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A little bit about Mumbai, India… Part 2

We took the next couple of days easy, as we really both needed to get better for Sri Lanka. I was slowly getting over my cold, and Hubby was still trying to recover from this ‘Delhi Belly’. Our hotel in Mumbai was near Juhu beach, which is located in the central suburb of Mumbai, so we hung out a fair bit there.

On one of the days, we started by going to Prithvi Theater, which organizes annual drama festival that features the best plays from India. It also has numerous theater workshops and outside the theater, there is a garden café which serves delicious food on lamp lit tables. It is famous for its North Indian food and Irish coffee. Hubby ordered the Irish coffee, and I ordered some vegetables samosa. The vegetable samosa were so so but the Irish coffee was just to die for!

We then had a late lunch at Mahesh lunch home, Hubby ordered the baked pomfret gassi, which is baked fish which was a little dry but extremely tasty  and I ordered the chicken tikka, which was absolutely delicious, and a side of garlic naan. Both the baked fish and chicken tikka had similar flavours. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a photo of each dish, as the waiter splits the dish in half and serves it to you.

The garlic naan were huge, it was thin and absolutely garlicky and delicious. I needed some curry to dip the garlic naan, however, we didn’t order any! Damn!

In the afternoon, we went for a drink at Vie Lounge and Deck. It apparently has the best location and view in Mumbai, right on Juhu beach. We spent the afternoon drinking and people watching.

Unfortunately there were a horrendous amount of rubbish on the beach, it’s not exactly the ‘beach’ you go sun baking , but it was indeed gorgeous, sitting there, watching the sun set.

Despite all the rubbish, there were people playing volleyball, football and cricket. There were even people running on the beach.

As the sun goes down, Juhu Beach turns into a fun-fair, where local food stalls and ferry riders horde the area. Like Chowpatty Beach (which is a relatively cleaner than Juhu Beach), it is a popular place to spend time in the evenings and enjoy the appetizing local snacks of Mumbai.

Here is a man who made our dinner that evening. We wanted to try the Pav Bhaji.

Pav means bread, Bhaji is a term for a curry and vegetable dish. Pav Bhaji consists of the bhaji (a potato-based curry) and the pav, garnished with coriander and chopped onions. This was absolutely divine! The curry was full of flavour with a hint of chili and the bread which was garlicky was a great compliment.

Hubby ordered a side of Bhel Puri, which is a puffed rice dish with potatoes and a tangy tamarind sauce. It was good but the Pav Bhaji was a winner!

We probably shouldn’t have ordered another icy dessert drink, but Hubby and I couldn’t resist. Check out all the different colours, I suggested any colour except for blue!

So Hubby ordered the green icy dessert, which consisted of coconut, nougat and cendol – oh my my.. it was divine! It was deliciously sweet! We pretended not to see the shaved ice that the man put into it, it was just too good to pass!

The Pav Bhaji was so good that we actually had it again the next night. Hubby really loved it, however, it really didn’t help with the ‘Delhi Belly’ which is a shame. We were meeting one of Hubby’s friends, S, for dinner one evening. S wanted to take us somewhere at Colaba, but Hubby was afraid of going too far, so we went back to Mahesh lunch home and I have to say, S, ordered extremely well! My my – what we had that night were amazingly good.

We started with the baked fish stuffed with shrimps and this was scrumptiously good. The fish was tender and cooked to perfection, the prawns were curry base with a hint of chili. It was SO scrumptious that I ate Hubby’s share. In my defense, Hubby was not really feeling too well and this didn’t sit well in his stomach! MORE for me!!! My my my…..

S and I then shared the crab, cooked in butter, pepper and garlic and again… this was so delicious, there were times where I just had to stop and pause! The crab was cooked to perfection, it was meaty and full of flavour! I came out of there smelling of garlic but I was deliciously happy!

I felt sorry for Hubby as he couldn’t eat anything. Everything he tried was either too heavy or too sickening. We ordered a light naan and a curry, which I didn’t take a photo off as I was too engrossed in my crab, however, Hubby could not even eat that!

I can’t remember the name of this, but S ordered one for me to try. It was different to say the least, it was mixed of spices and herbs wrapped in a leaf and you eat the whole thing together. It was ‘interesting’.

It was a great meal with S, and it was definitely great catching up with him. We will definitely come and visit you in Delhi next year or the year after!

Thought I would share just some of the highlights from our India trip. We had some pretty mediocre meal also, we had lunch at the Leopold Café and that was so so. Unfortunately we didn’t get to eat as much as I have liked due to our illness, but I am glad to say that we (well, I certainly did) recovered a lot quicker than Hubby.

