A New Institution

The Bandit team are expanding with the opening of bandit pizza and wine in the heart of Hyde Park, while their flagship venues continue to do great things on the other side of town.

We chat to the team behind the delicious menus.

Michael Henderson Head Chef at Anchovy Bandit and Bottega Bandito

Who are your culinary influences? I love the art of nostalgic foods, foods that bring about a memory from your childhood or past and using old techniques and flavour profiles to make them new with a modern take. For me, Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Modena Italy) is the master of this style. His most famous dishes are deep rooted in personal nostalgia.

Most of your menu items are made in-house using fresh, local produce –why is this so important to you? In today’s hospitality scene there are many cafes, and even more Italian eateries, so you have to set yourself apart from the rest. It’s important to support local and independent businesses; [we also] try as hard as we can to make everything at home. After much trial and error, we now boast a comprehensive bakery section with all breads and pastries being made in-house. We also extrude and hand make all of the pastas


What makes your sandwiches at Bottega Bandito so special?

Our talented pastry and bakery teamwork tirelessly to ensure we have quality bread daily to wrap our hand-crafted sandwich fillings around. The focaccia really is a labour of love. The dough is started in the wee hours of the morning and is folded every hour on the hour for almost half the day. Then it is lovingly shaped and placed in trays to rest overnight. Finally, it’s baked fresh the following day and the result is puffy, fluffy, crunchy daily baked bread.

If you could cook for anyone, who would it be and why?

David Chang, the founder and chef behind the Monstrous Momofuku brand. He also coined the term ‘ugly delicious’ from all of his TV shows; he knows a thing or two and has a lot of great food stories to share.

What’s been your career highlight so far?

In 2017, Melbourne was lucky enough to get to host the world’s 50 Best Restaurant awards. At the time, I was working at Hentley Farm in the Barossa Valley and we were chosen to host the organisers. We closed the farm for a night and hosted some of the very best food critics and food personalities from around the world. The pressure of the night was incredible, but the prestige and opportunity was something that I will never forget.

What can we expect in the coming months?

The new menu has just dropped, featuring winter inspired brunch dishes. Also keep an eye out for our monthly sando specials at Bottega Bandito – we recently took inspiration from the neighbourhood chicken shop’s hot chicken roll. The sando features whole roasted nomad farm chicken served on a fluffy brioche style roll lathered with chicken butter and topped with chicken wing gravy and a fresh herb salad.

Shane Wilson Executive Chef at Anchovy Bandit, Bottega Bandito and, Bandit Pizza and Wine

Describe your menus.

Our menus are inspired by Italian food and culture but not bound by it, we aim to move with the seasons and highlight the beautiful produce we have here in SA while putting our own spin on it.

Who are your culinary influences?

I love cooking with fire, so Lennox Hastie from Firedoor and Dave Pynt from Burnt Ends have been big influences on me.

What’s your current favourite dish from the menu and why?

Favourite dishes at Bottega Bandito include King George whiting sando and chive omelette with wild mushroom ragu. From Anchovy Bandit it would be tartare on hashbrown with bonito mayo and katsuobushi, and the grilled leek, miso butter, hazelnuts, currants and saltbush.

The open kitchen creates a super fun vibe – how does this differ to your past experiences?

I have worked in open kitchens before and at Hentley Farm the chefs always finished dishes at the table so I feel at home in that environment and I love being able to see what’s happening in the restaurant. We get to feel the buzz of it being busy and be a part of the vibe – and I also love watching people on awkward first dates!

If you could cook for anyone, who would it be and why?

Queens of the Stone Age lead singer and founder, Josh Homme, because it’s my favourite band.

What can we expect from Anchovy Bandit in the coming months?

More good times and tasty non-traditional Italian dishes! There’ll also be more chef series collabs to come in the second half of this year.

Antonio Pruner Head Chef at Bandit Pizza And Wine

Describe your menu.

The idea is that all dishes from the menu will be touched by fire in some way. Like the well-known Anchovy Bandit pizzas, the pizzas at Bandit Pizza and Wine will be cooked in a woodfire oven, and the arrosticini skewers, snacks and veggies will come straight from the hearth grill.

You’re new to the Bandit family, what were you doing before? I have always been deeply connected with food [and] I studied culinary arts in Brazil, but after moving to Australia I started working in the hospitality industry and developing my career. I have since worked in a few restaurants in Melbourne and Adelaide and joined the Bandit family a little over a year ago.

Who are your culinary influences? I follow the work of many chefs around the world with various different cuisines but the two names that came to mind – Jefferson Rueda, a very well ranked Brazilian chef, because of the way he heroes the simplest ingredients, and Virgilio Martinez, a Peruvian chef who strives for perfection.

What’s your current favourite dish from the menu and why?

The Bandit Pizza and Wine menu is still being worked on, but from Anchovy Bandit’s menu it would be the grilled leek and miso butter. For me this dish says a lot about the way we think and cook there.

If you could cook for anyone, who would it be and why?

If it could really be anyone then probably my grandfather; he used to love cooking and entertaining so I guess it would be fun to cook with him and for him. If I had to choose a public person, then it would probably be Anthony Bourdain, for the challenge, the drinks and the chat.

What’s your career highlight so far?

I believe that working with all the guest chefs during Anchovy Bandit’s Chef Series was an amazing and unique experience, but becoming the head chef of Bandit Pizza and Wine is a big one too.

What can we expect from Bandit Pizza and Wine?

Charred and smoked flavours, a very unique wine list, great hip hop beats in a place that offers the Bandit quality time that people already know, but now in the heart of Unley.




The Big Easy Group