No two 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.
Mumbai’s eclectic dining scene has been burgeoning over the past few years and has positively hit turbo-speed 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 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.
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.
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.
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.