London restaurant review: Bossa

Gathered at the elegant Bossa Restaurant on the border of Marylebone and Mayfair, my two fellow foodies and I embarked on a culinary journey that took us through the diverse and vibrant flavours of Brazil. Our experience at Bossa was nothing short of exceptional, with Head Chef Nilson Chaves, formerly of Rio de Janeiro’s acclaimed Oteque, at the helm.

As we settled into our seats in the high-ceilinged dining room, we were greeted by a knowledgeable and welcoming staff. The restaurant’s warm ambiance, complete with a wide bar that serves Brazilian-inspired cocktails and a private dining area for up to 15 guests, set the stage for an extraordinary evening.

To begin our culinary adventure, we opted to explore the set lunch menu, which had just been introduced, offering a swift yet delightful dining experience. With the choice of 2 courses for £40 or 3 courses for £45, it was a perfect way to sample Bossa’s take on Brazilian flavors in a shorter time frame.

For our starters, we decided to indulge in the grilled red prawns with a garlic and herb vinaigrette and the scallops with leeks, toasted buckwheat, and scallops cream. The prawns perfectly demonstrated the quality of ingredients at Bossa. Grilled to perfection, they were succulent and paired beautifully with the zesty vinaigrette. The scallops, on the other hand, were a medley of flavours and textures, with the creaminess of the scallops cream enhancing the natural sweetness of the perfectly seared scallops.

The mussels escabeche with carrot oil, parsley oil, and toasted bread arrived next. The dish was a delightful surprise, with the escabeche infusing the plump mussels with a zingy and slightly smoky flavor. The carrot and parsley oils added depth to the dish, and the toasted bread provided a lovely crunch.

For our main courses, we opted for the glazed short ribs with toasted okra and black garlic and the grilled octopus with fresh peas, roasted sunchoke, and Brazil nut romesco. The short ribs were a triumph of flavor and tenderness, the glaze adding a hint of sweetness that beautifully contrasted with the richness of the meat. The accompanying toasted okra provided a unique and delightful crunch.

The grilled octopus was equally impressive. It was perfectly cooked, with a delicate char that enhanced the natural smokiness of the octopus. The fresh peas and roasted sunchoke added vibrant notes to the dish, while the Brazil nut romesco provided a nutty and slightly spicy contrast.

To complete our dining experience, we indulged in two exquisite desserts. The açai sorbet with sugar cane crumble and spiced chocolate was a delightful ode to Brazilian ingredients. The açai sorbet was refreshingly fruity, and the sugar cane crumble provided a delightful crunch. The spiced chocolate added a depth of flavour that brought the dessert to life.

The chocolate tart with cashew nut praline was a decadent masterpiece. The tart was velvety, with a rich and intensely chocolatey filling that was beautifully balanced by the cashew nut praline. Each bite was a harmonious blend of flavours and textures, and it was the perfect ending to our meal.

As we savored the last morsels of our desserts and enjoyed freshly made strawberry mocktails, we couldn’t help but be impressed by the exceptional culinary journey we had undertaken at Bossa. The restaurant’s commitment to fine dining interpretations of traditional Brazilian dishes, combined with an extensive and eclectic wine list, made for a truly memorable experience.

Head Chef Nilson Chaves’s influence from his time at Oteque in Rio de Janeiro was evident in each dish, and it was clear that Bossa was on a path to becoming a classic in its own right. Whether you’re seeking a casual gathering with friends, a long lunch, or a formal business engagement, Bossa’s lunch menu is a perfect gateway to explore Brazilian cuisine and exceptional wine.

Bossa Restaurant is a gem that captures the essence of Brazil’s diverse culinary heritage while infusing it with creative innovation. It offers a dining experience that marries tradition and modernity in the most delightful way. As we left Bossa that evening, we couldn’t help but reflect on the extraordinary journey we had just undertaken. Bossa is, without a doubt, a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the rich and vibrant Brazilian cuisine right here in London.

Mitra Msaad

Editor in Chief