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City Profile: Mumbai

Mumbai is India‘s largest and most cosmopolitan city. It is also India‘s financial and commercial capital and home to 18-20 million, making it India‘s most densely populated city. Unofficial estimates put the figure at least 20% higher. Half this number – not necessarily the poorest – reside in the City‘s slum areas. Asia‘s largest slum, Dharavi, is in north Mumbai. Nevertheless, Mumbai is one of the safest cities in the world. Mumbai is the most affluent and most industrialized city in India, with the highest per capita income. It also has the country‘s busiest international airport and seaport, handling nearly 50% of foreign trade.

Mumbai is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the world, rivaling that of Tokyo and New York. Mumbai is a city of contrast: it has some of the wealthiest and poorest people in the world, beautiful old buildings next to sprawling slums, internationally renowned restaurants and sidewalk food stalls.

Bollywood, an informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry is based in Mumbai.

General Information:

Mumbai is located on India's central-western coast along the Arabian Sea. It is a peninsula of seven connected islands now joined by bridges to the mainland. The principal part of the city is concentrated at the southern claw-shaped end of the peninsula.

The southernmost area is known as Colaba, famous for two of the city's best landmarks, the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Hotel. Directly north of Colaba is the area known as Fort, since this is where the old British fort once stood. Further west is Marine Drive, which sweeps around Back Bay, connecting the high-rise modern business centre of Nariman Point with Chowpatty Beach.

To the north are the suburbs of Greater Mumbai such as Bandra and Andheri. Here you'll find the two airports, Chhatrapati Shivaji International at Andheri and the domestic at Santa Cruz. The main languages of Mumbai are English, Hindu and Marathi. English is widely understood in Mumbai.

Public Transportation
Most commuters in Mumbai use public transport including suburban trains and buses. It is the most convenient, efficient and cheap form of transport to a population largely without sufficient income to afford cars. Mumbai has the largest organized bus transport network and an efficient train network; however the ever growing population puts a huge strain on Mumbai’s transport system especially during peak hours. Five million people use the City‘s transport services daily.

Mumbai‘s climate is warm and humid year-round and temperatures are stable thanks to the moderating influences of the sea. There are three distinct seasons:

Summer: March to mid-June, characterized by high temperatures, high humidity and short tempers. Average summer temperatures are between 27 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

Monsoon: Mid-June to late September, when there is a slight drop in temperature and approx 2000mm of rainfall. Average monsoon temperatures are between 25 – 30 degrees

Winter: Mid-October to mid-February, where there is an average drop in temperature drop of 2-5 degrees clear blue skies, and lower humidity. Average temperature is 21 – 30 degrees.

How to get there
It is a good idea to know a local landmark near your destination as this can be helpful to your taxi driver. Many of Mumbai‘s taxi drivers are not actually from Mumbai, but come from distant villages. They generally do not speak much English and sometimes the road you are looking for may have an alternative local name. (i.e. Turner Road in Bandra is known to the locals as Guru Nanak Marg.)

To get to: Ask the taxi driver to take you to:

American Consulate Bandra Kurla Complex (next to Trident Hotel)

Mayfair Gardens Hanging Gardens (on Little Gibbs Road on Malabar Hill)

Nariman Point Oberoi Hotel

The Gate Way of India Taj Mahal Hotel

Airport Specify Domestic or International as Mumbai has two airports.

Taxis are plentiful in Mumbai. The most common taxi you‘ll see is also known as a ―Black & Yellow. These taxis are equipped with very old style meters. Drivers carry a conversion chart (T Card) so you can figure out what the actual fare is. The starting fare is Rs.16 for the first 1.6km and Rs 10 per kilometre thereafter. The night charges are 25 percent extra and are applicable from midnight till 5 a.m. Make sure the driver uses the meter. Tipping is not necessary, although many people round up or give a small note as a tip. It is always advisable to have small notes, as drivers often have no change.

Another type of taxi is Mumbai‘s ―cool cab. These are air-conditioned vehicles. They charge 30-40% more than other taxis and are harder to catch than the black & yellows on the streets, so best to book ahead. They have electronic meters, which display the fare.

