The Masses: Iconic Singaporean-fusion restaurant moves to Capitol with new menu

By Evan Mua April 26, 2024
The Masses: Iconic Singaporean-fusion restaurant moves to Capitol with new menu
Popular Beach Road restaurant The Masses has found a new home after seven years. Photos: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Helming a restaurant at one of Singapore’s glitziest locations would have felt like a pipe dream to a little boy who spends his time helping out at his family’s kway chap stall.

However, that dream has materialised for chef-owner Dylan Ong. His restaurant The Masses officially launches in Capitol Singapore this week, thereby starting a new chapter for the iconic eatery.

The prologue

A trailblazer to the now-ubiquitous style of local-inspired fusion, The Masses first opened its doors to the public at Beach Road in 2017.

the masses singapore
This new location is a bit more elegant. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

It was chef Dylan’s first independent project following the overwhelming success of his maiden venture — casual-French brand Saveur, which he had started with a partner.

You may recognise the brand as one of the early restaurants that aimed to make French dining — considered by many to be atas (elevated) — affordable and accessible to the masses/public.

The new Masses

the masses singapore
But the decor still retains some of the cheekiness that the restaurant is known for. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

The ethos of making haute cuisine accessible, as well as an appreciation for the community, continues as a driving force in chef Dylan’s culinary escapades. (Just look to its name “The Masses” — cooking for the people is its imperative.)

That was reflected in the OG spot a supremely intimate space that had become a third place for many regulars. In comparison, the new Capitol Singapore location exudes a more elegant, refined ambience.

At this bigger, newer space, the restaurant exchanges its unpretentious, neon-washed confines for a capacious, open dining space where sleek flower arrangements dot its perimeter, dredging up images of Parisian bistros. 

Inside, the inner lounge also comes handsomely affixed with fluted wooden panels and jazzed up with spunky art pieces that still remind us of The Masses of old.

The Masses classics, reworked

the masses singapore
The legendary pasta signature at The Masses now has a new sixth “C”. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Besides chef Dylan’s penchant for putting the most charming spins on classic dishes, The Masses is also a restaurant perennially on a quest to update and refresh.

Rest assured: You’ll still find its irreplaceable favourites on the menu, including the legendary C&C&C&C&C&C pasta (S$18.90 for starters portion, S$25.90 for mains portion)

First unveiled with 5 “C”s (crab, caviar, chorizo, confit lemon, cappellini pasta) seven years ago, the dish now sees a sixth: Clams.

With slender, pencil-thin ribbons of capellini pasta as the canvas for the dish, a glorious ensemble of seafood, including lobster bisque, crab meat and caviar, take the spotlight. All in all, an exuberant dish brimming with briney seafood sweetness.

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Who knew hor fun and duck confit go so well together? Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Another returning staple is the duck confit (S$21.90), which showcases what chef Dylan does best — marrying elevated cuisine with Singaporean flavours. It comprises a crispy 12-hour confit duck leg to show off his French cuisine chops and a bed of wok-hei-laden rice noodles as an homage to his hawker origins.

the masses singapore
Kueh pie tee also has a more stylish look now. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

While the duck’s delicately crispy skin and juicy meat were plenty delectable, it was the silky and chewy “hor fun” accompaniment that made this dish so charming.

Those who are partial towards local flavours can also look forward to The Masses’ stylishly revamped kueh pie tee (S$12.90 for four pieces), now encased within dusky squid-ink-stained shells.

Here, the kueh pie tee’s more atas alter ego is crafted out of a sweet and earthy medley of jicama, crab meat and XO sauce and given a burst of potato-chips-esque crunch from the shells — the latter of which is made with a carefully fine-tuned house recipe.

the masses singapore
The restaurant puts a traditional Teochew twist on this French classic. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

For fish lovers, the lemon sole meuniere (S$39.90) has also made the move to the new venue — this is a dish that weaves in tasteful echoes of chef Dylan’s Teochew background into a French seafood classic.

The Masses keeps it neat and tidy with a classic sauce made with butter, citrus, capers, parsley, and shallots but spruces it up with blended salted vegetables — positively homely and nostalgic.

New ideas for a new chapter

the masses singapore
This is one of the most creative steak tartare you’ll find anywhere. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

But if you’re on the lookout for something novel, the fresh ideas that pepper the pages of its new menu can also be quite enthralling.

Case in point: Reinterpreting one of the most revered recipes in the French canon, the steak tartare (S$26.90) ropes in intriguing components such as pickled cai xin (Chinese flowering cabbage) and wasabi.

Asian elements are introduced with finesse — fried shallot chips add fragrance and a crunchy contrast, wasabi perfectly supplements with its usual mustard sharpness, while pickled cai xin injects a one-of-a-kind acidity to cut through the wagyu richness.

the masses singapore
Who else would have thought of combining beef tongue and scallion pancakes? Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Slabs of wonderfully airy shiso kueh loyang (honeycomb cookies) also accompany the tartare for an extra kiss of herbaceousness.

Another table favourite was The Masses’ wagyu beef tongue (S$18.90), which pieces together a smorgasbord of influences, ranging from a scallion pancake base, a red wine onion marmalade and sheets of QQ wagyu beef tongue.

Its charm comes in the form of robust flavours from the marmalade and beef tongue, while gently cut through by the prickly pickles, mustard and lemon vinaigrette.

the masses singapore
The lamb saddle has charmed even those who usually steer clear of lamb. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Although the smaller plates showcase more ingenuity, the mains are kept heartier and simpler. Take for example, the milk-fed lamb saddle stuffed with sage and fig (S$33.90).

This one is a heftier, meatier main that charmed everyone, including those less partial to the lamb, which is rendered immensely luscious and clean of gamey funk, while spurts of fig sweetness and herb aromas enhance the lamb. 

Overall, this new chapter of The Masses doesn’t betray any of the original charms that contributed to its original success.

It’s moderately more elegant, more refined but the heartfelt sincerity and playful approach to cuisine is still evident — and that’s something preciously rare in this competitive and highly saturated dining scene.

And if you’re a fan of chef Dylan’s work, be sure to check out Choon Hoy Parlor this April, a new concept that has taken over The Masses’ original Beach Road spot. It pays homage to chef Dylan’s mother is officially open from May 15.

This was a hosted tasting.

For more ideas on what to eat, read our stories on all the most enticing dining spots in busy 313@Somerset and our master list on the most popular hotspots in Tanjong Pagar.

The Masses is on the GrabFood delivery service and offers free delivery (up to S$3 off) with GrabUnlimited.

Do explore the new GrabFood Dine-in service for awesome deals.

You can also book a ride to The Masses at Capitol Singapore

The Masses

Capitol Singapore, 01-84, 15 Stamford Road
Nearest MRT station: City Hall
Open: Monday to Saturday (11.30am to 9.30pm), Sunday (11.30am to 9pm)

Capitol Singapore, 01-84, 15 Stamford Road
Nearest MRT station: City Hall
Open: Monday to Saturday (11.30am to 9.30pm), Sunday (11.30am to 9pm)

Evan Mua


Evan started off writing about food on Instagram, before joining outlets such as Buro and Confirm Good to pursue his passion. His best work usually comes after his first whisky shot in the morning.

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