Courtesy of Zenzi/Nathan Strange/AP Images
Star Sightings: Upen Patel (Namastey London); John Abraham (Dhoom, Kabul Express).
What It’s Like: In the Bandra district, this restaurant draws stars like Upen Patel and John Abraham for dishes like the wasabi prawns. The resto/bar caters to an international clientele, hosting cultural events like Salsa Sundays and art exhibitions, and refuses to play anything but its own special brand of house and drum and bass.
Courtesy of Vie Deck & Lounge/Matt Dunham/AP Images
Star Sightings: Shah Rukh Khan (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Devdas).
What It’s Like: You may find Bollywood king Shah Rukh Khan lounging underneath Vie’s white canopy on the beach. Located in ritzy Juhu, Mumbai’s Malibu, Vie specializes in light Mediterranean fare with a focus on seafood. Order one of the Italian seafood dishes, like the grilled Spanish lobsters cooked with an olive and wine sauce or a martini made by one of its London Academy of Bartending-trained mixologists. But make sure you dress “smart”—this beachside haven has a dress code.
Courtesy of Henry Tham Chinese Restaurant/AP Images/Manish Swarup
Star Sightings: Jackie Shroff (Hero, Mission Kashmir, Refugee); Neha Dhupia (Jab Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya).
What It’s Like: Henry Tham operates under a Zen philosophy: simple décor, authentic food, and great music. The restaurant specializes in modern Chinese cuisine and Asian-inspired cocktails (the national award-winning bartending includes a vodka drink using sugar, basil, and orange juice). Stars like Jackie Shroff have been spotted here sipping sugarcane Cosmos. Go Thursday evenings for the all-new World Music Night, where you can hear everything from Yemenite chants to African techno.
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Star Sightings: Preeti Jhangiani (Mohabbatein); Ashutosh Gowarikar (Lagaan); Katrina Kaif (Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya?).
What It’s Like: Super-boutique Samsaara stocks more than 65 designer labels, irresistible to everyone from Preeti Jhangiani to Katrina Kaif. The use of glass and wood in its nine stores creates a soothing atmosphere and highlights the variety of styles (Indian wear and Western-style clothes) and products (anything from belts to bags) available.
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Star Sightings: Karishma Kapoor (Dil to Pagal Hai); Lara Dutta (Masti, Kaal); Rani Mukherjee (Hum Tum, Veer-Zaara).
What It’s Like: Everyone from Karishma Kapoor to Lara Dutta has picked up pieces at this trendsetter. Creative director Priya Kishore has highly selective taste, but she stocks a wide range of products, including everything from luxury eyewear to summer dresses. Rocker Talvin Singh even performed a concert here.
Courtesy of Shobha Asar Jewellery/AP Images/Mahesh Kumar
Star Sightings: Priyanka Chopra (Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Krrish); Neha Dhupia (Jab Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya); Kareena Kapoor (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham).
What It’s Like: Service and quality are what draw starlets like Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor to Shobha Asar. Her flagship store in Worli has private consultation rooms for discreetness, and each piece of jewelry is handcrafted and one-of-a-kind. The artisans at Shobha Asar follow the entire process, from jewel sourcing to delivery, to ensure complete satisfaction, and they can work within your budget so almost anyone can own a unique piece.
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Star Sightings: Saif Ali Khan (Dil Chahta Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho); Kareena Kapoor (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham); Amitabh Bachchan (Abhimaan, Amar Akbar Anthony, Trishul, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Veer-Zaara); Abhishek Bachchan (Refugee, Dhoom, Guru); Salman Khan (Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Koun…!); Urmila Matondkar (Rangeela, Satya, Bhoot); Bipasha Basu (Ajnabee, Jism, Dhoom: 2); John Abraham (Dhoom, Kabul Express).
What It’s Like: Opened in May 2007, China House’s chic, ultramodern décor and multiple levels draw Bollywood’s A-list. Look out for Bipasha Basu or the Bachchans sipping appletinis at the light-up LED bar—or on the mezzanine I-deck, the private area where guests can plug in their own iPod, if the in-house DJ isn’t hitting the right notes.
Manish Swarup/ AP Images
Star Sightings: Aishwarya Rai (Taal, Devdas).
What It’s Like: Mumbai mainstay Indigo’s lengthy wine list is famed. But the drinks are just the tip of this exclusive iceberg. The Euro-Asian cuisine includes dishes like thandai-marinated chicken with spiced balsamic glaze, and coconut and lime risotto with asparagus and hearts of palm, which are best enjoyed alfresco on the rooftop terrace. Opened in 1999, this upmarket, low-key hideaway has stood the test of time and allows stars like Aishwarya Rai to sip their rosé in peace.
Star Sightings: Saif Ali Khan (Dil Chahta Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho); Kareena Kapoor (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham).
What It’s Like: The lobby bar at the plush JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai may not at first glance seem like a celeb hangout, with its laid-back feel and clean marble and wood décor, but it does draw crowds, including the likes of “it” couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Perhaps it’s the cocktails, or perhaps it’s the view of Juhu Beach and the Arabian Sea.