Prithvi Theatre

20 Janki Kutir , Juhu Church Road

Mumbai 400049, India

Ph : +91 22 2614 9546

Mahesh lunch home

Kings Apartment, Juhu Tara Road,

Next to Juhu Centaur,

Mumbai 400049, India.

Ph: +91 22 5695554

Vie Deck and Lounge

102 Juhu Tara Road

Santa Cruz, Mumbai, 40054, India

Ph: +91 22 2660 3003

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A little bit of Mumbai, India…. Part 1

There’s really no word to describe Mumbai (or Bombay as it was once called). For those who have never been to India would probably be shocked or find it quite dirty. I have friends who have been to India and when asked ‘what do you think?’ their response would be ‘been once, done that, never again’. I can understand why. It’s not your typical tourist sightseeing, relaxing destination – far from it actually. There are a LOT of people in Mumbai itself, the city is bustling with energy and can be a little intimidating for people who are not used to crowd and pollution. If you are not used to being stared 24/7 then, this is not the place for you! I was constantly stared at, and I admit, it did make me feel a little uncomfortable at first, but once you get pass that, and as long as you don’t attract attention to yourself either, it is ok.

I agree that one do need to go to India with an open mind. If you want to experience India at its best, you have to broaden your outlook / horizon. It is completely different to say Europe or US, it is an eye opener that’s for sure.

Hubby has wanted to go to India for a while now, we originally wanted to go to Delhi, and then make our way to Mumbai but due to time constraint, we decided to stay four days in Mumbai, to experience and explore the place a little better. I was pleasantly surprised with Mumbai, compared to Chennai. I found that there were more to do in Mumbai, from the Gateway of India to Mani Bhavan, the museum dedicated to Gandhi to Chowpatty Beach to Dhobi Ghat, to Siddhivinayak temple and the Hanging Gardens. Of course there is also the Oval Maidan, checking out the cricket, yes this trip was a little cricket involved but I didn’t mind it.

We started the day at Dhobi Ghat, a 140 year old place where clothes are washed. It is Mumbai’s oldest and biggest human-powered washing machine, every day hundreds of people beat the dirt out of thousands of kilograms of soiled Mumbai clothes and linen in 1026 open-air troughs. There weren’t as many people as I imagined but it was indeed quite spectacular.

After that, we went to Mani Bhavan, a tiny museum dedicated to Gandhi. The building itself is where Gandhi stayed during his visits to Mumbai from 1917 to 1934. It showcases the room where the leader formulated his philosophy of satyagraha (nonviolent protest popularized by Gandhi) and launched the 1932 Civil Disobedience campaign that led to the end of British rule.

We decided to go for a walking tour, which shows Mumbai’s distinctive mix of colonial-era and art deco architecture. We started from the Gateway of India, which is a monument in Mumbai, located on the waterfront in Apollo Bunder area in South Mumbai. The Gateway is a basalt arch 26 metres high.

The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, is a prestigious luxury five star hotel located in the Colaba region, next to the Gateway of India. We didn’t go in, but it was seriously impressive from the outside!

Check out the Chhatrapasti Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum) building – seriously remarkable!

David Sassooon Library and Reading room, where members escape the afternoon heat lazing on planters chairs on the upper balcony.

We thought about going into the National Gallery of Modern Art but decided not to but again, the building was very ‘British’ and impressive!

Walked passed St Thomas Cathedral…

And of course the Oval Maidan…

There were more places of course, but I won’t bore you with all the details! After the Oval Maidan, we decided to go to Chowpatty beach and walked along the foreshore

And of course, walk on the beach itself…

It was quite a humid day, and Hubby thought he would be ‘brave’ and have a mango icy cone. You all know that when traveling in India, one should always drink water from bottled water… Well…. Let’s just say that this mango icy made Hubby really REALLY sick – i.e. ‘Delhi Belly’ – oh the joyous of traveling! He said that ‘it was tasty and absolutely worth it’! Below is a picture of the icy mango cone. We saw one of our friends, S, a couple of days later and EVEN he wouldn’t eat that stuff and he LIVES in Mumbai – oh Hubby – so brave but yet so silly!

We drove around Malabar Hill, Mumbai’s exclusive neighborhood of sky-scrappers and private palaces. Didn’t go in the Hanging Gardens but were outside for a bit, and it was beautiful. It was indeed very different to the other suburbs that we went too.

We were in Mumbai during the monsoon season and you could say that we were either brave or silly. However, we were extremely lucky with the weather except for one particular day, which was the day we went for a walk, and we were both caught in the rain! Both were totally and utterly saturated, and unfortunately for me, I got extremely ill with the flu and was knocked out for a day in a half! I didn’t feel so bad, as both Hubby and I were pretty sick for the next day and half! Thankfully, we did enjoy another day of Mumbai (next post), a more relaxing day in Mumbai.