Like Super Mario waiting for the cactus to withdraw into the pipe, timing is everything when taking photos at Boss BarBQ, a franchise from Korean chain store. The neon lights flash from green to red to purple to blue to green, so you have to grab the moment in the interval of change to take a photo.
Seafood Pancake ($28)
While the flashing gaudy lights makes the place look like a sleazy nightclub, the Korean cuisine was very deletable. Most ingredients, condiments and sauces are imported from Korea to maintain a consistency with the Korean headquarters. Even the staff are trained in Korea, down to how to clean the kitchen and use scissors to cut chicken. Unlike other Korean BBQ places, food is barbecued in the kitchen and served to you so you won’t smell, a very important fact for clubbers out to seduce others at Clarke Quay.
BBQ Spicy Chicken ($22)
Chockfull of MSG, everything was delicious. The haemul pajeon (seafood pancake, $28) was hot, crispy and flavorful. The BBQ spicy chicken ($22) was charcoal-grilled first, then slabbed with a sweet and spicy sauce, but it was still very crispy, tender and had a smoky aroma, a must order. The kimchi rice (pictured below, $18) was also delicious, each grain evenly coated and didn’t stick together.
But you won’t be treated like a boss. It was difficult getting the attention of the servers. And the servers didn’t seem to know what they were doing. The pricing was also exorbitant: a bowl of kimchi rice costs $18?! Tea and kimchi, which are usually free in other Korean restaurants, cost $2 a cup and $3 respectively. And we weren’t told of these hidden charges. We spent $95 for two.
The food was actually good enough to overcome whatever qualms we had, distracted servers, disco lights that can potentially cause seizures, and high prices. If we want to be fleeced and crave for good BBQ chicken, we’d surely return.
Boss BarBQ Singapore
3C Clarke Quay
River Valley Road #01-04
T: 6336 3393
Rating: 2.891/5 (pulled down by other factors such as pricing, service and ambience, but the food was good.)
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.