Living up to its namesake, Bunga Bunga is a feast of voyeurism – only without all the lurid goings-on of the Berlusconi house parties. On entering this “Englishman’s Italian”, as they like to call themselves, your pupils will be darting frantically to all nookinnos and crannettis of the room.
These guys don’t do subtlety. Forget the demure, half-laughing smiles you might expect from pretentious Chelsea locals. This place roars clutch-your-stomach laughter. From the barmen dressed as gondoliers to the grinning Berlusconis and the sneering Don Corleone on the walls, Bunga Bunga panders to all the clichés of Italy that Brits get a kick out of.
What needs no dramatic flair though is the food itself. Rustic in presentation and taste, there is a delectable authenticity behind all the fun. The soft burrata dish we have for starters is the cheese equivalent of a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate fondant.
As our naked body apron-clad waiter lays our playfully named Julius Cheeser and Italy’s Fun-Guy pizza down on a wooden board, we try our best to keep our eyes above his waist – but I’m pretty sure he sniggers to himself anyway as he turns.
For the finicky who say a pizzeria is only as good as their pizza base, Bunga Bunga’s thin and crispy base is infused with the flavour of generously offered toppings and does not fall short. The sweetness of the fresh tomatoes seeps through and is a welcome balance to the pungent truffle oil and pecorino cheese.
Nevertheless, we reach for the wine to neutralise our cheese-bathed palates but are promptly reminded that there is no rest for the naughty. The lights are turned off and the bouncy waiters line up to treat diners to a dance routine we are not sure is rehearsed or freestyle, which makes it all the more enjoyable.
It’s all part of the ‘–issimo’ that could easily have toppled over into loud and obnoxious territory but instead gives this simple Italian an infectious cheekiness.
We spoke to Simon Allison, Group Marketing Manager of Inception Group about the restaurant.
Dinner with wine, around £25 per head