Not since Camden’s Shaka Zulu (an African-themed restaurant as subtle as a vuvuzela) have we caught wind of an opening as bizarre as Bunga Bunga. Duncan Stirling and Charlie Gilkes (the duo behind Chelsea ‘speakeasy’ Bart’s and nightclub Maggie’s) go beyond tongue-in-cheek with this stupendously OTT venue – described as an ‘Englishman’s Italian bar, pizzeria and karaoke’ and named after Berlusconi’s notorious debauched parties – with a stage modelled on the Colosseum, furnishings fashioned from Vespa helmets and a bar shaped like a gondola (and that’s just the tip of the boot). Given the obsession with Silvio’s indiscretions (the menu features pizzas named after various ‘apparent’ Berlusconi babes) we’re hoping the promise of salamis hanging over the bar will be done in the best possible taste. Though Bunga Bunga officially opens 1 September, it is in soft launch phase and is currently open Wednesdays to Saturdays, evenings only.
Bunga Bunga, 37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA (020 7095 0360).