Thursday, July 9, 2015

Iftar at Junoon (Vikas Khanna)

Unlike Himesh Reshamiya's Junoon Junoon x 1000000000, this is a Junoon that you might actually enjoy.
Located on the 2nd floor of Shangri La is this Michelin Star chefs restaurant. The Michelin star I'm talking about here is Vikas Khanna who not just is a world renowned chef but has also been voted as the hottest chef by the New York Eater blog and also featured in People magazine’s 'Sexiest Man Alive' list *gulp* Yes the dream.
Yes the shirtless picture was intentional!
But moving on from Vikas Khanna to his restaurant, Junoon.
Firstly thank you team Deja Vu for inviting me to try out your special Iftar menu, it was an absolute delight being there.
Before you start wondering what's in this special Iftar menu, let me take you through it, for all of AED 220 you're bombarded with food, lots of it. Right from Pakoras to Kebabs, Tikka to Chaats, be prepared to reward your taste buds with a lavish 5 course meal. Click here to read full menu
Starting off with the Iftar, 

You're first handed over a plate of delicious dates and a menu to choose your drink from. In this drinks menu you have the option to choose between buttermilk, sherbet and roohafza.
The Food 
Eggplant Chaat - Honestly thank god it's called eggplant chaat and not bhaingan ka chaat, because that in itself would have been such a turn-off & me being me, I was a little reluctant to have it, but it surprisingly looked very inviting & hence I decided to give it a try. It basically was thin, crispy slices of eggplant, tossed with onions, mixed with chaat masala and tamarind chutney & without a doubt is the answer to the frequently asked question 'Why would somebody have Chaat at a fine-dine' well folks, this is why. 

Assorted Pakoras - From an Indian lehman perspective this was basically bhajiya which for some odd reason tasted more like Vegetarian Tempuras. So it was rather interesting to have something as desi as bhajiya that tasted pretty good & like a tempura *yes I was almost as confused as you're*

Rajma Ki Shammi -This is definitely a vegetarian delight, a tikki of smoked kidney beans that was served with a hint of green papaya achar and ketchup chutney.

Murgh Tikka Mirza Hasnu - This was basically chicken tikka that was served on a broccoli puree. The chicken was very well marinated & hence juicy. Also it blended perfectly with the broccoli mint chutney.  

Lamb Seekh Kebab - The Seekh Kebab looked very appetizing however it was slightly bland in taste & could have been slightly more juicier and spicier. 

For the mains, there was the Home Style Fish Curry, Lamb Biryani and Haleem and assorted bread. 

The Home Style Fish Curry was in an onion ginger curry with fenugreek and coriander leaf. Even though I could have never imagined having a fish curry without rice, I decided to try this out with naan for a change & wasn't disappointed at all. The fish was tender and the spiciness level was spot on. 

Haleem - A little confession I would like to make is that, I've only tried out Haleem once before this & absolutely hated it & since then I automatically refuse to try it out, but on being forced I decided to taste the Haleem & let me tell you the Haleem I had previously and the Haleem I had here were poles apart & just made me believe in Haleem all over again (just being dramatic) no but really, it was very good.

Lastly what’s an Iftar without some lamb biryani?  The Lamb Biryani was extremely rich in flavour with the right amount of spiciness and on just one single bite of this biryani, one could make out the quality of ingredients used in the preparation of this lamb biryani was on the top-most level. 

Now that we are done with the mains, let me take you through the biggest highlight of the day, the desserts.

We have all had a variety of kulfi and faloodas over the years, but Junoon brings in innovation to this & how.

The Kulfi were in 3 were bizaree sounding flavours, Cardamom flavour, Guava flavour & Curry leaf flavour. As whacked out as it may all sound, all the three flavours were in true blue sense, toothsome. It may take you a while to adjust to the taste, but it was quite refreshing & will definitely recommend you to give this a try. 

The Chocolate Matka Falooda – You know before I go ahead & explain this to you, I would like to call this the Desi version of a molten chocolate cake, because you literally have to break into it to enjoy it. It’s basically a chocolate pot that has a very metallic look to it, placed on some ice-cream & filled with rabri that literally flows out of the edible chocolate matka. This chocolate matka is surrounded by some falooda, saffron and jelly discs. Absolutely loved it & it just made me completely ignore the mango sago (the other dessert that was offered)

Unfortunately the Chocolate Matka is not a part of the Iftar menu, but do yourself a favour and order for this along with your Iftar. 

Staff and Ambiance - Be prepared to be served by some extremely friendly and well informed staff, who shall definitely pamper you while you're at Junoon. Also not trying to sound inappropriate, but the ladies at the reservation counter are stunning, apart from the fabulous food, they could also be the reason for you reserving a place more than often *wink*

The decor at Junoon is very modernized, nothing very Indian about it. But that seems to be a growing trend amongst Indian fine dine restaurants these days. Looks like everyone's done with the cliched Rajasthani teapots, jootis and other decor that was once upon a time a must in every Indian restaurants decor.

Pricing – You know I usually have a very standard thing to write with regard to pricing, while reviewing an Indian fine dine, however this one time, I feel AED 220 is absolutely worth the experience for an Iftar as lavish as this (because most other places just serve you 3/4 dishes) but Junoon doesn’t compromise on the quality or the quantity. 
Phone number - 04 4052717
Location - Junoon - Shangri-La Trade Centre Area, Dubai, UAE address
Shangri-La, 1, Sheikh Zayed Road, Trade Centre Area, Dubai 

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  1. The chef and his food both are eyecatching. Can't get my eyes off both ;). Thanks for the honest write up! Thumbs up!

  2. My My - I am confused, whether the food looks better or the chef :*