Even though I am not born and raised in Mumbai, I have never felt like a stranger in this city.
The city has some unique vibe to it which I believe is mostly because of the people who live here.
Visiting the city of Mumbai has always been very exciting for me, something that has always made me happy all together.
day after 20-hour flight
Upon arriving at the airport immigration area, the curious child in me quickly wanted to complete the formalities so that she could get out of the airport and enjoy the city. The joy of coming home was extraordinary this time as I flew directly from Canada to Mumbai. Imagine how thrilled and excited I was to explore the city and its food by myself.
In Mumbai, I am as happy, relaxed, and at ease as in my home. That’s why, for me, It is like a home away from home, …Mumbai…Aamchi Mumbai!!
On my first day in Mumbai, I headed straight to the Lokhandwala market to satisfy my appetite and as I had no clue, I trusted online reviews and went to a popular restaurant named “High point”, only to be disappointed. I ordered Dahi Puri, one of my favorite street food. The service was quick, within 10 minutes it was served on my table. They looked delicious, but when I tasted, they were not only tasteless but also smelled very bad and the table wasn’t clean either. After that I did not dare to order anything else, it was that bad. Thereupon, I walked out of the restaurant.
The food left a foul taste in my mouth, all I needed at that time something sweet and refreshing to drink, so I stopped at an ice cream parlor. Thankfully, it was pretty close, just across the street.
I ordered a kulfi shake, it was so delicious and filling that it truly made my day. I felt a bit full and better after drinking the shake, but, I was still visibly jet-lagged from the 20-hour long flight. I thought of better going back home and take rest instead of roaming the market. That was that, my first day in Mumbai!
The next morning, I woke up with a heavy head, it was late afternoon then. My mind was going haywire, I was starving, so for brunch, I went to a local restaurant called “Shiv Sagar” and ordered the famous Maharashtrian dish, Pav bhaji. Surprisingly, that was a delicious meal, full of flavor and satisfying which I wasn’t expecting based on my last day’s experience. Happy with the food, I was looking forward to the rest of the day.
There are plenty of restaurants in the metropolis,
▶where you can eat traditional Indian as well as famous Mumbai food and try world cuisines.
▶Stores where you can browse and shop your heart out and ▶pubs, theatres where you can have fun either alone or with friends and family. The city surely will not disappoint you.
Below are some of the best places for shopping, relaxing and eating around Andheri west area!
It is fascinating to see where, many designer stores in the city sell expensive items, on the other hand, there’s also no shortage of stores selling items at affordable prices.
Speaking about affordable prices, One of the markets is in the Lokhandwala complex. The market is a hub for fashion garments and accessories. Merchandise stock here is mostly imported. My experience has not been so good nor too bad. That being said, there is a possibility of colors fade, fabric wears out, and hems come undone.
The market is, I believe, a fun place to shop, reason being, you can find all the latest, trendy, and unique clothes as well as fashion accessories such as handbags, footwear, hair clips, scarves, cosmetics and more. All in one place and at a reasonable price. It’s a shopaholic’s paradise.
Another great place to shop and bargain is in Bandra, Linking Road market. The variety is vast as the market is huge and there is something for everyone. Hence, It can be overwhelming for a person who is new to the place. The mantra of shopping at these places is simply, do not overthink, just have fun, and enjoy the experience.
I like shopping in linking Road but I prefer Lokhandwala market more because it is smaller and less chaotic.
Shopping at the Lokhandwala market
Keep in mind when you are shopping in Lokhandwala to check on prices at other stores, some might give you high price than other stores for exact same stuff.
I recommend the “Snazzy” store (footwear and handbags) in the Lokhandwala market. The shop sells its own designed merchandise product, therefore, the designs that you see here, you may not find anywhere in the market. The quality also stands out and the prices are reasonable too. The staff and the store owner both are polite and friendly but professional. However, asking for discounts is a daunting prospect, nevertheless, try your luck as you might get some good deals.
Clothing is a bit expensive in the Lokhandwala market. Frankly, I won’t mind paying a pricey amount for a garment if the quality and the fit is good. That being said, I recommend the shop “Shimmer”, where you will find nice styles and trendy clothes. The quality is also far better than the other stores. Keep in mind, there is no money back policy but yes the merchandise can be exchanged within 2 weeks or so.
it’s pampering time
There are many beauty salons around the Andheri West area, big, small, and all differ in price, space, and services. I chose Bodhi Salon & Spa and it was my first-time visit to this Salon. I loved the atmosphere as it was calm and relaxing. All the Estheticians were excellent and their Facial: Remy Laure Vitamin C was fantastic. As a result, I took services one after the other in a short span of time. I almost spent two days in the salon, literally. They also offer complimentary tea, coffee, and coconut water to every guest, which is awesome.
On my return the next day I met the Salon owner, Sapna Agarwal, a very polite lady. She explained to me what professional steps they incorporate to make the service comfortable and remembering for their customers. Apart from this, she also mentioned that the Salon is located in several locations across Mumbai, one of which is at Infinity Mall, Andheri West. I highly recommend, go for facial and massage, they are absolutely amazing and worth your time and money.
Apart from Bodhi Salon, another popular salon in the Andheri West area is “Farita Beauty Salon”. The salon is only for ladies and although it has decent space and polite staff, I won’t recommend it. My only reason for coming here was its online reviews which were quite good.
I had senior hairstylist cut my hair, but, as she was busy scheduling an appointment for a client, she accidentally cut my front hair too short. A lot of my time, money, and healthy hair was wasted. Moreover, I found them quite pushy, forcing their services on clients, which I didn’t like at all. Given, I chose this salon thinking I would get the best service the city has to offer but super disappointed. Displeased with the service. I en route to Bodhi salon. Glad, I did.
good food is good mood
I would recommend mall food courts as they are the best to try different cuisines especially for a person who is new in the city. They offer a variety of different cuisines, all in one place. Great place to grab something to eat or simply hang out in a variety of cool cafes or simply shop for teas, pastries and fancy condiments. It’s also a nice escape from city streets. I have always enjoyed appetizing food at the food courts and never had any complaints. Keep in mind that weekends and holidays can be especially busy here, eating off-peak may be a good idea.
Lokhandwala is great for Sweet drinks like shakes, smoothies, and soda e.t.c. Shops like Gianni, Naturals have many outlets in the market, so there is no need to worry in case you miss one. They are clean and have a seating area too which is a good place to drop by if you’re done with your shopping. Sit, relax, and enjoy some amazing shakes, icecreams, and sundaes.
A lot of restaurants, food stalls in the city serve great food, provided you know the right place to eat. Whenever I have decided to dine in a restaurant looking at online reviews, my experience has mostly been poor, nevertheless, if you want to try a local restaurant, go by your instinct, not just reviews.
Of course, there was no such thing as a beautiful view in this city, where I could click a picture and say isn’t it breathtaking? Wish you could see this?
Nonetheless, the breathtaking moments were the moments I spent with strangers, their generosity, their anticipation, and prompt attitude to help and share. which is hard to put into words, and lastly the delicious food, which I will never be able to find anywhere in the world except India.
Those were the breathtaking moments and memories I am going to miss and cherish forever.
the last day
As the day passed and thus came the day, my last day in Mumbai when I have to catch a flight back home. I was thrilled to think of my family, who were waiting impatiently to see me about 11,823 kilometers away, and at the same time, I was a little sad about leaving this wonderful city, a city my heart has grown so close to. And, with the promise that I will be back soon, I flew back.