Saturday, September 20, 2008

Some food for thought



































 Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write comments on my posts, I am glad that they are proving to be a bit helpful to some of you. I am actually enjoying writing, as I think of points to write about and look through all of the wonderful pictures that we have taken, I get to think back to all of the great times Rhonda and I have shared during our visits to India. A few of you have asked questions concerning the food in Mumbai. This is definitely an important aspect of the trip, hey, everybody has to eat!!! For Rhonda and I, we are at opposite ends of the food spectrum, I like food to be spicy, Rhonda doesn't. I like to try new and different foods, Rhonda plays it pretty safe. A definite recommendation prior to your trip is to find an Indian restaurant and try some of the different foods. Rhonda and I, luckily enough, have an awesome couple as our good friends, who are from India and are living in Phoenix. Melanie is from Mumbai and her husband Brijesh is from Bangalore which is in the south of India. They took us to two different Indian restaurants, one was vegetarian and the other was non-vegetarian. They ordered a bunch of different dishes and we were able to try a good sampling of what food India had to offer. I enjoyed the non-veg (they serve meat) restaurant a bit more. The hotel we stayed in had an incredible breakfast buffet with both Indian and western foods to chose from. Since we had gone and eaten at Indian restaurants prior to traveling to Mumbai, we were comfortable in knowing what foods we liked and what we didn't like. When making your hotel bookings it's a good idea to check to see if they have a breakfast buffet. It is definitely a great way to start the day. At most hotels and restaurants it is safe to drink the water including juices and milkshakes. Ice in the hotels and restaurants is OK as well. We drank bottled water mostly since we could get it cold. Most Indians do not have ice in their drinks since it is not readily available. When purchasing water always check that there is a seal prior to opening it. At your hotel and restaurants they will make a point of showing you that there is a seal prior to opening it. Street food no matter how good it smells, and believe me it smells great! DO NOT eat it, the process of handling, cooking and serving it is not as hygienic as in your hotel and restaurants. As for different restaurants, the great thing about going with Surrogacy India is that Dr.Sudhir and Dr. Yash know all of the good restaurants. My favorite was a place in Bandra called BBQ Nation. Your table has a small grill in the center of it and all throughout your meal, the servers are constantly bringing you skewers of chicken, fish, prawns, potatoes, vegetables and paneer (Indian cheese) They also bring you different types of chicken, mutton, fish and vegetables and put a bit on everyones plate. But remember to save room since there is a full buffet complete with dessert and something that you definitely have to try, Gulab jamun, which are small, hot balls of pastry in a sweet syrup and best when eaten over ice cream, Yummy!!! There are a couple of great Chinese restaurants that we tried, Mainland China in Andeheri was very authentic having the rice cooked in clay pots, and the other was in the Peninsula hotel and was very good as well. At both restaurants the service was fantastic, they made you feel like you were a VIP. A fun restaurant to go to is Tator Pops. they are a chain and are like a fun family restaurant where you can kick back and have finger foods or full meals and enjoy some drinks during happy hour (which runs all day). This one you will get a laugh from. Believe it or not, I think that the best pizza Rhonda and I have eaten was from Pizza Hut in Mumbai. I mean it, the cheese and the pepperoni tasted incredible. The menu has quite a bit of variety in the choices of toppings, with western style such as pepperoni or Hawaiian or Indian such as Chicken Tikka (spiced chicken cooked in a clay oven). Another place we tried was good old KFC, and in India don't call it Kentucky Fried Chicken, they won't know what you are talking about. If you are venturing over to Juhu Beach area, there are two great spots to try while over there. The first is one of the best seafood restaurants in Mumbai. It's called Mahesh Lunch Home. Great place to have fresh seafood and I mean fresh, they actually bring it to your table alive to show you. I recommend the lobster and the prawn biryani (rice cooked with prawns). The second restaurant is called DelItalia, a small and quaint hole in the wall with authentic Italian cuisine and great garlic bread, Rhonda's favorite. We are not fancy, and Mumbai has a mix of people from different walks of life. If you want to dress up and go to a 5 star restaurant you can and if you want to go in your shorts and t-shirt, like I do, then you can do that as well. When it comes to tipping, ensure that you check the bill, the tip may be already included in the total, it will come under the hearing of service charge. If it is not included, you normally take 10% of the total and that is the tip in Rupees. They are not like the US and expect 15 or 20% tip, and the service is far superior. If you want to add more, feel free but it is not necessary. If anyone is interested, our friend Brijesh made us a food cheat sheet complete with pictures and descriptions of different Indian food. We found it quite useful to identify foods. We can email this to anyone that requests it. Once again email Rhonda at frankiewile@cox.net. Well once again I hope this was helpful. It sure is helping to keep my mind occupied while we are waiting on pins and needles for our results.