Did you know that Colaba has its very own Arab street? While it’s not an official name, it’s what we’ve coined for a small alley we found off Causeway selling Middle Eastern spices, food, hookah and more. Check out what we found there, including possibly the city’s best shawarma.
Grab Attar, Shawarmas And Kaftans On Colaba's Very Own Arab Street
Tom Ford made the smell of oud popular, we know. But this smell that’s associated with Arabs is strong, long-lasting and one that takes a little getting used to. And if you’re a sucker for that woody fragrance, all you need to do is take a walk down this street which can boast of about a dozen perfume and attar stores, small and big, all located almost next to each other.
Where To Go: While the most popular store, Ajmal is perennially crowded, there are other small stores too, such as Al-Habib Kambodi, that sell popular middle-eastern fragrances in attar and perfume form.
Shell Out: Indian fragrances can cost about INR 100 for a 3ml bottle, and an imported fragrance will cost around INR 1,500 for the same quantity.
Imported Chocolates Or Fruits
There's a small roadside stall, prominently located at the start of the footpath at Arab Street, that also houses the famous restaurant, Koyla. From hookahs to imported chocolates (such as Galaxy, Snickers, Kit Kat), you’ll find it all in abundance here, including imported dry fruits and dried fruits. Adjacent to this stall is a another fruit vendor who keeps imported apples, dragon fruits and more.
Where To Go: On the footpath below Koyla, N.A. Azmi Road, Next To the Radio Club in Colaba.
Shell Out: Imported chocolates have MRP-based pricing, dry fruits start from INR 200 a kilo
They're known for their grills, kebabs and biryanis. One of the older restaurants in Colaba, go there for a scrumptious meal and come out a happy soul.
What To Try: Mutton kathi roll, Rogan Josh and garlic naan.
Shell Out: INR 2,000 (for two)
Think authentic biryani or tandoori masala, delicious, best quality dry fruits, condiments and more, then think of the Arab street.
Where To Go: You'll find the most authentic ones at Gulf Spices, a small store located towards the end of the lane. Just walking into the store will transport you into a whole new world.
Shell Out: INR 200 onward
Kabsa & Mandhi Rice
Think close to authentic kabsa, or delicious mandhi rice or even a perfectly-made shawarma, all you need to do is bookmark this area because the spices used in all the dishes in Arab street give a way-beyond-perfect taste to all the dishes in the restaurant. Enjoy their flavourful delicacies and go back home a very happy soul.
Where To Go: You could start with a Food Plaza, and if you have time, you can head to Ideal Restaurant or Modern Juice Centre for more variety.
Shell Out: INR 800 (for two)