Not a year goes by without a couple of trips back and forth to our capital. I blooming love it. I used to live there for a short spurt of time and it just wasn't for me to live in the city. I am small town girl but nothing beats packing a suitcase full of knitwear, grabbing some train beers and heading down the east coast to soak in some city life.
When I visit I like to have a good plan of action. I like to work on my every growing list of places to eat at, drink at and eat and drink at some more.
The plan this time was to go and try out BungaTINI. Bunga Bunga's newest little sister situated a stones throw from Covent Garden on Drury Lane.
Inception Group's attention to detail is not to be sniffed at when it comes to dreaming up ideas. In fact, you feel like you are transported into another world each time you enter any of their amazing venues such as Mr Foggs, Cahoots and Beaver Lodge to name a few.
BungaTINI is their newest addition. Inspired by neighbourhood back-street bars and pizzeria this places is spot on. Serving lunch, aperitivo (my fave), dinner, drinks, weekend brunch and as they say everything in-between. BungaTINI has you covered y'all.
We were met by Carrie who took us up to our seats in the mezzanine. This place is teeny weeny so make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment. I was made to feel like an absolute queen by Aida and Daniele our waiters for the evening. What these two didn't know isn't worth knowing, let me tell you.
Vino was picked and I went for something I have never tasted before. To let you all in on a little secret I am all over white wine at the moment. As a red wine, pint drinker, tequila slamming tea lady it is quite unusual for me to be seen sipping on a chilled glass of Pinot G but I am all over this white stuff.
Gavi di Gavi from your guessed it Gavi was opted for. I have never even heard of this wine and I always like to try something a little different. Boy, was this a good decision. Nothing beats a good glass of super chilled wine to kick start your weekend and kick it off with a bang.
A good old glance at the menu and we were ready to make some choices. Debating whether to share so we can get the best of both worlds or to risk the worlds most terrible food envy. I got my own way and sharing of course is caring.
As we waited for the starter to arrive we were treated to a little something from the chef Andrea to get our taste buds tingling.
Milky creamy, cod, on toast to this northern bird. Cod Mantecato Crostini to you. This was delightful! A lovely little crunch from the crostini followed by a milky cod mouthful with capers did just the trick, really appetising me into what seemed like a 10 course meal. The best meal may I add in my entire life!!
The starters arrived and we opted for the White Truffle & Mushroom Arancini. Mushroom rice balls to me. A rich Italian delicacy to everyone else. Holy macaroni did these taste like heaven. The white truffle melts in your mouth as you bite into the mushroom rice ball, tasty, tasty, balls of rice. I need to track these down from somewhere back up north.
As I forced my friends hand into sharing, it would have been rude not too, I gotta tell you all about this Culatello, Gnocco Fritto - otherwise known as the King of Meats.
Only two places in London have this delicacy and man, it tastes unreal. Aida told us all about where this meat comes from and you know what, I am going to let you all know too because I learnt so, so much at Bungatini, I would just go back to listen to the knowledge of food and learn a little Italian.
Culatello is cut from the rear leg of a pig that has spent the winter outdoor building up muscle mass in a small area of the pigs leg. The makes Cultello a very sort after piece of meat and now I sure have had a taste I know why it is so hard to get your hands on.
Paired with some parmesan topped Gnocco Fritto. Fried cheesey bread to me. It made it super hard to decide which starter was at the top of my leader board.
In between this course and the next, Daniele popped over to see how we were getting on. The best waiter I have ever, ever encountered in my 29 years of living on planet earth. He wanted to refresh our palettes with another treat so off he popped to grab us a glass of red to go with a Black Truffle Gnocchi dish that he said we must try.
I know, I know, it seems like all I am doing is blowing allllll the smoke up their Italian asses but I am being 100% genuine in telling you this gnocchi was the nicest thing I have ever tasted in my life. Melt in your mouth, truffle grated gnocchi with a paired wine. I could have died a very happy lady here.
Before I could muster up another thank you there was another glass of red wine in front of us. This time it was a little richer as Daniele said it would pair with the duck we had picked for a main extremely well. We did the swill the wine, did it stick, yeah, its a good one that and delved into the main event.
My wine knowledge is on fleek, obviously.
Sharesies on the main went a little something like a Vesuvio Wood Fired Pizza with a splash of chilli oil and a starter portion of the Roast Beetroot, Chicory and Smoked Duck Breast salad.
This duck salad was amazing and the perfect amount after so many courses. The beetroot was so tasty and sweet and by this point I had given up hope of having white braces for this trip. Give me beetroot and give me all of the red wine.
As we sat back to finish our wine and nurse a huge food belly, Daniele still thought we needed some more treats. Something to cleanse the palette perhaps. A limoncello and vodka sorbet to be exact with a mouth spray of Bergamot to really cleanse us into a dessert heaven.
While waiting for dessert. To share! There was no chance polishing off a whole one each, we were introduced to a classic champagne cocktail.
Dolce was delivered in the shape of Tiramisu. The lightest,most moreish dessert I ever did taste. Layers of bright yellow custard, the finest free range Italian eggs are used here at BungaTINI and you can tell by how amazing the flavours are in every layer you taste. Soft coffee liquor layers of heaven went down a treat. I could eat this all again.
A few snappy snap photos with the chef and waiters before we left made for a unforgetable meal.
A stash of Biscotti was snook into my hand for supper as we left into the flurry of London town and off we headed to explore the bright lights of our capital.
I can't keep banging about how amazing this was can I? Or can I? No, no more. BUT, promise me you will go give it a try next time you are down that neck of the wood.
Ever so reasonable pricing too, you have no excuse not to treat yourselves. Apertivos/Starters (£2/£3) Wood Fired Pizzeria (£7-£12) and delish desserts at around a fiver you can't really fall off.
Let me know your favourite Italian joint as I am in very much need of some Arcancini again real soon.
Love Carli x