Breaking Travel News investigates: Bunga Bunga, Covent Garden

Breaking Travel News investigates: Bunga Bunga, Covent Garden

For those with in an interest in current affairs, the term Bunga Bunga takes us back to a simpler time.

Just a few short years ago, it now seems quaint to remember, our elected leaders were merely ludicrous, licentious, and litigious.

Now, of course, things are a lot more serious.

With politicians on both sides of the Atlantic seemingly locked into a path of self-destruction, the rest of us can only look on in horror.

But, while we wait to see if Trump follows in the footsteps of the merely discredited Silvio Berlusconi or fully unleashes his inner Benito Mussolini, there is little more we can do than laugh.

And what better place to do it than the new venture from Inception Group: Bunga Bunga, Covent Garden.

Developed by Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling - the duo behind Mr Fogg’s, Cahoots, and Maggie’s - the location is a completely immersive experience spread over two completely different worlds.

On the ground floor BungaTINI is an authentic all-day family friendly Italian pizzeria and bar.

But look again and located in the far corner is a secret door to the meat locker - here is where the real fun begins.

Those brave enough to venture beyond will find themselves in Bunga Bunga-proper, an underworld brimming with old school Italian glamour.

Descending the stairs, guests embark on the experiential journey leading to an all-singing all-dancing supper club hidden beneath the streets.

On the Thursday I visited the party was in full swing.

Welcomed at the door, we are informed ‘Paulie’ is being welcome into a mobster family, the beginning of a loose narrative that runs through the evening.

Ushered to our table the drama unfolds around us, with actors using the entire restaurant as a stage to present the story, with a collection of jugglers, diablo-acts, singers, live bands, and dancers cavorting through the space.

It’s quite the spectacle; bizarre, sometimes hilarious, and certainly full on.

The decoration is a decadent affair, with a life size Disaronno Riva Boat, an Emperor’s box, and a Martini Room providing some of the most unique spaces to dine in London.

Inspired by the original imperial box in ancient Rome’s Colosseum, Bunga Bunga’s Emperor’s Box (occupied by an utterly sloshed hen party during our visit) offers a a great chance to indulge for those who have always secretly longed to be an Emperor.

The box offers the complete regal treatment; with one lucky ‘sovereign’ given a grand entrance held aloft in a sedan chair before being seated on the central golden throne, looking down upon their loyal subjects and giving the gladiatorial thumbs up or down for each entertainment act.

With so much going on, the food could be almost forgotten, but Bunga Bunga excels here.

A set menu – priced at £39 a head – includes burrata and pappa al pomodoro, mushroom and truffle risotto, and a choice of famous Metro Pizzas.

The mozzarella is fresh, the food plentiful, and, while connoisseurs of fine dining might need to look elsewhere, it fits perfectly with the feel of the place. 

Not for the faint hearted Bunga Bunga is certainly an experience - highly recommended for those who feel the world’s a stage.

More Information

Five years after the opening of the legendary Battersea bar and pizzeria, Bunga Bunga has come to Covent Garden with an even bigger and bolder version of the original.

On the ground floor, discover a family pizzeria and bar, BungaTINI.

Below, accessed through the meat locker, lies an incredible secret world serving an Italian sharing feast, extensive drinks menu and a variety show that is surprising and entertaining on every level.

Find out more on the official website.

Chris O’Toole