Mumbai: Travel

Mumbai. Bustling, busy, hot and an assault on every single sense. But despite being so overwhelming it is a place that once you arrive you love, and the moment you leave you are wondering when you can return. Gemma recently went for the second time and here are her foodie highlights.

No Footprints tour

We saw around Christmas time that Gills idol Nigella Lawson was in Mumbai, and had taken part in a street food tour with No Footprints. Once in India we got in touch with them via Instagram and immediately booked. We met our guide Harsh at our hotel, as he arrived with a driver (crucial in Mumbai!). Then we headed straight for the Khau Gully area (translates as the food lane). We found places we would never have eaten in if not for this tour, really off the tourist beaten track. Our personal favourites were the rose milkshake, falooda, at Badshah, the mango sorbet at Taj Ice Cream and the butter chicken at Noor Mohamassi. Honestly we can’t explain how much butter was involved in this dish – it’s absolutely drowning but my god it tastes incredible. Oh and we also had a bone marrow curry that I can still taste now, truly incredible (sadly I can’t remember the name of the place!).

All in all we tried over 10 dishes and Harsh was great in knowing what was safe to try, what we shouldn’t have more than a mouthful of etc – no Delhi Belly here! This tour was hands down one of the best things we did on our India trip and Harsh was so knowledgeable and passionate it made the experience even better. We will be back to do another of their tours for sure. We love the look of Mumbai at dawn where you can visit the fish market.

Bombay Canteen

Harsh from No Footprints really was our food guru whilst in Mumbai and he also recommended a place for us to eat the following night – Bombay Canteen. He arranged a special tasting menu for us, which was incredible. Mumbai portions are beyond anything else and the courses just kept coming! We were full after just our starters. It’s a great place to spend an evening, with the staff incredibly knowledgeable on the menu and drinks to accompany it. Some of the best service we had in India – fancy coming to London guys? Our food highlights from the tasting menu were: the masala dried shrimp, the sea bass ‘rose’ ceviche with popped black rice and the beautiful spiced prawns. But to be honest everything was incredibly tasty!

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Kala Ghoda

The Kala Ghoda area has a great selection of bars and restaurants to try and was close to our hotel. We had lunch at the Kala Ghoda cafe which is a healthier option if you have been over indulging. We had chai teas and toasties with salads and it was about fifteen pounds in total. Great value for a more upmarket place in the city centre.

We also headed to the area for breakfast and went to The Pantry, which is bright and friendly. I had a croque monsieur sandwich with a fruit smoothie and both were great. There were lots of egg options, and various smoothie bowls but hey it was our last day in mumbai so I went all in on the indulgence.

Travel tips

Overall Mumbai is a city for food lovers. It brings together a number of cultures, flavours and hits you in the face with its personality. But this is a busy city, and it’s important to keep safe. Keep your money and belongings close, make sure you enter an official rickshaw or taxi and keep your wits about you. You will attract attention as a tourist but stay strong and don’t show interest to street traders unless genuine d as once you show interest they won’t stop! However I have now been twice to this city and have never felt threatened. As you would in any unfamiliar location just keep your wits about you.

View from the rootop at the IHG Marine Drive

We stayed at Intercontinental Marine Drive (mum had travel points to use and we even got upgraded!) and this was a great place to base ourselves to see the city. The hotel also has an amazing rooftop bar which offers stunning views across the city. If you can get your hotel to prebook you a taxi. You might pay a bit more but it’s worth it as when you first arrive it can be a little overwhelming and there are so many drivers hassling to take you!

I already can’t wait to go back and explore, and taste more of what the city has to offer.

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