A few cab companies include:

Meru : +91 – 22 - 44224422 or book online at www.merucabs.com
Cool Cab : +91 – 22 - 6588 4466 or book online at www.citycoolcab.in
E-cabs : +91 – 22 - 6721 1138 or book online at www.ecabs.in
Star Taxi : + 91 – 22 - 4211 1111
Tab Cab : +91 – 22 – 63636363
Mega Cab : +91 – 22 – 42424242

For airline contact information please visit: http://us.makemytrip.com/traveltips/bombay.htm

Gateway of India:
The Gateway of India is perhaps the best-known symbol of Mumbai. The Gateway is the most prominent feature at Apollo Bunder and was completed in 1924 to commemorate the 1911 visit of the first British monarch to set foot on Indian soil – King George V with the consort, Queen Mary. Designed by British architect George Wittet, the Gateway was built in the style of 16th century Gujarati architecture on land reclaimed from the sea. This crypto-Moresque archway welcomed numerous British viceroys, governors and top civil staff as they disembarked by launch from their P & O steamers. The Gateway is located at the tip of Apollo Bunder, just opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel. It is surrounded by a large courtyard and several docks from which boats sail for nearby Elephanta Islands.

Victoria Terminus (V.T.): Now renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, is one of the biggest railway stations in the world. Designed in the Italian Gothic style by the British architect F.W. Stevens, this solid and imposing structure is one of the best-known landmarks of the city. The carved Gothic building looks more like a cathedral or palace than a train station. It was from here that Asia‘s first train ran on Saturday 16, April 1853. The terminus is an exuberant celebration of statues, gargoyles and stone ornamentation. Atop the building, which was made headquarters for the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company, stands a statue of Progress with a four-meter-high torch. Today "VT" handles more than 3 million passengers and a thousand trains every day!

Sassoon Docks: A fascinating place to venture out in the early morning hours and watch the catch of the day being brought in, sorted and sold. It‘s colorful, interesting and incredibly smelly. Wear close-toed shoes that you can rinse afterwards. The earlier you get there the better. Located just off Cuffe Parade in South Mumbai.

Victoria Gardens: The Zoo and plant nursery at the Gardens is ideal for a half day outing. All of the plants and trees are carefully labeled. Look out for sleeping flying foxes while you tour. Take water bottles with you - and bananas for the elephants!

Marine Drive: Stretching from Nariman Point to Chowpatty Beach in a cresent shape, this promenade is bordered on one side by the Arabian Sea and on the other by gracious art deco residential buildings. When lit up at night, the entire drive gleams like the Queen‘s Necklace.

Kamla Nehru Park: Children‘s Park, Ridge Road, Malabar Hill. Fine views of Mumbai especially at night when the curve of the bay justifies its name of the Queen's Necklace. Ladies should not go alone.

Dhobi Ghat: At Mahalaxmi, the Dhobi Ghat is one of Mumbai‘s most photographed landmarks. It is home to over 5,000 dhobis, or washermen, who wash, dry and deliver clothes for customers around the city. The ghat, or tank, has 760 washing stones, tools that form an indispensable part of the dhobi‘s trade. In the evening, the dhobis transport their massive bundles of clothes by handcarts or bicycles to various destinations around the city. The morning is the best time to see the dhobi ghat in full swing.

Dabbawallas: Unique to Mumbai, dabbawallas, or tiffin carriers, deliver lunch from homes to the city‘s work-force. A part of the Mumbai landscape for the past century, dabbawallas’ operations span the length and breadth of the city. This home-to-office delivery service began in the late 19th century. Today it costs less than Rs. 300 a month for the service and over 175,000 meals are delivered by dabbawallas each day. The massive distribution system works without a hiccup thanks to the color-coded delivery notations on the tiffin lids that allow the often-illiterate dabbawallas to sort the lunches correctly. Across Mumbai, it is estimated that only half a dozen meals go astray each year. Even Prince Charles of England took time off from his busy schedule to meet the dabbawallas and understand their almost fail proof systems of home delivery.

Mahalaxmi Race Course: The racing season is November through March. A lovely course, it is also open to walkers and joggers. A few great restaurants here serve Continental and Asian food, Olive and Tote.

Juhu Beach: Juhu beach is the most popular beach in Mumbai, but unfortunately is no good for swimming as the water is very dirty. It has a nice people watching atmosphere and a few great restaurants along the sea front.

Chowpatty Beach: A popular beach on Marine Drive, where celebrations of festivals take place. It is also not suitable for swimming. Little kiosks sell special Mumbai snacks, such as bhelpuri and kulfi and ice-cream.

Best Restaurants to visit
Mumbai offers cuisine from all over India and overseas. International ingredients like Balsamic vinegar, Italian olive oil and a vast range of foodstuff from all over can now be accessed easily and spawns the success of Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and other Pan-Asian restaurants. So, if it’s escargot with beurre blanc and chilled Chablis or a dum biryani with a glass of cool shikanjivi, Mumbai has something for every plate and palate.

