Guests were first treated to a exclusive look at the bright, dynamic works of the Neo Golden Age currently on show at the Modern Art Museum.
The art affair continued into the restaurant, where guests were witness to famed graffiti artist Ouyang in action, who then invited diners to add the final touches to his street-style mural.
Famed graffiti artist Ouyang
Guests – made up of the city’s most influential names in the F&B Industry, as well as some celebrated lifestyle and fashion bloggers – were also lucky to enjoy a special dish by chef Zhou XiaoMin, the Master Chef at MeiLongZhen Restaurant, who was invited by MESS Chef Shahaf Shabtay to add a traditional flare to the evening.
MESS Chef Shahaf Shabtay and MeiLongZhen Restaurant Master Chef Zhou XiaoMin
The concept of MESS is the full character embodiment of its larger-than-life, human dynamo, gregarious host of a head chef, Shahaf Shabtay. The Israeli graduated from the École Grégoire-Ferrandi Culinary School of Cooking Arts in Paris and then worked his way around the world.
The result? An integration of different cultures, connecting the worlds of East and West – via the Middle East, of course – to an experience of colors, tastes, textures and techniques.
Chef Shahaf has taken the basics he was grounded in through his studies and brought them to the Asian kitchen. His area of expertise is Southeast Asian cuisine – Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Thailand. Which is not to say he limits himself to just that; he intertwines all he has found during his travels and his culinary explorations.
Here are a few of the standout dishes from the winter menu, all of which are served at the center of the table for a shared experience... and so you can try as many of them as you possibly can.
Leo Ceviche (RMB148) – coconut bell pepper, avocado, nam-pla, tapo-chips
Calamari Dan Dan (RMB118) – peanut butter, Sichuan pepper, snow peas, thyme
Shrimp Kadaif (RMB148) – leek tomato crab, roasted garlic, home-made rice paper, yakitori sake
Bandra Duck (RMB148) – 24h duck confit, blado, Japanese polenta, mint
Roulea de Boeuf (RMB108) – slow cooked ox tongue, mala spicy blue, artichoke, olive oil, purple dan dan
Rib Eye Tandoori (RMB168) – yogurt mala xia, home-made naan, apple hot pot, cream cheese
Singapore Beef Noodle (RMB148) – overnight beef, black pepper, truffle, barbecue, shao xin wine, Jorden mushroom
'Collage' is how Chef Shahaf describes his style, and, if you're lucky enough to meet him on your visit, you'll be swept along with his passion as he explains how each of his dishes came to be and what contrasting experiences and interactions brought the ingredients together.
And MESS is fun: the non-defining of the kitchen's orientation through geographical areas; the big tables and shared dishes; the great soundtrack – a mix of classics and hip song covers you can't help but Shazam and add to your own playlist.
Oh, and then there are the massages. That's right, an in-house masseuse will kneed you at your table as you settle in for your meal or digest your dessert. What can we say, MESS certainly rubbed us up the right way.
So, if a night with fabulous food and incredible art seems up your alley, then head on over to MESS!
See a listing for MESS