From tap dancing classes to home delivery of your favorite cheeses, we scout out the best and quirkiest services in Mumbai.

Smokin O's : Home Hookah Service
Friday, 25 October 2013 11:13

What: Hukkalicious sheesha service, call Natasha on 9619366043, starts at Rs 800 for a sheesha with 2 chillums for 2 hours going up to Rs 1,500 for unlimited chillums for the entire night; order 2 days in advance for a big party and 2 hours before for a regular order. 

Why: A peach scented haze clears at your friend’s house party to reveal the love of your life smoking a hookah. You bond over sheesha, realize you have all these common friends and not-so-common tastes, go on a date and live happily ever after. Pipe dream? Maybe, but it’s worth a shot. The next time you’re having a party at home, call Hukkalicious, a service that sends over a box stashed with sheesha, flavour, coal and an attendant to oversee it all as you lounge about waiting to get lucky. With flavours like grape, paan mint and peach, the sweet smoky dream is guaranteed. The rest is up to you. 

When: You want to hook-ah up.

Delhi Art Gallery To Open in Kala Ghoda
Thursday, 24 October 2013 11:06

Art flies South for the winter this month as the Delhi Art Gallery comes to Mumbai, with an opening on October 26. Housed in a buttery yellow building near the blue synagogue at Kala Ghoda, the location for this much awaited opening seems perfect.

Art aficionados can check out their retrospective exhibit- Mumbai Modern, featuring works of Progressive Artists’ Group ( FN Souza, S H Raza, MF Husain) ; celebrating their formation way back in 1947 and their journey since. The exhibit opens on October 26 and will be on until the end of the year, with all of the pieces being showcased up for sale.

DAG in Mumbai will be a four level gallery showcasing the group’s works on the ground and first floors. The other levels will host the gallery’s permanent collection, a sculpture courtyard cum auditorium, private lounges and gallery offices. 

Dilli Heart!

Getting There: Dr V B Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, call 49222700, or  email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Play RBI Games Online!
Friday, 18 October 2013 11:45

What: Games for ‘Common Person’ on the Reserve Bank of India website, click here to play.

Why: Could this be one of new RBI chief Raghuram Rajan’s measures to curb inflation, we wondered as we stared at the scrambled hundred-rupee note that needed to be pieced together. Traced thanks to a (spectacularly) bored friend at work, we found this totally random puzzle on the RBI site that’s part of their outreach effort to spread financial knowledge to the ‘common person’. Jigsaw puzzle together Indian currency notes, ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 1,000.

When: You’re puzzled about finance.

Friday, 18 October 2013 11:42

What: Dial-A-Blow-Dry from Orange N Lemon, a home spa service, see their website here, call 9930011995, currently operates only in South and Central Bombay, Rs 500.

Why: For those who can never make it back from work before beauty parlour shutting time, this one’s for you. The recently launched Orange N Lemon, a home spa and salon service, comes over to do a quick blow dry before you leave for your soiree. At Rs 500 and over in 25 minutes, we were satisfied and well coiffed once they were done us. To the prune and back! Their list also includes salon services like waxing, threading and massages.

When: You're dryna look good.

Zumba In The Club: Dancefloor Exercise
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 12:16

It’s your regular Saturday night out. You’re at a club, there’s music, people are dancing. Now let’s tweak the scenario a little bit.

Let’s ditch the stilettos for sneakers and the LBD for track pants. Get ready for Zumba In Da Club, mad-fun Zumba sessions that takes place in clubs around Indian cities. Normally, we would never endorse anything that uses ‘da’ instead of ‘the’, but bpb’s newest staffer has tried this out first hand and insists it’s a ton of fun. Da Wince Code?

Modelled after a similar initiative in LA,  Zumba In Da Club, a workout + party was started up in Mumbai by Zumba instructor Anusha Sipahimalani, who has conducted a bunch of these across India. Each one involves a 90 minute power-packed session of samba, salsa, merengue, mambo and bachata set to the latest in commercial club music where 150 Zumba workouters join the party.

Try Outs

At a recent Zumba in Da (cringe) Club event at Canvas, this writer decided that her 4 months of Zumba lessons were adequate preparation for what lay ahead. Instantly, her 5 foot nothing self was swallowed in the merciless crowd with attempts to keep up with the instructor on the stage ahead. Overwhelming at first, you’ll soon learn to keep pace and eventually have a blast. And while the lack of alcohol at the club might deter some (we’ve probably lost a few of you here), there have already been three successful events so far with another one slated for December. Anusha has no Facebook group or Twitter feed, insisting that the club is filled through word of mouth on the Zumba circuit.

