Reading time: 8min.

by Melchi Anyinsah-Bondzie

Italian kitsch and karaoke – Bunga Bunga

Now if you told me that Karaoke and fine Italian dining could go hand in hand, I’d have laughed at you… That was all until I took myself down to the heart of Battersea for a meal at Bunga Bunga.

I’m pretty sure you all understand the reasoning behind the words “bunga bunga” – if you don’t, I’ll jog your memory with two words – Silvo Burlusconi…you know…orgies…prostitutes, you get the gist. Anyway, this is everything other than an orgy of sexual proportions but an orgy of really good food and a helluva lot of fun!

The first thing that struck me about Bunga Bunga, besides the really lovely lady at the door (who helped a very flustered me get settled in asking a colleague to see to me with a drinks menu, naturally I ordered myself an extremely cold water because anything otherwise would’ve made me leak rivers) was its really interesting décor – kitsch wonderment is what I’d describe it as; with its classic Italian village type feel with Italian memorabilia plastered all over the walls, I knew this was going to be a dining experience like no other.

As my good girlfriend singer/songwriter Annie Afrilu arrived, our server brought us a drinks and main menu for us to peruse over. That was all good, only (and forgive us for our ignorance) everything was Italian! It’s a great thing Annie and I are crazy adventurous, we just decided to wing it with a little bit of help from our server who also happened to be Italian! For drinks we ordered a passion fruit mojito (amazingly sweet passion fruit with the sour twist of the mojito made my taste buds explode in a totally good way), Banana rum cocktail (say no more, it was just delish) and a good old gin and tonic because no Thursday evening is complete without it.

When Annie and I drink we’re notoriously known for chowing down something fierce, so we decided it was time to order some food. We started off with a scrumptious Burrata, which is a soft cheese served with crusty bread, sundried tomatoes and topped with a slight drizzle of olive oil. It was flavoursome and perfect for a cute little starter getting your taste buds ready for what was to come next. Next up we had the Polenta chips sprinkled with Parmesan cheese – these were so damn good, I’ve been craving them ever since. Polenta is a cornmeal that can be served in a variety of ways, this time they came in the form of chips which were lightly fried, baked and then lightly fried again. They were crispy and the parmesan complemented the chips well (to be really honest, I’m a huge fan of chips and cheese!) Then the time came to get stuck into our main course – PIZZA! We chose the four cheese and as it arrived on a wooden block we underestimated the size, it was huge! However, the flavours were great and worked well with the thin crust and herb garnishes.

You can say that we were well and truly stuffed, but we really couldn’t leave out the dessert! Before that though, we decided to take a little break from gorging our faces and watch the entertainment for the night. Thursdays are very special in the Bunga Bunga calendar, it’s the day they host their “Roman Empire of Bunga Bunga” night which basically entails taking a selfie wearing a Bunga Bunga hat and posting it to Facebook. The lucky winner gets to be the Emperor for the night, giving Karaoke contestants the famed thumbs up or down. Alongside this, you get a special cape, a booth and a personal palm servant who feeds you grapes all night – not bad at all! Followed by live music and dicso lights, we decided to tuck into some dessert; Tiramisu and Chocolate hazelnut gelato – both extremely yummy, and if I’m honest it’s one of the best Tiramisus I’ve ever had!

Overall, Bunga Bunga is a cute restaurant that can work as either a nice spot to grab a bite to eat, or an entertaining place to have a night out. However, if you are going to eat there – get there slightly earlier, if eating in dimmed lighting isn’t your thing Thursday’s won’t be ideal for you. Annie and I enjoyed our time there and we’re definitely going back; we might just get involved with the karaoke!