When the Anchovy Bandit crew acquired the spacious site next door in 2020 (formerly New Nordic) they split it in two, simultaneously building a new dining room for their pizzeria and a brand-new concept, Bottega Bandito. After unveiling the former, the latter, a Euro-inspired deli and cafe, opened a month later.
The opening menu includes a breakfast milk bun with sausage, egg, pancetta, provolone and HP sauce; eggs on toast with add-ons such as morcilla and mustard pickle, and smoked bacon and xo beans; and cocktails from 10am. Boost your brunch with a Bloody Bandito made with San Marzano tomatoes, gin and kimchi juice; a spiked Taiwanese milk tea made with black iced tea, apricot jam, strega and milk; or a take on the Bellini with house-made plum concentrate and prosecco.
From 11.30am there might be kangaroo tartare with fries; a Spencer Gulf prawn roll; oysters with mignonette dressing; steak, dry-aged in house and served with Café de Paris (a butter-based sauce); and plates of salumi. “There’s a lot of Italian influence but we’ve also taken from French bistro-style food and some Spanish stuff as well,” says Bennett. “Shane’s French-trained and loves that style of food.”
Executive chef Shane Wilson (ex-Hentley Farm, Bistro Dom, Orana) is joined in the kitchen by Michael Henderson, who worked with him at Hentley Farm. Each day, Wilson’s makes “a bakery amount” of sourdough focaccia. The bread is baked in the woodfired pizza oven next-door – and the foundation for Bandito’s sandwich menu, featuring fillings of sopressa, fior di latte, basil, fresh tomato and pickled chilli; mortadella, tapenade, stracciatella, pickled zucchini and spinach; and more.
The Studio Gram fit-out (and branding by Divide Design links Bandito to next door but maintains its own distinct identity. The throwback aesthetic features terrazzo and tiled flooring, green marble and wooden countertop and backbar, which is lined with San Pellegrino bottles; Mutti canned tomatoes; Ortiz anchovies and various sauces, pickles and preserves; plus Bandito-branded sugo, chilli oil, truffle honey and olive oil. But the vibe is more neighbourhood diner than corner store. It’s warm and welcoming and feels simultaneously familiar and new.
Bandit’s wine list is available by the bottle (including takeaway) and there’s a handful of local wines by the glass. Dawn Patrol coffee is supplying its milk blend, and a rotating list of roasters will supply beans for black and filter brews. Other suppliers include Bottega Rotolo, Mercato and Rio. Pastries are from Mascavado, for now; an in-house pastry chef will come on board soon.