With its trendy neon signs that exhort diners to ‘stay colourful’, The Masses seems like yet another easily dismissed place that appeals to the millennial, café-hopping crowd. But the menu tells another story – one of ambition. Opened by Dylan Ong, co-founder of Saveur, this restaurant borrows the same core principle of the former: providing diners with good food at affordable prices. This time, however, he’s on his own.
Let’s start with the hits. The Egg ($9) is a chawanmushi-like dish topped with ikura, tobiko and potato chips. Spoon it all together and you’ll end up with an explosion of tastes and textures. I also like the Australian Fremantle octopus tentacle ($14.90) that’s perfectly tender, with a charred exterior from the binchotan grill. Paired with gochujang sauce and pickled lotus root, the dish is complex and well balanced.
Fans of Saveur might find the duck leg confit ($12.90) familiar, but Ong does things differently here, serving it with a croquette, candied orange and foie gras sauce. It doesn’t quite work. The dense croquette gets mushy fast after soaking up the sauce, which is itself too heavy to pair with the salty duck. Instead, I recommend sticking to the honey garlic miso chicken breast ($13.90) that I’d typically overlook. Don’t let its plainness fool you – the breast is tender, juicy and flavoured by its accompaniments of sweet celeriac purée and sautéed kale.
Time Out Singapore reviews anonymously and pays for all meals. Read our restaurant review policy here.
What the stars mean:
★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional