Took an age to get a drink, people pushing and shoving, too expensive, security were hostile. The music was alright, but don't think I'll try it again
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Fri Jan 27 2012
If you’ve been waiting patiently for a kitsch, tongue-in-cheek bar that pays homage to the playful side of Italy, with party-animal PM Silvio Berlusconi as the poster boy, you’re in luck.
That it comes from the the minds of Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling, the duo behind Sloane bars Kitts, Bart’s and Lady Thatcher-inspired, '80s-themed nightspot Maggie’s, should come as no surprise.
From cheeky political caricatures to Roman busts on the walls, or vintage mopeds suspended from the ceiling, there isn’t an inch of this bar-pizzeria not covered in some sort of colourful memorabilia.
Live music is another feature, again of the quirkiest (or most questionable) kind: the launch party saw Wagner from ‘The X Factor’ manning the bongos, while on our Saturday night visit, there was a moustachioed man in Tyrolean garb prancing about on the small stage, singing everything from ‘Valerie’ to ‘Delilah’ while playing with his tiny banjo.
Drinks continue the theme, with a compact selection of Italian wine and beers augmented by Prosecco-, Martini- and Campari-based cocktails.
Our £7 Berlusconi Bellini, a simple composition of spiced peach purée and Prosecco served in a 1920s-style Champagne glass with pretty little flowers, was irresistibly girly: just the ticket for seducing a barely legal filly or two in the early hours of the morning.
Sustenance, meanwhile, comes in the form of cured meats, bruschetta and slices of pizza – there are dedicated clusters of tables for eating.
But be warned: in spite of its out-of-the-way Battersea Bridge location, this place can already get packed to bursting with a twentysomething crowd, and noise levels can be deafening. Don’t go expecting an intimate supper.
Bunga Bunga 37 Battersea Bridge Road
- Venue phone:
020 7095 0360
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open 6pm-1.30am Mon-Thur; 6pm-2.30am Fri; noon-pm, 7pm-2.30am Sat.
Bus: Bus 170; Rail: Clapham Junction
- 37 Battersea Bridge Road
- 020 7095 0360
- 37 Battersea Bridge Road
- Bunga Bunga
Average User Rating
2.2 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:11
I've been to Bunga bunga a couple of times and never loved it because of the pushing and the slight meat market feel- which is strange for a place that is decked out quite nicely. Last night I found it has become a lot worse- every one I spoke to out of the young professionals crowd who made up the biggest portion of their target audience on previous visits (it now seems over run by over-eager kids) were deciding never to go again. The queue outside was entirely made up of "guest listers" and took an hour for us to get through, an hour and a half for our friends to get in. The security people seemed wired- extremely scary. Once inside I think I had the worst experience at a bar that I've ever had- it is SO small that you can barely move- queuing at the bar upstairs (attached to Bunga Bunga at the Eurodisco Club- or shall we say cupboard) was a battle. Drunk girls pushing harder than I've experienced anywhere else to elbow their way to the front- and then when you have your drink you have no option other than to push through the sardine tin to where ever you can find to "dance". The atmosphere was lecherous previously but last night it actually felt quite unsafe. Groups and pairs of men physically blocked my path on three occasions despite me being with my partner, and were quite insistent. I felt the general attitude from the management and security towards people would not have helped had something happened to me- which felt like a distinct possibility. The only good part of the service, the same as last time, was the taxi service, and also once you fight to the bar- the staff behind the bar are nice. At least I had such a bad time I now have an excuse to say no if anyone ever invites me back. Guys- decrease the number of people on your guest list to 25% of capacity to reduce queuing, don't let so many people in FULL STOP- reduce your capacity by half- before something happens to someone- only let more people in when you join the upstairs and the downstairs together- and TELL people what time you will be joining the upstairs and downstairs together so they can go to the damn pub and have a drink rather than waiting in line for the "guest list" and then LET THEM IN QUICKLY- an hour + queuing is not acceptable-20-30 mins is normal, fine, but more than that and you'll piss everyone off and you will lose your young professionals market and be a grubby little puke hole for kids (already happening)
This is a terrible place. I came here with a group of friends to enjoy the brunch (at 35pounds a head). The brunch itself was more of a lunch. The three courses started with cold meats and stale bread then went on to be a huge pizza with several sections of different topings. Not only was this grossly misadvertised, but it also was distinctly average. The third course is not even worth mentioning (it was a tiny plate of pastry topped with nutella and bananas). To pay 35 pounds for that is outrageous and makes you want to drink more of the cheap prosecco they provide. To top it all off, the cloakroom lost one of my friend's coats. Upon discovery of this, we were unceremonioulsy and forcefully booted out of the venue resulting in her having to go home merely with a light jumper in these November temperatures. Honestly, don't bother.
Visited for a friends birthday, what a mistake! Door staff were rude despite us having made a booking for a group. Having been told we had to arrive at 8pm for our table, it was not available until 10pm, and even then could only seat half the group. Drinks are super expensive, and the end of the night was runined because the bill was completely wrong. I definitely do not recommend this bar!
Worst service I have ever received. Staff were downright poor, forgetting drinks and getting the bill dramatically wrong. Complaining to the manager didn't help either - he was ruder than the staff. Drinks are overpriced and security is overly obtrusive. I would have given it 0 stars, but the Timeout website says it has to have at least 1. My advice? Stay well clear.
Booked Bunga Bunga back in November for a group of us for a Xmas together last night on the 14th Dec … when we got to the venue … it was closed?! … weird as we had a 7pm booking … apparently they do not open until exactly 7 pm but get this you only get a 2 hour table max, OK fine if you can go to the bar, chill and have a few drinks beforehand right ? but no you wait outside and just wait for the privilege for them to open the door to you .. nice welcome NOT – there wasn't anyone on the door to explain this … so I basically walked around the corner and asked the kitchen staff … a few other guests were a bit peeved as well .. well its not the best first impression is it ? Unfortunately it did not get any better for us… the didn't have my booking and I had paid an initial £80 deposit back in November … great! …thankfully had the email confirmation on my phone… at first they tried to rectify the problem with fobbing us off with a tiny table next to the door – I had a booking for 8 guests! I spent the beginning of the night trying to explain to the staff that 2 of us were pregnant and wanted to check about dietary requirements and drinks etc … one waiter said “congratulations!!” and then just walked off !!… eventually I asked the manager for a round of complimentary drinks as an apology which he agreed to… so to summarise BUNGA BUNGA has a great vibe and atmosphere for a fun night out with friends – but underneath the facade is a poorly organised restaurant that really just wants you in and out as quick as possible if you have the early sitting of 7pm – we were charged around £70 per head for drinks and food and 2 of us weren't drinking alcohol. I would double check your booking on the day just to make sure they have your details before you get to the restaurant and make sure you have an email confirmation.
This is one of the worst clubs I have ever been to. Two bar staff in the main room up stairs on one solitary bar, stayed for a total of 45 minutes, 30 of which was spent queuing for a drink. The bar man then got the order wrong and the other bar man was splashing already squashed people with drink as he kept dropping things. The drinks were ludicrously overpriced and they were free-pouring so my double was effectively a single. As mentioned before, security was ridiculously over the top in what is effectively a tiny upstairs room that has clearly been previously used as a restaurant but the management think they can make more money as a club. It also cost £10 for the pleasure of getting inside. Asked for money back, to which the bouncer laughed and said once the money is taken, it is theirs. The music was horrendous. I'm pretty happy to listed to whatever but it really was badd, I could have done a better job than the "DJ" playing off an iPod, there were basically silences as the DJ lined up the next track, the concept of mixing really was lost on this over-aged guy, who I would expect to find doing part time work at weddings on his weekends. If you want to go to an overpriced sweat-box with a lot of people whose idea of a good night is spending as much as possible in order to outspend their friends this one is for you.
Great place, fine food, lovely stuff and classy Italian Sinatra lookalike, ending with Karaoke and dancing. What more for a Tuesday eve pizzeria. BUNGA BUNGA ROCKS!!!!!!!!!
Like drinking in a Stasi detention centre. Most ludicrously over the top security I have seen for what is nothing more than a bar with a dancefloor in Battersea. Mark ups on wine are some of the highest I've ever seen in London and the bar manager was hugely obnoxious to me when a waiter spilled an entire tray of drinks over my shirt. Most annoying of all are the guys who patrol the streets outside telling customers to be quiet- wihilst actually making more noise themselves than the departing patrons! Treat people like adults and they'll behave like adults. Chase them down streets telling them to be quiet and it's hardly surprising that people suddenly feel an urge to start singing 'New York New York' at the top of their voices. An exeedingly irritating experience from a bar that is doing well from it's initial novelty value but has an attitude so appalling that, once this USP wears off, will, hopeully, quickly dissapear to be replaced by a late night spot that actually cares about how their customers are treated.
Went there on Saturday had a brilliant night, food was amazing staff was very friendly. I will 100% be returning. Thank you Bunga Bunga
Would love to give a balanced review but I never got to see inside. After joining a queue of approx 30 people and being told there was a 'one in, one out' policy, we waited over an hour before giving up (and not even being at the front of the queue) whilst we watched taxi after taxi of people pull up who were let straight in. Thanks for a great night Bunga Bunga.
Didn't enjoy. To start, don't go in a large group. Orders were messed up. Bill was wrong. Staff seemed a little bit slow on the uptake.
The food is expensive for what it is and there are 100 time better restaurants over the bridge. Not an authentic Italian place and more like, 'lets make fun of the Italians'.