Mumbai is a city in India I have frequented lots and I always love its buzz, how multicultural it is and just how much there is to see and do there. It is India’s fastest developing metropolitan city.
We had limited time and so we tried to pick things we really wanted to do as it was the final stop on our week in India and we simply wanted to just relax and enjoy the food scene before heading back to London.
As I had covered most of the sights on previous trips, we explored at leisure on this occasion and so this is not a comprehensive guide on what to do in Mumbai and more of an account of my personal time there and what we got up to.
I was thrilled to be able to visit the Dhobi Ghat on this trip, which is the world’s largest open-air laundromat, to see how the Dhobi go about washing the clothes. I had read about it lots and to see it in action was amazing.
The name Dhobi comes from the Hindu word Dhona, which means to wash. The Dhobi ancestors took on the occupation of washing clothes and over time, the Dhobi turned into a distinct caste requiring that a Dhobi only marry another Dhobi to keep purity within the caste.
At the Dhobi Ghat clothes from houses, hotels, hospitals etc are collected and then washed using a flogging stone, to get all the dirt out. You will find row upon row of concrete washing pens, each outfitted with a flogging stone to wash the clothes. It is manual and labour intensive work!
After the clothes have been washed, they are hung up to dry above the washing area. From the road you can see all the various garments hung out to dry in the sunshine. It is so fascinating to see this process.
Admiring the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel’s architectural splendour
When wandering around Colaba the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel always catches my eye for its architectural beauty. I stayed at this hotel on my last visit to Mumbai and you can read about my stay here:
Gateway of India
The historical monument Gateway of India acts literally as the gateway of the city through which in the past it was the landing spot for the British in to the harbour of what was known as Bombay. It was the first thing anyone arriving by boat would have seen of Mumbai, so consideration was taken when designing it to ensure it would look majestic to all visitors to the country.
It is free to visit this site.
Mumbai Street Food at Chowpatty Beach
This popular beach is ideal for tasting some of the best Mumbai culinary delights. We were craving Pau Bhaji and headed here and absolutely loved how lively it was with families catching up and enjoying some of the street food classics from Vada Pav to Pau Bhaji, and with Kulfi and Paan to end the meal with.
The aromas of freshly made Pau Bhaji had us intrigued and so we devoured this popular dish and it was probably the best Pau Bhaji I have ever eaten in my life and it cost us a mere 80P!
We finished off with Kulfi and we were in food heaven and I highly recommend heading here to try the food when in Mumbai to taste the real deal! If you are worried about “Delhi Belly” don’t be – the food is cooked fresh and in really clean surroundings. My advice would be avoid tap water or non-bottled water and having ice in your drinks and you will be fine!
Sunday brunch at Bastian
Bastian was highly recommended to us and we absolutely enjoyed our meal here. We decided to have Sunday Brunch and the intriguing menu had us torn for choices but we opted for the Mud Crab Benedict, the Spicy Dan Dan Noodles and for dessert we had the heavenly cappuccino stuffed french toast which you HAVE to order if you go there.
The Bombay Canteen
The Bombay Canteen was a great lunch spot with a fun and trendy vibe and a fantastic selection on its extensive menu. We particularly enjoyed the Chettinad Prawns, which came drizzled in a spicy oil which you could soak up with bread – it was divine!
Dessert was a game changer and a must try – The rum-soaked gulab jamun served in the shape of a donut is all what you want to finish your meal with at The Bombay Canteen!
One of my favourite meals aside from the Pau Bhaji on Chowpatty beach was at Bademiya, a roadside eatery near Colaba Causeway which is something of an institution in Mumbai. It is super casual dining but incredible food. You can eat in your car with waiters bringing food and drink to you. We had Chicken Seekh Kebabs as due to popularity they had run out of the Lamb Seekh Kebabs and all I can say is they were just wow!!
Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea House
This super cute tea house in Bandra West was recommended by a friend and they have a great selection of teas as well as an exciting food menu. Its decor is swoon worthy and a great place to find unusual teas.
Aer at Four Seasons Mumbai
For somewhere spectacular with amazing views for drinks we loved Aer at the Four Seasons Mumbai. It is Mumbai’s highest rooftop bar and has a fantastic range of innovative cocktails and a fab wine selection. By luck we turned up at Happy Hour and were pleased to find that the Champagne was included in the Happy Hour offering!
Sunset on Marine Drive
We ended our trip with a stroll along Marine Drive, which is also called the Queen’s Necklace as at night it sparkles and twinkles with all the lights. We watched the sunset and it was the perfect way to spend our last evening in India.