Tag Archives: Mumbai

Feeling Bombay
Feeling Bombay

Bombay is wildly, magnificently alive. When you first arrive, you’ll think there’s no escape from the deafening traffic and fierce heat, but then you’ll discover the leafy suburbs and the endless colonial arcades of the town and think you’ve found peace at last. But around each corner is a tout waiting to dig into your pockets or a gaggle of teenagers playing truant and you’ll realize that even in it’s quietest moments, this is a city that constantly thrums with life, against all odds.

Top experiences

– Travel in a local train. Preferably not at rush hour, but be sure to keep your eyes, ears and nose wide open!

– Find your way to the sea face and watch the effect it has on tired employees, over excited toddler, clandestine couples and street hawkers alike.

– Attend a concert or check out one of the great local bars. Get on the scene and meet people, they’re what make up the heart and soul of the city.

-Talk to your taxi drivers, they’re always willing to share a conversation after a long day of dodging deranged pedestrians

Activities

–  Take a cycle tour through the old colonial area in South Bombay, either at dawn or midnight

– Take a slum tour, especially if you have children with you.

– Catch a ferry and sail away from the urbane towards the historic Elephanta caves across the bay

Recommended for:

Backpackers ****

Young people*****

Families ***

Recommended period of stay: 2-4 days


Live like a local: Mumbai
Live like a local: Mumbai

This post kicks off our live like a local series, a quick run through of each of the nation’s top destinations through the eyes of its own. Find out where to stay, what to eat, where to go, what to do, what to say and a bunch of extra tips to help you drop the tourist tag.

Where to stay:

Stay over at Soraya’s. She knows the city inside out and has endless interest in new people and cultures. With significant travels under her belt, she’ll be an expert guide when it comes to exploring, and also ensure you have a comfortable and cosy home base to operate out of. Bombay city doesn’t have quite as many homestays or couchsurfing options as other world cities, but our budget hotels are a real experience in themselves!

What to eat:

Maharashtrian Fish. Parsi Mutton Dhansak (spicy gravy on brown rice). Mughlai Kheema pao (mince and bread). As a blend of cultures, there’s a blend of food all equally delicious in its own right, but none beats out Mumbai’s very own vada pav. A delicious, hot potato patty fried in a chickpea batter, smothered in chutney and packed neatly into a sliced pav bun. In terms of a single restaurant that really embodies the city spirit, we’d have to recommend The Bombay Canteen an outstanding establishment both for its innovativeness and its near perfect attention to thematic detail in décor, menu and delicious city-inspired cocktails. Try any of their food really, it’s all local but with a masterful twist by the brilliant chef Thomas Zachariah.

Where to go:

The seaface. Whether it’s Bandra’s bandstand or Marine Drive’s Chowpatty, this is the city’s social leveller. Watch the sunset in the company of families, lovers, schemers and college gangs, buy some channa from a passing urchin or fruit ice-cream from our beloved Naturals. If you’re in Bandra late, wait for Bournvita Uncle to ride up on his cycle and dole out a steaming cups of hot chocolate. Feel the breeze in your hair and just listen, watch, and be a part of the passionate storm of people that fuel this city.

What to do:

Take a hike. The city’s surrounded by beautiful hills just a few hours out and while as a visitor you’re probably looking for something more in the city itself, but it’s our escape. Let us know if you think you’re up for a day’s rewarding climb and we’ll find the perfect option for you. For those still looking for something within the city, try the Bhau Daji Lad Museum. A fine collection of artefacts, lovingly accumulated and categorized situated inside the city zoo at Byculla, it encourages interaction and would love to answer all your questions about the city we love.

What to say:

Try your hand at our universal fix-it ‘jau de, kaka’ that translates to ‘let it go, uncle’. Throw it blindly at any figure of authority, particularly cops in a sufficiently grovelly tone and you might just be able to get out of a tight spot. Most people in Bombay of all classes speak basic English, so there’s no need to rock out your Namaste every five minutes. It’s really not that commonly used. Hellos, pleases and thank yous have pretty much replaced their local counterparts, so that won’t cause you much trouble either. If you contact us personally, we could give you a more private tutorial on bambaiiya gaalis that’ll serve you well in traffic.

Bonus tips:

• Always opt for public transport. Maybe you’ll get ripped off by cabs and autos but it’s worth it for stories you’ll hear and if they try to lie to you about the distance, at least you get to take the scenic route. Be careful of local trains at rush hour, but don’t let that put you off from taking it at all. The metro’s cool and very efficient but no fun, so you can skip that
EAT OFF THE STREET
• Try not to end up with too many beggar children under your personal care
• Don’t forget mosquito repellent and sun-screen!


Street Food in Mumbai
Street Food in Mumbai

Top five street food and local delicacies you must NOT miss when in Mumbai

Being the mad foodies that we are, we believe nothing defines a city like the street food it offers to its citizens; the regular and enthusiastic consumption of street food of the city is the major difference between a local and the tourist. A local knows his street food, a traveller wants to. This is the food you turn to when you are tired of the ‘ghar ka khana’ (home-cooked meal) or stuck somewhere and struck by hunger pangs or it’s that time of the month when your wallet’s light and you can’t afford a restaurant meal and McDonalds is just blah!.

Street food is the signature of a city, something that you can only find in a particular place, you can’t separate the food from the city and the city from the food, this is what the locals eat and swear by. If you want to see what the people of a certain place are like, try their street food.

