Mum­bai Magic

IN­DIA’S PUL­SAT­ING FI­NAN­CIAL CAP­I­TAL IS CON­STANTLY REIN­VENT­ING IT­SELF

World Travel Magazine - - Contents - BY PRACHI JOSHI

Cool bars, ‘glo­cal’ restau­rants, and a vi­brant cul­tural scene - here’s why Mum­bai is In­dia’s most hap­pen­ing city right now.

This Page, In­dia Cir­cus by Krsnaa Me­hta Op­po­site, clock­wise from top left, Sushi Rice Crisp at Hello Guppy; re­laxed am­bi­ence at Slink & Bar­dot; bright pop art at Hello Gupp; the iconic Taj Ma­hal Palace Ho­tel; el­e­gant in­te­ri­ors of Arth de­signed by Gauri Khan

Notwo words cap­ture the essence of Mum­bai bet­ter than Max­i­mum City. From the old-world charms of its down­town Sobo (South Bom­bay) to the spank­ing new glass-and-chrome sub­ur­ban fa­cades, the city has a lot go­ing on to keep you oc­cu­pied. Whether you’re here for a week­end break or a longer so­journ, here’s what’s new and trendy in Mum­bai.

Eat street

Mum­bai’s eclec­tic din­ing scene has been bur­geon­ing over the past few years and has pos­i­tively hit tur­bospeed in 2017. The city’s first Brazil­ian restau­rant, Boteco in Ban­dra Kurla Com­plex (BKC) opened doors re­cently with po­tent caipir­in­has, de­lec­ta­ble cox­in­has (chicken stuffed in dough & golden fried to per­fec­tion), and as­sorted grilled meats on of­fer. BKC is also home to Hello Guppy, a brightly coloured ca­sual Ja­panese restau­rant where the walls are plas­tered with retro an­ime pop art and the sushi, ra­men, and don­buri are some of the best in the city. Prac­ti­cally next-door, cel­e­brated ex-taj chef has opened the epony­mous He­mant Oberoi Restau­rant serv­ing up mod­ern Euro­pean with a touch of Ja­panese and Latin Amer­i­can in­flu­ences. If you pre­fer to tickle your palate with mod­ern In­dian flavours, try Arth

MUM­BAI’S ECLEC­TIC DIN­ING SCENE HAS BEEN BUR­GEON­ING OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS

This Page, mix grill (meats) at Boteco Op­po­site, clock­wise from top left, Boteco, the first Brazil­ian restau­rant in the city; old-world chan­de­liers glam up Arth; ca­sual Ja­panese at Hello Guppy

NEW BARS, ART GAL­LERIES, LIVE GIGS - THERE’S A LOT HAP­PEN­ING IN MUM­BAI

in Khar, a glam restau­rant de­signed by Gauri Khan where the kitchen es­chews the stove and cooks ev­ery­thing from litti-chokha to raan biryani ei­ther on char­coal or tan­door. For fans of the East, Pro­gres­sive Ori­en­tal House

(POH) at Lower Parel promises a de­lec­ta­ble pan-asian ex­pe­ri­ence, while the très français Slink & Bar­dot at Worli will sa­ti­ate your taste buds with in­ven­tive French cui­sine – try ‘The Duck’ and the ‘Belle-he­lene’ poached pear, and thank us later.

Raise a toast

Some standout new wa­ter­ing holes have opened up in Mum­bai lately where you’ll be guar­an­teed a swing­ing time. The much-awaited Ben­galuru im­port Toast & Tonic at BKC is the place to go for fab­u­lous (and gen­er­ously sized) gin cock­tails spiked with house­made shrubs – The Her­bal­ist with its cit­rus and basil notes is our favourite. Lower Parel’s Ka­mala Mills is burst­ing at the seams with ex­cel­lent restau­rants and bars, the new­est of which is Kode, with its mas­sive cen­tre­piece of a bar where each drink is a the­atri­cal, three-course pre­sen­ta­tion – you will never look at a Bloody Mary or an Old Fash­ioned in quite the same way again. The Taj Land’s End has a new gas­tro-bar, The House of Nomad, where heady cock­tails mix with a global tapas menu, while a floor-to-ceil­ing ‘wine wall’ woos the oenophile. If you’d rather sip on a whisky, Burn – Kitchen & Malt Room in BKC beck­ons with an ex­ten­sive list of sin­gle malts from around the world.