Apart from the various restaurants – street food joints abound. Heavy on flavors and low on nutrition, Mumbai‘s street food is an emphasis on affordability and accessibility. Almost every street corner has a makeshift stall, which sells steaming vada pavs, dosas, sandwiches, pav bhaji, bhelpuri and pani puri. Mumbai‘s fast food is served in disposable paper cones or dried leaves. The popularity of these foods is apparent as deluxe five star hotels often have Mumbai street food festivals. (BUT we recommend you don‘t eat the street food unless it‘s recommended from a trustworthy source!)

Popular Lunch and Dining Options:

Soam: (Babulnath Temple) A higher-end version of Swati Snacks, tables at Soam are usually packed with chattering housewives from the surrounding neighborhoods, the bastions of old business families from Gujarat and Rajasthan. The food served at Soam is primarily from these two states, including delicious snacks “chats” and is prepared by maharajs, cooks traditionally retained in the wealthy households of Western India. Standout dishes include dal dhokli, a spiced dumpling simmered in a rich lentil broth; and the Farsan platter, an assortment of savories including fluffy yellow dhoklas served with tamarind chutney and samosas stuffed with spinach and cheese. A tumbler of thick mango lassi, topped with shavings of nutmeg and pistachio, will do nicely for dessert. Vegetarianism doesn't get more sinful than this. Open for lunch and dinner (noon-11:00). Sad Guru Sadan, Ground Floor, Opposite Babulnath Temple, Chowpatty. Tel: 91-22-23698080

Swati Snacks: (Tardeo) An all time favourite and Mumbai’s land mark for home style traditional Vegetarian Gujarati and South Indian snacks. It caters to middle class with a steel-table-and-bench décor. In addition to snacks, the restaurant is also known for its hand churned ice cream and array of lassis. This establishment does not serve alcohol. Open for lunch and dinner (11:00 -11:00). Tardeo Road. Tel: 91-22-65808405

Café Britania: In the heart of the colonial business district of Ballard Estate lays this 91-year-old gem with peeling walls, marble-top tables, and indolently whirring fans that evoke the tattered grandeur of the city. Proprietor Boman Kohinoor is as old as the restaurant, and loves tottering up to customers and recounting his nostalgia for the days of British governance. But the real reason people eat at Britannia is its Indo-Persian food. The restaurant's signature dish is the spicy berry pulao, delicately marinated chunks of mutton served on a bed of aromatics and garnished with tart berries from Iran. This restaurant is only open for lunch Monday thru Saturday from 11:30 – 4:00) Wakefield House, 11, Sprott Road (S S Ram Gulam Marg), 16, opp. New Custom House S S Ram Gulam Marg, Fort. Tel: 91-22-22615264

Indigo Deli: Sister to Indigo Restaurant, Indigo Deli is slightly more casual and located just a few blocks from the Taj Hotel. It‘s got wide selection of continental dishes and is one of the few spots to pick up great deli meats and cheeses. The perfect spot for lunch. If full, try its next door neighbor, Moshe‘s. Hours: 12:30 – 3:00 & 7:30 – 11:45. Tel: 91-22-66368984 / 66368985

Café Leopold’s: (Colaba) Long before Gregory David Roberts wrote his magnum opus called "Shantaram", Leopolds was a famous Mumbai institution. Leopold‘s is a known refuge for backpackers and travelers, but also for locals who want to meet travelers. Leopold‘s was one of the sites attacked on November 26, and as a tribute to the victims the restaurant has left the bullet holes intact. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a downstairs area complete with checked tablecloths, round tables and comfortable chairs, and an upstairs bar with table seating. Leopolds also sells many souvenirs displaying the Leopolds Logo. The food is standard fare with both popular Indian and international dishes. The food is fresh and the drinks cold. A very casual atmosphere mixed with a historic taste of Mumbai. (Open 7:00 – midnight). Corner of Colaba Causeway & Nawroji F Road. Tel: 91-22-22020131

Trishna Fish Restaurant: (Kala Ghoda) A restaurant frequented by the who's who of Mumbai, Trishna is considered one of the best in the world. A cozy yet chic ambiance, Trishna is the place to go in Mumbai for sea food. Butter pepper garlic king crab is Trishna's signature dish, but you'll also find jumbo pomfrets and tiger prawns (done in any style) cooked to perfection. Despite its reputation as a somewhat snobbish restaurant, Trishna isn't about ambience (the decor in fact is somewhat tacky) - everyone is here for the food. Recommended dishes include pomfret Hyderabadi - barbecued with black pepper, it's a true masterpiece; pomfret hariyali enveloped in green masala and baked in a tandoor; fish sholay kebab; Kolhapuri prawns (spicy, so order a drink); or squid expertly prepared with butter, pepper, and garlic. Reservations required. There are two separate eating areas. Open for lunch and dinner (12:00 – 3:30 & 6:00 - midnight). Birla Mansion, Sai Baba Marg (next to Commerce House), Kala Ghoda, Fort, Colaba. Tel: 91-22-22701623