Pink Slip

For those of you looking to start slow, there’s the Party in Pink Zumbathon, a nationwide 8-city venture in support of Breast Cancer Research. Dot your Calendar for October 27, 2013, as Bangalore, Delhi, Goa and Mumbai among others, get prepped to prance in pink. While it won’t follow a traditional Zumba In Da Club format (it’s going to be held at National College in Mumbai and Swing in Gurgaon), the adrenalin will be just as high and you’ll contribute to a cause more noble than just burning calories.

Getting There: For details call Anusha on 9820078370, entry varies from Rs  300 to Rs 600.

HopeMonkey: Hope Is Where The Heart Is
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 11:11

You couldn’t make it to the protest. It’s cool, hit like on their Facebook page and sign this online petition. Do you have a happy helper’s high? Not yet?

Shift your gaze from your social media feed to this website for a moment. Targeted at the young philanthropist is HopeMonkey,  a small non-profit with a big heart that wants young Indians to put their privilege to work.

Fixing The (G)aping Hole

Launched only last week, HopeMonkey was started by former journalist Tithiya Sharma, whose “life changed” after a two-year trip across forty countries in search for a hundred local heroes. “I was in a space where cynicism had set in my bones. I wanted to be inspired and so I did what all of us want to do. I quit my job and travelled in search of inspiring stories,” says Tithiya, who chronicled her 100 Heroes Project journey through columns she wrote for Hindustan Times.

Travelling across continents, seeing so many places and being exposed to different cultures sounds like a super gig, but Tithiya tells us that more than all the mountain ranges, beaches and churches she’s seen, are the memories of the people she met who made her feel empowered. Once back home, she analysed what social organizations in India need the most. “In almost all cases, it’s a really simple, basic issues like funding, or infrastructure or even well educated people”. Findings from all this resulted in HopeMonkey- India’s daily dose of Karma.

How You Can Use HopeMonkey

According to Tithiya, the idea of philanthropy in India is either event based- during Diwali/ Christmas/ tax filing or “just something privileged people do”. Turning that notion on its head, HopeMonkey wants to make everyday people protagonists of social change.

Have some extra money and don’t know where to start? Log on to the website and choose from their variety of inspiring stories to contribute to. It could be midday meals for street kids at a footpath school in Mumbai; sports gear for boxing champs in Gwalior or even cycles for children in Mokhada, Maharashtra to get to school.

Tithiya ensures us that all projects featured on the site go through rigorous background checks and observation periods during which they assess whether they are appropriate fits for the HopeMonkey model.

But it doesn’t stop at a donation and progress report. Share this on your social pages, and apart from matching your donation, HopeMonkey’s corporate partners will donate Re 1 for every like and share generated. Sharing is caring, indeed.

Plans for volunteer programs are in the pipeline currently as well as localized kindness projects aimed to encourage people to embark on their own philanthropic journeys. Like Tithiya says, monkey see, monkey do?

Getting There: HopeMonkey Foundation For India
, 303, Shree Prasad house, behind National College, 35th road, Bandra (W), call 65015505, view their website here , Facebook page here.

Find Your Vino!
Friday, 04 October 2013 13:46

What: Vivino Wine Scanner app. Available for download (free) on iPhone here and Android here.

Why: Because you're looking at the bartender, smacking your lips and throwing guesses like dry and full-bodied his way. Avoid being labelled a phoney  with this handy app (almost like a Shazam for wines). All you need to do is take a picture of the wine label on your bottle and the app will immediately identify the wine, share its rating, popularity score, rank, average price and places nearby selling this wine. Moreover, it recommends wines to choose for the next occasion. There, that's the drinking buddy you'd been looking for.

When: You don't want to get robusted.

New In Kala Ghoda: House Of Tales
Thursday, 03 October 2013 11:12

With little cafes and stores, and cool points that automatically get added to any restaurant that opens here, Kala Ghoda feels like the new Bandra. Home to the newly opened Nico Bombay, soon expecting the Delhi Art Gallery and staying hush about a boozy luxe venture that’s set to launch soon, the Kala Ghoda festival it seems, is now all year round.

And while strolling around the area, we found a way in which you can own a space here too (and serve food and alcohol), even if just for a day.

Space Cadet

Enter House of Tales launched by Neha Sheth, this is a contemporary event space that is ‘yours to design’. Neha, a Mumbai girl who studied and worked in PR and hospitality in the US, returned to India some time ago to start this up.

Originally used as a storage den, Neha had plans to turn the property into a café. But when that didn’t work out, she developed the idea for a space that is pretty much open to anyone who has a fun idea for an event.  It is pitched as a place to tell stories, to engage in dialogue, watch performances, host parties and well, just be.

There may be seven galleries in Kala Ghoda, but where HoT scores, Neha says,  is that they are not snobby about who rents the space and will not only display art and host exhibitions, but also extend themselves to other activities. They have a food license and can acquire temporary liquor licenses as well, so feel free to use it as a party spot or a space to host that single malt tasting for friends.

As part of their packages, House of Tales provides support services to the events hosted there including catering, photographers, marketing, valet and will even help you flesh out your idea to create a full blown event.

Their Event Roster

HoT launches with their first pop up boutique on October 5 for Home Label’s Diwali collection styled by Susanne Roshan. Also on House Of Tales’ calendar is Delhi restaurateur and chef Ritu Dalmia’s restaurant that will live at House Of Tales for a week.

Sounds like your table is about to get laid.

Getting There: 21 Dr. VB Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, call 22041575, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for enquiries

bpb Directory: September Ends
Thursday, 03 October 2013 11:10

Presenting our new regular feature: the bpb Directory - a round up of the month's stories together in one place, so you can catch up on something if you missed it or re-read a favourite review. Here’s what happened in September!

Food & Drink

From duck fat infused drinks to pale dim sum and frothy tiramisu to finish it all off with. Food and drink this month was in plenty.

Studio Fifteen Launches In Lower Parel:Presenting Pooja Dhingra part deux. The baker-extraordinaire-turned-business woman launches a cooking studio where you can take classes and learn how to make the yum macarons and choux pastry sold at her Le 15 Patisserie.

Shop no.4, Rajgruha co-operative housing society, B wing, B. M. Marg, near India Bulls Financial centre, Elphinstone road, 11am to 8.30pm, call 84540 46544 ,view their website here.

Goa’s Thalassa Pops Up At Olive Mahalaxmi:

The Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mahalaxmi will host The Thalassa Pop Up with owner-chef Mariketty Grana for six months, collaborating on a special décor and putting out the Thalassa menu just for you. No food from the Olive menu will be served during this time. Plus, bpb’s Coup Card holders can use the culinary card here and get 15% off their bill!

Amateur Riders Club, Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mahalaxmi, call 40859596.

bpb Review: Ping Pong:

A light, light pink Lychee and Roses cocktail and a basket of translucent dimsum. This almost-pink-but-not-quite picture pretty much sums up our pale dining experience at the London dim sum restaurant that finally opened in Mumbai after much delay.

Ground floor, G Block, First Financial Centre, Bandra Kurla Complex, call 67413333, approx. Rs 3,000 for a meal for two with one drink each.


Never eat at a crappy restaurant while traveling again. Dine with a local to really get a flavour of the city.

Visit their website to find a host or sign up as one. Rs 3,000 for a meal at Alibaugh.

bpb Review: Maritime By San Lorenzo:

The restaurant with its blue walls and vanilla latticework instantly makes you want to travel. But stay put and sample the perfect tiramisu while you’re there!

Maritime By San Lorenzo, Taj Land’s End, Byramji Jeejeebhoy Road, Bandstand, Bandra (W), call 6668 1234, meal for two Rs 6,128.

bpb Review: Auriga

Auriga, named after the constellation which means charioteer in Latin, will soon have its range of molecular cocktails and Sui Mai ready, so maybe stop by then, because the food we sampled wasn’t great.

Plot no 1B (ground and first floor), Famous Studio Lane, off Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi, call 9920917181, meal for two: Rs 3512

Made To Order Madeleines

These bite-sized cakes are sweet and buttery, more addictive than potato chips and definitely worth a trek to South Bombay. You could pair these with honey, caramel or Nutella. Three graces!

Frosted by Asheesh Dubash, call 9867188779 to place an order, Rs 240 for a box of 20 madeleines

bpb Review: Del Fresco Cantina:

Del Fresco is yet to start serving alcohol. If the margaritas are tasty and cheap, the place could manage to steal some of Bandra's culinary buzz.Until then, we're going to salsa some place else.

Del Fresco Cantina, ONGC Lane, Near Chez Moi, Bandra reclamation, meal for two without alcohol, Rs 1075

bpb Review: Nico Bombay

Nothing about Nico Bombay feels new and that's a good thing. With spotted mirrors and Blackened Manhattans; a chef at ease and a bartender who knows exactly what he's doing, this Kala Ghoda restaurant feels like it's been around in the city for as long as you have.

Nico Bombay 105, Mubarak Manzil, Bombay Stock Exchange, Bombay Samachar Marg & Apollo Street, Kala Ghoda, call 22624466, meal for two is approx Rs 3,500 with one drink each.

bpb review: Mekong, Palladium Hotel:

James Bond like music, a stunning view and baby food like dessert. Not necessarily in that order.

Mekong, Palladium Hotel, 37th Floor, Palladium Hotel, Next to Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel, call 6162 8000, meal for two: Rs 5650 without alcohol.

Late Night Sriracha Fix:

If you love Sriracha you’ll know that it’s not the easiest thing to find in Mumbai. Flybyknight now delivers it right  to your doorstep!

Sriracha Rooster Chilli Sauce now available on, for 24 hour home delivery see details here or call 9930067337, Rs 899 for a bottle

Get Grandma’s Cake in Khar: Is your head, heart and cart crammed with desserts so fancy that all you crave now is a good ol’ sponge cake? Enter Nikita Sanyal of Bombake, MBA graduate and baker who does an excellent Grandma’s Cake, a giant doughnut shaped moist sponge cake topped with a sugary glaze. Simple-tin!

Bombake by Nikita Sanyal, view her Facebook page here, call 9619092519 to place an order, Rs 600 for a 9 inch Grandma's cake, Rs 1,200 for a lime cracker pie for 16 servings,  currently no delivery service, pick up orders from Union Park, Khar

Boozy Ice cream Home Delivered:

In a non-descript Mahim kitchen, Alok and Shilpa Rao make artisan, hand-churned ice cream, add all kinds of liqueurs and deliver these cocktail-inspired scoops to your doorstep under the label Drunken Cream. Cone-ichiva!

To order click here or call 9769937455, Rs 462 for a 500 gm tub, home delivery only on three tubs or more else pick up from Mahim, order a day in advance.


Collector’s edition books, tiny clay sculptures and gorgeous Chanderi saris all caught our attention this month.

bpb Pick: The Shadow Lines Collector’s Edition: Each of these limited 500 copies are numbered, come with a ribbon book mark and a slip cover. And if that doesn't make you feel special enough, Amitav Ghosh sends a personalized note to you with your book. Pen pals for life?

25th Anniversary collector's editon of Amitav Ghosh's The Shadow Lines, order here, ships within two days , Rs 1,499 for a copy.

Namah Sekhri Designer Boutique & Art gallery: Smack in the middle of the busy Fort area and up four flights of stairs in a somewhat innocuous building, sits Namha Sekhri, a fashion and accessory store/art gallery that  features clothes, accessories, shoes and bags for men and women, by relatively new and young designers.

Namha Sekhri Multi Designer Boutique & Art Gallery, 412, Emca House, ShahidBhagat Singh Road, Fort, call 66311055, prices start at Rs 1,500, Rs 3,500 for a reversible silk-linen jacket, view their Facebook pagehere.

bpb Pick: Chanderi Sarees from Red Hibiscus

This new store at Versova  stocks elegant Chanderi saris sourced straight from weavers in Madhya Pradesh. We found some lovely pieces with lotus and paisley motifs in pastel colours, rani pink and black. Don't worry, we'll save you a pleat!

Red Hibiscus, 8 A,Beach Queen apartments, JP road, near Chai Coffi, Seven bungalows, Andheri (W), Rs 3,000 for a Chanderi sari.

Meet Moe:

Check out these tiny, adorable clay sculptures that are a big hit on the gifting circuit crafted according to your giftee’s personality , no matter how weird.

Moe, custom made clay sculptures, see their Facebook page here, website here, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Rs 499-Rs 1,299.


Get a personalized illustration, fix up your house and find yourself a brand new job! You’re welcome.

Personalised Illustrations: The Happy Page:

Share what makes you happy and have it turned into an illustration.

Happy Page, see Facebook group here.

bpb Classifieds: Kick start your career as a writer for Hill Road Media, or an intern with VH1. Cool gigs.

Home Repair Service: Travtus Work Force:

This recently launched website offers repair services for odd jobs around the house – leaky taps, ugly wall patches, electrical work - that you’ve been meaning to get fixed for a while., a home repair service that offers electric, plumbing, patchwork, window, woodwork and tile repair services,  call 65554747, start at Rs 631 per month for a yearly plan

Pearl Shah Styling Studio -Stylist for the stars. Pearl Shah will lend a sympathetic ear and keen advice to your styling woes.

