May Favorites

Here are my May Favorites. Hope you enjoy this new series. Let me know your favorites of the month in the comments below.

My new Bag

I love online window shopping and this bag was in ‘my cart’ for a long time. But then I actually bought it and now I use it all the time. It’s perfect for a day by the pool, a serious shopping marathon or even a business meeting because it has space for my laptop. This is my absolute favorite bag this month (and probably in the coming months as well).

May Favorites Bag

My favorite Ice-cream

Do you know Natural’s Ice-cream? The first time I tried them in Bangalore when my now husband and I were dating and he brought some delicious flavors to my apartment. They have amazing seasonal flavors – right now Kala Jamun is in season and it’s my absolute favorite ice-cream flavor (even more than mango).

Natural's Ice-cream Mumbai India

The Most Important Thing in Life

The most important thing in life are family and friends. And though I am sharing a lot of “things” as my monthly favorites, my favorite favorites are experiences with the people I love. A date night with my husband, a birthday party for my father-in-law, watching a movie with friends, … and so many other favorite moments in May.

Razzberry Rhinoceros

I finally made it to Razzberry Rhinoceros in early May. This is one of the most stunning venues in Juhu. Right next to JW Marriott Juhu, this restaurant/bar/lounge makes you forget that you are actually in Mumbai. I really need you to check it out to understand why this is one of my favorite places in Mumbai this month. Here is a picture I shared on my Instagram earlier (make sure you follow me).

Razzberry Rhinocereos Juhu Hotel Mumbai India

A Gift from a Friend (and you can have it, too)

Did you read my blog post about Shizusan? I mentioned Deepti who is the marketing brain and heart behind the 212 All Good and Shizusan restaurants. She is such a sweetheart. When they recently launched Shizusan in Bangalore, she posted a picture of Milo on her Instagram account. I went totally crazy and as Iced Milo is one of my favorite foodie memory from Singapore… And then, Deepti brought me a Milo container from Bangalore and since then, I have iced milo every day. The perfect gift during the hot pre-monsoon days in Mumbai… By the way: You too can enjoy iced milo at Shizusan in Lower Parel. (Tell them, I sent you.)

Iced Milo at Shizusan Restaurant in Lower Parel Mumbai India

Things to Do this Week in Mumbai (29 May to 04 June 2017)

Monday 29 May 2017

Monday Morning Blues is over. It’s time for Monday Evening Karaoke! It’s always fun to spend the first night of the week out – so take your friends or family to Summer House Cafe in Lower Parel and sing your favorite songs, drink a chilled beer and enjoy some tasty bar food.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Hop over for some amazing Hip Hop in Bandra on Tuesday! Join the Hip Hop Party at Monkey Bar after your office hustle…

Wednesday 31 May 2017

After two days of music, today is the day for food. Food with Benefits. 6 Mumbai Chefs. 6 Courses. 1 Good Cause. Food with Benefits is a unique culinary fundraising platform. This year, they are raising funds for an animal shelter in Western India. The dinner will take place at Cafe Zoe in Lower Parel and the line-up includes: Pooja Dhingra (Le15 Patisserie), Alex Sanchez (The Table), Gresham Fernandes (Impresario Handmade Restaurants), Prateek Sadhu (Masque), Viraf Patel (Café Zoe), and Rahul Akerkar.

Thursday 01 June 2017

Thursday is the perfect day for some handicraft. Learn how to bind your own book with handmade papers. Iteeha offers a workshop on working with paper and the art of binding. Spend the afternoon learning a new skill in South Bombay.

Friday 02 June 2017

TGIF! Let’s celebrate the start of the weekend with New York based Party Thieves at Razzberry Rhinoceros in Juhu. You can buy your entry tickets online or pay when you walk in.

Saturday 03 June 2017

Today is the perfect day for a lazy family brunch. Delicious comfort food and a glass or two of bubbly. One of my favorite Saturday brunches in the city is the Unapologetically Italian Saturday Brunch at Celini, Grand Hyatt. Delicious antipasti, pasta, pizza and homemade Tiramisu. (Italian) Heaven on Earth!

Sunday 04 June 2017

What about a culinary travel to Rajasthani over lunch on Sunday? Thanks to homechef Manisha it is possible. All you have to do is buy your ticket online and drive up to Andheri where Manisha will host you at her home for a typical Rajasthani lunch with Rajasthani Kadhi, Gulab Churma and so much more.

Flavour Diaries – An interactive culinary space in Khar

 

Flavour Diaries Cooking Studio Culinary Space Khar Mumbai India

The first time I visited Flavour Diaries was more than a year ago. Just a couple of weeks after Anjali opened her food experience space in Khar.