Khyber: (Kala Ghoda) Khyber has a Northwest Frontier feel: Its low, beamed ceiling is intended to evoke a haveli, a mansion typical of that part of the country. Paintings by some of India's most famous artists decorate the walls. The restaurant is known for its northern-style meat-based kebabs and tandooris and attracts upper-middle class locals and tourists. Try a tender, flavorful reshmi kebab, chicken marinated in yogurt with mild spices and cooked on a skewer. In addition to beer and soft drinks, the restaurant has a short list of Indian wines, all from Maharashtra state. Soothe your palate with kulfi (Indian ice cream) or gajar halwa (available in winter only), a sweet pudding made from red carrots. Reservations are advised. Open for lunch and dinner (12:30-3:30 & 7:30-11:30) (a meal for two will cost $20-25). The only concern is the lack of a hand-rail on its stairs. 145, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort. Tel: 91-22- 22673227

Frangipani: Wonderful Italian food, Frangipani is located in the Oberoi Towers, Nariman Point. Hours: 12:30 – midnight. Tel: 91-22-22024343

Eat Around the Corner: (Bandra) Modern, casual European style eatery.

Ground Floor, 110 Cyrus House, Junction of 24th and 30th Road, TPS III, Bandra (W), Opp. St. Theresa‘s Boys High School.

Copper Chimney: (Near Kala Ghoda) For 33 years, Copper Chimney has delighted those looking for the perfect kebabs. To this end, two pages of the menu are dedicated to kebabs, from the popular reshmi kebab (chicken) to the jhinga nisha (tandoori prawn kebabs). These tender, creamy, smoky-flavored, melt-in-your-mouth kebabs can be followed by traditional Dum Pukht specialties such as chicken makhani (butter chicken) or the even more exquisite Peshawari lamb. There's also a daily buffet lunch. The restaurant is also known for sustaining a ‘swanky’ ambiance but keeping its prices low. Has various branches in Mumbai, with a predictable, yet reliable menu for both lunch and dinner:

18, Hargovindas Building, Opp. Jehangir Art Gallery, K Dubhash Marg, Fort. Tel: 91-22-22041661

1st floor, Fortune Classic, Junction of 15th Rd, Khar (W). Tel: 91–22- 65885787

(12:00-3:30 & 7:00-11:30) (A meal for two will cost $15-20).

Gaylord’s: (Nariman point) Gaylord‘s, a centrally located restaurant, is known for its good-value Indian and Continental fare for over 50 years. It‘s a modern twin-level restaurant. Butter-chicken lovers are known to flock to this locale for both lunch and dinner (12:30-3:30 and 7:30-11:30) (a meal for two will cost $20-25). 79, Mayfair Building, Veer Nariman Road. Tel: 91-22-22821259

Ziya: New and with rave reviews, Ziya is located in the Oberoi Towers, Nariman Point. Hours: 12:30 – 2:45 & 7:00–11:30. Tel: 91-22-22024343

Indigo: (Colaba) – 5 minutes from Taj Hotel. A favorite modern European restaurant that uses fresh, local ingredients. A higher-end favorite of locals. 4 Mandlik Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400 001. Tel: 91-22-66368999

Busaba: Next door to Indigo. Contemporary Asian cuisine. Tel: 91-22-22043769

Vista: Located in Taj Lands End Hotel. Oriental, Western and Indian cuisine served around an island kitchen. Daily buffet lunch: 12:00-15:30. Tel: 91-22-66681234

Salt Water Cafe: (Bandra) European flavors. It stands two stories tall and includes a casual seating area, a bar and a romantic terrace. 87 Rose Minar Annexe, Adjoining Mount Carmel Church, Bandra Reclamation. Open: Daily 9:00-1:00am. Tel: 91-22-26434414 / 32710520

Out of the Blue: (Bandra) Sizzlers style restaurant. Le Sutra Hotel, 14 Union Park, Off Carter Rd. Bandra (W). Tel: 91-22-26003000

Sancho’s: Good Mexican food. Pinnacle House, 604, 15th Rd, P.D. Hinduja Rd. Open daily 12:00-1:30am. Tel: 91-22-67094455.

