North of Colaba, Kala Ghoda is named for the large, black equestrian statue of King Edward VII that formerly stood at the intersection of MG Road and Subhash Chowk (there are plans to bring the black horse back). Today it is flanked by some of Mumbai’s principal art galleries, with incredible historic buildings and some of the city’s best eating (both old, and brand new). No surprises here: Kala Ghoda is our favourite little enclave in Mumbai. We chose to build our flagship store in this historic district, where the narrow streets are lined by distinctive structures built over two centuries. Each houses something we love, from cafés and patisseries to the stunning Knesset Eliyahoo synagogue. The neighbourhood is also just that – a neighbourhood, where proprietors are old friends who pop by each other’s shops when they can, and are always ready to lend a helping hand. Here’s our walking guide to the area:
Kala Ghoda Café
We love this tiny café, with its minimal, modern interior – their iced latte is the perfect pick-me-up when your legs are tired from gallery-hopping. It helps that this small (but perfectly formed) nook sits directly below our store, which brings us to…
You’ll find our home right above the café. We made sure it was spacious, easy, and full of light – a place for exploring and lingering (really – we have free Wi-Fi). Ease in with a pastry or cup of Kala Ghoda coffee, and drop a card into our post box – we’ll mail it for you, anywhere in the world.
Delhi Art Gallery
This sprawling gallery, housed in a building that’s over a century old, is home to many of the country’s modernist masterpieces, and the work of Indian masters such as Tyeb Mehta and M.F. Husain. They also hold screenings, talks, and workshops in-house, as well as auctions, for when you’re ready for a real investment piece.
Knesset Eliyahoo Synagogue
You can’t miss this ornamented turquoise synagogue, which has long been a home to Mumbai’s Jewish community. The inside is equally as beautiful as the exterior, with carved white marble, painted blue-and-white pillars, and stained arches.
Obataimu means overtime in Japanese: at this bespoke shop, you can look and touch, but not own, at least not immediately. If you like something, you’ll be fitted for it, and it’ll be delivered to you once it’s made to your specifications. If you’re in a need-it-now mood, you can shop their collection of vintage items, including travel trunks, books, and sunglasses.
This veggie-friendly café serves up local and international brunch staples (think Belgian waffles and eggs every way), but our favourites are the signature seven layer cookie and, our favourite, the bright, fresh ginger lemonade.
Further proof that Kala Ghoda is rich with vegetarian options, this Burmese café is your best bet for an authentic raw mango salad or Khao Suey. It is also extremely easy on the wallet.
Don’t be put off by the entrance, Trishna is a classic, and with good reason. Arguably Mumbai’s most famous south Indian coastal seafood restaurant, at Trishna the decor is old school, and the seating cramped, but the prawns koliwada are fantastic.
This little café has a clean white interior complemented by modern geometric details in Tiffany blue. The menu is a little bit Parisian-inspired, with a Croque Madame waffle and Quiche Lorraine, both of which we’ve tried, and both of which we will be ordering again. We also love their yummy, energizing Vitamin Boost smoothies for mornings we’re dragging our feet.
This tiny patisserie only seats 8 to 10, but even if you can’t get a seat, get a box to go. Everything is pretty great, but the La Folie macaron flavours are excellent, and a departure from the usual coffee-and-chocolate. Try the blackcurrant and violet ganache, lemon grass and basil, or the gulkand.
Jehangir Art Gallery
A Mumbai institution, the Jehangir Art Gallery is distinguished by its wavy marble awning. It has four halls dedicated to different exhibitions of modern and contemporary Indian art, including screenings and photography, with some works spilling onto the sidewalk for passersby to admire.