Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Mumbai.
Please share it with your friends, customers and associates. You can also access more than 100 cities on our website plus lots of other helpful travel tips at: thewelgereport.com/
Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near Mumbai you can see these species: Step Eagles, Coppersmith Barbet, Purple Sunbird, White Crump Vultures, Flamingoes, Orioles, Little Green Bee Eater and Spotted Heart Woodpeckers.
Here’s where you will find the birds (http://www.mumbai77.com/city/2326/adventures/bird-watching-sites/).
At (http://mumbaimag.com/bird-spotting-in-mumbai-enjoy-winters-with-the-feathered-visitors/) you can find where the winter birds are.
The Times of India (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/Navi-Mumbais-a-treat-for-bird-watchers/articleshow/24752209.cms) provides a good report.
Alcoholic Beverages: Our Cousin Lov warns that alcoholic beverages may not be as labeled, especially wine. Major luxury hotels are the exception.
PublicTransportation: This is your site for public transportation (http://www.internations.org/mumbai-expats/guide/living-in-mumbai-15323/transportation-in-mumbai-2)
Business Information: Here is help in regard to your business: (http://www.refermumbai.com/)
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Indian Food Glossary: For your convenience we have included the following description for popular Indian dishes and definitions for Indian ingredients.
Popular Indian Dishes
Achar: Any kind of pickle
Biryani: A fancy rice casserole, often containing meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables
Chapati/Roti: Thin bread cooked on the griddle
Dal: Any kind of legume–beans, peas, or lentils
Dosa: Crispy, crepe-like southern Indian specialty filled with potatoes or vegetables
Ghee: Clarified butter
Korma: Braised meats in a thick, mild creamy sauce
Kulcha: Tender, pita-like bread cooked in the tandoor
Lassi: A refreshing, creamy yogurt drink that can be sweet or salty
Masala: Spice blend
Naan: Flat, oval bread cooked in the tandoor
Pakora: Fritter dipped in a spicy chickpea batter; can be made with vegetables, cheese, chicken or seafood
Pappadum: Spicy lentil wafers
Paratha: Flaky bread fried on the griddle
Poori: Airy, deep-fried bread
Pulao: An aromatic rice pilaf
Raita: A yogurt-based condiment usually containing vegetables
Rasam: A thin, spicy broth
Saag: Spinach, but can also refer to other greens
Sambar: An extremely spicy broth popular in southern India
Samosa: Flaky, pyramid-shaped pastry stuffed with potatoes or ground meat; a traditional Indian snack
Tandoor: A deep, clay oven that has very high temperatures
Tandoori: Any dish cooked in a tandoor
Vindaloo: An extremely spicy curry dish that’s a regional specialty of Goa
Glossary of dishes:
Basmati rice: Basmati rice is authentic Indian long grained white rice, which has unique nutty flavor.
Chili: There are a great many species of chilies, which are the fleshy pods of shrub-like bushes of the capsicum family. Chilies range from large to small and colors include green, white, purple, pink, and red. Chilies are the most important heat agent in Indian cooking.
They vary in hotness from mild to incendiary-like potency. Most commonly used are the small, fresh green or red chilies. Red chilies can be dried and used whole, and chili powder is made from grinding dried chilies.
Curry: To Indians, the term curry means gravy or sauce, Curries are what made Indian cuisine famous all over the world, the most famous of all is the Chicken Curry.
Residents of the rest of the world, however, have come to think of “curry” as simply a thick creamy yellow sauce or any dish seasoned with a curry-powder blend, whether it has a sauce or not.
An authentic Indian curry is an intricate combination of a stir-fried wet masala (mixture of onion, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes), various spices and seasonings with which meat, poultry, vegetables or fish is prepared to produce a stew-type dish.
Curry leaves: (Not to be confused with the curry spice blend) The curry leaf plant is a tropical tree of the citrus family. The long slender leaflets that look a little like bay leaves are dark green on top and paler underside.
The leaves have a strong, warm curry (combination of nuts and lemons) aroma when bruised or rubbed.
Kebabs: Marinated and spiced small pieces of any meat, poultry, fish, ground meat, vegetables, skewered and grilled in a tandoor/oven or over a grill. Kebabs can also be shallow fried over a pan.
Naan: Indian flat bread made from wheat and baked in a tandoor.
