A friend said it would be good idea for me to face my fear and find out why I get so scared at the thought of entering a shopping mall. He’s not a therapist and his intentions made me suspicious right from the start.
Getting to know shopping malls in Delhi is important, but it’s uncomfortable territory for me. My feelings are nothing to do with the fact the malls are in India. Whenever I am living it doesn’t matter. Faced with just the prospect of entering one of these air-condition churches of consumerism a sense of impending doom soon comes over me.
The food courts at the malls made my research bearable, but there’s only so much one man can eat .Anyhow. Less of that and more about the shopping malls that I’ve had the misfortune to be in.
Saket CityWalk is home to over 175 brands; international and Indian. Located off Press Enclave Marg, South Delhi, there’s been a great excitement recently at the opening of a H&M store. Red carpets, models and flashing cameras meant consumer mayhem down at the mall back in spring 2016.
There’s also GAP, Mango and Zara, which can be found alongside a wide range of international clothing retailers and sellers of other stuff. The malls website has a handy list noting everything on offer by category. It’s right here.
The folk at Saket CityWalk tell me that if there’s something I need, want or is a part of my wish list, it will be fulfilled by a visit to their mall. It’s quite a promise to make to a man like me.
Saket city walk also offers up a regular outdoor market and an event space, along with an weekly flea@nite which promises to satisfy “the quirky” shopper. Turning to food, there’s a sizeable food court where you can find a Punjab Grill. It gets my vote.
Next door to Saket CityWalk there’s to other malls. MGF metropolitan ( a strange little place, but there is a VW dealership) and DLF Saket Place. I didn’t venture into DLF, but you can with there website which gives a virtual walk around.
Vasant Kung: Three malls in a row
The next set of malls I decided to take in are lined up in Vasant Kunj, on Nelson Mandela Marg. Here there are three DLF malls right next door to each other. Being brave I faced my fear and took on each on.
DLF Emporio says its India’s finest luxury destination. It might well be right. Brands like Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Cartier, and Jimmy Choo (he’s the shoe guy, right?) reside here alongside over 60 other international brands.
There’s lots and lots designers offering lots of luxury goods that are well out of my price range and I’ve got little interest in. Sorry, to offer such a poor review with this particular mall. The website explains everything better than I ever could.
DLF Promenade offers a shopping and entertainment experience at a significantly lower price point than its next door neighbour, DLF Emporio.
Shops wise there are apparel, beauty products, books, clothing, footwear and speciality brands all listed under a helpful A-Z on the mall’s website. Here’s a link to look around.
The mall is also home to something called the Hub. It’s apparently a one-of-a-kind, open air lifestyle space with a Smoke House deli and Mocha Arthouse, open air seating, a toy train, dancing fountains, and the city’s largest LED screen (or so says the website). You not be surprised to read that It didn’t spend much time here.
In summary, more bearable for me than DLF Emporio and I can see it has a place for my (read my wife’s) shopping needs.
There’s a food court which has space for 400 hundred stressed out shoppers. Not surprisingly, it’s pretty full. There’s lots of men eating. Oh, yes, there’s also a cinema.
DLF Ambience Mall
I have to be honest and say I enjoyed DLF Ambience. Why? Because there’s a brilliant Big Bazaar, which opened in 2016.
Big Bazaar was really well laid out, it wasn’t too busy and it is the closest thing I’ve come to a supermarket type experience in India. It serves a purpose for those one off big shops when I want to hoover up bits and pieces without having to trek around for days on end trying to find stuff.
Aside from the Big Bazaar, it’s a mall where outlets want to be, but I reckon they would prefer to be based in DLF Promenade next door. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad place with bad shops and poor places to eat. Not at all. There’s the usual selection of clothing and accessory stalls that are found in other malls in India, but it’s just not as flashy. There’s a pizza express too.
If you like the ambience there’s also an Ambience Mall in Gurgaon. I didn’t venture here.
I’m sorry to say that Ambience Mall doesn’t have a decent website so no virtual assistance available in this post.
Great Indian Place Mall
Finally on this run down, there’s Great Indian Place Mall. Does it live up to it name? I’ve heard people talk about this mall pleasantly, but I couldn’t bring myself to take a journey out to Noida Sector 38 and put myself through the experience of yet another mall.
Here’s a link showing what it has got to offer. The mall, like most of those listed has a cinema complex, but this one also has gaming hall. That might be enough to drag some people out to Noida, but it wasn’t enough to get me to go.
Hopefully I’ve painted a pretty reasonable picture of what’s available and where more information can be found on Delhi’s shopping malls. Please let me know about any mistakes and omissions, and I’ll pull together a more polished version another day. .
It’s time for me to take a much deserved break with a chai and a ladoo or two. I’ve had a a hard day.