In our first part of the ‘Street food in India’ series, we begin with the maximum city of Mumbai. Why Mumbai? Because India Someday is based in Mumbai, also because Mumbai is probably the most versatile when it comes to street food.reflective of it’s cosmopolitan ethos, the city draws in cuisines from across the country and makes them it’s own. Mumbai has enough delicacies to satisfy the most discerning eater, whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian or even vegan!

1. Vada Pav

You definitely have to begin your street food adventure with this one!  The king when it comes to street-food. Easy on the wallet and the food you can relate to most with Mumbaikars (citizens of Mumbai). It’s hot and it’s spicy; you can have it with the sweet tamarind & date chutney if a little too spicy for your palate.

A favorite lunch snack for Mumbaikars especially the ones who are in a rush (getting between places) or don’t have the money to have a proper meal, the vada pav is one of the few truly indigenious street foods of the city that developed directly from Maharashtrian and Portuguese cuisine.

Where can I have this? Getting a vada pav in Mumbai isn’t tough; you will find it almost everywhere.

Which one doles out the best? Aaram Vadapav, CST (42, Mint Road, Opposite GPO, Fort, Mumbai). It is a small stall right across the famous UNESCO World Heritage Railway station CST in South Mumbai. Dig into this with a side order of cutting chai! If you’re a fan of crunch, try out the samosa pav as well.

Hint: the stall is attached to a little restaurant and they serve up a variety of fresh and inexpensive local delicacies.  

2. Pav Bhaji

Another delicacy that tastes best in Mumbai, Pav Bhaji is a vegetable mash in thick tomato and potato curry, laden with generous amounts of butter, served with the local pav bread and garnished with onions and lemon juice.  Even the thought of Pav Bhaji makes one salivate.

Where can I have this? We suggest Sardar Pav Bhaji in Tardeo, near Grand Road station (Western Line) if you are in town.

If you are staying in the suburbs, Amar Juice Center is best known for it’s Pav Bhaji and the icing on the cake is that both are open well after midnight.

3. Kebabs

This one’s for our non-vegetarian friends. Mumbai, just like the rest of our country has a sizable vegetarian population. However finding non-veg street food isn’t difficult either. You can find the most delicious Kebabs on the streets of Mumbai.

Where can I have this? Sarvi we’d suggest, a 90 year old establishment with unbeatable mutton seekh kebabs. It is in Byculla, just next to the Nagpada police station. Get down at Bombay Central station to get here.

4. Pani Puri

Mumbaikars swear by pani-puri and that’s what it is here, Pani-Puri. Not the gol gappas, or puchkas of other cities, they are Mumbai’s own pani-puris.  A small crisp hollow puri, full of spicy mint flavoured water, tamarind chutney, chickpeas, potatos and lentils is a very refreshing dish. Please do not miss this if you are in Mumbai. If you can’t handle spice, let it be known to the guy making you Pani-Puri in advance to avoid breathing fire or being reduced to tears.

Where can I have this? We suggest Elco in Bandra or Kailash Parbat in Colaba, both these outlets use mineral water so there are no hygiene issues, also the taste is absolutely delicious. Don’t forget to ask for your sukha puri in the end!

.

5. Bhel Puri

Bhel Puri is one of the most popular Mumbai dishes, a dish made of puffed rice, onions, sev, chat masala and chutneys, cheap, light and not as unhealthy (healthiest street food on this list) this is a favourite amongst Mumbaikars and a popular evening snack.

Where can I have this? Sharmajee and Badshahs at Girgaum Chowpatty, near Charni Road station are popular for their lip smacking Bhel Puri,


Best Places to Street Shop in Mumbai
Best Places to Street Shop in Mumbai

5023649567_b733513dcf_zIn Mumbai and looking to shop? Ditch the snazzy boutiques and comfort of air-conditioned malls and hit the road for some fun street shopping! Mumbai has some of the best places for clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery and all at affordable prices.

One golden rule though: you have to haggle. Haggling is an art and if you’re up for it, then you’re all set for an awesome shopping spree.

Colaba causeway

In the same area as the Gateway of India and a definite stop for all tourists. The best place to shop for jewellery. Chunky jewellery, neckpieces, danglers, bangles, bracelets, they’ve got it all. They also sell some lovely scarves here and antique wares like clocks, lamps, bells etc. Walk around here just to get a feel of the city, as this is in the heart of the backpacker district in Mumbai

Fashion street

This shopping lane is near Churchgate station. Mainly for clothes and a few shoe stalls, it’s one of the few places that also caters to men. Don’t expect their clothes to last you a life time but at the prices they offer, you can change your wardrobe every three months.

Hill road

A hip shopping locale in the ‘Queen of the Mumbai Suburbs’, Bandra.  Frequently visited by college girls looking for trendy stuff. I love this place for the shoes! Boots, Wedges, Kitten heels, Stilettos, the whole shebang! A good place to get western clothes, gowns or evening dresses stitched.

5024257958_483ec3b0d6_z

Linking road

This is on the other side of Bandra. I guess of the four places, this is the longest shopping lane and it has lots to offer too. You’ll find a string of shoe stalls here but mostly daily wear. There are also quite a few boutiques here, some by budding designers and some export rejects.

Chor bazaar

Literally meaning ‘Thieves Market’, it’s one of the largest flea markets in India. You can find almost anything here and it isn’t limited to just clothes and accessories! The place is massive and has everything from brassware and ceramic to vintage collections. You can even get imported stuff at dirt cheap prices. Brands—think Puma, Nike, Hummel. A paradise for brand-conscious guys that is also light on the pocket!

5859611356_cfb7dde12a_z

By Sneha@stage2.indiasomeday.com