The Taj is great but there are some other famous places to eat in the area…
Leopold Café (Intermediate C), Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, Apollo Bandar, www.leopoldcafe.com
Founded in 1871 the Leopold Café (aka Leo’s) is one of Mumbai’s oldest and most famous restaurants.
It was the haunt of Gregory David Roberts who wrote the bestseller Shantaram, an evocative novel about the Bombay underworld that I’d recommend to anyone who is going to visit Mumbai.
Because of its fame, the café was a secondary target for the terrorists in 2008 after they had attacked the Taj. Apparently you can still see the bullet holes in the walls.
It was packed out on both occasions Nicky and I went. We managed to get in the second time but didn’t stay as it was noisy and there wasn’t anything on the menu that really appealed to us. I’ve been told since though that the food is good so I might give it another go.
There are a few other options around…
The colours made by the rose syrup mixing with the saffron vermicelli were especially bright and the kulfi ice cream was particularly creamy. A feast for the eyes and the mouth (A).
However, make sure you’re not in Kailash Parbat Veg Restaurant, their sister business on the opposite corner. Back in 2012 it was recommended by Lonely Planet (not any more) but I’m pretty sure I got a dicky tummy from their Pani Puri .
If you need a change from Indian fare then Indigo Restaurant www.foodindigo.com at 4 Mandlik Road has a very good rep for Western food but it was closed for a private function when we went.
A sister branch around the corner, the Indigo Delicatessen at 5 Chatrapati Shivaji Maharshi Marg was open though. I enjoyed the Nachos (B) and Nicky rated their Eggs Florentine (535Rs and 600Rs respectively).
This is the only picuture you will ever see of Nicky holding a Pizza Express menu! We were in need of Wi-Fi, a rare commodity if you don’t have a local SIM, and they’ll let you have a drink without eating here. For some reason they block Facebook and certain news media like the Guardian though I have no idea why. If you don’t want beer or coffee, there is Sula Shiraz (C). They are just over the road from Indigo Delicatessen at Dhanraj Mahal on Chatrapati Shivaji Maharshi Marg.
Back at the water front, Cafe Marina in the Sea Palace Hotel www.seapalacehotel.net at 26 PJ Ramchandani Marg Road has a lovely terrace with a view of the bay but sadly they wouldn’t allow us any alcohol outside for some reason, despite advertising cocktails on their website. But if you don’t mind drinking soft drinks, it’s a lovely spot for a sunset.
Down in the docks next!