A thrilling taste of Sardinian culture
23 January, 2017 — By Tom Moggach
From start to finish, the cooking at Bosa is shockingly good and full of surprises
PEOPLE from Sardinia dislike being called Italian – they are fiercely proud of their island culture.
That was the first lesson I learnt from my dinner at Bosa, a new restaurant in Seven Sisters Road – as the Sardinian waiter politely explained. Our second revelation arrived with the starters. I had lazily predicted this was a new restaurant aiming too high – pumped with grand ambitions it would struggle to fulfil.
Two months old, it was far from busy. The long menu (sprinkled with spelling mistakes) promised everything from cuttlefish to ossobuco, via myrtle-spiked ravioli and 17 pizzas. What calibre of chef could deliver such variety? But I was flat wrong. From start to finish, the cooking at Bosa was shockingly good and full of surprises. Take one starter – a burrata cheese from Puglia.
Presentation was Michelin grade: a whole fresh cheese hidden beneath elegant slivers of fennel and celeriac, dusted with pumpkin seeds and colourful microgreens. I asked for a Sardinian speciality and was rewarded with octopus stew – punchy, intense sauce and tender tentacles, served with a jet-black crisp flatbread.
This is thrilling food, make no mistake. The menu stars many intriguing, unusual dishes you simply won’t find elsewhere.
My friend and I shared the home-made ravioli filled with duck and a touch of myrtle, a herb much loved in Sardinia. The pasta was served in a buttery sauce with pine nuts and a crumble of Ovinforth, a Sardinian blue sheep’s cheese. (The menu had stated “peanuts” which had left us confused – surely not a classic Italian ingredient?) I haven’t described the restaurant itself. That’s because it barely matters. In short, it’s a large room looking out on Seven Sisters Road not far from Finsbury Park station. A few pictures of Sardinia adorn the walls. It’s the food that dazzles.
We then shared roasted lamb wrapped with pancetta on a bed of truffled lentils. My only criticism was an overreliance on a flurry of micro leaves as a garnish. Pudding was a selection of colourful “fruttini”: halves of fruit served on a platter of ice, some fresh and others filled with their own ice cream or sorbet. I also recommend the Sardinian wines made with indigenous grape varieties.
Expect to pay around £9 for a pizza or pasta, or £30 per head for a three-course meal before drinks and service.
At the end of the meal, I met the owner – a chap called Angelo. Bosa is the name of the attractive, pastel-coloured town in Sardinia where he, the co-owner and chef were all born. Angelo is besotted with food and imports many of the quality Sardinian ingredients directly, cutting out the middleman.
“The culture of Sardinia is food,” he says. “At the end of the day I want to be different – I don’t want be a usual Italian restaurant.”
I left texting madly – tipping off friends who lived nearby. For the first time, I even left a review on Google.
156A Seven Sisters Road, N7
020 3795 1226