Junoon translates to obsession or insanity, truly does promise an addiction to their food! Some mixed opinions made me initially skeptical of Junoon, but I’m so glad I gave this place a shot! I opted for dishes that hadn’t been covered before and all these options demolished any doubts.
We really liked the setup, (even though it’s dimly lit), especially the open kitchen which even contained a tandoor :O
We started off with drinks, mom’s being a roasted pineapple juice and mine being a rejuvenate mocktail (cucumber juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, basil, lemonade).
We were served an amouse bouche made out of rice topped with tomato chutney and coconut.
For starters, we decided to try a few items starting with the lasooni gobi – it looks slightly destroyed since they wanted to serve us before we got a photo. But regardless it was soft pieces of cauliflower swimming in a tangy tomato sauce.
We’ve been hearing great things about the eggplant chaat and it didn’t disappoint at all in-fact we think it over performed. We definitely recommend that crunchy, sweet bit of heaven.
The lahori boti was served atop celeriac (turnip like) puree and topped with fried okra. The meat itself was succulent and had the softest marinade, although I think the accompaniments stole the show.
The paneer kasturi came beautifully presented with roasted cashew yoghurt and red chili beet murraba. Overall, it was a delicious dish but would have benefited from more sauce.
Right after starters the palate cleanser swiftly arrived: amazing mango sorbet!
For mains, we tried the sukhi arbi which uses colcasia (taro). Initially we really liked the arbi but the masala coating is too strong, it’s advisable to dust off and enjoy.
Gobi aur saag ki bhurji was a true comfort food for mom who has grown up eating this, nostalgia done right.
The show stopper murgh (chicken) biryani was insanely good. Filled with juicy chicken, apricot, pistachio, saffron, green cardamom and fried onions. The rice itself contained no artificial color and we were just amazed by how enjoyable it was – went back for seconds and more!
The junoon black lentil was doled out in a katori. Imagine creamy black lentil with a slight hint of spice good enough to be gobbled down on its own. Special shout out to the missi roti.
For dessert, we tried out the kulfi tasting in which the flavors were curry leaf, red guava and cardamom. The curry leaf is an acquired taste but we really liked it (having consumed a lot of curry leaf in this past year). The red guava was a personal favorite out of all 3 – a silky smooth kulfi with a perfect fruity flavor. Lastly, the cardamom kulfi was also well received and was creamier than the other two.
The malai pearl contains milk, almond, pistachio and saffron – every flavor shines through without being too over whelming, the combination of the crisp pistachio tuile with the liquid-y pearl was fantastic.
While Junoon has the backing of celebrity chef Vikas Khanna, on the food’s merit alone it is a great addition to Dubai’s Indian fine dining scene.
You can find Junoon at the 2nd floor in the Shangri-la Hotel Sheikh Zayed Road.