Located above Khar Social, Anjali’s cooking studio is a culinary getaway within the city. As soon as you step out of the elevator, the modern open-kitchen concept suffused with natural light invites you into the culinary world of Anjali Patak.

Flavour Diaries Anjali Patak Mumbai India

Her grandfather was a pioneering Gujarati food entrepreneur who migrated from Africa to London and founded what became the largest Indian food manufacturer in the world: Patak’s. Born into a foodie family, Anjali trained at the prestigious Leiths School of Food & Wine in London and worked with famous chefs like Jamie Olivier in London.

Born and brought up in the UK, Anjali Patak moved to Mumbai in 2015 and a few months later, opened her cooking studio Flavour Diaries in Khar.

Flavour Diaries International Cooking Classes in Khar Mumbai India

Flavour Diaries is an interactive foodie space. Anjali offers private cooking classes ranging from Sushi Making, British Baking, Mexican and Mediterranean to Indian, Vietnamese and French cuisines. You can also host a private birthday dinner at Flavour’s – I am sure your guests will love it.

Flavour Diaries British High Tea in Mumbai India

You can also check out the space over a typical British High Tea with flavourful British scones and homemade jam. Delicious! Just make sure to call up and let them know you are coming…

Flavour Diaries Reading Corner Cooking Books in Khar Mumbai India

Bonus tip: Spend some time browsing through the many cooking books that Anjali kept in the entrance area of Flavour Diaries – including her own cook book ‘Secrets from my Indian Family Kitchen’.

Things to Do this Week in Mumbai (23 to 28 May 2017)

Wednesday, 24 May

Ladies Night Out is always a good idea. Especially if it includes free flavored beers! Sassy Spoon Bandra brings to you a live acoustic performance by Praveer Barot. You can also use your Gwenda Glocalista Card at this restaurant and get 15% discount on your bill (excluding alcohol).

Thursday, 25 May

Shop ’til you drop. And all for a good cause. At Rachel’s Summer Bazaar. 10 stalls of NGOs and other lifestyle brands for you to shop gifts for friends and family that you will be visiting during monsoon or just pick up a little something for yourself.

NGO Summer Bazaar Mumbai 2017

Friday, 26 May

Check out the new cocktail bar at the Taj Lands End Hotel in Bandra. Just make sure you add your name to the guestlist. Enjoy some delicious cocktails and amazing bar food!

Saturday, 27 May

It’s the weekend. And that’s why I have two recommendations for you for Saturday. First Storified with stories from women who are “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” at Todi Mills in Lower Parel (4-7pm) and then rush to Shital’s to enjoy a unique dinner experience (starting at 7pm). The menu for this home made Gujarati meal is endless:

Welcome Drinks
PUDINA JALJEERA
COCONUT ROSE WATER

Appetisers
KHAKHRA PAPAD CHAAT
SMOKY BAJRI KHICHU GARNISHED WITH GREEN GARLIC

Main Course
AAM RAS
POORI
ROTLI
GUJARATI KADHI
BHARELA BATETA RINGNA NU SHAAK (Stuffed Potatoes & Brinjals)
TINDORA VATANA (Ivy Gourd and Green Peas tossed in minimal spices)
MAG NI DAL (A Savoury treat made of Dry Mung Dal)
KAACHI KERI NU ATHANU (Freshly made Raw Mango Pickle)
KOBI GAJAR NO SHAMBHARO (Cabbage and Carrots tossed in minimal spices)
VAGHARELA DHOKLA (Stir Fried Rice Dhokla)
BHAVNAGARI MARCHA (Stir Fried Bhavnagari Chillies)

Accompaniments
FRESHLY MADE GREEN AND RED CHUTNEYS
KHICHIYA PAPAD

Desserts
BASUNDI SHOTS
GOL PAPDI BAKLAVA FUSION
ATTA KESAR SHEERA

Mouth Freshener
HOME MADE PAAN

Make sure you buy your ticket for this amazing home meal experience as soon as possible because there are limited seats. Shital is a friend of mine and I am very excited for more and more people to taste her yummy food! So feel free to spread the word among your friends, too.

Sunday, 28 May

Watch a great German movie (“The Lives of Others”) on Sunday and enjoy a lunch from Savor Experiences. I highly recommend this movie and I think it is one of the few times this film gets screened in Mumbai. So don’t miss your chance to watch it. Details below.

