Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: Eating in Bombay

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Emily:  I love eating in India!  There are so many different types of foods and the service is excellent in the restaurants.  And the prices are cheap.

Eating in Bombay

Eating in Bombay

Trip Report Index

One of our first meals was at Gaylord which is near Churchgate railway station.

Eating in Bombay


Gaylord serves “Western” food as well as Indian food.  Daraius’ family wanted to go out to eat “Western” food since they eat Indian food at home.

We were so hungry that we ate our food without taking any picture, but I did take a picture of the fingerbowl which is a very nice way to wash your hands after a meal!  The fingerbowl is customary in many Indian restaurants.

Eating in Bombay


Another day we had lunch with Daraius’ family in the same building where his parents, grand-parents and great-grand parents lived!  It is an old art-deco building and full of character.

Eating in Bombay

Judi & Emily

I loved hearing the story  of how his grandfather met his grandmother standing on the balconies of their separate flats and talking!

Eating in Bombay


We had a sumptuous feast for lunch.

Eating in Bombay

Dhansak, Curry, & Saas

There was saas ni macchi, which is traditionally made with fish, but they made it with chicken because of my fish allergy.

Eating in Bombay


There was baked chicken, mashed potatoes & fried egg with white sauce.

Eating in Bombay

Fried Eggs With White Sauce

There was Daraius’ favorite Dhansak.

Eating in Bombay


And the all important kachumber.

Eating in Bombay


We also had rice and chapatis with our meal, and we were stuffed by the end. However, there was also dessert which included blueberry cheesecake, chocolate cake, regular cheesecake, chocolate and coffee mousse, and chocolate candy.  They sure stuff us when we visit India!

Another evening we went for a Parsi Navjote, which is kind of like a bar mitzvah for Parsis.

Eating in Bombay

Connie & Emily

We had a few drinks when we arrived, and then we danced a little before our friend arrived and we had dinner.

Eating in Bombay

At the Navjote

Eating in Bombay

At the Navjote


Eating in Bombay

At the Navjote

Dinner was very interesting.  There was a  “seating”, and you sit down and face in one direction. On the other side, the waiters each have a different specialty and will give you a banana leaf first as a plate.

The banana leaf is the plate for your food.  With your leaf, you also get a glass, silverware, and a cloth napkin.

Eating in Bombay

Emily’s Food

Then you are served various sauces and small bites, and then the main course which consists of different curries, fried chicken, and fish.

I avoided the non vegetarian options because of my fish allergy, but heard the food was excellent.  For dessert, we were also served custard and kulfi, which is Indian ice cream.  I really enjoyed the custard….the kulfi was a little too frozen and therefore hard to eat!

After dinner, we posed for pictures and then went for more dancing. It was such a fun night!

Another favorite restaurant of mine is Tea Centre, which is again near Churchgate railway station.

Eating in Bombay

Eating in Bombay

We love the iced tea here, and this time it was the only thing we ordered.  We got peach tea, mango tea, strawberry tea, melon-watermelon tea, and black currant tea.

Eating in Bombay

The Teas

They have other flavors as well, such as lemon and mojito, which we didn’t try.  My favorite was the strawberry tea, followed by the peach, and then the melon-watermelon or the mango.

Eating in Bombay

Emily at Tea Center

I had a jalebi which I had bought from Asiatic across the street.

Eating in Bombay


Their teas are especially nice because they are made with fresh fruits.  Each tea costs 85 rupees, or around $1.50.  They are a little expensive since they are served in small glasses but it is worth the taste.  Yum!

The next day we went to a traditional Indian restaurant, Samrat and ordered thali.

Eating in Bombay


A thali is a large round tray, and in the tray are several small bowls.

Eating in Bombay


The waiters then come around and serve you different foods in the small bowls: potato curry, dal, and so on.

Eating in Bombay

Emily’s Thali

My mom and aunt Judi liked the potato the best.  Thali also comes with naan and a buttermilk drink of chaas.

Eating in Bombay

Dahi Puri

They also served you gulab jamun for dessert.

Another evening we went to Ayub’s for Kathi rolls.

Eating in Bombay


Kathi rolls are grilled chicken wrapped in a roti, which is like a tortilla.  It was delicious, cheap food.  The chicken was so fresh and juicy, like it just came off the grill.  Ayub’s is different too because it’s just a drive up (or walk-up) restaurant.

Eating in Bombay

Eating at Ayub’s

On our way home, we stopped at Bachelor’s and got some ice cream & juice.

Eating in Bombay


My mom got almond ice cream, while I got a sweet custard apple milkshake.

