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Food

MASA By Black Society: Artisanal Dim Sum at Orchard Gateway

Last Updated: August 2, 2020

Written by Felicia Koh

When a restaurant is bold enough to claim itself as the master of artisanal dim sum, you know they definitely have something to prove. MASA by Black Society is one such establishment. 

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While Black Society specialises in serving modern contemporary Cantonese cuisine, its sister counterpart whips up innovative and trendy dim sum catering to the crowd of shoppers roaming around Orchard Gateway and Great World City.

After checking their menu online, I knew that it was about time to make my long-overdue visit. After all, it has been a while since I last had dim sum. So, why not?

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If you haven’t been to MASA by Black Society, there is a high chance that you might’ve walked straight past the restaurant if not for its huge signage. At first glance, the eatery appears to look more like a modern Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant.

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Cloaked in accents of black and white monochromes, accentuated by hanging vines, wall plants, and large vases of wildflowers, the space at MASA by Black Society makes for the perfect photo spot for those of us who live and swear by the ‘gram.

One look at the menu and you will be able to tell that MASA by Black Society is not just your average dim sum place. Their menu sees an array of selection blending the likes of East and West. From a basket of xiao long bao to a bowl of porridge and even a plate of pasta—name it and this cha chaan teng on steroids is sure to deliver! 

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The Dimsum Tasting Platter (S$16.80) was an exquisite assembly of bite-size treats showcasing the restaurant’s diverse culinary skills with deep-fried, steamed, and baked items intricately arranged in a plate. 

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Whilst the Black Har Gau and Queen Shumai were nothing out of the ordinary, the Mala Shumai definitely left me speechless with its tongue-numbing flavours. Not forgetting its paper-thin skin enveloping a generous portion of mala pork filling that added on to the shiokness.

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The Swan Yam Pastry also deserves a special mention. Although I’m not a fan of deep-fried dim sum items I devoured this innocent-looking swan in a matter of seconds. The pastry’s multi-dimensional texture made it difficult to resist. The contrast between the lightly crisp surface and the moist meaty centre was one that will attract diners to go back for seconds.

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Between the two sweet items on the plate, the Custard Lava Bun left an impression. Dressed in solid black with a stroke of gold running across the centre, this has got to be one of the most luxe-looking liu sha bao I’ve ever seen. 

Too bad the filling was a little too sweet for my liking, otherwise it would be perfect. The bao was soft and fluffy and the custard was still surprisingly flowy despite being left out to sit for quite some time. 

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Shaped and coloured to look like a mushroom, the Truffle Mushroom Bao (S$5) at MASA by Black Society demonstrated the artistry the team put into showcasing their dim sum. 

Nutty aroma of truffle filled the air as I peeled into the light and bouncy pau skin. And exactly like how it smelled, the mushroom filling exploded with umami and earthiness that was delightful yet not too overpowering.

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The Yin Yang Panfried Bao (S$5) was easily my favourite dish. It might look ordinary on the outside, but the flavour of this dim sum was simply delectable. 

The sear on its surface provided slightly crisp mouthfeel that complimented the thin skin and juicy decadent pork filling. To fully enjoy this dish, eat it while it’s warm before the moisture of the filling dries out!

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Technically chee cheong fun (rice noodle roll) wrapped around a giant fried spring roll, the Dinosaur Rice Roll (S$8.80) was equal parts savoury and sweet. 

A blanket of delicate stem rice roll encased a spring roll that was deep-fried to perfection. Biting pass the chewy skin unveiled a bountiful portion of braised radish and mushroom wrapped around a skin that was crispy to a fault. For a tripartite of textures and flavours, this is certainly the dish to order. 

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What better way to draw an end to a luxurious dim sum meal than with a comforting bowl of Hong Kong Boatman Porridge (S$7.80)? For the uninitiated, Hong Kong Boatman Porridge is a traditional rice-based dish that gained its fame when they were prepared on dedicated boats and served to tourists touring around the rivers of Guangzhou and Hong Kong. 

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Since the dish originated from inhabitants on the boat, most of the ingredients used to flavour the plain porridge were seafood with an occasional addition of chicken, beef, or pork. The boatman porridge at MASA by Black Society was silky smooth with notes of sweetness from the mix of squid and fish slices used. The rice grains were adequately hydrated, dissipating into nothingness with every spoonful taken.

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I liked that the shredded green, deep-fried dough fritters, and roasted peanuts were served on the side, allowing for diners to add them according to their preference. These garnishes brightened their entire dish with an additional layer of texture that was truly satisfying. 

Besides washing down your meal with a traditional cup of Chinese tea, MASA by Black Society also offers an extensive list of beverages ranging from coffees, bubble teas, to even trendy mixes like Soya Cendol (S$6.50) and Bandung Grass Jelly & Jackfruit With Shaved Ice (S$6.50). 

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If you are looking for a refreshing option, the Jasmine with Apple & Plum (S$7.50) and Roselle Jujube with Aloe Vera (S$7.50) are my recommendations for their fruitiness and slightly sourish taste. Both beverages will surely help cleanse your palate after your meal!

Like most restaurants, MASA by Black Society definitely had its hits and misses. But if you ask if I would make a second or third trip back to the restaurant, my answer would be a confident ‘yes’. There are just too many things on the menu I have yet to try and one meal alone is certainly not enough!

Expected Damage: S$30 – S$40 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 3 / 5

MASA by Black Society

277 Orchard Road, Orchard Gateway, #01-12/13/14, Singapore 238858

Price
Our Rating 3/5

MASA by Black Society

277 Orchard Road, Orchard Gateway, #01-12/13/14, Singapore 238858

Telephone: +65 6243 7988
Operating Hours: 11am - 10pm (Sun to Thu), 11am - 10.30pm (Fri & Sat)
Telephone: +65 6243 7988

Operating Hours: 11am - 10pm (Sun to Thu), 11am - 10.30pm (Fri & Sat)
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