The Place It is definitely not easy for a small restaurant to survive more than 3 years in Singapore and The Masses at Beach Road is one strong survivor. Located along Beach Road, the cosy restaurant is helmed by ex-Saveur owner Dylan and the interior spots a contemporary yet playful design. Check out the hanging posters and you will know what I mean.
The interior dining space is casual, yet not so casual, and it resonates with the restaurant’s direction of serving fine dishes at accessible prices. There is outdoor dining as well, though I highly recommend securing a reservation for the indoor tables.
The Food Amazingly, The Masses just launched its Menu 10.0, its tenth menu in three years and a half. The dishes are largely a take of Southeast Asian play on French classics, with a choice of ala carte dishes, lunch set menus, and even an omakase option.
My dinner started with some lovely bread and not-so-usual butter. I was amazed that the restaurant does their own in-house baking. I had some of the Homemade Bread (S$4.50) along with the Umami Butter & Caramel Kaya (S$3.50), which I love the rather unique taste of the umami butter. Diet starts tomorrow.
There are some one pop dishes on the menu and I had the Young Corn (S$3), where there is a slightly cheesy flavour from the comté, crème fraîche and yuzu kosho.
For starters, I absolutely recommend the French Sweet Onion Veloute (S$15.90), along with truffle, morel and egg yolk. It wasn’t quite the French onion soup I was expecting from a causal restaurant as this presentation is easily fine-dining standard. The veloute sauce is poured over the bowl with the other ingredients, and I enjoyed the luscious taste of the soup itself even without mixing it with the egg yolk and morel.
For something indulgent, the Hokkaido Uni & Deep Sea Crab (S$25) on crumpet with saffron and chives spots a rich flavour of the fresh uni.
One starter which reminds me of a dim sum puff is the Pork Jowl Pithivier (S$15.90), inspired from the traditional French dish. The pork jowl here is filled within the puff pastry pie, as characterised by the spiral lines on the exterior. This is a technically challenging dish to prepare, and you can expect a slightly crispy crust along with tender pork jowl within.
I am personally not a big abalone fan, but what really caught my attention for the Abalone (S$17.90) dish is the other ingredients. Served along with oyster mushroom and chawanmushi in a rich chicken consommé, the broth is comforting to enjoy along with the silky texture of the chawanmushi.
The last starter I had is also the heaviest on the palate, Foie Gras (S$19.90) with Verjus poached pea, cramelized pistachio and serve along with homemade fig bread. I was initially just enjoying the decadent foie gras on its own, but don’t neglect the accompanying fig bread as well as the overall flavour is even better when I had it with the fig bread, which cuts through the richness of the foie gras itself.
Moving on to mains, the Trio Pepper Crusted Pork Tomahawk (S$26.90) is quite a surprise. I rarely see pork being paired with beetroot, and one consistency in this dish is also the red hues from the pomegranate salsa, red endives and lastly, the beetroot puree. The best parts of the pork are the edges, which is juicer as compared to the middle portion. It is also interesting that there is a tinge of peppery flavour on the pork.
Local ingredients is the sustainable way to go for restaurants in Singapore and the next dish uses locally-farmed fish. The Threadfin (S$23.90) with French condiment of bergamot, olive, XO sauce and Asian macedoine sounds more Asian than French to me. This dish is definitely one of the lighter dishes I had at The Masses.
The last savoury mains I had was the Maine Lobster (S$39.90) with shellfish cream, cuttlefish, leek and black bean. Intense colours and flavours here, where the shellfish cream is infused with cognac and hence the rich saucy flavour. One interesting local element used here is the cuttlefish, an ingredient seen in many Southeast Asian dishes as opposed to traditional French cuisine.
For dessert, the Yuzu Semifreddo (S$13.90) with yuzu gel, yuzu sponge, meringue and four fruit sorbet is a refreshing way to conclude the meal.
That said, if you are a cheese lover, one of the signature dessert at The Masses is the Deep Fried Camembert (S$11.90). This is a mix of savoury and sweet flavours, and is very contrasting when deep-fried cheese meets sorbet.
Rants Parking can be an issue around the restaurant with limited parking space during peak hours. Reserve well ahead and last minute walk-in is not a good idea.
Will I Return Again? The quality of the dishes at The Masses offers good value for its accessible prices. Some strong favourites for me are the French Sweet Onion Veloute and Maine Lobster, and this restaurant is ideal for dates or a cosy gathering without breaking the bank. The casual omakase concept definitely warrants a return visit.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Make your reservations instantly at The Masses here.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
85 Beach Road #01-02
Tel: +65 6266 0061
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday: 12pm to 10:30pm
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 12pm to 12am
Sunday: 10:30am to 10pm
Ranted by The Ranter