We were invited to Junoon at The Shangri La Hotel in Dubai a few days back for an Iftar. But to our relief, the food we tried at the Iftar would be available on all days well (Bingo!)
Junoon is a 4 year consecutive Michelin star restaurant which got awarded as “Best Indian restaurant of New York” recently in 2015. The culinary ambassador of Junoon is celebrity chef Vikas Khanna. We loved watching him on TV and used to drool over whatever he rolled up his sleeve, so we were all the more excited when we found out that we got to review Junoon!
Upon arrival we were presented with an Iftar menu of 5 courses. Mind you, the courses are huge! The first course comprised of Dates, Compressed Melon Chaat, Buttermilk and Sherbet. Loved the presentation of the balled out melons with a dash of chaat powder that wasn’t too overpowering.
For our second course we had the Eggplant Chaat – a specialty of Junoon and once you taste it, you will know why. Delicious crispy thinly cut slices of eggplant chips served with tamarind chutney and chaat masala made us salivate and want more! We’ve never tried an Eggplant Chaat before and it was definitely an amazing first experience.
We also had the Sweet Potato Bonda (an Indian snack) served with fried onion, star anise, red chili and placed on a bed of ginger chutney. Our last dish of the second course was the vegetable pakora (crispy fried vegetables) served with pear chutney. We also tried the ghost chili pakora, one of the spiciest chilies we’ve eaten!
For our third course we tried the Rajma ki Shammi which is smoked kidney beans, green papaya aachar (pickle) and ketchup chutney.
We tried the Murgh Tikka Mirza Hasnu which is succulent pieces of chicken tikka layed on a bed of broccoli purée and served with broccoli heart salad. We could eat this all day. It was our favorite of this course and we loved how tender and perfectly the chicken was cooked.
Lastly, we tried our Goat Seekh Kebab served with pomegranate daal chutney, charred shallots and clove raita (Not just your ordinary plate of kebabs).
We were so overwhelmed with the flavors and variety of food served to us, that even though we’re three courses down and so full of food, we couldn’t wait for the last two!
Our fourth course comprised of Gobi aur Saag ki Burji – chopped up cauliflower, spinach and tomato, cooked perfectly and tasted very clean and light. We also tried the Home Style Fish Curry which is tender pieces of red snapper served in a tomato onion curry.
We had the Haleem as well which is wheat, barley and mutton kofta. The Murgh Korma – chicken thigh, cashew yoghurt curry, green cardamom, ginger and rose, was a favorite! It was thick and delicious and tastes really good with naan (Indian bread).
We also had the Black Daal and the Chicken Biryani served with pistachio, apricot, saffron and green cardamom. We honestly couldn’t breathe after the fourth course.
Each dish had its own unique flavor brought to the table. But when the food is this good, we’d be fools to skip dessert, right? And aren’t we glad we devoured each of those desserts served to us.
We started off with a delicious kulfi platter of “Curry Leaves” kulfi (yes! Curry leaves), Guava Kulfi and Cardamom Kulfi.
Love, love and love! Our second dessert was a Mango Sago. Which is a tapioca pudding surrounded by a pistachio meringue served with pomegranate, curry leaves, guava and cardamom. It was light and flavorful and not too sweet either. We finished up the entire dessert (obviously)
Lastly, when our waiter told us our “Falooda” was on its way, we were expecting a tall glass of an Indian dessert/drink which is very famous even in Dubai. But when the waiter walked in with a “Chocolate Matka”, our jaws dropped! It was a chocolate sphere filled with rabri placed over a round slab of decadent rich kulfi. Served with vermicelli and jelly discs. It looked and tasted absolutely breathtaking!
Our entire experience at Junoon was completely unforgettable. From the beautiful ambience, to the hospitable service and last but not the least, delicious food! We’re definitely going to be regulars here. Junoon easily makes it one of the top three Indian restaurants we’ve dined at in Dubai.