These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things (in Mumbai)

Now that we’re leaving the Maximum City, I thought I’d share a few gems in case any of you are lucky enough to find yourselves in probably the most fascinating city on earth:

  1. Britannia: For fabulous Parsi food and a great atmosphere, especially the elderly owner who orders for you on your first visit. As well as the obligatory berry pilao, try the raspberry soda, a Parsi favourite.
  2. Kyani: Another fabulous Parsi joint, this time a tea and cake shop. Great rose flavoured milk shakes. Very old school charm.
  3. Chamomile: A delicious shop in Bandra selling a great range of Indian designed dresses – pricey normally but brilliant pre-monsoon sales.
  4. Good Earth: Sigh. Home stuff shopping heaven, with a lovely cafe to boot. Perfection. I have spent far too much here during our time in Mumbai but do not regret it AT ALL!!!!! There are rumours it may be going online. Watch out if it does. It is SO great.
  5. Banganga Tank: A wonderful hidden gem of tranquil space close to Malabar Hill.
  6. Tea at the Sea Lounge, Taj Palace Hotel: Possibly the best afternoon tea on the planet. As well as cucumber sandwiches and cakes, a selection of dim sum and other yummy Asian foods are served. I wish we were going to be here when it reopens in Sept 09 following the terrorist attacks.
  7. Indigo Deli: Best place for cheese in the south of the city and  a great restaurant for those occasions when you crave western food.
  8. Dome: It may be a cliché but it really is the best place in town to watch the sunset over the Arabian Sea.
  9. Aarey Dairy Colony: Green and peaceful – feels more like you are in the middle of the countryside than the middle of the city. Try to find someone who lives there to visit the buffalo and look for Aarey ice-cream across Mumbai.
  10. Art Deco: Whether it is along Marine Drive, by the central Maidan or hidden away in Bandra, there are beautiful art deco buildings just waiting to be discovered. This city could beat Miami hands down if there was just a bit of a preservation effort.
  11. Food and juice stand opposite the Bombay Seamen’s Association in Fort (the street parallel to Britannia). The best batata pav in the city. Delicious! Cheap! And wrapped in ship in port pages so you can check out what cargo is coming in and out of the city. For the best sugar cane juice in the city try the stall on the corner opposite Fab India in Fort (not the one right outside it but across the road).
  12. Chimanlals – it is probably a very good thing I only found this place recently. It does amazing stationery, cards and wrapping paper. I LOVE it.
  13. Haji Ali- there is something just so exotic about that little island Mosque. It looks incredible at sunset.
  14. Black and Yellows – I have to psyche myself up each time I have to take one by myself because I hate being ripped off and there are some real rogues driving them but they are just such a quinessential part of the city. I’m not going to forget a very recent balmy night drive through Byculla to our place with a blaring Bollywood soundtrack. It is going to be a real shame if these tiny taxis are phased out. Although probably better for backs, legs and bums across the city given there is normally zero suspension and about 4 inches of leg room.
  15. The irreplaceable M, Mrs M and their family – they’ve made such a difference to our stay here and we will miss them very, very much.

2 responses

  1. David – completely agree, there are some wonderful books on Mumbai’s Deco buildings and the remaining Deco cinemas are amazing. There is a growing interest in preserving India’s more modern architectural legacy which can only be a good thing. The country has such an amazing wealth of buildings and so many pressing problems that it is understandable Art Deco has fallen off the radar. As a massive Deco fan I find that hard though. Really hope you can make it to Mumbai to see for yourself!

  2. Number 10 is a beauty and preservation is an important aspect of getting the most from this amazing architectural legacy.

    I haven’t made it to Mumbai yet but word is getting out about Indian Art Deco especially through Navin Ramani’s Bombay Art Deco Architecture and David Vinnels and Brent Skelly’s Bollywood Showplaces, Cinema Theatres in India.

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