LOTI Eats | Josephine

This classic French bistro from Claude Bosi feels like a surefire hit

With a couple of notable exceptions, Fulham isn’t exactly bursting with great restaurants; so the arrival of Claude Bosi’s new place Josephine – which would be big news in any residential London neighbourhood – feels like an especially big deal. The fact that he was awarded another two Michelin stars recently, for his glitzy new rooftop restaurant Brooklands, has only added to the anticipation and hype for Josephine. 

This little neighbourhood bistro, in a lovely blue-painted corner site on Fulham Road, is intentionally a long way from his Michelin-starred restaurants of course. Inspired by Claude’s hometown of Lyon, Josephine is closer in vibe and style to Socca Bistro, which he opened in Mayfair in partnership with Samyukta Nair last year. Inside is a gorgeous, classic French bistro, decked out with vintage prints, thick red velvet curtains, antique mirrors and candlelit marble tables. 

Named after Claude’s grandmother, the menu is inspired by the dishes that Josephine would cook for him when growing up, so you can expect traditional hearty French fare at every turn – onion soup, frog’s legs, and terrine are just a few of the starters on offer for example. Highlights for us were the creamy Saint-Félicien cheese soufflé and the poireaux vinaigrette, super soft leeks doused in a sharp vinaigrette dressing. 

For mains, we so nearly took the lead of our neighbouring diners, where a beautiful looking chicken and mushroom vol au vent, and sweetbreads with morel mushroom sauce had just hit the table. Instead, we went for one of the big sharing dishes on offer, a whole rotisserie-cooked chicken (the other being rabbit in mustard sauce). The chicken arrived with crisp, golden skin alongside salad, a rich gravy, and potatoes – so simple but executed absolutely perfectly. Josephine also offers no less than five potato dishes as sides, so we tripled up with an extra order of Dauphinois and pommes duchesse, and had zero regrets about doing so. 

For dessert, we loved the pink praline tart and the nougat glacé, with raspberry sauce. We love to see big sharing desserts on a menu and Josephine has the excellent-sounding rice pudding with caramelised apple, and a chocolate mousse big enough to share – we definitely need to see that next time. 

We really liked the look of the set menu too (£24.50 for two courses, and £29.50 for three), offering a selection of Claude’s favourite traditional Lyonnaise dishes such as Saucisson Brioche sauce Beaujolais; Pied de Porc Panée Herbe Sauce (a pig trotter croquette in herb sauce); and Bugnes Lyonnaise (small doughnut-like pastries).

All wines are from Rhone Valley, including Josephine’s own label wine, available in red, white and rosé, served in Bouchon-style metre wine, where the bottle is left on the table for guests to help themselves. At the end of the meal, the wine is measured with Josephine’s ruler and you pay only for what you’ve drunk – assuming you haven’t just nailed the whole bottle of course. 

Josephine is clearly a very personal project for Bosi, a classic, nostalgic restaurant that at the same time feels very much in step with London’s current love affair with French bistros. It’s an absolute surefire hit.