Pakoras: Popular Indian crispy and spicy snack served usually hot out of the frying pot along with coriander chutney.
A popular teatime snack served with Indian tea. Slices of different vegetables like potatoes, onion, chilies, spinach leaves, eggplant etc dipped in a batter made out of chickpea flour and a few dry spices and deep-fried.
Tandoor: The traditional Indian clay oven is called the “Tandoor”. A Tandoor is a clay pot usually sunken neck deep in the ground. Charcoal is put on the flat bottom of the pot.
The heat generated by the hot charcoal in and on the sides of the clay pot is used for cooking. Long iron rods, long enough to reach the bottom of the pot, are used in the cooking process. It is probably the most versatile kitchen equipment in the Indian kitchen.
Barbecues, breads, dal, gravies made in them acquire a unique taste, very different from the food cooked on the regular kitchen oven.
Tandoori Murgh: This is the bright red world famous Tandoori Chicken. Chicken marinated with spices, dried red peppers, and yogurt, cooked in a tandoor.
Vindaloo: Meat usually pork is used to make this very spicy and flavorful dish. Cooked in vinegar and typically served 2 to 3 days after it is made.
Day One: Your first stop is The Gateway of India – Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone.
Behind the arch there are steps leading down to the water. Here, you can get onto one of the bobbing little motor launches for a short cruise through Mumbai’s splendid natural harbor.
Board a ferry for a short trip to Gharapuri Island and the Elephanta Caves - Gharapuri, Maharashtra, 91 22 2204 4040
The island of Elephanta was the abode of Lord Shiva of the Hindu cave culture.
It consists of seven caves on an island in the Sea of Oman which, with their decorated temples and the images from Hindu mythology, bear a unique testimony to a civilization that has disappeared.
Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly in the huge high reliefs in the main cave.
It owes its name to the enormous stone elephant found here by Portuguese navigators. Today the elephant is the guardian of Victoria Gardens Zoo in Mumbai.
Busaba – L & D: Daily, 4, Mandlik Road, Colaba, 022 22043769 is your place for lunch today.
One of the specials here is their maki rolls. Favorites include: asparagus tempura, salmon teriyaki and barbecue spare ribs.
Another feature that you’ll enjoy are the small plates such as: satay of grilled tofu, green pepper, prawns and a spicy peanut sauce or the Tibetan Momos with vegetables and pork.
Add a side of crispy potato wedges with chili, garlic and scallions. Dessert is the brownie sundae.
The Byculla Zoo – Th-Tu: 10-7, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, Byculla, is also known as the Victoria Garden Zoo.
The gardens are the draw spread over 48 acres plus interesting sculptures and endangered animal and bird species.
While you’re here take a look at the The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum (formerly the Victoria and Albert Museum – Th-Tu: 10-6, 91 A, Rani Baug, Veer Mata Jijbai Bhonsle Udyan, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Marg, Byculla East, 91 22 2373 1234.
This museum houses a large number of archaeological finds, maps and historical photographs of Mumbai.
Its significant collections include a 17th-century manuscript of Hatim Tai.
Outside the museum is the installation of the monolithic basalt elephant sculpture recovered from the sea, that came from Elephanta Island.
Your view at Ziya – L & D: Daily, The Oberoi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Nariman Point, 91 22 6632 5757 is of Marine Drive and the Arabian Sea.
Start with the pan-fried lobster served on a mini-uttappam with lentil tikka and lobster chutney or the smoked salmon in a mustard dill marinade with roasted vegetables.
For your main we suggest the Tandoori lamb with Indian morels, truffle oil crisp onion fritters or the grilled jumbo prawns and flaky onion rice.
Your wine is the ’08 Jordan Cabernet. Dessert is the warm mango, chocolate-cumin fudge.
Day Two: Breakfast at the Indigo Deli – B,L,D: Daily, 1st Floor, Palladium Mall, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, 91 7506425504
Their freshly squeezed juice includes sweet lime, watermelon, carrot, beet root and many more. Try the hot porridge with fruit or the Bircher muesli.
They have several egg dishes, waffles, pancakes and French toast.
This morning you’ll visit The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India – Daily: 10:15-6, 159-161 Mahatma Gandi Road, Fort, 91 022 228 444 84.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is one of the premier art and history museums in India. The architectural style is Indo-Saracenic. The museum’s mission is to bring awareness of India’s heritage.
