Must. Love. Liu. Sha. Bao.
Look up any top 5 liu sha bao list in Singapore and chances are, Bosses is in there somewhere. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “He’s obsessed with the golden lava bun!” Yes, that may be true but I’m not the kind of guy who’ll travel across the island just for food. Okay, maybe I am that kind of guy. But my point is, for a full meal? Sure, I’d travel. Just look at my enthusiasm for ramen in the early 2010s. Miharu, Marutama, Santouka, Ippudo, Ippudo TAO, Nantsuttei, Keisuke, Tonkatsu King, Tori King…the numerous visits to Ramen Champion. I even flew to Japan. That’s dedication. But for what is essentially just a snack? No, not really.
I was in the HarbourFront district running an errand for my mom, and as I made my way back to the bus interchange (actually, the place I went to was right opposite the interchange so this was really a detour), the contemporary obsidian lair of the Chinese restaurant Bosses beckoned. I recalled reading rave reviews of their liu sha bao, and although the restaurant had just closed after lunch service, I felt like this was a moment. I had to, I needed it, so I asked. And I was greeted with possibly one of the warmest receptions ever by restaurant staff. They were really nice about the whole thing, and there was an undeniable sense of pride and belief in what they represented and worked for. I was even offered some great advisories for me to steam and enjoy my liu sha baos the way the restaurant intended it to be eaten. They were so nice in fact, that the slightly exorbitant SGD 6.25 price tag seemed money well spent.
Simple tips, really. Don’t microwave the buns (I usually do for regular dim sum). Begin steaming the buns only when the water is boiling, and only for 7 to 8 minutes after that.
The buns were just…near perfection, really. It was almost everything I wanted in a liu sha bao – flowing centre, great texture of the salted egg yolk custard, managing to balance a fine contrast between the savory warm butter and the sweetness of it all. In addition, the filling doesn’t overwhelm the bun. The two go well together. My only nitpick is that it’s so darn small…almost Canton Paradise level of insignificance.