The scene: Behind frosted windows is a bar and restaurant dedicated to Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s wild Bunga Bunga parties. Prices are in lira, staff wear naked aprons of the opposite sex and paintings of the colloseum are interspersed with images of ladies and magazine covers sporting the joke PM’s mug. Vespas are dotted around the baby blue cafe-in-Rome-esque tables and chairs filling the bar, which is packed when we arrive on a Tuesday evening.
The grub: The beef carpaccio with truffle aioli and Nduja spicy sausage bruschetta are both beautiful, despite being on the small side. The olives are high-quality and the pizzicato (mini pizza) is filling and deliciously herby.
Behind the bar: The cocktails are where it’s at. The Bunga Bunga, £6.50, is refreshing with a peppery kick and in a cup shaped like Berlusconi winking. The Berlusconi Bellini, £7, is a delicious fruity, bubbly prosecco hit and has the additional treat of an edible flower garnish (tastes boring, looks pretty). Prosecco flows freely, along with sharing cocktails served in faux horse heads, Fiats and Towers of Pisa.
Bill please: Bar snacks cost from £1.50 and cocktails from £6.
Verdict: The bar pulls off the Bunga Bunga thing pretty well, making it a hilarious night. Especially since my friend was scared half to death by the Italian language tapes blasting out in the loos.
37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA
Tube: Battersea Park
– Clare Vooght