Eating in Bombay

Eating in Bombay

Another day we went to Delhi Darbar on Colaba Causeway for lunch.   The food is delicious but it’s very oily. For starters, we had several different types of kebabs.

Eating in Bombay


Eating in Bombay

More Kebabs

To drink, we had mango lassi, strawberry lassi, and a falooda, which is adapted from a Persian drink, usually made with essence of rose, raspberry syrup, tapioca pearls, and rice flakes.

Eating in Bombay

Emily at Delhi Darbar

We had butter chicken, mutton, cheese naan, garlic naan, and buttered naan.

Eating in Bombay

Happy Daraius

It was a wonderful Indian meal we shared together!

For dinner, we went to China Garden which is my favorite restaurant in Bombay.

Eating in Bombay

China Garden

Eating in Bombay

China Garden

China Garden serves Indian Chinese, which is a lot like Chinese but has more spices and sauces.

Eating in Bombay

China Garden Appetizer Prices

It was really delicious!

Eating in Bombay

Spicy Sauces

We ordered corn curd, which is like fried creamy cornbread.

Eating in Bombay

Corn Curd

gin chicken, noodles with vegetables.

Eating in Bombay

Indian Chinese Food

…spicy beef…

Eating in Bombay

Spare Ribs and More

and orange chicken.  I loved it!

Eating in Bombay

Orange Chicken


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37 responses to “Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: Eating in Bombay

  1. The food looks great and every bit like I imagined it would in India!
    Well done on working so hard to make all this possible, and kudos to you for sharing the fruits of your labor with family and friends…

  2. i am a diehard fan of indian food, recently during my 3 weeks stay in thailand, i had trouble with finding meals , , not the sea food, fish sauce. i managed 2 find indian restaurants mom and pop restaurant with affordable price and frequented it for days.

  3. You guys know how to live it up! I am enjoying your India trip report!

  4. Wonderful post..
    Emily love your pretty outfits!

  5. Looks delicious! I am now craving Indian food. BTW, the kachumber link is incorrect – it takes you back to the dhansak page.

  6. Makes me reminisce and smile! 😀

  7. Way to get someone hungry at 9 AM EST.

    If there is any consolation for me, there are lot of thalis, indo-chinese, and other vegetarian Indian delicacies in the Tristate area.

    I am going to be on a mission this long weekend.

  8. I love your India trip report! Keep it up!

  9. And thanks for all these great posts… It is so cool to see y’all having a fun and positive experience throughout.

  10. Daraius and Emily, you’re right around the corner from my house in Bombay! It made me so happy to see such familiar pictures – like a little taste of home 🙂

  11. I have to admit that I am very scared of earing in India. I absolutely LOVE the food but I am extremely concerned about the hygiene conditions, even in the better places, much less the street food. And I have heard too many tales of Delhi Belly (e.g., the latest being the ScamCity episode on India and the numerous “doctors” that treat westerners’ stomach ailments.)

    Any advice on this front? Did anyone get ill? (And does D get ill when the others do? I ask because I hear that some people may have different organisms in their stomachs that help them be more resilient…)

  12. earing–>eating (I am NOT scared of earrings! : – ) )

  13. woah, that is a giant banana leaf

    • @Lisa – Thanks! I updated the link.

      @SS – Enjoy!

      @Naina -:)

      @bluecat – To be honest, Judi got Delhi Belly for a day when we were in Delhi, but the rest of us were fine. Yes, standards of food preparation are very different, and I’ll post a few pictures of the surroundings in the Delhi trip report. But the food is very tasty!

      I’d suggest keeping medicine on you and using it at slightest suspicion, so you nip it in the bud rather than get weak and dehydrated. You don’t really need to go to a doctor since most chemist (pharmacy) stores will sell you medicine and be able to suggest what to take. Connie and Judi managed fine, as do many other visitors, so you likely should be fine. But, yes, standards are different and you should have a plan for an upset stomach. And of course, don’t drink tap water etc.

      If you’re really concerned about the food, you could eat only at the 5-star hotels which have good, but expensive food.

  14. You mean no vada Pav at Swati? No Pav bhajji at Sardars? No panki? No frankies at Tibbs near Cusrow Baug? And Dhansak without Sali is criminal!
    This report brings a wave of nostalgia. Thanks!

  15. Thanks, D, for that response about the food. One more Q, but I’m not sure if you can answer it…

    Do you think that your wife and guests experienced far less “hassle” because you were with them? I have a strong bias against countries where I feel I always need to be “on guard” because the people can be very aggressive towards westerners (e.g. Morocco, Egypt, India). Did they ever go out on their own and have such experiences?

    I ask because I am very keen to go to India, but you can tell that I’m a little nervous about diving into it!

