Bunga Bunga is Battersea’s most tongue-in-cheek venue, dreamt up and created by the posh chaps behind Mr Fogg’s and Maggie’s: Duncan Stirling and Charlie Gilkes. This is an Englishman’s Italian, combining a bar, pizzeria and karaoke, with references to the infamous Berlusconi at every turn.
Bunga Bunga takes some serious effort to get too, miles from any tube station. I ended up in a taxi, stuck in traffic on Battersea Bridge, with 0% phone battery, and 30 minutes late to meet my good friend Chris… oops. But it is worth the trek, I promise!
Serving authentic cocktails and cuisine in a vibrant space dedicated to Italy’s finest icons, the décor in Bunga Bunga is kitsch and melodramatic, inspired by Italian holidays and New York’s Little Italy.
Enter through the red velvet curtain and you are faced with a dramatic gondola-shaped bar, with a ginormous mural of Venice’s canals on the wall behind. Italian posters and postcards pepper the walls, lamps fashioned from inverted Vespa helmets provide an ambient glow, bicycles and a motorbike hang from the ceiling, and Italian language tapes play into the bathrooms…! Behind the gondola-shaped bar, the all-Italian bar team mix up bellinis and sharing cocktails in striking vessels (think The Colosseum, and the horse’s head from The Godfather movie). The rather ludicrous Pavarotti’s Punch and the Super Mario Monti caught our eye…
Food-wise, you can get stuck in to antipasti, salads and wood-fired pizzas – all of which are humorously named after the famous Bunga Bunga girls: Ruby Loves, Artichoke Heart Stealer and Hurricane Aida all make an appearance. Not for the humourless, Bunga Bunga goes overboard on kitsch-ness and Silvio digs.
It seems that Stirling and Gilkes have a real talent when it comes to creating bars based on public figures – with Berlusconi, Phileas Fogg and Margaret Thatcher ticked off already, who on earth is next on the list?!
37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA
020 7095 0360