“With their humorous tongue-in-cheek name ‘Bunga Bunga,’ clearly a reference to the notorious debauched parties of Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi, I was actually curiously enticed by the prospect of such staunch mischievousness. Anyway, although there were sadly no underage Moroccan dancers, and the setting was undoubtedly not a patch on the lavishness expectant of Berlusconi’s Villas, I was still nonetheless, pleasantly surprised by Bunga Bunga Restaurant.”
Residing South of the river over Battersea Bridge, the restaurant is situated about a block down left of the high street, and even on the inconspicuous Thursday evening that we visited, it was quite literally ram-packed. The décor was true to the comical name and I would describe it as a Mecca of Italian souvenirs set against a mural backdrop of Venice. The holiday souvenir hoarding that garnishes the interior includes everything from old scooters, bull-horns and Polizia caps to cheeky newspaper and magazine snippets poking fun at Berlusconi. Well, while this all sounds incredibly childish, with the barmen dressed as gondoliers and waitresses wearing Michaelangelo David aprons, it actually did work.
“Granted it all sounds ridiculously eccentric and veering on distasteful, but this venue is all about having a great time and the atmosphere was testament to that, with such a bubbly staff team and a wild crowd evidently soaking up the comedy values.”
The cocktail list was truly extensive and all based on Italian favourites, and I would thoroughly recommend this venue for the scene alone, being the perfect location to let your hair down and forget about the day job. The added bonus here though was definitely the food though, with their pizzeria serving up true authentic Italian cuisine, spanning antipasti, salads and metro pizza, but whilst it is evident that quiet romantic diners need not apply, if you are looking for a loud and well-spirited night out with possibly some of the best authentic Italian cuisine in London, then this really has it all.
Reviewed by Sam Bryan-Merrett
Visit their website for table bookings: www.bungabunga-london.com