It isn't often that I'm so impressed by a first-time visit to a restaurant that I make a reservation for my next visit halfway through the meal.
But that's what happened at The Boss. Four of us went there for lunch, and ordered dishes from the dim sum selection, as well as a few from the dinner menu. The food is made without monosodium glutamate.
There were a couple of misses: the rice flour roll wrapped around a spring roll (HK$48) was too thick, and was over-steamed, so was too soft, and while the puff pastry in the barbecued pork pie (HK$38 for three) was flaky, there was scant amount of filling. But we enjoyed everything else.
The har gao (listed as "Boss shrimp dumplings", HK$58 for four) had delicate wrappers and a plentiful amount of crunchy shrimp inside. Steamed spicy shrimp and pork dumplings (HK$48 for three) weren't exactly spicy - they were more ma (numbing) from the use of Sichuan peppercorns. The dumpling skins were nicely chewy, and the filling moist.
Haam sui gok (HK$38 for three) - fritters made of glutinous rice flour - were cooked so the thin wrappers were crisp and not oily, and the filling was well seasoned.
From the dinner menu, the deep-fried chicken pieces with home-made shrimp sauce (HK$150 for half) was so good that one of my guests ordered a whole one to take home. It was some of the best fried chicken we've had - the small pieces, fried to a deep medium brown, were succulent and deeply flavoured.
At HK$368, we weren't expecting such a large crab in the dish of baked crab with vermicelli and homemade sauce in casserole. It was another fantastic dish: the crab was moist, and the vermicelli soaked up the sauce that was seasoned with whole peppercorns, yellow beans, pork and Thai basil. Braised pomelo skin with shrimp roe (HK$68 per piece) was good because it was just firm enough, and didn't have any bitterness that comes from the peel not being soaked and steamed correctly.
Desserts were also very good. The chilled Japanese plum alcohol and fruit pudding (HK$38 per serving), a cool, clear jelly with the delicate taste of plum wine, was embedded with fresh fruit.
Service was attentive and accommodating. Some dim sum items were three pieces to a serving, but they served four (and charged us accordingly), rather than make us order two portions, as some places do.
The Boss, LG/F Peter Building, 58-62 Queen's Road Central. Tel: 2155 0552. Open: 11.30am-midnight (from 11am on Sundays and public holidays). About HK$280 without drinks or the service charge
Susan Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)