The Masses Review: Popular French-Asian Restaurant Moves To City Hall |
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The Masses Review: Popular French-Asian Restaurant Moves To City Hall With Bigger Dining Space

27th May 2024

The Masses moves to Capitol near City Hall MRT Station


“Oh, The Masses moved?” This casual remark by a lady—whom I presume works around the area—stopped me in my tracks as I was nearing the newest location of the French-Asian restaurant. Even before entering The Masses, I’ve already gotten a taste of the restaurant’s popularity.


The Masses has garnered more than 1,000 Google reviews at the point of writing, and the popular French-Asian dishes are becoming more accessible as their newest space has three times the seating capacity. Previously located at Beach Road, The Masses have recently found a new home at Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski, which is within spitting distance of City Hall MRT Station.

Food at The Masses


The whole idea of French-Asian fare might seem fancy and complicated, but at The Masses, it’s really about blending Chef Dylan’s story and his favourite dishes for the people—or shall I say, the masses. This sentiment lingered on even after my almost two-hour-long meal, and it was only then I began to realise that food, at times, can be a unique storyteller. 

In case you didn’t know, Chef Dylan used to be part of the famous restaurant Saveur in 2011. He currently helms The Masses alongside Choon Hoy Parlor, a new modern Singapore restaurant in Bugis.


Chef Dylan’s story began unfolding with two snacks and three starters. We were off to a great start with the Squid Ink Kueh Pie Tee ($12.90++), featuring four squid ink shells packed to the brim with shredded crab meat, cooked with hae bee hiam and XO sauce.


We then tried the gorgeous Smoked Pu Er Caviar & Beignet ($9.90++). A beignet is a French-style doughnut, and here, it is topped with caviar.


Within each airy, fluffy doughnut is a sweet-tangy yuzu cream. Put the entire ball in a mouthful, and there will be a briny aftertaste thanks to the generous bits of caviar. We were told that the caviar is smoked with Pu’er tea, but I found the yuzu cream overpowered the tea’s smoky roasted flavour.


After we were done with the starters, we were greeted with their signature starter Purple Cabbage ($19.90++). This was my favourite out of the three starters: you get ikura, pickled fennel, and sliced Hokkaido scallops atop a wedge of braised purple cabbage, finished with a drizzle of chive oil. The addition of bonito and kelp in the dashi broth gave this dish a robust flavour along with a slightly creamy consistency. 


The Purple Cabbage could easily be eaten alone, but not so much the case for their Steak Tartare ($26.90++) and Moules Marinieres ($16.90++). I recommend sharing them with your dining companion(s) as a little goes a long way for these starters.


Their Steak Tartare was beautifully served with kuih loyang, better known as rose crackers. The tartare is a winning combination of everything tasty: Wagyu beef, wasabi, mustard, sour cream, charred onion, and pickled chye sim. It’s finished with caviar, fried garlic chips, and fried shallot chips. Give everything a good mix, and top a small spoonful on a rose cracker to dig in!


For something light, their Moules Marinieres is a great choice. Like the Steak Tartare, this one also comes with crackers, but made with rice paper which I preferred. The crackers are meant to be eaten with the accompanying steamed egg custard, comprising uni sabayon and blue mussels.


Moving on to the mains, we were impressed with the oh-so delicious Duck Confit ($21.90++). You get a plate of wok hei-infused kway teow topped with a medley of ingredients, including peas, mushrooms, house-cured egg yolk, and a confit duck leg.


I enjoyed the strong wok hei in this one, and really liked that the kway teow was a more wet-style. Plus, the kway teow paired perfectly with the pan-seared duck leg that boasted a crispy skin on the outside, and juicy tender meat within. There was also a lovely variety of mushrooms for some textural contrast, including enoki, shiitake, and shimeji.


After we were done with the duck meat in less than ten minutes, we moved on to try their Steak Au Poivre ($29.90++). I liked that the Wagyu slices were served on a hotplate with searing brown butter at the bottom.


