The Clearing House is a modern European restaurant that’s ideal for sun-soaked brunches and candlelit dinners alike. For lighter bites, check out Kala Ghoda Café – it exudes rustic charm and serves up great coffees sourced from Indian estates, which pair perfectly with a slice of ginger or almond cake. At The Bombay Canteen, I recommend the Kejriwal Toast (topped with a fried egg, melted cheese and green chilli chutney) and the Gulab Nut (a doughnut-like dessert soaked in rum and fried in ghee).
The Gateway of India, a historic 20th-century arch overlooking the harbour, is the iconic image of Mumbai. From here, you can take a ferry to the Unesco-listed Elephanta Caves, a sprawling network of cave temples chiefly dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. If you prefer to stay indoors, go for a concert at The Royal Opera House, which was recently restored to its original Baroque splendour. While you’re there, visit its on-site live music venue, The Quarter, for your jazz fix. And for a breath of fresh air, head to the nature trails at Sanjay Gandhi National Park on the outskirts of Mumbai. The park is also home to the Kanheri Caves, a 2,000-year-old Buddhist cave complex.
If you’re looking for bargains, check out Colaba Causeway Market, filled with shops selling clothes and accessories at wallet-friendly prices. Another popular market is Chor Bazaar (literally “thieves’ market”), which is famed for its antique finds. For a more curated shopping experience, head to the Kala Ghoda precinct. Here, you’ll find great indie boutiques such as Obataimu and Nicobar.
Ubers are easily available. While taxis are convenient as well, do note that they aren’t air-conditioned. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a ride (avoid peak hours) on the Mumbai Suburban Railway, which is the lifeblood of the city. Do also sample some street fare; cutting chai (essentially half a cup of chai) from a roadside stall is what most of the city wakes up to.
This article was originally published in the November 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine