Nirmal Lifestyle at Mulund Mumbai – Review
I have been wanting to write about Nirmal for quite some time now as it proclaims itself to be India’s biggest mall. Well, I have not seen too many malls in other cities but here in Mumbai Nirmal is certainly the biggest and the best. And the best part is that its in the distant suburb of Mulund! Not in snobbish South Mumbai. Unfortunately they did not allow me to take pictures inside but my camera did get a peek from the outside and that is what I am showing here. It shows barely a tenth of the mall.
I like Nirmal because it’s big and there is space to walk around. Lately however they have added a cricket pitch (fully netted) right in the centre of the mall and that takes away from this feeling of space.
Here one gets a decent choice of stores and brands. Think of a brand and you’ll find it here. From Shoppers Stop, Lee, Levis, Bata, Cotton World, Pepe, Provogue, Fab India, Allen Solly, Reebok, Adidas, Nike, Wills Lifestyle, W, Biba. There is also the American Dollar Store which sells foreign goods for Rs 99/- each ($2) and the 49/99 gift shop. A very large Crosswords store is housed here and so is the mutliplex PVR. This is a low-cost fancy multiplex – but where you save on ticket sales, you make up by paying for the eats. The good brands that are missing here are West Side and Lifestyle.
Shop-Rite, a South African supermarket chain, is one of the best things about Nirmal but then I am talking from a woman’s point of view. Its more than a one-stop kinda store. For one thing, it is the biggest shopping complex that I have seen in India. You get everything here, from the choicest of fruits and vegetables, frozen foods, snacks, electronic items, clothes etc plus there is a thriving take-away joint which sells everything from potato wadas and kachoris to Tandoori Chicken. Generally you find that if a supermarket sells good vegetables and fruits it lacks something else. But here even the bakery is amazingly good – and economical too. The pastries and pies are yummy and one can pick up a thick slice of Apple pie for Rs 30/-. Far cheaper that South Mumbai! There is an amazing variety of frozen food, including meat and fish. Shoprite has ‘market’ days on Wednesdays when prices of many items are slashed. The only down-side of this store is that it can get very crowded, specially on Wednesdays and Sundays. It is extremely popular and when I see people carting away sacks of potatoes and onions I can’t help wondering whether they are doing it for their personal use or for the hotel they run! The staff is mostly good. Friendly and helpful.
Many restaurants dot the place and the ones that are on the top of my mind are Bistro Grill, Cafe Coffee Day, Mocha, MacDonalds, Fine Dine, Pizza Hut, and a cheap Pizza place as well. More are coming up. There are also a lot of small eateries selling stuff cheap like dosas, roti rolls, ice-cream, popcorn, doughnuts and soft-drinks. And ofcourse, the ready-to-eat food at Shoprite. Overall, no dearth of food at Nirmal!
The decor of Nirmal is the only thing that jars. In a huge space in the centre of the mall they have a transluscent awning with hanging planets and astronauts. Gross. But then design is not the main thing. Its the utility value. And for many, this mall has become a place to hang out. There are trees with seats around the mall and one often finds families resting here, just chatting.
All in all, Nirmal is spacious, even if its not beautiful.
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