DISCLAIMER: I have only been here for dinner on a tuesday night
DISCLAIMER 2: I am Italian
Came here for a birthday dinner during the week a couple of months ago with a group of friends 90% italians. That was my first trip to Battersea. The birthday boy had arranged a pre-set menu that included a lot of really nice stuff.
we had milanese, various salads, a lot of salami, prosciutto etc with a hot and soft focaccia, mozzarela in carrotta, shallowfried whitebait, bruschettas, etc. and then we had 4 different varieties of pizza al metro.
I liked the decor of the place, a constant remind to my homecountry (there is a vespa,a lot of newspapers covers and other italian stuff) and the sense of humor that accompains it.
the service is nice and at some point the staff did a nice dance around the tables, a sort of animation.
At the end of the dinner there was music and we had a little dance, in the same room as the restaurant, where there is also a bar in the middle. I haven't been to the other floors, but apparently there is a cinema and private rooms / a club open during the weekend.
the place is also a karaoke bar, the only disappointing thing about it is that they don't have a lot of italian songs!
So this place is supposed to be this... fun, cool, hipster type of place...but it's in Chelsea...Do they not know what the definition of hipster is? You would find a joint like that in say AUSTIN, TX...? or like an eclectic part of town... it's just kind of out of place...I say this only because...i had no idea what type of place it was before i showed up...my friend picked it out... (we were having a girls night out) and i showed up in a sexy black dress and heels...Yea....i was over dressed..but not really...it was ok to be over dressed because HELLO it's in the Chelsea area... anyways... It's a bunch of non-hipsters partying like hipsters...Don't get me wrong...aren't all hipsters like that anyways? =) the food is great...ambiance is very chill and fun and they have karaoke and really make it an experience~ We left after dinner.. Only because it's just not the type of places we like...NOT hating at all~~ i have love for everybody~ This place is pretty cool, and food was great~ just not my style~~
What i liked:
1. The food: Pizza & polenta chips (DO IT)
2. The free pictures from their site
3. The energy and party atmosphere (if that's what your into)
I liked Bunga Bunga, really I did! The food was tasty, the atmosphere is really unusual, and the servers are good. At the same time, it's so far from Central London that for a dinner occasion (like the birthday dinner we had) that it's a bit too much for me, and not easily accessed by public transit.
The food itself was amazing -- we had a multi-dish set menu that was really amazing, plus we ordered a pizza to ensure we were properly gorged. The birthday cake and singing were great, as was the live music.
I've heard good things about the Bunga Bunga parties, which I would definitely be interested in checking out!
Tasty food (tick) Good service (tick) Great live band (tick)
The two hours I spend in this restaurant really made me feel like I was in Italy. The atmosphere was great, had such a good laugh and the live music made my heart melt. The food is delicious.
(1) They have a Eurovision Room (we were in fact there on Eurovison night)
(2) One of the pizzas, which I believe to be "Italy's Fun Guy" - truffle oil, pecorino, wild mushrooms - is sensationally delicious and despite all the below I would return just to eat this again
(3) The giant disco ball cocktail which managed not to be sickly sweet but was actually both fruity and refreshing and, obviously, awesome for being in a giant disco ball (although I was terrified it would tip over).
(1) Shockingly rude staff (one waitress was very nice, but there was a short bald guy wearing a suit and I think an ear piece, although maybe my memory is just imposing that to ilustrate my general sense of obnoxiousness)
(2) The food was about an hour late, if not more.
(3) Although I'm normally against music being too loud pre dancing time, Eurovision was actually not on loud enough to hear the songs properly!
(4) As the night wore on, they let so many people into the Eurovision Room that it was literally impossible to move, which isn't much fun if you want to dance/go to the bar/got to the toilet. I was also genuinely concerned that this was a major safety hazard - I don't generally worry about fire evacuation procedures but no doubt people would have been trampled to death had anything gone wrong.
(5) Not enough toilets to support the vast numbers of people they let in
I did not try the food, we went to the Eurovision room on the Eurovision night. Although we didn't have a booking (I know, I know, not really smart) they put us on the waiting list and when we came back, they let us in.
The door staff was lovely and the security guy even told us there was a pub nearby where they were doing the tv contest.
The club itself is quite tiny which is a same, because the music is good.
W-wow. Charming, cheeky and gregariously Italian, 'Bunga Bunga' is a hugely welcome recent addition to Battersea Bridge Road.
Currently aimed exclusively to the Thurs-Sun evening crowd, the Bunga Bunga experience evolves as the evening advances. For the first few hours it's a pizzeria, serving pretty decent thin, sourdough-based pizzas that come by the metre when more than one pizza is ordered. Then, the tables are cleared away and karaoke takes centre stage for an hour or so. Finally, Bunga Bunga becomes a club, with the bar doling out an impressive range of cocktails, as well as Peroni, Nastra Azzurro and wine.
An unashamed sense of cheek and fun runs throughout the joint. 'Bunga Bunga' is of course the name given by an aspiring model to describe the 'social gatherings of choice' for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Five of the pizzas are named after women subsequently associated with Berlusconi, the waiters have aprons with prints of Michelangelo's statute of David and the menus have basic Italian phrases for diners to learn, from setting out the Italian for "Please...", "Thank you...", "You look very beautiful" to "Would you like to see the private rooms upstairs..." (given as "Bunga Bunga?").
The decor is zany Italian. Two rusty scooters hang from the ceiling, with a somewhat swankier Martini-badged one by the door. The Italian bar staff are dressed in Gondolier outfits, complete with straw hats. The walls are filled with Italian-themed pictures, postcards and slightly bizarre stuffed boar heads, some with Gendarme hats.
The staff are young, really friendly, helpful and above all enthusiastic about the place. The crowd seem to be primarily Chelsea-types, hopping across Battersea Bridge for some excitement south of the river.
Overall, great to see this kind of venture in otherwise rather uninspiring Battersea Bridge Road (Draft House excluded). The knowledge that a karaoke joint in a loudly-themed Italian restaurant lies on my commute route is dangerous knowledge too. I feel that my rendition of Matt Monro's "On Days Like These" could be making its public debut rather sooner than intended..
This place was so much fun! If you plan on going, plan to be there the entire night... and book reservations weeks ahead of time. The food was surprisingly good. The pizzas were a bit too thin but were tasty. The aubergine parmigiana! Now that's the winner. The Sanviogese went down a little too smoothly that night..
If you were planning on singing, you can relax 'cuz its not open to the audience (which in many ways probably better for your ears!) Really fun music and all around festive atmosphere.
If it wasn't for the rudest staff in town, I would give this place more stars.. Security slammed the door on my wife's face for having used what in their mind was the wrong door, which had no indications.. Won't be coming back
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