The Lives of Others Movie Screening and Lunch in Mumbai India

A quick Jaipur Trip

Jaipur is a beautiful city visited by many Indian and foreign tourists. You can visit beautiful royal palaces and colorful markets in the Pink City. My husband and I visit Jaipur regularly because we have family and friends here. So when we come here, it’s usually more of hanging out with friends, dinners at home and visiting relatives and less of touristy things. But there are a few things, I always try to do:

(1) Shopping

No matter if I am in Mumbai, Jaipur or anywhere else in the world. Shopping is always a good idea. And I love to find small unique items that are specific to the place I visit. Something that reminds me of that holiday or the family visit. Something that tells a story. In Jaipur, I love to shop in the bazaars in the city center. Yes, they are touristy but they are equally popular with locals. And if can bargain well, you will find beautiful decor pieces, a pair of colorful shoes and eclectic jewelry.

(2) A little bit of holiday

Even if we are in Jaipur only for the weekend, we usually try to do something touristy: A one night trip to Ranthambore Park (last year, we actually saw tigers), an afternoon in the museum (Albert Hall Jaipur) or a trip to Amer Fort. Jaipur has so much to offer and just spending a few hours exploring and enjoying as if we were on a holiday, makes us feel so refreshed and inspired.

Jal Mahal Palace Jaipur Rajasthan India
Jal Mahal Palace in Jaipur 

(3) Check out something new (or old)

The same way I love to explore Mumbai, I am always keen to try out new restaurants in Jaipur and discover new places. Last year, I found the beautiful 28 Kothi Boutique Guest House. This time, I am visiting our friends who make amazing India inspired silver gift items. Their brand is called Code Silver and I think they just started an online store…


Have you travelled to Jaipur? What are your favorite places to visit? Or what are you planning to do and see when you are here? Let me know in the comments.

Whiskey Tasting & Whiskey based Cocktail Masterclass

The Sassy Spoon Nariman Point is hosting a Whiskey Tasting and Whiskey based Cocktail Masterclass on this Saturday, 20 May 2017.

In fact, 20 May being the third Saturday of May is World Whiskey Day. I know.. they have a day for everything, right?!. But hey… we won’t complain that we got another reason to learn about Whiskey and try out some new Whiskey based cocktails, right?

Pranav Mody, in-house mixologist at The Sassy Spoon will guide you through a tasting of the best Single Malts, Irish and Bourbon whiskeys. The tasting session is followed by an interactive cocktail masterclass in which you will learn to mix delicious Whiskey based cocktails. A complimentary cocktail and appetizers will be served. Find all the details in the flyer below or check the official Facebook event.

World Whiskey Day 2017 Whiskey Tasting and Cocktail Masterclass The Sassy Spoon Nariman Point Mumbai

By the way… This Whiskey Tasting will make for a great date with your husband.

How to survive the Mumbai heat

It is hot. Like really hot. Here are my favorite things to do to survive the Mumbai heat.

  1. Drink a lot of water.
  2. Always wear sunglasses.
  3. Wear white and loose cotton clothes.
  4. Drink a lot of Indian buttermilk (chaas).
  5. Wake up early and stay up late (and sleep during the midday heat).
  6. Eat mangoes that were kept in the fridge.
  7. Add cucumber salad to every meal.
  8. Drink hot mint tea (it actually cools your body).
  9. Take lukewarm showers instead of cold showers (again, it cools your body better).
  10. Eat ice-cream. Or even better: eat ice-cream sandwiches.
  11. Go swimming. every. single. day.
  12. Leave the city and go to one of the many hill-stations for the weekend.
  13. Eat lot of fresh fruits.
  14. Put sunscreen. Always.
  15. Wear a hat (even if you look silly).
  16. Drink fruity cocktails.*

*The Sassy Spoon in Bandra celebrates World Cocktail Day tomorrow with refreshing summer cocktails starting at 99INR. You’ll properly meet me there.

World Cocktail Day at The Sassy Spoon Bandra
World Cocktail Day at The Sassy Spoon Bandra

 

Things to do this week in Mumbai (08 to 14 May 2017)

Monday, 08 May: Indonesian Food Festival at Fifty Five East, Grand Hyatt

Grand Hyatt is hosting a fantastic Indonesian Food Festival at its multi-cuisine restaurant Fifty Five East. Check out all the details at the official Facebook event. The festival is on until 14 May 2017.

Tuesday, 09 May: Buy Befriend products at the new IndiaCircus Store

Befriend is launching its 3rd exclusive waterproof collection for the monsoon season at the India Circus Flagship store in Kala Ghoda. Join Rachel Kurien and Krsna Mehta for Coffee and Hors d’oeuvres on Tuesday (10am to 7pm).

Befriend and IndiaCircus Event in Mumbai

100% of Befriend’s proceeds go towards grassroot developments of women and young girls. I love to shop for a good cause! What about you?

