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Western

Western

Featuring Lolla, HOUSE at Dempsey, Forty Hands (Tiong Bahru), Spathe Public House, Platypus Kitchen (Bugis Junction), LeVeL 33, PasarBella (The Grandstand), Bar Stories, Omakase Burger (The Grandstand), mezza9 (Grand Hyatt Singapore)
Jason Wong
Jason Wong

A homage to his Teochew heritage as well as a nod to the terrine and his French cooking background, chef Dylan's attempt to simultaneously preserve and radically modernize an almost extinct traditional Teochew dish has resulted in an extremely unique conceptualisation that still works despite its initial strangeness. Pork trotters are slow boiled for 10 hours and combined with pork belly as well as gelatinous pig skin to form a light tasting yet flavourful cold terrine, served with crunchy housemade chicharron and an inspired calamansi sorbet with a kick of chilli padi that doubles as sauce when it eventually melts.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3.5/5

Soft, pillowy and slightly charred, these gnocchi were pretty good except for a random few undercooked ones. The velvety potato sauce laced with miso butter and root vegetables as well as roasted garlic made this quite a hearty and flavoursome vegetarian option that is sure to please even meat lovers.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3.5/5

1 Like

The Masses evolving food philosophy always produces interesting results. One of their more successful plates is this extremely inviting looking otak-inspired fish cake that's made from local golden pomfret instead of mackerel. I loved the loosely packed texture of the fish cake and the restrained sensibility that calls for dialing back on the spiciness of the otak paste so that the shredded crab meat and tobiko are not overpowered (the uni is not normally part of this dish). This doesn't mean flavour was sacrificed, quite the contrary and especially so with the simultaneously refreshing and umami pork lard and calamansi vinaigrette used to dress to fish cake.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3.5/5

2 Likes

While the small bites on The Masses new menu are novel, it’s the more conventional yet still unique interpretations of classics that truly impressed. Instead of pork, they use the less popular lamb but makes it as good or even better. Marinated for 24 hours in their house-made charsiew sauce and sous vide for a lengthy 36 hours, it's obvious this is a labour of love and passion and more than just a day job for the team at The Masses. The result is richly flavoured, fall-of-the-bone meat with a perfect char from being finished off on the binchotan. The mint sour cream on the side is a cool and refreshing foil to the heavy protein as well.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 4/5

2 Likes

Drowning everything in butter almost guarantees it'll taste good. A large wedge of braised and grilled purple cabbage(white cabbage with the thick, outer leaves peeled off might have charred better on the grill) topped with baby scallops marinated in shao xin wine, pickled fennel and ikura takes a backseat to a fulsome amount of dashi infused beurre blanc sauce enhanced with a drizzle of umami prawn head oil. Sweet, buttery and fragrant, we mopped the bowl clean with binchotan-grilled bread.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3.5/5

2 Likes

Foie gras has been a constant in all 8 of The Masses menus so far and in the latest one, sees itself being stuffed alongside mango in a deep-fried, hoisin glazed springroll. I felt that the foie gras was a little lost amid the sweet mango and hoisin sauce, as well as the hazelnuts and lemon rind sprinkled atop which to be honest, didn't contribute much to the dish. That shallot marmalade on the side is ace though.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3/5

1 Like

Chef Dylan draws inspiration from both ramen eggs and Chinese tea eggs for this amuse bouche. His version is cooked for 7 minutes before being infused in tea leaf broth for a full 2 days, resulting in an umami packed flavour bomb with the delicate sweetness of tea and the molten core of an ajitsuke tamago. Taking his love for eggs to the logical conclusion, the seasoned eggs are loaded with caviar, herring roe and tobiko for a glorious trifecta of eggy goodness, then sat on housemade crispy potato chips which complement the soft eggs very well with contrasting texture. Perfectly elevated bar bite snackage.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3/5

2 Likes

All sorrows are less with bread, and with fresh butter, a true joy. The Masses’ housemade kombu butter is creamy, smooth and specked with seaweed whilst its caramel kaya is just the way I like it – not so smooth that it’s devoid of texture, and vibrant with the flavours of pandan and a caramel undertone. Load up on their binchotan-grilled Pain De Campagne ($5) and lather them slices up.

They even do takeaway jars of the stuff at $12.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3.5/5

2 Likes

Just within the span of two and a half years, Beach Road based The Masses has managed to revamp their menu a whopping 8 times. Never one to rest on his laurels, chef Dylan Ong’s eighth iteration of his “Franco-Asian” menu sees even more wildly inventive creations that combine French technique and Asian ingredients.

The Savoury Meringue is pretty as a picture, with iridescent pearls of bright orange ikura sitting in stark contrast on little meringue puffs seasoned with yuzukoshu aioli and otak-otak powder made from the dehydrated trimmings of another dish. No doubt the predominantly sweet and salty flavours interspersed with hints of citrus and spiciness made for an interesting and complex biteful, but I’m still of two minds whether the sweetness could have been toned down a notch. Regardless, certainly one to try.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3/5

2 Likes

What a gorgeous sight these rosy-hued cuts of steak were, and they tasted as good as they looked, especially so when enlivened with an umami bone marrow jus and mushroom pate. Enjoy this in the coming months on Oxwell’s festive menu.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3/5

1 Like

Game can be hard to get right(and might not appeal to everyone), but for something different, do try the braised rabbit on Oxwell & Co’s newly launched festive menu. Not dissimilar in terms of taste and texture to chicken, the meat is tender and soft. What makes this dish really shine though is the rich and tangy creme fraiche and mustard sauce studded with prunes and smoked bacon.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3.5/5

4 Likes

Just the sight of the gleaming sheen of fat and strips of crackling on the pork belly was enough to convince me this was going to ge a cracker of a dish. The melt-in-your-mouth meat lay on a bed of crunchy Savoy cabbage and was paired with a heartwarming clove and apple sauce that immediately brought to mind a mug of mulled wine in hand, in front of a crackling Christmas fireplace.

<< Invited tasting >>

Taste: 3.5/5

1 Like

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