Restaurant Reviews

Bosco

Inside a dark industrial warehouse, a veteran restaurateur is highlighting bread and open-fire Mediterranean cooking, writes ELLIOT BAKER.
Prawns on white plate.
BRISBANE
Address
8 Austin St, Newstead

Bosco shares its warehouse premises with Brewbakers, a well-established Brisbane bakery. It may sound like an odd arrangement, but it pays dividends for carb lovers. The menu features lots of bready things, including a thick cut of Brewbakers’ iconic sourdough, lightly charred on the grill, with creamy house-made butter. Less textbook is Bosco’s flatbread, topped with olive paste, pickled red peppers, and Cantabrian anchovies, which gets the blue ribbon award for bread-ish things on the menu. Blistered and pillowy, the flatbread takes the elements of a gilda and steers it into snack-of-the-year contention.

Behind Bosco is veteran restaurateur Simon Hill, who also owns Italian stalwart Bar Alto. Many will fondly remember his Spanish restaurant, Ortiga, and iconic French spot Isis Brasserie. Whereas previously he’s focused on a particular cuisine, Bosco has a broad Mediterranean focus with many dishes cooked over fire.

In the open kitchen, executive chef Sajith Vengateri and head chef Mimmo Miceli skilfully use different techniques and equipment, like a parrilla grill and custom-built open-fire oven. Perhaps most impressive is the use of an 18th century weight-driven spit jack to spit-roast Mount Byron suckling pig. The result is irresistibly crisp skin and succulent, well-seasoned meat. Served with silky chickpea purée, blistered red peppers and flatbreads for making wraps, it’s wise to order this ahead.

Flatbread on white plate at Bosco in Brisbane

A skewer of grilled wagyu intercostal is nicely charred and doused with paprika-laden adobo sauce. An accompanying mojo verde, heavy on avocado, adds some much-needed freshness. Another highlight is Goolwa pippies, swimming in Txakoli (a dry Basque white wine) sauce, with flecks of jamón adding an umami kick. And while some more trend-driven executions like the flambadou (a cast-iron cone) that drips hot wagyu fat over oysters aren’t as successful on the flavour front, every other dish makes up for it. Also, a word of advice: keep some of that excellent sourdough beside you throughout the meal. Most dishes have sauces that you’ll want to mop up. Even if you’re caught out, attentive and knowledgeable staff, led by general manager Rachael Duffield, ensure you’re well supplied.

The team put considerable thought into the restaurant’s interior design, resulting in an industrial feel with dark colour tones, hard surfaces and imported draped curtains from India. While moody, it’s a joy to spend time in, especially after a few glasses of wine and the enchanting view of the roaring fire.

In fact, indulging in the wine list is a must. Hill is one of the city’s best sommeliers, and if you want to splurge, this is where to do so. For years, Hill has been cellaring wines for this restaurant, like Grosset Rieslings, plenty of Burgundies, and a 1968 white Rioja.

Bosco may not be breaking new ground – cooking over fire has been around since the advent of cooking and at the forefront of the zeitgeist in the past decade – but its unfussy, polished approach shows the maturity of a team and a knack for creating thoughtful dining experiences.

Charred coral trout on white plate at Bosco restaurant in Brisbane.
Bosco
8 Austin St, Newstead
Chef(s)
Sajith Vengateri, Mimmo Miceli
Price Guide
$$$
Bookings
Recommended
Opening Hours
Lunch Fri-Sun, Dinner Tue-Sun

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