The Bungo Bar & Kitchen
Despite having been open for just a few weeks, The Bungo Bar and Kitchen – the third outlet in the Left Bank and Two Figs chain run by Jacqueline Fennessy and Catherine Hardy – is already jumping. Midweek, cheerful regulars can be found enjoying a Staropramen or a Rioja in the smartly kitted-out bar, while diners chat away in the warm sandstone-lined dining room at the back. The secret of its success may be in the name. Bungo – the nickname for the surrounding neighbourhood – feels like a village within a city and has long held its own local festivals. By bagsying the Bungo moniker the place has endeared itself immediately to the locals – something reinforced by a large street map painting on the wall on which visitors have marked out their cribs with pins. The owners have also drilled deep into the Scottish psyche to create the menu, serving up the ultimate comfort food of burgers, curries and creamy puds. Some of the details are great – such as tender mussels served in a rasam style sauce and a coconut syllabub with pineapple. While the food on offer won’t change the world, the place is certainly brightening up the Bungo.
Tapping into community spirit of Strathbungo – and giving it a nod in the name – ensured that the Bungo Bar and Kitchen quickly endeared itself to Southside locals. Sister to the West End’s Left Bank, it shares a similar low-key boho vibe. Exposed brick walls, chunky leather booth seats and fairy-lit windows set the tone for a restaurant/bar which is a heartening place to spend a few hours. The food, too, is comforting – burgers, pastas, curry – but with inventive flavour profiles. Chickpea and veggie haggis burger is well balanced and melt in the mouth – surely one of the best vegetarian burgers in the city. Small plates represent some of the finer dishes on offer and can be enjoyed as starters or shared tapas-style. Both the crispy beetroot gnocchi and sweetcorn and tofu fritters are worth repeat visits alone. Weekly theme nights allow the kitchen to try out new specials in popular areas – Curry, Mexican, Burgers – and give diners a hearty plate of food plus a beer or wine for less than a tenner.
Neighbourhood dining is a concept the southside is growing increasingly comfortable with and few venues have played a bigger part than Bungo. A relation of The Left Bank and Two Figs, Bungo has created a convivial personality of its own, one where dogs are as welcome as paying customers. A cosy bar area complete with booths and tables and bare brick walls shares a menu with a more refined restaurant area. A number of small plates can either be divvied up or treated as starters, and it would be remiss not to tuck in: beetroot gnocchi is stunning; sweet and full of harmonious textures from pesto, parmesan and salad. Mains include variations of pub grub along with more creative dishes. A chickpea and vegetarian haggis burger is smooth, nutty and smoky, while densely seasoned Goan seafood curry comes in a huge bowl stuffed with mussels, prawns and masala fish. A number of deals and themes throughout the week ensure Bungo is always bustling with diners and locals enjoying a decent range of beers and cocktails - particularly an awesome Bloody Mary.
- Private dining: 25 upstairs, 80 downstairs
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Live music, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Pop/Rock
- Capacity: 70–100
- Largest group: 50–70
- Open since: 2011
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 14
- House wine: £15.50 per bottle
Events at this venue
The Bungo Pub Quiz
Sir James and his sequinned jacket host your chance to get your mits on a load of mystery prizes.
Tue 24 Apr
£1 / 0141 423 0023
- 20:30 – 22:30