Kebab Stands (if rain permits) are only open in the evenings, but offer late night fare.

Bade Miya: Located on a side street between Colaba Causeway and the Taj Mahal Hotel, this open air, road-side "restaurant" has been serving up mouthwatering street food since the 1940's. It's now run by the founder's son and has become one of Mumbai's favorite eateries. This is not just because it's one of the few places to stay open all night -- the food here really stands out. This elaborate food stall has a row of tables and chairs seating around 50 people on its side walk. However, many people prefer to have their food served on the hood of their car, in a scene reminiscent of an American diner way back in the rock and roll era. People from all levels of society seek out Bademiya for its delicious barbecue specialties. The seekh and boti kebabs (made out of minced lamb), and grilled chicken tikka are firm favorites. However, there's no need for vegetarians to feel left out as Bademiya has a separate stand serving up yummy vegetarian alternatives as well. The pleasing thing about this street restaurant is that it's surprisingly hygienic. You'll find workers wearing rubber gloves and chefs hats, tantalizingly cooking your food over flames right in front of you. (Dinner for two will cost about $5) B Behram Road Apollo Bandar. Tel: 91-22-22848038.

Ayub’s: (Fort) (15 minutes from hotel) A classic kebab street-stand that doesn‘t open until 6:30 pm similar to Bademeyia but caters to a younger crowd. Shop No 5, 43,Dr. V B Gandhi Marg, Near Rhythm House, Fort. Tel: 91- 9821199147

Excellent Restaurants in the Taj Hotel, boasting everything from freshly grated wasabi at Wasabi to mushroom cappuccino at Zodiac Grill:

Aquarius: Indulge yourself at the relaxing outdoor lounge located by the pool, open to resident guests only. Attire: Casual. Tel: 91 -22- 66653366 extension no- 3382.

Golden Dragon: Started in 1973, Golden Dragon, India‘s first authentic Sichuan restaurant recently reopened with a contemporary new look. The attention is to the details in the décor is highlighted by traditional symbols keeping true to the oriental trend that is key to the menu and services of the restaurant. A noble and royal Golden Dragon, with a soothing water feature welcome guests into the restaurant. Modern day dragon patterned panels decorate the walls, while rice paper and etched glass work are spread over the restaurant space. The upholstery is textured Indian woven upholstery, and the carpet has a contemporized Chinese wave patterns. The furniture uses influences of white porcelain on ivory lacquer furniture pieces that are located around the restaurant. The focal point of the restaurant is the live kitchen which enhances the dining experience, as patrons can watch the chefs in action. The newly introduced menu is the perfect blend of perennial favorite and a sumptuous array of delectable food designed to please any gastronomic palate. The delicacies include a wide array on dimsums, Beijing Peking Duck and the Chef‘s special – Song of the Dragon. The meal is perfectly complimented with a variety of exotic tea from around the world. Golden Dragon also offers Private Dining Rooms for 10 - 12 people. Attire: Semi Formal. Tel: 91-22-66653366 extension no-3296

Harbor Bar: A stylish and sophisticated retreat for a drink or an informal meal, Harbor Bar first opened its doors to the discerning Mumbai gentlemen in 1933 and has since played host to decades of high-powered rendezvous‘. It has the distinction of being the first licensed bar and its design ideology is hence heavily influenced by its rich history, with echoes of its Art Deco legacy seen in the furniture and finishes. This historical prestige is reflected in the center bar, a solid carved piece of white marble that denotes the potency of a bygone era but boasts a fresh new face for Mumbai‘s new generation of movers and shakers. The back bar is framed in cut glass and provides an inviting light, warmth and glow. The discovery of two historic windows allow a raised seating area to connect directly with the harbor, and develops a dialogue with the vivacity of Apollo Bunder Road from the intimacy of a classic bar setting. The all new international tapa‘s menu includes innovative dishes such as Guacamole Pani Puri‘s, Crab Samosa and Paya Crockets. This creative dining experience is complimented by the large selection of single malts and wines. Harbor Bar offers spectacular views of The Gateway of India and provides the perfect place to do business or simply relax. Attire: Formal or semi-formal. Tel: 91-22 -66653366 extension no-3275.