  16. I m chinese and non of those dishes at the chinese restaurant remotely look familiar, but strange to go all the way to India to have chinese food. I know to appease the western pallets, you show most food from restaurant but the best foods are from the street, a little disappointed that you didnt show, dine more of colorful indians street foods.

  17. but I do understand that your wife and inlaws would never dive into street food with vigor.

  18. Your pictures are awesome. I love Indian food. Going to Indian buffets twice a week or so.

  19. I was at Ayub’s two weeks ago. It was good, but not that good.

  20. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing the pictures and details of the food you found in India. It’s in my bucket list for sure. Thank you Emily for sharing this experience!

  21. Damn!
    I just had my dinner and am hungry again after seeing all those food pictures. There should be laws against eating such a variety of food in a short time frame, and also against posting pictures of that decadent food. You don’t know what kind of torture you are inflicting on some of your readers. 😉

  22. @Choi, If an Italian person saw what passes as a (Hawaiian) Pizza in the US, he would faint. In the US, we get Americanized Mexican food and Americanized Italian food and so forth, which is far different from the ‘real stuff’. So, in India the Chinese food is Indianized Chinese food and would not look like the real thing to a puritan. Foreign foods have to be modified to suit the local palette. Moerover, if the Chinese chef is from a family who have lived in India for several generations, he probably would not even know what the real Chinese food is, since he would have been raised on the Indianized version.

  23. To be fair those who get upset stomachs may not be accustomed to the spices and combinations of items. Same goes for many countries. I’m sure food preparation standards can play a part, but too many people probably assume their stomach hurts or they get the runs because the food is ill prepared. Maybe the food is just awesome and you’re not used to it. That being said, I have never been to India and the food looks fantastic. Curry always did a number on me here in sunny San Diego but I love it just the same.

  24. I had Delhi Belly when I was in India. I suffered for a few days. What surprised me was the source of my Delhi Belly. I remember eating at a buffet at the Trident hotel in Gurgaon. The next day I felt awful.

    I was very careful what I ate for the rest of my trip. It was a real shame because the food looked very good. Most of my meals were in restaurants at hotels. I did not had a chance to try street food or local food as all the hotels catered to non-Indians.

  25. I had Delhi Belly when I was in India. I suffered for a few days. What surprised me was the source of my Delhi Belly. I remember eating at a buffet at the 5-star Trident hotel in Gurgaon. The next day I felt awful.

    I was very careful what I ate for the rest of my trip. It was a real shame because the food looked very good. Most of my meals were in restaurants at hotels. I did not had a chance to try street food or local food as all the hotels catered to non-Indians.

  26. Love reading your trip report! The picture ‘Emily at Delhi Darbar’ was beautiful with all the colors!

  27. Hi everyone!

    Glad to hear you all are enjoying the trip reports and the details on the food and shopping. India is a wonderful place to visit! There’s no other place on earth quite like it, and after 6 trips there, I still never tire of it. It’s a safe place and I’ve ventured out alone when I have visited in the past. I have never been harassed or pickpocketed. I do keep an awareness of my surroundings and use common sense.

    People from India have always shown warmth and kindness to me, whether it has been in restaurants, shops, etc. I think they are used to American tourists and try to make them feel welcome.

    Also, I have only gotten Delhi belly once in my 6 separate visits. When your stomach begins grumbling, it’s best to immediately take some anti-diarrhea medicine to prevent any further symptoms. I only drink bottled water when I visit, and do not eat street food. If I move to India, I would be more adventurous, but I always want to play it safe on my 1-week holiday there.

    • @Vijay – We did the Vada Pav and Frankie too, just no pictures. The sali was on the side just in case no one liked it!

      – Possibly Emily and family received less attention because I was with them. There will be stimulus and people everywhere you go, which often isn’t the case elsewhere, so it depends on your level of comfort when your “personal bubble” is violated. You should always be “on guard” everywhere you go – from outside the Eiffel Tower to outside the Taj Mahal! I wouldn’t use the word aggressive, because it isn’t aggression as much as a desire to either interact or sell you something. It is just that it takes 4 or 5 times of saying “No” before you’re left alone.

      @Kent C – That’s a very good point since the unfamiliar spices could also play a role.

      @Jonathan – Sorry to hear about that!

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  29. I ate at Samrat & loved it. The waiters come round with huge bowls of warm ghee (clarified butter) & offer to ladle more on your thali plate if you wish. As a Westerner, I found this decadent (really, bowls of melted butter?) & of course asked for more. My Sikh friend who took me there tells me the owner is Sikh but has done very well serving Gujarati food.

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  35. I enjoyed reading about different restaurants and food trends. I live in Mumbai. Dropped in to say that I loved this post!