The Boss (CLOSED)
Time Out says
When a spot names itself The Boss, it’s got to know that there will be some high expectations. Everyone’s got to wonder, how boss can The Boss be? Fortunately for this new Guangdong fine dining restaurant, the expectations are well exceeded.
Located in a basement on pedestrian-friendly Queen’s Road Central near the new Top Shop and H&M, The Boss is surprisingly hidden away from the crowds. The dining room exudes an air of modernist sleekness, with monochromatic grey hues and subtle patterns dotting the interior. It’s as though we’re dining inside an elusive bank vault – an illusion made all the more apparent as the waitstaff strut around in stiff black suits and wear earpieces normally donned by bodyguards for, well, bosses. Private rooms are available for those looking to dine even more exclusively. The only thing that sticks out here are the starkly odd horse-jockey pictures lining the walls. Is that what bosses dig?
Like some of the other brilliantly trendy yet delicious modern Canto restaurants in town, The Boss emphasises Guangdong staples with top-notch ingredients and no MSG. In the daytime, The Boss serves up classic dim sum with a slight twist – the addition of a whole lot of truffle to everything. There are steamed rice flour rolls with black truffle and mixed vegetables ($48), stir-fried mixed mushrooms with black truffles ($68) and so on. The pieces are great to nibble on, as the ingredients are farm-fresh and arranged gorgeously on simple and contemporary tableware. But save for the steamed shrimp roe and crab meat dumplings ($48), they don’t stand out much from your usual neighbourhood dim sum spot. Even the baked whole abalone pie ($58 per piece), prided as a special on the menu, comes off weakly made, with the somewhat sour abalone overpowering the crumbly pie crust and mushroom mash.
A la carte dishes redeem the restaurant, however, as the meal is peppered with ingredients more imaginative than just truffle. Each arrive piping hot from the kitchen, peppering the restaurant with the titillating smell of garlic, onions and spices. We start with the pork lung soup ($68). It’s milky with a strong nutty-almond taste, and the lung comes off springy, thick and juicy. We slurp it all up. Likewise, the crab ($368) sizzles and shakes in its pot upon arrival. The vermicelli, basil leaf, peppercorn and fatty pork nestled on the bottom of the crustacean gives the entire dish an aromatic and satisfying edge. Also scoring points is the fried chicken ($150). The batter has a light shrimp curry flavour and the meat is juicy and tender. One of the most interesting recipes The Boss serves up is the pork ribs ($168). Slathered with a tart strawberry glaze and tossed with pieces of strawberry from Japan, they’re the most tender sweet-and-sour ribs and see us licking the bones clean.
Our two favourite dishes of the evening are the sautéed diced kobe beef with garlic ($88) and the ox tail ($88). Both bring out the ravenous carnivores in us. The chunky kobe beef melts in your mouth, as the pieces are nice and fatty without coming off nauseatingly oily, while the ox tail is rich and delicate, and arrives atop a giant piece of sauce-soaked bean curd. We have to say it – that is boss.
We conclude the evening with some pomelo and mango soup ($48) and pineapple and sweet olive pudding ($38). Both come chilled and are light delights.
As we ascend the stairs back into the streets of Central, we can’t help but feel satisfyingly full off a decently priced but exceptional dinner and, yes, just a bit boss. Janice Jann
Steamed rice flour rolls with black truffle & mixed vegetables $48
Steamed shrimp roe and crab meat dumplings $48
Stir-fried mixed mushrooms with black truffle $68
Baked whole abalone pie (x2) $116
Sautéed diced kobe beef with garlic $88
Almond juice with pink lung soup (x2) $136
Crab with vermicelli $368
Japanese-style strawberry and ribs $168
Fried chicken with Tai O shrimp paste $150
Ox tail $88
Chilled pomelo and mango soup (x2) $96
Chilled pineapple and sweet olive pudding $38
Service charge $141.20
Total (for two) $1,553.20
The Boss B/F, 58-62 Queen’s Rd C, Central, 2155 0552; theboss1.com. Mon-Sat 11.30am-midnight, Sun 11am-midnight.