Masala Kraft: Blending aromatic Indian spices with modern cooking techniques, Masala Kraft produces flavors that are fresh and delicious. With a selection of traditional Indian favorites cooked in minimal oil and with just the right blend of spices, the restaurant shows that the two go together perfectly. Favorites include Paperwali Machli, Parsee or Bohri Tiffins, Masala Sketches - interactive menus and Spiced Margaritas. Attire: Semi Formal. Tel: 91-22-66653366 extension no-3278

Shamiana: Another historic part of the hotel, Shamiana is an all day dining restaurant. Guests can select from a wide variety of choices from Indian and International cuisines. Shamiana also offers an extensive wine list. The restaurant offers private dining areas and tables overlooking the poolside. Attire: Casual. Tel: 91-22-66653366 extension no-3271.

Souk: This award-winning restaurant introduces fresh flavors of dishes from Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Greece and Morocco. The signature dishes include Babaganoush, Sheesh Taouk, Moroccan Vegetarian Tagine, Bakhlava, rose petal ice-cream, and Bastilla au lait. In addition to its private dining options like the Casablanca on weekdays, Souk offers the option of a relaxing, yet quick lunch with a gourmet buffet spread. Attire: Semi Formal. Tel: 91-22-66653366 extension no-3272.

Zodiac Grill: Recipient of the prestigious Wine Spectator - Award of Excellence, the Zodiac Grill creates an unforgettable ambience that perfectly complements its creative French cuisine and unrivalled service. The Zodiac fine dining experience begins with the magical ambience cast by a star-spangled dome to the glowing candlelit tables and specially designed tableware from the House of Bernardaud. Attire: Formal. Tel: 91-22-66653366 extension no-3111.

Wasabi: The recently restored restaurant, Wasabi by Morimoto is energetic and draws inspiration from cultural landscapes and forges that with a unique contemporary style echoed by Indian culture and craftsmanship. The entrance is via a the newly installed elevator or the folding staircase from the Harbor Bar which evokes a red carpet entry and welcomes guests into the restaurant. Placed like freestanding furniture in the space, the sushi counter and teppanyaki kitchen serve as focal points of activity, with the teppanyaki kitchen space defined by a large art piece by British artist Petr Weigl. The key feature of Wasabi by Morimoto is the bold, sculptural round table that dominates the room and is complemented by an over-scale custom hammered metal light fixture. This award winning restaurant offers a variety of Japanese delicacies with an array of delicious sakes and mouthwatering sushi‘s. The introduction of several new dishes including Enoki Tempura and Shimaji Mushroom add to the extensive menu. The variety of Whisky forms the perfect accompaniment to this exotic dining experience. Eight guests will be able to delight in an intimate private experience with a personal chef and exclusive sushi preparation. Attire: Formal. Tel: 91-22-66653366 extension no-3202.

Sea Lounge: The legendary Sea Lounge overlooks the scenic Mumbai harbor and the Gateway of India. Perfect for a private rendezvous or informal business meeting, this restaurant has been a backdrop for cherished memories for the crème de la crème of society. From Bombay chaats to crepes and coffee the Sea Lounge offers an eclectic spread. Attire: Semi Formal. Tel: 91-22-66653366 extension no-3285.

Le Patisserie: The city's best-known pastry shop, offering a wide variety of cold cuts, sausages, pizzas, fresh breads, pastries, chocolates, sandwiches and more. Ask for our signature items: customized gift hampers, picnic baskets, sugar - free chocolates and desserts, fine selection of Swiss, French and Danish cheese. Tel: 91-22-66653366 extension no-3274.

Starboard: A portside bar with a maritime theme welcomes you abroad for an evening of revelry. This lively young bar offers excellent entertainment and Mexican delicacies paired with a variety of beverages. Attire: Semi Formal. Tel: 91-22-66653366 extension no-3391.

Shopping options
Wherever you are in Mumbai, the Great Indian Bazaar is never very far. Most shopping areas and shops do not have parking for vehicles. Most markets and small shops accept only cash, although mid to higher end shops do generally accept credit cards. Returning items is not a general practice.

Colaba Causeway is a Mecca for tourists. Situated behind the Gateway of India, it has several small cafes and a few up market restaurants that will take the edge off a hard day‘s shopping. At the southern end of Colaba is the local Colaba Market, which has not only fruit and vegetable sellers, but also silver shops with exquisite jewellery.

Crawford Market, now officially named Mahatma Jyotiba Phule market, is the main market for Mumbai and is a bargain hunter‘s dream. Not far from Victoria Terminus, the covered section of the market was built by the British in 1869 as the city‘s wholesale produce market. It houses stalls selling flowers, fruit, vegetables, meat and fish and even pets! Bas-reliefs by Rudyard Kipling‘s father, Lockwood Kipling, decorate the Norman Gothic façade along with a fountain he built (sadly now hidden amongst discarded fruit crates and refuse). The streets surrounding Crawford market are filled with shops selling everything you could imagine and well worth exploring.

