Going to Mumbai - Great Food and Cool Places to Stay
I'm going to a retreat outside of Mumbai in October. But, for the first and second night, we'll be staying in Mumbai. I'd love to find a lovely, homey place to stay. I don't mind if it's expensive, might be fun to be spoiled for a night before I immerse myself in an ashram for 7 days. Also, of course, I'd like to find incredible food; obviously Indian and rustic, homemade - which I'm guessing is probably the case there everywhere? I love spicey and exotic food, but don't really know the details of what to request, other than an experience a sensory loving Taurus would love!
October weather in Mumbai can be pretty humid and hot. But the good news is that the fish will be back! Mumbai has lots of great restaurants with great seafood among other things.
The hotels can be very expensive. I am not sure what your budget is. The best place to stay (money no object) is the old Taj. It should be around 500 USD a night. Luxury link has some good deals on the Oberoi right now. You might want to check that out today itself. The President should be cheaper than these two. These three hotels are in South Mumbai which is the old part of the city, also the business district and is relatively less crowded at nights.
Let us know what budget you are looking at and I can make some other recommendations. Will let you know about the restaurants as well.
All 3 hotels you recommended are fantastic! I liked the Taj Palace for its very central location & sumptious restaurants, really some of the best there are in Mumbai. To me, Chef Hemant Oberoi's Masala Kraft at the Taj Palace is the best Indian restaurant in Mumbai.
I liked the Taj President for one particular restaurant there - Konkan Cafe, Ananda Solomon's incredible homage to Mangalorean seafood. Its appams were to-die for!
Another hotel which I'd recommend would be the Intercontinental on Marine Drive. Its rooftop bar, Dome, has spectacular views over the Arabian Sea:
You know Mumbai well. The Konkan cafe is fabulous and has the best value lunch deal in Mumbai. There are a few restaurants in the vicinity that do great Mangalorean food, but that is one of the best.
I also suggest Diva Maharashtracha, which has exceptional Maharashtrian food, not available almost anywhere else in the city. (Although the alcohol there is a rip off). The Saoji mutton is probably the hottest dish you will eat in Mumbai (a speciality of Nagpur in the north of the state). Also they serve steamed Khima Modaks, a dumpling stuffed with mince meat which I have never eaten anywhere else. Also try Hotel Sindhudurg (the first proper Malvani food restaurant in Mumbai (No alcohol). They have a staggering variety of seafood with some dishes you will not see anywhere else. Esp try the Fish Roe Koshimbir, The Thikla (Spicy fish curry) and the very special Rasachi Kodi (Prawn curry with Coconut milk). These two are in Central Mumbai.
There is a gem of a hotel where you could stay at a more reasonable cost if your budget does not stretch to the Taj. Try Hotel Welcome, near the Victoria terminus and the GPO. Fantastic renovated rooms and a real bargain.
the dome bar on top of the intercontinental marine drive is indeed beautiful, the drinks are what i expect to pay at hotel bars here in nyc (like 16 USD) but a big part of what youre paying for is the (worth it) view. they have food here too but its incredibly expensive and doesnt scream mumbai the way id like it to (i think its a thai concept by kittichai).
for a down home lunch i cannot recommend Britania restaurant in ballard estates enough. an old institution with unbelievable good parsi food - amazing rice dishes. its got a great story behind it, its a family owned and run multi generational place thats been there forever, and for a reason. lunch only.
we also really enjoyed mahesh lunch home nearish to flora fountain - great typical southern seafood dishes in a somewhat upscale (but hardly snooty) setting, and it made a great afternoon stop after shopping at The Bombay Store around the corner for awesome gifts for friends.
A bit off-topic here, but I simply LOVE the Bombay Store :-D
And yes, we came here after a meal at Mahesh Lunch Home.
Re: Dome @ InterCon - yes, Chef Pongtawat "Ian" Chalermkittichai's pretty well-established. I was staying at the Regent (now Four Seasons) Bangkok back in the late-90s when he was Chef de Cuisine.
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