The extensive collection includes: sculpture, European paintings, Chinese and Japanese antiquities, numismatics, textiles and decorative art.
You should visit Horniman Circle for the garden experience and also the heritage buildings that surround it.
The architecture of the buildings in the area are quite impressive.
Nearby is the Flora Fountain, an ornamentally and exquisitely sculpted architectural heritage monument.
Smoke House Deli – L & D: Daily, #Ground Floor,High Street Phoenix Mall,Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, 91 22 2493 3222 is a fun place for lunch today.
To start there are several salad choices: their Greek salad or the smoked chicken with caper berries are favorites.
The sandwich line-up has smoked pimento and leeks with pesto mayo or the tuna and sesame with scallions and celery.
Mains are lamb shanks with tamarind and garlic mash or the crisp cous cous and chickpeas. Dessert is hazelnut mousse flan.
Next you’ll visit The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir – 24/7, SK Bole Marg, Prabhadevi, 91 22 2437 3626 a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh.
The building was funded by a rich Agri woman named Deubai Patil. Childless, Deaubai built the temple so that the Lord would grant children to other barren women.
The temple hall has a shrine for Siddhi Vinayak who grants your wish. The wooden doors are carved with images of the Ashtavinayak “the eight manifestations of Ganesha in Maharashtra who is the wish grantor.”
Politicians and Bollywood film people frequent the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha. It is Mumbai’s richest temple.
A notable outing is the drive along Marine Drive to Chowpatty Beach.
Along the road you’ll see stands offering fast food and snacks plus a variety of other items. There are several 5 star hotels here plus great views of Mumbai and the Arabian Sea.
If you’re not a beach person another option is EsselWorld – Daily: 9-7, Borivali West, Gorai Island, 91 22 6528 0305.
Esselworld is India’s largest theme park with rides, attractions, shopping and restaurants.
Dinner is at San Qi – L & D: M-F, Br: Sa, Su, 1/136, Dr. E. Moses Road, Four Seasons, 91 22 2481 8222.
This is a good place to have nigri sushi and maki rolls. Our Cousin Suzie recommends the salt and pepper squid or the spicy chicken salad for an appetizer.
For your main the wok fried tenderloin with onions and black pepper sauce or the “Gong Bao” lobster with broccoli, cashews and a spicy sauce are excellent. Dessert is the lemongrass crème burlee.
Day Three: Breakfast at Café Zoe – B,L,D: Daily, Todi Mathuradas Mill Compound, NM Joshi Marg, Lower Parel, 022 24902066
It’s all here! Macchiato, cappuccino, café latte, café mocha, teas, pain au chocolate, croissant, omelets, muesli, pancakes and lots more.
A good start for your day is a visit to the National Gallery of Modern Art – Tu-Su: 9-5, Sir Cowasji Jahangir Public Hall, M.G. Road, Madame Cama Road, Church Gate, Mantralaya, Fort, 91 22 2288 1969.
It’s collection of 17,000 works include miniature paintings, modern and contemporary works. Old masters Raja Ravi Varma and Abanindranath Tagore are shown with modernists like Amrita Sher-Gil and Rabindranath Tagore.
The collection is drawn from different art centers such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Baroda and Santiniketan but also from Delhi.
It’s finally time for the hard core activity of shopping. Our Cousin Roomana suggests that you begin on the Colaba Causeway- Open daily from dawn to dusk, Colaba, south Mumbai.
It’s geared toward tourists. Look for handicrafts, jewelry, crystals, incense and clothes.
Another shopping opportunity is the Chor Bazaar or “thieves market” – Sa-Th: 11-7:30, Mutton Street, between S V Patel and Moulana Shaukat Ali Roads, near Mohammad Ali Road in south Mumbai.
Look for antiques and vintage items here.
The Crawford Market – is where the locals shop.
If you didn’t eat too much at these markets we suggest dining at India Jones – L & D: Daily, Trident Hotel, Next to Air India Building, Nariman Point, 022 66326320.
Starters to order are batter fried corn kernels tossed with salt and pepper, the trilogy of prawns or the calamari salad with peanuts and chili sauce.
For your main they serve a Peking duck or a grilled lobster. The live fish are steamed in soy and ginger broth and served with lemon and chilies. Order a side of stir-fried vegetables
You’ll like the white chocolate kafir lime roulade for dessert.
Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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