Sunday 16 June 2013

My Mumbai Waitrose Joy!

I am sure I am a year behind everyone else who lives in the Powai area, but yesterday, I discovered the Waitrose aisle at Hypercity supermarket.  Yay!  Apparently this heavenly partnership was struck up in 2006 when Waitrose became the first British supermarket to have (some sort of) a presence in India. It may well be a small presence - in fact a very small presence - being a few racks of dry foods, sauces, beauty and cleaning products (mostly) from the 'good value' Essentials range.  Nevertheless, it was a most welcome sight to see such a beloved food label from home.

The 'Internation Foods' area of Hypercity - the Waitrose outpost

Actually, Hypercity was a bit of a revelation in itself. It is the first truly western-style supermarket I have seen here in India (other than the relatively diminutive Nature's Basket with its poor till management and over-priced foreign foods).  Hypercity has proper fruit and veg aisles - where you can even get cut, washed and packaged fruit and veg; a bakery with different types of loaves, burger baps, buns and sponge cakes; several aisles full of tinned and bottled goods; areas selling kitchenware - pots and pans, crockery, cutlery and plastic or steel containers; clothing; beauty and baby products; pet and gardening supplies; a room dedicated to alcohol including fancy French and Italian wines (very pricey!); and of course your usual Indian products - where, to name but a few, you can pick up huge sacks of rice and dhal, a hundred varieties of pickles, ready made dosa and idli mixes.  Size-wise, Hypercity is on a par with a Sainsburys Superstore or Tesco Extra. 

Sadly, there is no fresh meat counter to be found at this supermarket [Correction! According to one of the comments below, there is a meat room next to the alcohol room!]  So no ham, bacon or pork pies for BombayJules.  But there is a cheese counter selling expensive Stiltons, Bries and Cheddars (which of course we purchased in desperation.)

For other British expats out there, it's a bit of a trek to Hypercity in Malad West (one of only two Hypercity branches in Mumbai) - but it's worth it!  And now I have a little piece of England in my kitchen cupboards....

Cleaning products we don't need - more ham please Waitrose!

Nice for the guest bathroom I suppose

Yay, Garlic Mayo!

Actually - British flour is much better for making cakes or for making sauces.
I have been known to bring this back in my suitcase...

Imported ingredients like pasta can be very expensive in India - this lot is still pricier than back home but cheaper than Nature's Basket - so we bought in bulk.

Tinned goods such as tomatoes, sweetcorn and children's spaghetti can also be very expensive - if you can find them.  But of course everyone in India buys these things fresh before cooking them!

However, in my opinion, proper Italian cooking does need tinned plum tomatoes.

Rack with Waitrose cereals 

Rack with baby cleansers, tissues, foil and cling film and sandwich wraps.  We really don't need these items Waitrose/Hypercity...more pork pies please!

Hypercity's freshly cut fruit and veg.

A room devoted to alcohol - the wines of course are very expensive - £20 for a bottle of average French or Italian wine.

Hypercity's baby goods

Proper tills with proper scanner and conveyor belt!! (Read it and weep Nature's Basket!)

And someone to help pack!
Address: Next to Inorbit Mall, Malad Link Road, Malad (West) Mumbai 400 064
Toll Free Number: 1800-209-7172 & 1800-102-0468
Store Timings: Weekdays: 10.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m.

There is also another Hypercity at Vashi near Navi Mumbai.

Address: GR Floor, Inorbit Mall, Plot No. 39/1, Sector - 30/A, Vashi Navi, Mumbai 400 703
Toll Free Number: 1800-209-7172 & 1800-102-0468
Store Timings: Weekdays: 11.00 a.m. – 9.30 p.m.


  1. Wow, that's probably the most impressive looking supermarket I've seen.

    Here in Parel there are three main places that people go, for the staples and essentials you've got Big Bazaar (but you have to waft a few flies away), for the mid-range and meat there is Dolce Vita, and for the high end well organised supermarket there is the Food Hall in Palladium however the price goes up quite significantly there and the imported foods can be wallet stretching, with a big bar of chocolate at 600R.

    1. Hello Rob! The best thing (apart from all the foreign ingredients) I have found in Food Hall is the garlic bread - I buy it in bulk from the fresh bread counter to have with home made spag bol. I never went back to Dolce Vita after I saw decaf Earl Grey teabags (can't drink caffeine after 4pm or I bounce off the walls) for the equivalent of £10! Disgusted! And now I am boycotting Nature's Basket because of the stupid way they deal with customers at the till. Totally winds me up!

  2. Enjoying the blog. You may have your trendy shops and restaurants in Bandra but here in Malad west we have Hyper City!! There is a whole room of fresh meat, next to the alcohol room. does some good salami :)

    1. Hello - thanks for stopping by (do I know you?) I can NOT believe I missed a WHOLE room of fresh meat...I would make a rubbish sniffer dog. I am definitely going back if there is salami on offer! Thanks for the tip....

  3. ... and quite often bacon and cooked hams.
    Hypercity is my necessary evil about once every two months to stock up on "essentials". Spencers in Inorbit isn't too bad either but without the Waitrose and cheese counters. Meanwhile on cheese, have you tried the Kodai cheese? Indian made and a fair range of types. It's not perfect but it melts properly on toast and it's not Britania. Available at Hypercity in irregular regularity.

    1. Thanks Amasc....regret that I missed that room has definitely set in. And we didn't make it over to Inorbit as we were so laden down with Waitrose stuff that I couldn't wait to get back to Bandra and eat it. No I have never heard of Kodai cheese? I will look out for it as Cheddar is so damn expensive. I am sure there is a viable business to be had making cheese here. Hmmmm. Thanks for the tips!

  4. The Westside's newly opened food counter at Kala Ghoda (opposite Rhythm House or Jehangir Art Gallery) also has a lot of different imported ham, turkey and cheese varieties that can be sliced the way you want and even though it is a bit expensive it is well worth the price one pays for them.

    1. Hi Aadil - on your recommendation I visited the food area of Westside in Kala Ghoda a few days ago! It does have a very good cheese and meat counter - certainly the choice of cheese was better than other places I have been to. It is a bit like a mini Nature's Basket but with better service! Thanks for sharing.

    2. You're most welcome, glad to be of any help.

  5. I visited Hypercity Malad for the first time just last week and was amused to see a "firang" family loading up their taxi van with stuff from the super(hyper?)market. It reminded me of when white people in Nairobi shop for a trip to the bush (read Masai Mara/Serengeti). Great blog you got here - keep it up! :)

    1. Thank you 'offbeatguy'!...Well when you find it you have to make the most of it right? And no doubt the firang family have a nice big freezer so that they can buy in bulk too!

  6. Hi Jules, you also have a Hypercity next to Vashi Station, it's where I use to go.. Huge meat and fish room also!
    Anyway, to buy good pork and beef, you have to visit Joseph's, in Bandra (next to Basilico Restaurant). Very famous between expats!

  7. it might seen stupid to commet but caone please suggest or ask those hypercity pepl if they plan to or have a waitrose or waitnywhere in Delhi?



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