5 Things to Do in Mumbai this Weekend (& Next Week)

There’s never a dearth of things to do in Maximum City. Yet, the next few days have some exciting stuff to look forward to. Here’s my pick of 5 things you can (and should) do over the weekend and next week.

1) Catch a Movie

Image Courtesy TimeOut Mumbai
A much-awaited movie releases tomorrow – The Lunchbox, a gem of a film and a strong contender for India’s entry to the Academy Awards. Directed by Ritesh Batra, the film has stellar performances by Irrfan, Nawazuddin Siddique and Nimrat Kaur. I got a chance to watch the advance screening of the movie last weekend courtesy TimeOut Mumbai and I absolutely loved the film. Simple home-cooked food is one of the heroes of the film, which is a charming love story without any glamorous trappings and the over-the-top shrillness that characterises Hindi films these days. The film screening was followed by a free-wheeling interaction with the actors & the director. It was a privilege to meet one of the finest actors of our times and get his autograph :)

2) Sriracha Festival

Yes, that’s right! The delicious hot sauce from Thailand finds its moment in the sun with a pop-up menu dedicated to it at the restaurant Koh at Intercontinental, Marine Drive. The Bloody Mary mocktail had sriracha instead of Tabasco and it had us swooning – absolutely addictive! 

Veg Starters
The Fire Roasted Vegetable Chowder was quite ordinary. The starters were the stars really – basil-flavoured Sriracha Dumplings and cream cheese stuffed Veg Wontons for the vegetarians; Hat yai Grilled Prawns with a peanut+sriracha sauce and Chicken Wings tossed in a delectable honey-sriracha sauce – all of them recommended!
Pork Ribs
Mains 1 & 2
The mains were a mixed bag. Pokchoy Shitake Asparagus in sriracha sauce – excellent, Wok-tossed beans sprouts – good, Sriracha Nasi (fried rice with veggies) – OK, sriracha-glazed Pork Ribs – yummy and Two-flavoured Noodles with basil & sriracha sauce – delicious! 

Mains 3 & 4

Though, the dessert Sriracha Caramel Toffee Pops was a bit of a disappointment, I still highly recommend this festival for the starters and mains, not to mention that Bloody Mary! The festival is on till September 21st and will be back after the Restaurant Week (see below) and will run from October 4th to 13th.

3) Savour some French Wines

French luxury hotel chain Sofitel’s Mumbai outpost at Bandra-Kurla Complex will be hosting a Wine Programme starting September 23rd. I attended the preview last week and got a taste of the four wines that will be served during the programme. 
Image Courtesy Sofitel

We began with the Chardonnay – Chateau de Blagny, Louis Latour, Meursault a semi-dry wine with citrus and vanilla hints. Then came the Riesling Clos Saint-Landelin, Rene Mure, which was quite dry and not quite like the excellent Rieslings I had in Austria; bit disappointed. The 2 reds on offer were Chateau Clarke Baron Edmond de Rothschild and Chateau Potensac, both from the Medoc region. Both were nice enough, but I’m a white wine person and my pick would be the Chardonnay. The wines were accompanied by a variety of cheese, cold cuts, fruits, bread etc. 
Image Courtesy Sofitel
The sommelier Jessel Ferrao was on hand explaining about the various wines and was a treasure trove of information. I even got a look-see inside the very cold ‘wine tower’ where the wines are stored at the correct temperatures – the reds and whites in separate areas. So taste a bit of France at the Sofitel next week. Sante!

4) Take a Class

Pooja Dhingra, the lady behind Le 15 Patisserie has just launched her latest venture - Studio Fifteen Culinary Centre, earlier this week. The spanking new studio kitchen is located at Lower Parel and offers all kinds of cooking classes - from baking to local cuisines, from Pan Asian to party food. The best thing about the studio is that there are express classes that start at 7 p.m.; so all you office-going folks now have a fun class to look forward to after work! This weekend's pick would be the 'Cooking for Men' class conducted by the Nonchalant Gourmand Nikhil Merchant. And Studio Fifteen is not just about cooking; there are loads of interesting classes next week - 'Insta Food' by photographer Joy Manavath will teach you how to take drool-worthy food photos and in 'Food Palette' by Fat Mu you will learn basic make-up techniques, while enjoying Le 15 macarons!

5) More Restaurant-Hopping

Image Courtesy RWI

The 7th edition of Restaurant Week India begins next week – from September 23rd to October 2nd. 25 fine-dining restaurants in Mumbai are participating, including Ellipsis at Colaba, Botticino at the Trident BKC, Hakkasan at Bandra, Neel at Mahalaxmi, San Qi at Four Seasons and many more. On offer are 3-course prix fixe menus at Rs. 1,000 for lunch & Rs. 1,200 for dinner (excluding taxes & service charge). More details here.

Last year, I visited Koh at the Intercontinental and had a lovely experience. I am yet to decide which restaurant to try this year but I’m leaning towards Jyran  at Sofitel. Book early since slots tend to get filled up really quickly. Bon Appetit!

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