouldn’t had minded if it was just us without our little girl. It honestly didn’t even cross my mind to ask if they had a smoking or non-smoking section inside so that’s something to consider when you make your reservation. We are told they have are plans to go smoke free soon. Service was also a little slow at times although extremely friendly, apparently to do with staffing issues at the moment.

Would we go back? Absolutely. Perhaps not every month but maybe whenever we want to celebrate or have a special little brunch in KL with my mama tribe or each other and want a place that does good food, welcomes little ones, and has the atmosphere having friends over but without the clean-up or cooking!


Racheal Kwacz is a Child and Family Development Specialist, mama tribe advocate and writer. As a firm believer of the urban kampung, she moved to Malaysia with her husband, determined to raise children with the incredible gift of community, standing up and showing up for each other. She is a mom to a joyful, curious, and fiercely independent, toddler foodie. To learn more, connect with her on her website or on social media @rachealkwacz!
We were invited to the brunch by Drift Dining & Bar. All opinions are, as always, honest and our own!

Drift Dining & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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