Now that the bookstore chain Landmark's biggest Bombay branch has opened in Phoenix Mills, there's no need for me to visit any other shopping centre in the city. I checked out the stacks last evening, and was pleased with pretty much everything, except the fact that three art quarterlies were on sale, but not Art India, which features a lead article by me in its current issue, and whose office is walking distance from Phoenix.
Jabeen's sometimes disappointed that I always think of Phoenix when shopping is mentioned, complaining it has the same old stuff. My response is simple: seeing the same old stuff in the same old place is only to be expected, but seeing the same old stuff in a different place (which would be the outcome were I to visit any other mall) is depressing.
Landmark's located in the basement of Palladium, the new, high-end section of Phoenix. My regular stop in Palladium is Bespoke Cafe, run by the same management as The Tasting Room. The cafe, tucked away inside a men's fashion store called The Collective, offers a juicy beefburger topped with blue cheese that makes it easy to forgive the place its silly name. It also has coffees and wines on the menu. It's never full, for some reason, which means it'll probably close down soon, and I'll be deprived of the only good burger within a five kilometer radius of my home.
Palladium has some ridiculous stuff in it, like the Movenpick ice cream parlour handing out minuscule scoops (80 ml, I was informed) for 120 rupees plus VAT. Next door there's an Ed Hardy shop displaying minimal T-shirts with maximal patterns and even more maximal price tags (commonly 10,000 rupees, or 225 dollars, for one flimsy garment). If you like getting less for more, these are the places for you.