Mumbai is one of those cities that you’re either going to love or hate. For me, it is the former. (And I only say hate because before going to Mumbai, I had a few friends tell me how much they didn’t like it.) It’s such a bustling city with so much sensory overload. It has so much culture, so much history. It’s the New York of India, “if you can make it in Mumbai, you can make it anywhere.” It’s a bustling city that is surely conspicuously over-populated and dirty, but once you overlook those not so great factors, you just get sucked in to know more, feel more, and experience more.
One of the most compelling things for me was going to Dharavi (picture above), which is supposed to be the biggest slum in Asia (though it’s being contended from my understanding), and then going to a lavish Indian wedding (picture above) the next day and finding out that about a mile away (or less) from Dharavi is “Antilla” (picture below), which is the worlds most expensive home, valued at $1 billion. Such polarities exist in this city that I have never seen or experienced before. And whatever your opinion might be about these extremities’, at the end of the day, it’s what makes Mumbai…Mumbai.
One of my favorite things about Mumbai is the food. Having growing up in a Mexican household where hot sauce was more like a side dish, I was rather rapt with the spice level in the dishes I encountered in Mumbai and I embraced it with open arms. And not only that, but you get to indulge in the different Indian cuisines, be it Punjabi, Keralan, Maharashtrian, Goan, Bengali, etc. It’s very easy to get these types of cuisines with some sort of meat included, but I assure you that any of the vegetarian dishes will rock your world. Seriously, it rocked my world. The style of cooking and all of the flavorful ingredients make it easy to not miss meat… which is why I became a vegetarian for about 4 months when I was in India. And believe it or not, I had some of the best sushi in Mumbai. The restaurant is called Umame, located in Churchgate. Another restaurant favorite is Spice Tree, located in Bandra West. I had some sort of lemon rice dish and it knocked my socks off. One of the best rice dishes my mouth has salivated over!
Also, I love the sugarcane juices there. They are so yummy and good for you. And sure, the machines they you look like they’re 100 years old and all, but you learn (at least I did) to not care and give in to the deliciousness that Mumbai’s street food has to offer.
* by Jazmin Medrano