Foodie Hotspot: Mumbai
Whether it be the scent of turmeric and cardamom slowly frying in ghee, or the sight of a bulky hessian sack in the bazaar topped with a precarious pyramid of precious saffron: India is all about the food. Or, more precisely, about the countless blends of exotic flavours that has captivated our taste buds.
Each of the regions in India have their own unique and distinct styles and flavours. However, the Maharashtrians in West India are particularly famed for their spiced vegetables and their dried and fresh seafood. As the state capital, historic colonial centre and a major port town, Mumbai has long been a melting pot of cuisines. As well as Maharashtrian, the city's countless restaurants offer Parsi and Gujarati dishes, European fine dining and everything in between. The glamour that the thriving Bollywood film industry brings to Mumbai ensures that there is no shortage of high-class dining options; one of our favourites is The Table, which was voted “Best Restaurant in India” in the 2014 Time Out Food Awards. With this enticing gastronomic diversity in mind, we’d like to share some insights that we highly recommend!
Why not start your foodie day at a local home with a quintessential home-made breakfast. Here you can enjoy the hearty local fare as well as the chance to interact with the family while they cook.
Following this, visit Worli Fishing Village. Nestled in an area dotted by state-of-the art architectural wonders and towering skyscrapers, Warli is an 800-year-old village and an essential part of the 7 villages that comprise the island city of Mumbai. It is also the settlement of the area's original inhabitants - the fishermen community.
Next, we recommend walking through the spice Market in Lalbaugh. Visitors can see the different spices that go into making a perfect Indian Curry and learn about the origins of these spices. Here, you can observe how whole spices are roasted in a big wok; crushed into a fine powder, depending on the customer's blend of choice. After the market, visit a nearby restaurant for a quintessential meal that is intrinsic to the Kolis (the indigenous people of the seven islands of Bombay): fish.
After taking a break for rest and digestion, we love taking a walk along Girgaon Chowpatty to experience and understand the street food culture of Mumbai. Street food is at the very heart of Mumbai's culture and has a strong social importance. There will be the opportunity to try everything from Pani Puris, Sev Puris and Ragda Pattice, to the famous Pav Bhaji - an totem of Mumbai's contribution to street food around the world.
Don’t leave Mumbai without trying a sumptuous local meal at either Soam or Sardar Pav Bhaji where you can eat to your heart's content – if you have any space left! If you fancy trying your hand at cooking for yourself, take an evening cooking class with a well-regarded chef.
If you're in Mumbai and fancy a culinary detour to another renowned eastern cuisine, we strongly recommend a visit to The Golden Dragon at Taj Mahal Palace. Ampersand founder James declares their Dim Sum the best he's had anywhere in the world (despite having visited China)!
Get in touch to start planning your own tailor-made Mumbai experience:
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