The Masses – Serving “Happy Food” Mostly Below $20, Opened By Saveur’s Co-Founder
Friends Dylan Ong and Joshua Khoo started Saveur with the intention of serving French food to the masses. The concept worked, and it turned out to be a brand popular with the local diners.
Due to a turn of events, the duo has left the Saveur partnership, with Joshua setting up Taste Affair at Amoy Street Food Centre, and Dylan with The Masses at Beach Road directly opposite Shaw Towers. (I won’t dwell further into what has possibly happened.)
The Masses continues with the intention of serving quality-restaurant food at prices that won’t break the bank.
A glance at the menu would reveal that most of the starters and mains, are comfortable priced below $20. Hard to find this in most expensive city in the world.
Another feature is that they serve “Contemporary Happy Food”.
Of course, the definition happiness is extremely varied. For one, burgers and milkshakes are the happy food; while another would find joy in organic salads.
Dylan’s idea of “Happy Food” is to provide fresh, seasonal produce, and allowing recipes to be simple yet dynamic. He firmly believes that food has to be affordable as well.
You may need some time to digest the menu though, perhaps due to the naming and unconventional dishes offered. The number of starters is also double of the mains, without the typical ‘happy food’ you would spot in other more predictable menus.
The friendly service staff did recommend the Chicken Collagen Veloute ($8.00), The Egg ($9.00), Aus Frementle Octopus Tentacle ($14.90), C&C Pasta ($12.90), Honey Garlic Miso Chicken Breast ($13.90), US Black Angus Striploin ($22.90) and 12 Hours Braised US Short Ribs ($18.00).
My friend thought some rather “Saveur-ish” food had appeared, such as the Duck Leg Confit ($12.90). However, this came with candied orange and foie gras sauce.
The most indulgence starter we ordered was the C&C Pasta ($9.00, $14.00). C&C in this case means crab and caviar, which the kitchen has very generously and big-heartedly gave a sizeable portion of. They assured it was not because we had a camera.
In colloquial terms, we call it “Caviar-gao-gao”.
Even though it was meant as a cold appetiser, the al dente angel pasta with mash of crab meat and kombu cooked in lobster bisque, turned out ironically to be a hearty dish with umami-ness.
The Egg ($9.00) was available in both hot and cold versions, though the hot option reminiscent of the Japanese chawanmushi was recommended.
Dylan explained that one of his experiences with happiness, was having plain Japanese rice loaded with ikura. This you would get this small ‘hill’ of roe topped on the steamed egg.
All good except that the rather soggy potato chips might have distracted me from further appreciating the egg.
I liked the other dishes generally, such as the Chicken Collagen Veloute ($8.00), a creamy broth cooked with clam jus and duck fat which might remind you of a mini version of Tsukada Nojo ‘s Bijin Nabe; and Duroc Pork Loin ($15.00) with truffle scrambled eggs.
The Masses should appeal with its food quality matched with those wallet-friendly prices.
Ironically, if they want to reach out to the larger audience, they may need to introduce some dishes that would better gel with, the masses.
85 Beach Road #01-02 Singapore 189694
Tel: +65 6266 0061
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 9:30pm (Mon, Tues, Fri), 12:00pm – 12:00am (Wed, Fri, Sat), 12:00pm – 9:00pm (Sun)
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