Bunga Bunga, The Englishman’s Italian!
If Europop, cheesy dancing and lashings of karaoke are your idea of hell, stay well away from Bunga Bunga. If like the rest of us you could do with a healthy dose of silliness to get you through the week, we recommend you book a table.
Bunga Bunga is a gloriously kitsch homage to everything that’s right (and horribly wrong!) with Italy, celebrating iconic aspects of Italian culture from pizza to pasta, Silvio Berlusconi to Mario Balotelli. Thanks to some outrageous songs, garish decor and some seriously cool cocktail cups you’ll leave feeling as though you’d entered another dimension, where cartoonish Italiana makes normal life feel pretty damn boring.
Served up with a contagious air of moustache-twirling naughtiness, lightly fried zucchini, cured meats and pasta are on offer to line your stomach as you make your way through a cocktail menu that’s as fun to read as it is to drink. Printed onto the Gazetta Del Bunga Bunga, ‘the official newspaper for Bunga Bunga London’, it’s covered in tongue-in-cheek references to the Italian economy and huge fun to pore over after you’ve ordered your first jar.
After much deliberation we plumped for a Chellsi Ballotell, consisting of rhubarb-infused Belvedere vodka, spicy rhubarb puree, cranberry and lime juices and Peychaud Bitters. A talking point in itself, the drink was sweet and satisfying, all the more so for being served up in a giant cocktail mug shaped like Balotelli’s head. Ever sipped sweet nectar out of a footballer’s yellow mohican? You have now!
Next up was Pavarotti’s Punch, combining Bacardi Oakheart, Cherry Marnier, Bunga mulled spice syrup (delizioso!) with lime juice and raspberries. We enjoyed them with a Bunga Board (heavenly charcuterie, strictly for meat lovers) salty home baked focaccia bread and decent olive oil. Next we tested a couple of Roman style pizzas melded together with cheese to make an infamous ‘metro pizza’, raised up on battered old tomato tins – a fun sharing experience for big parties.
A selection of boozy desserts completes the alcohol-soaked offering, from drunken Tiramisu to Amaretti chocolate mousse, but when the time comes to order most punters are onto their third cocktail, with food the furthest thing from their minds. By now the waiters have abandoned their posts to burst into song and dance at least once, leaving all sense of dignified dining well behind.
Karaoke awaits drunken punters upstairs, if the loud warbling coming from the ‘professional’ throughout dinner wasn’t enough to put them off. If you’re planning an intimate first date or want to hear your friends speak during your meal, we don’t recommend the fun factory that is Bunga Bunga. If you need to let you hair down, pronto, this is most certainly the place to start.
Amy @ FashionBite xx
37 Battersea Bridge Rd London SW11 3BA
020 7095 0360