Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Street Shopping in Mumbai

This Friday when I went to Crawford market, I roamed the streets and bye-lanes opposite the market for over two hours. This is an amazing street where you can find everything at reasonable prices. There are lanes assigned for every article, be it gadgets, clothes, stationary or artificial jewelry. There are rows and rows of shops selling the same items at competitative prices.  Even the side walks are full of hawkers selling knick-knacks. If you were lucky to be able to find a parking space in this lane (which is mostly impossible) then don’t be surprised if your car is being used by hawkers to spread their wares.

This is a very crowded street where you dodge the traffic, hand carts, people and hawkers. I have walked into these streets many times, sometimes non-stop for more than five hours. It never stops to amuse me. Many times I have lost my way into the bye-lanes and discover newer lanes with even more interesting stuff and sometimes rare things which I would not find anywhere else.

In good ole days, I used to stop every half hour and try the road-side cuisine. There are hundreds of food stalls on these roads, and I had no problem eating those unhygienic food and drinks. But gradually I became food-conscious and started looking for more decent place to sit and eat. That was the time when I had discovered ‘Rajdhani’ on Sheikh Memon Street. I used to enjoy the Gujarati and Rajasthani delicacies there.
“Recently, the outlet has been revamped to make way for Revival Indian Thali - a healthier, variety-filled thali. With food cooked in trans-fat-free oil and using organic and healthy ingredients, Revival aims to please the new wave of foodies. In my head, a thali can never be healthy and always stands for the occasional over-indulgence.” Says Shakti Salgoakar during her recent visit to this place
Read Ms Shakti's food review here “De Thali: A healthier thali featuring cuisine from all over India”  

At the end of the day, my feet ached and I desperately looked for a place to sit. Envied the man resting in his basket, or the person sitting on the road, but me? Couldn’t do that, could I?

I just stood there at the corner of the street, balancing on one foot, munching on fresh Litchis until my driver drove the red car from the parking lot and stopped in front of me.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Driving around the City of Mumbai

Want to drive with me around the Mumbai city? You drive, I click pictures, you look where I look and then you tell me where I am.....I will publish ur comment only if it relates to my picture, just spam won't do..uh uh!!Nah! no Ads please! I don't wish to buy flowers online, nor toys nor books on websites..so sorry!! So, here we go....

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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Godrej Nature Basket in Mumbai

It is always difficult to shop for men; I mean what do you shop for men? Shirts? Napkins? Lungi? Topi? Or, for more metro sexual men some deodorant or hairspray? Pens? Cigars? Can’t encourage smoking, Nah! Very difficult shopping for men....gifts were made for women and there is no thinking, no real hard thinking when you are shopping for women, look around and you will see the great range of gifts available: flowers, perfumes, diamonds, dresses, shoes, souvenirs, house-articles, kitchen gadgets, you name it, it is there for women's pleasures, in fact, most businesses survive because there are women who enjoy the gifts and they will never complain even if you buy gifts for them hundred times. It’s the men species who never appreciate any gifts unless their gift has something to do with eating/drinking.

No wonder, this cliché is repeated over and over again. “The route to reach the man’s heart is via his stomach”

And, ‘Godrej Nature’s Basket’, a retail chain of fine food and gourmet stores is cashing on this idea because this is the perfect venue to look for gifts for a man on his special day... It’s my BIL’s birthday and look, here I am shopping at Godrej Nature Basket.

This chain of super store is the best store where I like to buy my grocery. What I like best about this store is the variety of each foodstuff. The Gourmet retail store has a stock of the best international and domestic wines, cold cuts, meats, cheese, organic foods and a large variety of pastas, noodles, beverages, exotic and rare ingredients, meals, sauces, preserves and packaged food from around the world. And I love it.

Initially, I used to do all my international grocery shopping whenever I made my trip abroad. I would pick up chocolates, sauces, pastas, and many interesting stuff and unfortunatetly, most of it would reach the expiry date before I could finish it. Not to mention about the excess weight of these food items that deprived me of shopping for other things.

Nature Basket has solved my problems.

Now I shop regularly here, in my own city of Mumbai, picking just enough to last me for a week and then go back for more. The section that interests me the most is the organic section where I can find processed foods such as low sugar biscuits, baked finger food, whole wheat pastas, fat free pasta sauces, hi-fiber breakfast cereals, and also great variety of brown unpolished rice, multi grain flour and breads etc.

Then they have also regular cookery demonstrations at the store which guide us through the correct usage of the international authentic ingredients that are displayed on the racks. The one that I attended recently on 'EAT..European Art of Taste ' was good and I did pick up few tips on Italian cooking and Italian products.

I spoke to the men behind the cash register to inquire about the store and he informed me that it was started as fresh food store way back in 2005 and has morphed into chain of 8 stores in Mumbai, they have recently added 2 new stores in Delhi and are now also looking to set its footprint in a few other metro cities like Pune, Bangaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai..

I was complaining about the excessive high price of food at this store and how the money from my purse just vanishes as soon as I enter this store and my friend tells me to stop eating exotic vegetables like mushrooms, Pak Soi and broccoli, asks me to eat dhal and regular fruits/vegetables that are available at Bandra market. Well……dunno if I should take her advice because the kind of food that I prefer are normally stir fries or roasted.

Although I still do visit the grocery store at the end of my lane.

Friendly young man at this old fashioned grocery store never complains if I encourage foreign products and don't visit him as regularly like I used to.

So, coming back to my BIL’s birthday gift, er.. I picked up marinated chicken (which I will bake it for dinner) some chocolate packets and 2 bottles of wine. (pssssss..I picked up one bottle of red wine for me too, for health reasons of course). The helpers at the store were very gracious, they helped me choose the wine (the Indian variety made in Nasik) and gift-wrapped it for me to make it look presentable.

The only thing that I am unhappy about this store, besides its’ highly prices items, is the placement of the cash register. I cannot see what he is punching on the screen hence I am suspicious that he might be erring during billing.

Can you turn the cash-register-screen by 180 degrees at your Bandra, Hill road outlet please?

The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” .....as it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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