Every city has its own flavors and smells. The stench of Bombil welcomes you into Mumbai and then other scents take over – the cuisine in Mumbai is very diverse. You have Parsi, Gujarati, Malwani, Punjabi, Italian, Chinese, Mexican and some very interesting street food finding place beside each other. And NO… your trip to Mumbai is not complete till you take the local flavours in.
When in Mumbai – you must go thali tripping! This is our food tour
Mumbai is a city of street food eaters – quick, easily available and cheap this food is a perfect respite from hunger in a city that is always on the move.
The signature street-side snack is the vada pav. Its other avatars like – bhaji pav, anda pav, pav bhaji, dabheli and samosa pav are also popular but not as much as the good old vada pav. Its easy to pick, and quite filling.
The Khao Gullies (loosely translated as lanes of food stalls) are great places to experiment the street food – if your palate and stomach allows you to! Once you enter the Khao gully – you will see stalls oneither side – a dosa wallah will try to grab your attention, your senses will be filled with the intoxicating smell of butter being put on a plate of pav bhaji, you will see people lined up- waiting for their pani puri or some giving directions to the hawker on what to toss in their bhel or sev puri. The dynamics of this place are ‘gastronomical’ – truly! The gullies also have a range of what you can drink to wash the food down – Sugarcane Juice, Nimbu Soda, and Aarey Milk, Lassi and chaas to name a few.
Irani Restaurants – Paradise, Jimmy Boy, Café Naaz, and Britannia are few popular Irani restaurants in Mumbai that have stood the test of time. A typical Irani fare includes – tea, coffee, bread, butter, eggs, buns with mincemeat, berry pulao, dhansak, mutton biryani and caramel custard. However, the local favourite is bun-maska and Irani chai. At Britannia & Co. little has changed over the years – red
chequered table cloths, old ceiling fans, wooden chairs and tables, pictures of Robin the Rooster and Raspberry Duke bottles in the refridgerator. The old world charm stares out at the changing pace of the city. A must visit.
Thali meals – It’s not only a delight for the taste buds, a thali meal is also a visual delight. Great care is taken – so if you have a green vegetable on your plate its unlikely that you get another. The regular thali fare constitutes dal, the vegetable of the day, two dry vegetables, curd, rice, papad. Pickle, chapattis or puris. There are different kind of thalis available in Mumbai – Gujarati, Rajasthani, North Indian, Punjabi and even Ayurvedic Thalis (as Mumbai goes health conscious!). Some places even serve Chinese thalis…now that’s what one calls really tripping on ‘thalis’ – Try at your own risk…!
Street side food and thalis are not all that the city has to offer – Mumbaikars sure know the art of fine-dining.
There are quite few restaurants that one should visit for food ranging from Italian, Mexican, South East Asian, and Chinese. The list goes on. Great ambience, excellent service and good company is what these places have in store for you. So while some places will have a live band others will offer a great art display or great house or rock music or a concept based décor that you would like to explore.
From Cutting chai to Great wine…the city has it all and promises not to disappoint be it food or desserts.
If its local, it’s also world class…you just have to be willing!
Just let your taste buds GO WILD!