Fashion Street, also known to some as ―’Lulu‘s Boutique’, is opposite the Bombay Gymkhana in South Bombay. Here lies an endless row of stalls selling Indian and western-style ‘export quality surplus‘clothing.

Mangaldas Market. Off a crowded lane in the Crawford Market area, you can easily miss the entrance to this large shed-like building housing hundreds of wholesale cloth merchants. Mangaldas Market is a traditional style cloth bazaar where you slip off your shoes and sit cross legged on the cotton mattress, sip a cup of sweet tea and haggle to your heart‘s content.

Zaveri Bazaar is the old jeweller‘s row of tiny shops where craftsmen sit at every corner and diamond merchants scurry around. Graceful sari-clad maidens help you empty your wallets as they show you traditional and modern Indian jewellery worth a prince‘s ransom.

Chor Bazaar. Hard to find but impossible to leave in a hurry once you are there, an afternoon trip to Chor Bazaar or the Thieves Market always proves to be memorable. In the heart of the Muslim district near Grant Road, the streets are filled with antiques and colonial memorabilia, both genuine and fake. One can find intricately carved rosewood furniture, crystal chandeliers, clocks, ivories, china and porcelain, car parts and every kind of antique. The bazaar is most lively on Fridays when the streets are filled with hawkers who sell knick-knacks and other items of dubious origins. Basically it is a thieves market and hard bargaining is a must.

Crossword Bookstore. A favorite bookstore chain in Mumbai with plenty of English books and bestsellers. Most also have coffee shops. www.crosswordbookstores.com

PVR Movie Theatre. Check out the latest flicks in some of Mumbai‘s great theatres, many surpassing the quality we have at home in the US. Movies do start with the national anthem and there is an intermission. Visit the PVR Movie theatre in Phoenix Mills Shopping Mall in Lower Parel. Tel: 91-22-42120120 http://www.pvrcinemas.com

Phoenix Mills Mall. In Lower Parel, this is a new modern mall with a great movie theatre, stores, and restaurants. Need something familiar? Shop at Zara or dine at TGIF‘s. Need to laugh? Swing by the Comedy Store for an evening of comedy. The comics change each week and come from all over: the UK, the US, Australia etc. www.thephoenixmills.com

Phoenix MarketCity, a recently opened shopping mall located about 15 minutes from the US Consulate. With its 362 stores and boutiques and 23 restaurants it is one of Asia‘s largest hypermarkets. Address: LBS Marg, Kurla (West) Mumbai; Tel: 91-22-33401000. http://www.phoenixmarketcity.in/mumbai/mumbai_landing.html

Some more specific shopping recommendations in South Mumbai:

Hansiba - Fair trade goods made by rural artisan women (home furnishing, apparel, accessories) 14, 1st Floor, Ruparel Marg, Opp. Jivan Manek, Nepean Sea Road, Malabar Hill. Tel: 91-22-23694851

Oberoi Shopping Center - Many different shops: Jewelry, handicrafts, carpets, bags etc.

Gem Star (Garys) - A consulate favorite. Jewelry. Oberoi Shopping Center. Tel: 91-9820154505 / 91-22-66325709

Chimanlals - Beautiful handcrafted papers, cards, gift bags etc. A-2 Taj Building, 210, D.N Road, Fort (near Excelsior Theatre) Tel: 91-22-22077717

Bombay Paperie - Another lovely handcrafted papers shop. 59, Bombay Samachar Marg, Mumbai 400 001, India. Tel: 91-22-66358171

Bhaghem India (Harry’s) - Another favorite for jewellery, Pashminas, furniture, home decor, carpets, gifts. Mangalam House, 38, Walchand Hirachand Marg, Near G.P.O., Fort, Mumbai. Tel: 91-22-22617036

The Bombay Store - Pherozsha Mehta Rd., Fort Area, near Strand Book Stall and Phillips Coffee. Tel: 91-22-40318888 / 8800

Cottage Industries - Near Taj Mahal Hotel, fixed prices. Tax is extra: remember to present your diplomatic ID (if you have one) to have tax excluded. Brass, silver, ivory, woodcarvings etc. Tel: 91-22-22027537

Contemporary Arts & Crafts - Nepean Sea Road, opposite Baskins Robbins. Tel: 91-22-23630740 / 1979

Philips Antiques - Colaba Causeway. The original shop owner used to sell to Maharajahs, and naturally when times got tough for those old boys Phillips was there to buy a lot of it back. Today‘s owner maintains a treasure house of old prints, decor, coins and more. Tel: 91-22-22020564

