Bossa in Mayfair: “Hits that sweet spot of something original but rooted in tradition”
If London is a capital of global gastronomy, it’s thanks to its incredibly diverse food scene. From the outskirts of the suburbs to Piccadilly Circus, the British capital offers an unrivalled celebration of cultures and traditions. While this has been true for decades now, the breadth has primarily spanned from Western Europe to Asia’s Far East. Only recently Central and South America are finding their space: first with Peruvian cuisine, then Mexican and now, hopefully, Brazilian too. A restaurant like Bossa is exactly what’s needed in a city where there’s a different culinary tongue spoken in every corner.
Led by chef Alberto Landgraf, known for the two-Michelin-starred Oteque in Rio de Janeiro, this upscale restaurant sits comfortably off Bond Street. It’s a place that resonates with diners craving something fresh yet comforting. Its interior design wears modern elegance without trying too hard, and the counter by the kitchen provides that extra excitement to suit the more adventurous diners.
Our evening begins with the cocktail list, which is like a Brazilian carnival. The traditional Caipirinha takes centre stage, while the smoky Mezcladinha offers a playful twist on a classic. The wine list is carefully curated and complements the diversity of the menu, which blends the traditions of the South American country with Asian touches and European refinement.
It doesn’t take long to convince us that the scallops, with leeks, buckwheat and tucupi (a sauce extracted from wild cassava), are a must-try. The dish is warm, buttery and satisfying, with a subtle note of fermentation. The Roasted Bone Marrow, served with cashew cream and tapioca “tortillas”, combines deliciousness with the playful experience of building your own taco.
When it comes to seafood, we can safely say that moqueca is a national dish of Brazil. A stew of langoustines, mussels, tomato, cassava and coriander, it’s served with three little pots of rice, banana farofa (that sandy texture!) and a bean vinaigrette. The result marries the exotic with the familiar: if you come to Bossa, this has to be ordered. As we see the chefs flaming meat over the grill, we feel obliged to also have the Black Pork Secreto, with apple purée, aubergine and black pudding.
The portions are so generous that one might consider skipping dessert; however, the lure of the Egg and Coconut Custard – as luscious as it is visually appealing – proves too great, and we indulge. To prevent any spoon-wielding battles, we accompany it with a Tonka Bean Flan. Neither dessert is shy with sugar, a fact that doesn’t go unnoticed.
Bossa is not just another sleek restaurant, it’s a place where Londoners can try Brazilian flavours that are hard to replicate across the Atlantic. With cocktails that make you feel the rhythm of Rio’s streets and dishes that connect continents, Landgraf’s restaurant is a refreshing newcomer.
For a crowd that yearns for something original but rooted in tradition, Bossa seems to hit that sweet spot. It’s gourmet but without the stiffness of fine dining, delivering quality without the overreach. One can already see the aim of a Michelin star, not because it’s obviously striving, but because it has found that harmony of casual flair and skilled execution.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at Bossa, 4 Vere Street London W1G 0DG, call 020 3062 5844 or visit their website here.