Ah memories... I've been a regular at this joint since I was a little kid. Well, at least the Chinatown location that is. The success of The Boss Bakery and Restaurant has always been based on good food, large portions, reasonable prices and efficient service. It was so successful that they opened a second location at Metrotown over 10 years ago. For those who are not familiar with The Boss, it is a Hong Kong-style cafe which serves up Chinese dishes (mostly noodle and rice dishes) and modified Western dishes.
These modified Western dishes are essentially Hong Kong versions of things such as breakfast, sandwiches and entrees. You'll find things that might confuse those who have not dined at a Hong Kong-style cafe before, such as having a hot dog weiner in place of a breakfast sausage. Yes, instead of sausage and eggs, you get an Oscar Mayer and "eggs". That's right, even the eggs may not necessarily resemble what you are used to. Scrambled eggs will most likely be more like fried eggs. Moreover, when you order a ham and egg sandwich, all you get is a fried egg with a slice of ham in between 2 slices of white bread (crust removed). You can easily make this at home, but for some strange reason, people like me actually order it and love it.
Anyways, I haven't been to The Boss for some time now and I decided to pay the Metrotown location a visit. Lots have gone on in the past year or so at The Boss. The restaurant went through a major renovation and expansion where it took over the unit next door. But that's when everything started to go downhill. After the renovations, the portions became remarkably smaller, service became impersonal and the lady in the front became really cranky. I've read many online reviews that echo this sentiment and I wholeheartedly agree. However, I've known the cranky lady back in the Chinatown days when I was in elementary school. She is actually a very nice person and it's unknown why she has become so cranky in the past couple of years. That's no excuse though, since a person in customer service should never let their personal lives affect their performance.
Now on this return visit, I am happy to report that the portions are larger; yet still not exactly as large as before. Service has improved, the servers were efficient and responsive to our needs. Also, the cranky lady was not at the front (according to others, she hasn't been there consistently for awhile). As like before, the food is solid. The noodle and rice dishes at The Boss have something we call "wok hay" in Chinese. This means that the wok is hot, producing food that is tasty since the heat helps produce good flavour and caramelization. This was exemplified by the Fried Vermicelli with BBQ Duck and Preserved Vegetables. We also ordered the Spaghetti with Ox Tongue in Tomato Sauce. I know, I know, ox tongue??? Yes, it's a Hong Kong-style cafe thing, it's an acquired taste. Moreover, don't expect a traditional Italian tomato sauce here; rather, imagine a watered-down ketchup sauce with plenty of sugar. I'm not selling you on this, am I? Again, you have to like this to enjoy it. For those who like it, there were 3 large slices of ox tongue which were tender, on a generous bed of spaghetti.
Although it was not morning anymore, breakfast is available until late afternoon, so we ordered the set breakfast. You have a choice of option A (Bread, Ham and Eggs, Coffee or Tea) for $5.00 or option B (which adds Macaroni and Shredded Chicken in Soup) for $7.00. This meal is pretty standard and there is really not much to say about it other than the Macaroni tastes better than it looks (in this case we substituted ham for chicken). I'm glad to say The Boss is still a solid choice for Hong Kong-style cafe food in the GVRD. Thankfully they have tried to improve their portion sizes and their service (I guess someone there has been reading the online reviews). It's also a plus that the renovations have made the dining room quite nice too.
- Good food
- Decent portions (for now)
- Efficient service (for now)
- Crazy busy, you can wait forever (luckily it's in a mall)
- Portions used to be bigger
- Cranky lady may return?
The Boss Restaurant
10:00am - 9:00pm (Mon - Fri)
9:30am - 9:00pm (Sat)
11:00am - 6:00pm (Sun)