Cul­ture vul­ture

Mum­bai’s art scene got a new ad­di­tion re­cently with the Ruk­shaan Art Gallery open­ing doors in the art and cul­ture precinct of Kala Ghoda. The gallery presents the novel con­cept of ‘un­dated’ shows where the artists will be show­cased for sev­eral months while its min­i­mal­is­tic dé­cor al­lows the art to shine through. Fur­ther north, an old mill ware­house in Ma­ha­laxmi has been re­pur­posed into The G5A Foun­da­tion of Con­tem­po­rary

Cul­ture with a ro­tat­ing cal­en­dar of mu­sic and theatre per­for­mances, doc­u­men­tary screen­ings, and dis­cus­sions. Sub­ur­ban And­heri gets a new live mu­sic venue, The Finch, where in­ter­na­tional and home­grown artists treat you to ev­ery­thing from jazz and folk to soft rock and world mu­sic, all of which is com­bined with craft beers and world cui­sine.

Re­tail ther­apy

Take a piece of Mum­bai back with you from In­dia Cir­cus, the de­signer Krsnaa Me­hta’s first-ever store. Lo­cated in Kala Ghoda, this is your one-stop shop for ev­ery­thing from kitschy home dé­cor to funky ac­ces­sories and fash­ion. Nearby, the cool de­sign store Fil­ter has an ex­pertly cu­rated col­lec­tion of sta­tionery, ac­ces­sories, wall

art, and more. For more art and pho­tog­ra­phy, head down the road to DAY­DREAM, a tiny haven where art lovers can spend a happy af­ter­noon amidst art prints, can­vases, and por­traits.

Check in

With its ever-ex­pand­ing ur­ban sprawl, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to ho­tels. If you choose to stay in gen­teel Sobo, there’s no bet­ter place than the grande dame – The Taj Ma­hal Palace Ho­tel in Co­laba. Its un­beat­able sea­side lo­ca­tion cou­pled with its re­fined hos­pi­tal­ity make the flag­ship Taj ho­tel an easy choice. In the heart of the city stands the coun­try’s tallest ho­tel tower – The St. Regis Mum­bai in Lower Parel where your per­sonal but­ler at­tends to your every need while you grab a drink at Asilo or in­dulge in some mod­ern Ja­panese at Yuuka. The busi­ness hub of BKC is home to Sof­i­tel Mum­bai, whose un­der­stated lux­ury re­flects its French sen­si­bil­i­ties, es­pe­cially at Ar­ti­san, which trans­forms from a Parisian bistro dur­ing the day to a mel­low jazz lounge in the evening. And fi­nally, the city sees a new lux­ury open­ing in Au­tumn 2017 when The Chedi Mum­bai opens doors to its fu­tur­is­tic tower ho­tel in Powai. With 312 rooms giv­ing sweep­ing views of the Powai Lake, the ho­tel promises to be an ex­cit­ing choice for the dis­cern­ing trav­eller.

WITH MUM­BAI’S EVER-EX­PAND­ING UR­BAN SPRAWL, YOU’LL BE SPOILT FOR CHOICE WHEN IT COMES TO HO­TELS

This Page,from top, pro­gres­sive Ori­en­tal House; live gigs at The Finch Op­po­site, clock­wise from top left, Bar at Toast & Tonic; Ruk­shaan Art Gallery; Kitschy home decor at In­dia Cir­cus; Chair­man by Soumi­tra Gouri, at Ruk­shaan Art Gallery

Clock­wise from top left, Maratha Suite at The Taj Ma­hal Palace Ho­tel; So SPA at Sof­i­tel Mum­bai BKC; Pres­i­den­tial Suite at St Regis Mum­bai

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