As the biggest city in India, Mumbai can be overwhelming for many travelers. Some 13 million people call Mumbai – known as Bombay until 1995 – home. Mumbaikars (those who live in Mumbai) experience a range of lifestyles from wealth and Bollywood glamour to abject poverty. It’s also a melting pot of a city, with countless cultures and languages spoken. This is reflected in the diverse and delicious food scene, too.
Anthony Bourdain visits Mumbai (Bombay) in Season 2, Episode 10 of No Reservations. This is the only time he visits the city during any of his shows. Anthony Bourdain visited Mumbai as part of his trip to India that also included visiting Calcutta (Kolkata); he only spends a portion of the episode in Mumbai – but packs a lot in!
Trod the streets like Anthony Bourdain in Mumbai, and you’ll sample some of the city’s most delicious flavors. Tony spent his time in Mumbai sampling Indian street food, and here’s what (and where) he ate.
Where Anthony Bourdain Ate in Mumbai: भेंडी बाजार (Bhendi Bazaar)
During his visit to Mumbai, Bourdain in just one place, भेंडी बाजार, also called the Bhendi Bazaar. Bhendi Bazaar is one of many in the area, and is in a predominantly Muslim area. For this reason, many of the dishes Tony tries are different styles than you might find the same dish elsewhere in Mumbai or India.
Here are the foods Bourdain enjoys from various street food vendors at Bhendi Bazaar:
- Kebabs – This is a familiar food for most of us, but Bourdain tries a decidedly unique style. The kebabs he tries are grilled skewered meat like kidneys, minced lamb, chicken tandoori, and lungs. We all know how Tony doesn’t shy away from internal organs!
- Falooda – At Taj Mahal Cold Drink House, Bourdain sips/slurps this well-known Indian dessert drink of fresh coriander seeds, rose water, vermicelli, homemade ice cream, and milk.
- Baida Roti – Next, he tucks into another popular Indian food: Roti. In this case, it features fried minced meat and eggs (Baida), wrapped in deliciouschapati bread (pictured above).
- Magaj – Also called Maghaz, this is the dish Bourdain is most anxious about: brains! Specifically, Magaj/Maghaz is animal brains fried with tomatoes, onions, peppers, garam masala and spices. It looks more delicious than it sounds, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try it.
As I said, Tony doesn’t spend a full episode in Mumbai, so we only see him exploring this one place. However, it’s clearly a great place for interesting and unique dishes and flavors. If you’re visiting Mumbai, its worth putting it on your must-visit list to try a few of these dishes – or countless others offered here – for yourself.
Mumbai Food Tours You Might Enjoy
Speaking of visiting Mumbai, you might want to arrange a guided tour rather than striking out on your own – especially if you might get overwhelmed by the chaos and intensity of bustling Mumbai. Here are a few food tours I found that will take some of the stress off and still allow you to sample incredible foods, just like Anthony Bourdain in Mumbai:
Have any other questions about Bhendi Bazaar or the foods tried by Anthony Bourdain in Mumbai? Let me know in the comments!