Pearl Shah Styling Studio, call 98201 66045 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , view the website here.

The True School of Music Opens:

Get strung along at The True School of Music (we told you about this in May), a super new music school conceptualized by composer and Blue Frog co-founder Ashutosh Pathak. Now open for tours and sign ups!

The True School of Music opens, True School of Music, Sunmill Compound, Lower Parel, view the Facebook page here, start at Rs 5,000 per module.

The Memory Company- Professional consultancy on book design, photography, corporate, family and individual led photo and narrative based archives and research. Curation of contemporary and archival photo exhibitions is on the cards too.

The Memory Company, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for details, see their website here, view their Facebook page here.


We've got a few cool getaways lined up for you. Not too adventerous? A gorgeous spa resort opens an hour outside Delhi, and an organic farm retreat in Bangalore. Now boarding.

Prakash Collection: A gorgeous Delhi shop tucked away in a corner in Nehru Place market, you will find every kind of lace, button, trimming here that you could ever dream of. Trust us.

Prakash Collection, 104, Guru Angad Bhawan, 71, Nehru Place, call 64560098. Rs 1,200 for a ready made collar necklace.

Dusit Devarana: This is where they store all the light. Seriously. A gorgeous space inspired by nature's element, drive an hour from Delhi and get your Zen on.

Dusit Devarana, NH-8, New Delhi, call 33552211. Rs 14,000 for a garden view room. Book here

Earth Kitchen: Arati Venkat will make you mousakkas, risottos and Tunisian red meat spiced with fresh herbs and veggies she grows herself. Spend a day at her farm, there's a wading pool here too.

Earth Kitchen, Behind Taj Kuteeram, Nrityagram Road, Hessarghatta, Bangalore. Call 990874424, visit website here. Rs 1250 per person for a meal at Earth kitchen (reduced prices for children. Pets are welcome!)

Haveli Yoga Retreat:
The Yoga House organises a feel good yoga retreat at a Haveli in Udaipur overlooking a lake. Don't topple over while doing that downward dog pose.

Yoga Retreat in Rajasthan, to sign up email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Rs 27,500 for the four day package with stay, meals, daily asana and meditation classes, airport transfer and sightseeing expenses.

Talon Hunt: Royal Treatment Nail Spa
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 10:59


Standing wide between general stores and residential buildings at Pali Hill, Bandra,  the brand new Royal Treatment Nail Spa sticks out like a sore thumb or should we say, like a chipped red nail on a pretty girl with no time for manicures.

With an ultra white exterior lit by UV lights, the spa has a strictly clinical feel from the outside. Step inside though, and it reveals itself to you with comfy mani-pedi chairs, a wall of nail polish to choose from and an entire menu of services dedicated solely to your hands and feet. Hey there, cutie-cle! The rate card is pricey though, with a basic service starting at Rs 500.

Straight away, you notice what’s nice  about Royal Treatment -their OCD about cleanliness. The staff insists on using hand sanitizer before and after a nail job and even encourage their clients to do the same.

Chipped In

Kicking herself for getting a pedicure over the weekend, this writer opted for the Paradiso manicure and a foot massage. An “indulgence with moisturising milk and honey”, the Paradiso treatment feels lavish and slightly OTT, but carefully supervised and well executed.

After some careful filing, heavy duty soaking and being drowned in moisturizing milk, a sugary organic scrub followed. Post the scrub, more moisturizer was applied and our hands were cling-wrapped for about ten minutes to lock in the moisture around the fingers.

Just when the cling wrap situation was starting to feel a lot like Dexter, the foot massage began and all murderous thoughts melted away.

Leg & Elbow Room

In a pleasant departure from the usual, this writer’s masseuse took his own sweet time with the massage, slathering on the moisturizer while concentrating on relaxing every knot and cross.  At approximately half an hour per foot, it was one of the most thorough massages we’ve gotten with toes, ankles, knees and calves all feeling well rested. A bright orange nail polish finished the job. We plan to go back yes, when the old pedicure wears off and when we feel like spending more than we would at our local beauty parlour.

With feet and fingers that had nothing to complain about we left, but got a earful from our well, ears that had to endure loud pop music which was very un-spa like. Apart from that though, we were pretty enameled.

Getting There: Royal Treatment Nail Spa, Ground Floor, Maria Apart,emts, 78 Pali Hill, Nargis Dutt road, Bandra (W) , call 26048282 ,view their Facebook page here, Rs 1200 for a Paradiso  manicure, Rs 500 for a foot massage

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