Wednesday, 10 May: Live Music at Hard Rock Café Andheri

If you are looking for entertaining and experimental Hindi live music, you should definitely head to Hard Rock Café in Andheri on Wednesday. The Yellow Diaries perform live and for (nearly) free (=cover charge of 500 INR per person). You can pay at the door or buy your ticket on Insider.

Thursday, 11 May:

Check out Desi Deli’s new menu. A post breakfast bite, a quick burger for lunch, an afternoon snack or a pre-dinner desi dog… Your choices are endless. Don’t forget to use your Gwenda Glocalista Card to get 15% discount.

Desi Deli Mumbai New Menu

Friday, 12 May: Lunch Feast at Bombay Connect, BKC

Check out the new co-working space of Bombay Connect in BKC and enjoy delicious treats during their Lunch Feast on Friday. Eight home chefs from across the city came together for this event and you can purchase food from any of the cuisines that you like. Details to be found on the official Facebook event.

Saturday, 13 May: Children’s Healthy Baking Workshop at Craft, Phoenix Marketcity

Little Stirs will host a Healthy Baking Workshop for kids at Craft in the Phoenix Marketcity Mall in Kurla. Your little masterchefs will learn to measure, mix and bake healthy treats. Details in the flyer below.

Kids Baking Workshop at Craft Phoenix Marketcity Mall Kurla Mumbai

Sunday, 14 May: Mother Day Brunch at JW Sahar

It’s not a secret. The best Sunday Brunch in town is at JW Sahar. Every Sunday, they surprise us with another beautiful curated theme and delicious treats. This is definitely the perfect place to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Things to do this week (01-07 May 2017)

I come across so many exciting events and things to do every week. And I would love to share them with you because there is no better way to make new friends and to explore a new city then when you attend events.

So here are my picks for this week. And don’t forget to say hi when you meet me at any of the events. I love to connect with you off-line as well.

Tuesday: Savor Experiences Maharashtra Day Lunch

I recently tried out the Savor Experiences Gourmet Tiffin Service and absolutely loved it. Delicious agilo olio spaghetti with veg meatballs in tomato sauce and a walnut pear arugula salad. Yum! I love that they always come up with something special for holidays, festivals, etc. And because today is Maharashtra Day, they are offering a special Maharashtrian Lunch delivered to your doorstep.

Savor Maharashtra Day Gourmet Tiffin Lunch

Wednesday: Kids Cookie Decorating Class at Spring Street Bakery

Our friends from Spring Street Bakery have some amazing cookie decorating classes going on right now. This Wednesday, the class is themed Summertime and kids can decorate delicious American style sugar cookie with their own creativity. They also have a Mother Day theme class and a Girls Night Out class coming up. Check details here.

Thursday: Summer Dinner at Mia Cucina

Did you notice that nearly every restaurant in Mumbai has a special “Summer Mango Menu” going on right now. And yes, I love mangoes. In fact, I have multiple kilos of mangoes at home at any given time (my favorite mango is Badam mango by the way). But… I love that the Summer Menu at Mia Cucina in Powai crafted a special 14 dish Summer menu that has three main summer ingredients: Brussels sprouts, Portobello mushrooms and Mangoes. Check out the entire menu here.

Mia Cucina Powai Summer Menu

Friday: AWC Cinco de Mayo Party

Friday night is party time! The American Women’s Club of Mumbai hosts a fun Cinco de Mayo party with unlimited sangria, Mexican food and Latino music at Bastian in Bandra. (Don’t worry.. it’s not just for American women. The event is open to the entire expat community!) For details/RSVP get in touch with AWC at social.awcmumbai@gmail.com P.S. Don’t forget to say hi to me. I will be on the dance floor all night long…

AWC Cinco de Mayo Party in Mumbai

Saturday: Mind Her Biz Meet #3

I love Mumbai for being home to so many amazing entrepreneurs and people with great ideas. If you are like me and you get inspired by strong female entrepreneurs, you should definitely attend the Mind Her Biz Meet #3 which will host a panel discussion on branding and social media with Pooja Dhingra (Le15 Patisserie), Tanvi Mehra (Tangerine Arts Studio) and Snigdha Manchanda (Tea Trunk). It’s the perfect place for you to network and connect with like-minded people. (Plus: the event is held at the beautiful It Happened In New York in Bandra.)

Sunday: Mumbai vs. Mumbai

Harkat Studios in Versova presents “Original English Monologues that explore & celebrate life in Mumbai.” Doesn’t that sound interesting? It’s a collection of theatrical pieces from Zubin Driver’s book ‘Falling Indians’. What better way to get to know the Mumbai spirit than trough theater? Check out the Facebook event for details and tickets (350INR per person) can be bought here.