The Wagyu steak was tender and chewy at the same time, but we didn’t enjoy how it paired with the whole leek on the side. 

While the leek was deliciously chargrilled and covered in hazelnut vinaigrette, it was a tad too thick to have it with the already hearty slices of meat. But the huge onion rings that accompanied the steak dissipated my qualm in no time. I liked that the batter was thin and airy, and that the onions within were soft and mildly sweet.


Having tried the former two mains, their Dry Aged Spiced Roasted Chicken ($21.90++) didn’t quite hit the spot. On the one hand, I thought the ingredients came together harmoniously: you get slow-roasted chicken topped with soy sauce chicken jus, then paired with parsnip puree, chilli jam, and a charred kailan. But there wasn’t anything particularly unique or memorable that would have put this dish in competition with, say, the Duck Confit.


On to dessert. Frankly, I had initial reservations about Truffle & Tulakalum (TNT) ($15.90++) as the idea of truffle and chocolate didn’t appeal to me. But strange enough, this dessert grew on me, and I found myself going for seconds and thirds.


Given that the taste of the truffle was rather intense and slightly musky, I appreciated that chocolate with high cocoa content was used to strike a balance.


We put a period to our meal with the Fennel & Pink Guava Aiyu Jelly ($13.90++), comprising layers of fennel jelly, orange marmalade, nata de coco, and passionfruit boba, then topped with refreshing pink guava and prosecco shaved ice.


This one was a lovely mix of sour, sweet, and bitter. But my favourite thing was the juxtaposing textures: you get chewy nata de coco with a melt-in-your-mouth shaved ice, and an occasional burst of juice from the passionfruit boba. 

Choon Hoy Parlor Review: New Mod-Sin Restaurant With Retro Vibes, Dry Laksa And Lard-Topped Rice

Ambience at The Masses


If you’ve been to their previous outlet, you would know that their former space was cosy and compact, allowing only 28 customers at once. That’s no longer the case for their new home as there are 90 seats with even a flight of stairs leading you to a mini terrace area where customers can dine.


Since the restaurant is situated near the entrance of Capitol Building, I was concerned about the hustle and bustle of the thickening lunch crowd. But worry not, as conversations were a breeze despite the restaurant being crowded during the peak hours.

The verdict


My colleague and I bantered that we were on a date as we could see the restaurant’s offerings and atmosphere tickling the fancy of many couples. She also mentioned that The Masses is a great spot to celebrate special occasions, including the upcoming Father’s Day.


I, for one, don’t take friendly service staff for granted. And so here’s me seizing the opportunity to thank the speedy staff, with a special shoutout to Boon, our kind and helpful waiter.

Other than The Masses, some recent openings worth checking out include Wo Wo Dian, a famous 130-year-old Sichuan restaurant, and Ume Maru at Far East Plaza.

Address: 15 Stamford Road, #01-84, Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski, Singapore 178905
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am to 10:30pm
The Masses is not a halal-certified eatery.

Wo Wo Dian: Famous 130-Year-Old Sichuan Restaurant Opens In Raffles City

Photos taken by Hor Kia Ee.
This was a media tasting at The Masses.

The Masses Review: Popular French-Asian Restaurant Moves To City Hall With Bigger Dining Space
  • 8.5/10
    The Masses Review: Popular French-Asian Restaurant Moves To City Hall With Bigger Dining Space - 8.5/10


– Delicious Purple Cabbage and Duck Confit
– Truffle & Tulakalum (TNT) was oddly addictive
– Reasonable prices given the cuisine and central location

– Kuih loyang served alongside their Steak Tartare wasn’t the crispiest
– Dry Aged Spiced Roasted Chicken would have tasted better if charred even more

Recommended dish: Purple Cabbage ($19.90++), Duck Confit ($21.90++), Truffle & Tulakalum (TNT) ($15.90++)

Address: 15 Stamford Road, #01-84, Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski, Singapore 178905

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