Shopping in Mumbai
In Mumbai you can get everything between heaven and earth at very good
prices, although imported articles are rarely particularly cheaper than in
Europe. Here you will find exclusive, state-of-the-art shopping centers with all
the well known brand shops and street markets with live animals, vegetables,
flowers, spices and souvenirs.
Younger customers like to shop in Linking Road or Fashion Street, perhaps
also in Causeway Road, which is the main street in Colaba. Breach Candy, Warden
Road and Napean Sea Road attract the more quality conscious audience.
The town's residents are frequent users of the huge indoor market Crawford
Market or Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market, as it is also called. It was built in
1869, and is easily recognizable due to its 42-meter-high bell tower which
overlies the entrance. Here mainly fresh products are sold, such as meat, fish,
fruits, vegetables and flowers.
If you shop at one of the modern shopping centers, the prices are relatively
high, taxable and fixed. Furthermore, the product range is about the same as in
Europe. Here you will miss the fun of India's unofficial national sport, the
bargaining, which you otherwise experience every time you show a hint of
interest in an item.
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Among the crafts most tourists come home with are crafts, often ornate wooden
boxes of various sizes and larger chests. Rugs can be another bargain, often in
the same style as the more well-known Persian or Turkish rugs. All of silk and
other fabrics are considerably cheaper than in Europe and of course precious
metals such as gold and silver. But beware. It is easy for an inexperienced
buyer to be fooled.
Bazaars in Mumbai
Many of the bazaars have their specialties. If you are interested in leather and
leather goods, head for the Dhaboo Street Bazaar. At Zaveri Bazaar you can shop
for jewels and jewelery, while Mutton Street is the place for furniture,
souvenirs and juggling. At the Chor Bazaar you will find antique dealers. Please
note that all goods older than 100 years require special permission from Indian
authorities to be legally brought out of the country. Be sure to bring the
necessary documentation if you are buying antiques.
Eating in Mumbai
The food is India's most successful export item, and most of us already have
good knowledge of Indian food from Indian restaurants in Norway. The selection
in Mumbai is of course even bigger. Indians have over a hundred different ways
of cooking meat and almost twice as many ways of cooking vegetables. The
restaurants in Mumbai also have a lot of seafood on the menu as opposed to much
of the rest of the country.
Speaking of meat, it is quite limited what kind of meat you can expect to
find on the menu. Beef you should look for a long time since the cow is sacred
in India. Pork is also not served in many places, so mainly you will be offered
chicken or lamb.
In Mumbai you can try several of the dishes from the northern part of India
with chappati next, you can try strong curries from the southern part of India
with rice or vegetables, the dish gujarati thalis with its numerous vegetarian
varieties or delicate freshwater fish from Bengal.
Most of the better hotels have Indian dishes on the menu, but the smaller
restaurants are also worth a visit as they offer a more authentic, local
atmosphere than the luxury hotels.
Mumbai's own residents eat many of the meals from the street stalls, which
stand in close proximity along the busiest shopping streets. Among the most
popular dishes is pav bhaji, a type of tasty loaf stuffed with vegetables and
spices. Chinese food is also very popular.
If you order the Bombay duck dish, you may be surprised when the dish is
served. It does not consist of duck as one would think, but of dried fish.
Most people are well aware that Indian food can be spicy, so ask the waiter
in advance if you are not comfortable with it. The curries from Goa district in
particular are extremely strong; from here comes the famous vindaloo.
The desserts may be the sweetest made for Scandinavian palates with all their
cakes infused with sugar and honey, but kulfi ice cream is the exception. It is
more creamy than western ice cream, often made from boiled water buffalo milk.
It is available in several flavors like mango, cardamom or pistachio.