A slice of Naples with your slice of Pizza – Bunga Bunga

07 Sep 2016

Affectionately known as ‘The Englishman’s Italian’, Bunga Bunga is located in the heart of Battersea, or if like me you work by proximity to train stations, it’s a twenty minute walk from Clapham Junction.

I’d heard good things about this place and my friend and I were looking forward to filling our bellies with all things Italian – one of my favourite cuisines. Due to the location and upon hearing that Made in Chelsea stars and Princess Beatrice have visited, I have to admit that I did judge a book by its cover and thought it might not necessarily be my scene (I’m a South East Londoner and proud!) but the quirky decor instantly put me at ease – from bicycles and framed pictures hanging off the ceiling to karaoke in the corner with Britain’s got talent-esque red crosses – this is not a pretentious place, but somewhere to let your hair down and have a good time!

Almost instantly, the charm of the place sucks you in and after examining the lengthy cocktail list, we opted for the gimmicky Bunga icons to drink from choosing The Balotelli and the Supermario Monti (both £12).  The face shaped mugs are definitely talking points and the Balotelli was made wonderfully sweet with the addition of an ice cream infused with Amarena cherries.

The Hunga Hunga Board (£20 per person) is a must if you are an indecisive and/or greedy diner who likes to try a bit of everything. We sampled a mixture of all the antipasti from crispy polenta chips to gorgeously gamey wild boar and superbly creamy burrata cheese. The wild mushroom arancini balls are amazing too and definitely one of the best arancini I have tasted in a long time. A tip if you do order this – the Italians are a generous bunch, so make sure you have some time on your hands. We were sat for about an hour and it looked like we hadn’t even touched the sides of the board!

After recently travelling to Naples, I thought it only right to order ‘The Big 3 from Napoli’ (£10)  for my main – a delightfully pleasant pear and gorgonzola stone-baked pizza with a rich tomato sauce. With a thinner and crisper base, it was a Roman style pizza rather than Neapolitan but very good nonetheless. My friend chose the Tuna Steak (£12.50), which was seared to perfection and came with fresh mint pesto, tomatoes and salad.

We’d chosen light-ish mains to of course leave room for dessert, where ice cream is the only option, and what could be better than Italian ice cream? Well…ice cream with coffee and alcohol! Our Affogato was a simple blend of vanilla ice cream and a shot of Amaretto, finished with a drizzle of hot coffee and it tasted like a little piece of heaven!

It’s safe to say that I LOVE all things Italian, from the beautiful people and the culture to the picturesque scenery and yes, mainly the food – so I had high expectations, and Bunga Bunga didn’t leave me disappointed. With barmen dressed as gondoliers and images of Berlusconi lining the walls, there is no mistaking that this is an all Italian restaurant and bar. Unfortunately I am not privy to what went down at Berlusconi’s infamous ‘bunga bunga’ parties, but I reckon its namesake could give them a bloody good run for their money!

Clare

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