There’s a certain value attached to imports in Mumbai. Furniture from Italy, glassware from Turkey, antiques and art bought off Christie’s, etc, for personal consumption. However, there are an equal number of imports that have made a big mark on the city’s popular culture. These are five trends – all imports – that the city just can’t get enough of.
Any success on Indian television pales in comparison to that of Masterchef Australia. Its focus on cuisines and culinary manoeuvres were such a big hit that the city is seeing cook-ups and cook-offs à la the show’s “masterclass” concept. Alex Sanchez, Manish Mehrohtra, Sarah Todd and Pooja Dhingra are all big names in this game.
There’s nothing funny about this phenomenon that kicked-off with Russell Peters’ repeated visits. Popular in Canada, the UK and parts of the USA, the Seinfeld-like set came into being at The Comedy Store (now known as Canvas Laugh Factory). And with that, came a fresh breed of comic talent – Vir Das became a frequent feature and the infamous “roast” gave AIB a major fan following among live and TV audiences.
Taking a leaf out of Pune’s crowd-pulling breakthrough, this is what’s brewing in the city. While the neighbouring city’s Doolally has found two locations to settle in the city, Mumbai’s microbreweries are not (p)ale-ing in comparison either. Brewbot, The Barking Deer and The While Owl currently reign the circuit as do establishments such as 3 Wise Men, Irish House and The Bombay Canteen, cheering with ciders and ales from Gateway Brewing Co.
Although not the freshest import, eco-nutritionist Kavita Mukhi spearheaded the need for organic food items and the farm-to-table concept. A variety of versions have come into being, helmed by other organic food gurus – some held in maidans, bazaars and even hotels, frequented by chefs, the who’s who of the city as well as food enthusiasts. Explains why this concept has not staled over time.
Experiencing carnivals and food festivals in Europe and the US led to a burgeoning need to reclaim Mumbai’s many suburbs. Especially since commuting 30kms one way to the Kala Ghoda art festival was not proving to be anybody’s idea of fun. So, Bandra kicked off its own Celebrate Bandra festival, followed by Versova, Powai and even Kandivali. We love that from November to May, Linking Road and SV Road connecting Santacruz to Bandra turn into a pedestrian and cyclist friendly route in a bid to reclaim the streets.