When my parents finally made the decision to go to Mumbai after my graduation, I was beyond elated. The idea of going back to our home country to see our relatives, enjoy the heat and the amazing food Mumbai had to offer was enough to keep me motivated for the rest of the semester. It had been almost eight years since my last visit, so I was incredibly excited for all the things to come!
Unfortunately, I got sick right before graduation and we were leaving right after graduation, so I was sick for the first half of the trip. However, that did not stop me from enjoying all of what Mumbai has to offer!
National Sports Club of India
We stayed at National Sports Club of India’s guesthouse for the two weeks. The place had wonderful facilities including a beautiful gym, relaxing spa and wonderful restaurants and lounges. The rooms itself were gorgeous with large showers, great views and all the amenities one needs away from home. Although the wifi was spotty, we were sure to spend some time at NSCI hanging out with all our relatives and take advantage of the awesome facilities.
Cafe Haqq Se
Indian food is always on the mind, so one of the first restaurants we went to was Cafe Haqq Se in Century Mills . This restaurant is known for Desi food with a modern twist. They also have some of the most amazing live music in the city, so your dinner will definitely be filled with a lot of singing-along.
Another wonderful sports club, Bombay Gymkhana brought us the grand luck of seeing Rahul Bose working out (he looks a lot smaller in person. Sorry Rahul!). We had dinner there one night and enjoyed their classic Indo-chinese food and amazing custard dessert. It was great weather, so we also walked around the expansive grounds to get some air. Although you do have to be a member to join their facilities, you can actually get membership through the Princeton Club of NY’s reciprocity program. All GW students can apply for this membership once you have graduated!
High Street Phoenix and Palladium & FabIndia
And as much as we try to limit our shopping in India, we checked out FabIndia in Hight Street Phoenix, a gorgeous mall that has some of the best stores in the area. From Zara to Satya Paul, you can find it all at High Street Phoenix and Palladium. They also have a small FabIndia store so you can stock up on your favorite kurtas to wear during the DC summers. We later went to the flagship store for FabIndia and shopped to our hearts’ content. No regrets!
Another wonderful store we had the chance to visit is Baaya. This store is actually owned by my mom’s childhood best friend, Shibani Jain, and she has some amazing pieces for your house if you go to Mumbai in hopes of redecorating your home. From small artifacts to large scale paintings, you can really change the whole look of your interiors! One of my favorite interior services they do is those classic sand clay walls that are very common in India. Baaya designers can go to your house and create those walls for your place, making it feel exactly how you want it.
Across from Baaya is this gem of a restaurant. The fusion menu hosts mouthwatering concepts such as mini cheese-filled kulcha naans, pork momos, Malaysian noodles and more! This was one of my favorite restaurants we got to visit and I hope to go again soon just to eat the amazing Burmese noodles they serve. They have wonderful windows in this vaulted restaurant, so going during the day was very pleasant.
The Bombay Store
This store is always on our list of places to go when we get to India. The Bombay Store is known for its artifactual items for your home and its beautiful clothes. We usually like to buy gifts for coworkers, friends, etc. from this store as you can always find something unique for someone. A lot of our home decor is also from this great shop, so walking in always reminds me of when I was young and would admire the massive Ganesha statues from the ground!
Gateway of India & The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel feat. Sea Lounge
Since the last time we were in town, my brother was very small, he wanted to revisit the Gateway of India. However, due to the heat, we quickly took cover in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, enjoying its classic architecture and amazing Sea Lounge. Their cold coffee with ice cream was a favorite of my mom’s growing up and we were not disappointed! They also had great Chicken Tikka sandwiches and other small bites.
Three Chicks and A Bear & Theobroma
I am a sucker for a burger, so my aunt suggested we visit Three Chicks and A Bear, known for their exotic, quick-eats burgers. Theobroma, the famous pastry shop, was actually attached to this restaurant, so after a yummy Italian burger, I made sure to get the family to order some of the fantastic chocolate desserts they have. My aunt ended up ordering my birthday cake from here and its name, Chocolate Opium, did not fully elaborate on the excellence of this amazing dessert. I am usually not a fan of chocolate cake, but after tasting Theobroma’s pastries, I will be sure to return soon!
The last day of our trip happened to be my birthday, so we ended up revisiting Century Mills to go to Bombay Canteen. The restaurant is known for its amazing fusion food and unique drinks. There seemed to be a very cosmopolitan, young crowd here. Many people were foreigners, speaking different languages as you walked through the restaurant. If you go, definitely try their Sea Green Hotel drink. The whiskey and espresso was quite an unexpected combination. The Kheema Pao was also a big hit and the Chicken with Poha was worth the wait! Overall, the restaurant’s wonderful ambiance and delicious food made turning 22 a little less scary 🙂
Chatrapati Shivaji Airport
We ended up being slightly late to the airport, which was unfortunate, because this is one of the nicest airports I have ever stepped foot in! Each gate felt like the lobby of the Ritz and the facilities were gorgeous. The airport honestly makes Dulles look like a dump (sorry, DC, but tough love). Everything was very streamlined as well, making leaving India harder than it already was. However, I was incredibly excited at the thought of visiting again soon and hope to go the next time I can take a vacation 🙂