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Bossa: Alberto Landgraf Brings Brazil to London

Restaurant of the Week: Landgraf's first UK opening is a celebration of his home nation's culinary brilliance.

By Kim Ayling

With a two-Michelin-starred, Top 50-ranked restaurant already under his belt, the London restaurant world naturally started whispering when chef Alberto Landgraf announced the opening of his first UK restaurant last year.

Located just off Oxford Street, in between the glamorous neighborhoods of Mayfair and Marylebone, Bossa opened in May 2023 and brought with it to London all of the character of Landgraf’s award-winning Rio de Janeiro restaurant, Oteque, which currently sits at number 47 in the World’s 50 Best restaurants list.

While the chef’s flagship is all about fusing Japanese precision with local flavors and ingredients, Bossa’s culinary ethos is rooted in taking the traditions of Brazilian cuisine and adding a contemporary flair, fit for London clientele. 

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bossa interiors
The 60-cover space is intimate and moody / ©Bossa

We visited in July, just a few days shy of its two-month anniversary. Bossa doesn’t quite have that polished air that some new restaurants have, where slick service from the word go makes it feel as though it’s been open for years – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

Instead, everything felt new and shiny, and the young team seemed as excited about putting dishes in front of us as we were to eat them.

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Alberto Landgraf was born in Brazil but calls on his family heritage to craft his take on fusion cuisine – his Japanese side taught him the importance of precise techniques in cooking, while his German father guided him toward his longstanding respect for seasonal, quality produce.

A career in kitchens wasn’t initially carved out for Landgraf, though. After graduating in physics in the early 2000s, he headed to London to learn English and found himself working in hospitality under some of the city’s biggest chef profiles, including Tom Aikens and Gordon Ramsay.

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Alberto Landgraf
Alberto Landgraf / ©Bossa

Propelled by his new-found love of professional cooking, Landgraf headed back to Sao Paulo and opened his first restaurant in 2008. Epice was received well and was quickly awarded a Michelin star. In 2016, the restaurant’s time came to an end but by 2018, the chef – who was now making a name for himself as one of Brazil’s best – was back, this time opening Oteque in Rio de Janeiro.

If Epice did well, Oteque was a triumph. The first star came a few months after opening and a second was bestowed the next year.

To help transport this winning approach to London – a notoriously hard egg to crack when it comes to restaurants – Landgraf has brought with him his head chef Nilson Chaves, as well as many other members of the Oteque team.

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scallops at Bossa restaurant
Scallops are charred to the point of gentle caramelization / ©Justin De Souza

While Oteque follows the current trend of being tasting-menu only, Bossa is a touch less formal and gives its guests the freedom to choose from an a la carte menu of Brazilian-inspired dishes. 

According to the menu, dishes are separated into ‘The Beginning,’ ‘The Middle’ and ‘The End’, but to you and I, that’s straight-up starters and mains. “Order a selection of the smaller dishes to share, and get a main each,” we’re helpfully instructed.

There are a few must-orders: The crab pastel is the first. Similar in appearance to the humble empanada, these Brazilian street-food parcels are elevated to fine dining heights, with a bubbly, crisp dough encasing a center of picked crab. Served alongside is a dip so richly, deeply purple that only the vibrant acai berry could claim responsibility.

Another must-have is the scallops. Served charred to the point of gentle caramelization, the plump mollusks come atop a bed of sweet, creamy leeks, spiked with the umami notes of fermented tucupi – an extract from a wild Amazonian root.

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moqueta dish at bossa
Bossa’s moqueca is served with fragrant rice, subtly dressed beans and toasted banana farofa / ©Justin De Souza

From the mains, it’s the seafood moqueca that has to be ordered. Originating in the northeastern state of Bahia, the traditional Brazilian fish stew marries gentle spices with creamy coconut milk. Bossa doesn’t steer too far from the original: Its moqueca features squid, monkfish, cuttlefish, mussels and prawns wrapped up in a thick broth that is equal parts spicy and sweet, with delicate pots of fragrant rice, subtly dressed beans and toasted banana farofa served alongside. It is very, very delicious.

Among the team Landgraf has brought over from Brazil is his award-winning sommelier Laís Aoki, who has created an intriguing wine list that covers the length and breadth of South America (as well as a few European labels) with rare bottles from hard-to-pin-down producers that Aoki has carefully forged relations with.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the night ends when dessert is cleared, either; in fact, if you choose, it is only just starting. Tucked beneath the restaurant is Maroto, an elegant invite-only bar, decked out in a brazen maximalist style. Head downstairs for the great cocktail menu but stay for Maroto’s super-late license (which is increasingly rare in London).


bossa bar
Bossa’s towering bar is stacked high with premium bottles / ©Bossa

In a London neighborhood full of oversized party restaurants, Bossa is an anomaly. The entrance might be through a grand arched doorway, but inside, the 60-cover space is intimate and moody, and no table feels like one you’d want to politely ask not to be seated at; some are central booths, others back onto banquettes. 

Each table has a view of the seamlessly operated open kitchen, but for a more immersive experience, book one of the ten countertop seats. For more private occasions, Bossa also has a ten-person private dining area.

Separating the dining room from the busy London streets beyond is a towering bar stacked high with premium bottles – head here for a pre-dinner cocktail before the main event.

Bossa, 4 Vere St, London, UK, W1G 0DH,

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