World Trade Center - Located close to the President Hotel. A mixture of shops, including several government handicraft emporiums. Tel: 91-22-66387272

India Carpets - Oberoi Hotel shops, Kashmir silk and woolen rugs. Good selection, reasonable prices. Also sells dhurries. Tel: 91-22-22611814

Kashmir Oriental Carpet Center - Around the corner from India carpets - Red Gate. A good selection of dhurries. Also sells silk and woolen rugs. Tel: 91-22-22183284

The Ambience - New Oberoi Shopping Centre. Have a selection of good quality Kashmiri carpets. Highly negotiable on price. Also have a shop in the JW Marriott hotel. Tel: 91-22-66325757

Charag Din - Colaba; Established 50 years ago, has the largest collection of men‘s shirts in Mumbai. Tel: 91-22-22181375

Good Earth - A favorite in the city. A good choice for children‘s rooms, gifts or to give your home a lavish touch. 2 Reay House, Next to Taj Hotel, Colaba, Tel: 91-22-22021030

And a few recommendations for North Mumbai:

Anokhi: Lovely cotton, block prints from Jaipur. Govinda Bldg, Waterfield Rd, Bandra (W). Tel: 91-22-26408263. www.anokhi.com

Ritu Kumar: Beautiful Indian and fusion wear. 1-2 Zainab Villa, 187 Turner Rd. Opp. Moti Mahal Restaurant, Bandra. Tel: 91-22-26404466

Fabindia: Fabindia is India's largest private platform for products that are made from traditional techniques, skills and hand-based processes. No. 2 & 4, Navroze, 66 Pali Hill,Next to HDFC Bank, Bandra (West). Tel: 91-22-26465286/ 89. Email: palihill.bombay@fabindia.net. Store Timings: 10:00-7.45. Open all days of the week

White Peacock: Another favorite for women‘s dresses, tops, shoes and much more! 10 Link Corner, Corner of 33rd and 24th Rd‘s. Tel: 91-22- 65215753

The Shop: Browse the rooms of this homely store to find colorful and eco friendly home furnishing, toys, ceramics, gift items, clothes and much more. 57/116 Ground Floor, Drego House, Ambedkar Rd. Bandra (W), Opp. Pali Village Café. Tel: 91-22-26487887

Sanctum: Home decor, furniture, gift items, clothing, jewellery. Vasant House, 19th Rd, Khar West, off Khar Danda. Tel: 91-22-26495775. www.sanctumstore.com

Kilol: High quality block printed textiles. Ground Floor, Radha Sadan, Corner of 18th Road & 1st Road, Khar Danda Rd, Khar (W) and at Vishnu Dham, 6A, Turner Rd., Bandra (W). Tel 91-22-65263384. www.kilol.com

Loose Ends: Gifts! Plot # 235/B Beas Coop Society, 31st Rd, Lane Opp. Shopper‘s stop, Off Linking Rd. Bandra. Tel: 91-22-26453777

Linking Road: Linking Road is a popular shopping area with several shops and semi-department stores selling international brands.

Medical Facilities
(*modern and used by the Consulate)

Ambani Hospital* Tel: 91-22-30999999
Bombay Hospital Tel: 91-22-22067676
Breach Candy Hospital* Tel: 91-22-23671888/2888
Cooper Hospital Tel: 91-22-2620 7254 / 7256 / 5892/96/67
GT Hospital Tel: 91-22-22621464 to 67
Hinduja Hospital Tel: 91-22-24449199 / 24451515
Jaslok Hospital Tel: 91-22-56573333
JJ Hospital Tel: 91-22-23735555 / 9032/ 23739036
KEM Hospital Tel: 91-22-24131763 / 64
Lilavati Hospital* Tel: 91-22-26438281/2
Nair Hospital Tel: 91-22-23081490 to 99
Nanavati Hospital Tel: 91-22-26184389 / 26182265
Parsi General Hospital Tel: 91-22-23633641 / 3212 / 3213
Saifee Hospital* Tel: 91-22-67570354
St. George Hospital Tel: 91-22-22624464
For more specific medical options please visit:

American Consulate General
C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)
Bandra (E), Mumbai - 400 051.
Tel: +91 - 22 – 26724000
Contacts: http://mumbai.usconsulate.gov/contact.html
Website: http://mumbai.usconsulate.gov/

U.S. Commercial Service
American Consulate General

C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)
Bandra (E), Mumbai - 400 051.
Tel: +91 - 22 – 26724000
Email: office.mumbai@trade.gov
Website: www.buyusa.gov/india

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