Junoon

Brand new to the Shangri-La Dubai, this particular Indian restaurant – in a city rich with South Asian cuisine – needs a little context. Junoon first opened in New York in 2010 and was Manhattan’s first real taste of fine fusion Indian food. And the restaurant gained a Michelin star for it. Now, the second Junoon in the world has opened in Dubai. It’s a small venue, but the space has been used in an interesting way. Diners walk in past a bar that turns into an open kitchen. Amid a general tone of chocolate-to-bronze browns, highlights in the décor include a gold mural across one wall depicting the Indian ‘tree of life’, and a more hidden and intimate space tucked behind an intricate antique wooden frame, much like something you’d expect to see in an ancient temple. The menu is reasonably short (for the average Indian restaurant), but quite complex, since your usual or familiar choices are replaced with original creations such as foie gras terrine with smoked peanut chutney and Atlantic mackerel cooked in banana leaf. Having said that, the overwhelming impression left by this menu is fine, rather than overtly fusion. Faced with such intriguing choices, you’ll do well to just let the staff take you through their recommendations, as we did. The result was a well-selected collection of dishes. To begin, the eggplant chaat consisted of crinkly, paper-thin slices of aubergine deep fried in a light, crunchy, bubbly batter and dressed with plenty of aromatic cumin and sharp, tangy tamarind. The lahsooni gobi – a cauliflower dish – was fried and crunchy, yet soft, blanketed in a sweet, fruity tomato gravy that was thick and luscious in consistency. Our final starter, murgh mirza hasnu, was a juicy kebab of chicken thigh topped with a delicate, creamy puree of fresh broccoli. Main courses include a deliciously sweet coconut-crammed dish of shrimp malai, tawa gosht (tender shreds of lamb shoulder in a neat, little round, surrounded by a rich, creamy and nutty korma), nadru kofta (nutty, flavoursome little balls of lotus root and paneer), plus excellent black dahl and an inventive (but not too heavy) naan riff on a zaatar and cheese manakish. They were altogether excellent and utterly enjoyable recommendations. In addition to their knowledge of the menu, and ability to take control of recommendations, staff at Junoon were excellent. We did not encounter a member of the team who we could say let the side down. Our waitress was charming and personable, and seemed genuinely distressed to think that we might not have enjoyed our meal when we left food at the table. The only incident that could have been considered a service error was turned around with a little charm. When a variety of bread was, we suspect, brought to our table by mistake, our waitress decided to impart a story that, since bread is integral to Indian cooking, we ought to sample this variety as well, on the house. Take note Dubai service teams; that’s how you handle such mistakes. Junoon offers excellent, refined Indian dining, perhaps in contrast to the young, fresh restaurant renegade it opened in New York in 2010. That is however, no criticism of the Junoon experience in Dubai. After all, Mick Jagger may hardly seem like a wild child today in his ’70s, but he will always be an icon. At some stage, innovations become the established norm. The bill (for two) 1x eggplant chaat Dhs45 1x lahsooni gobi Dhs50 1x murgh mirza hasnu Dhs70 1x shrimp malai Dhs175 1x nadru kofta Dhs70 1x tawa gosht Dhs140 1x black lentil Dhs40 1x Junoon spiced naan Dhs20 1x basmati rice Dhs15 2x large water Dhs50 Total (including service and tax) Dhs810

Places Near Junoon

Dunes Café
Dunes Café

I have to admit I was a little dubious from the outset about the Shangri-La’s new brunch. It’s held...

The Spa at Shangri-La Dubai
The Spa at Shangri-La Dubai

Most of the therapies at The Spa Shangri-La are inspired by traditional Asian healing philosophies,...

Balcony Bar
Balcony Bar

Experience the classic elegance of Old Shanghai at the Balcony Bar, which offers coffee, cigars, fin...

Shang Palace - Shangri-La
Shang Palace - Shangri-La

An advocate of the fragrance of Chinese culture, Shangri-La’s signature restaurant Shang Palace show...

The Act
The Act

The Act Dubai is the world’s highest theatre club with dining. Enjoy the spectacular shows and acts,...

Zaatar W Zeit
Zaatar W Zeit

Zaatar W Zeit is exactly what Sheikh Zayed Road needed – a dash of fast-paced, youthful and modern B...

Canadian University of Dubai (CUD)
Canadian University of Dubai (CUD)

Canadian University Dubai, founded in 2006, is located in the heart of Dubai. Each of our academic p...

Al Safadi Restaurant
Al Safadi Restaurant

Al Safadi Restaurants, a chain of restaurants that serves you excellent authentic Lebanese cuisine a...

Benjarong - Dusit Thani
Benjarong - Dusit Thani

Prepare to embark on an epicurean adventure at one of Dusit Thani Dubai’s dining and entertainment o...

Wonton House
Wonton House

From Time Out Dubai Eating Out 2010Recommended to us as a top place for takeaway, this eatery’s exce...

Dusit Delicatessen
Dusit Delicatessen

From Time Out Dubai Eating Out 2011Bizarrely housed inside a five-star Thai hotel on Sheikh Zayed Ro...

PAX
PAX

From Time Out Dubai Eating Out 2010An Italian restaurant and a Thai-themed hotel may not sound like...

The Californian
The Californian

From Time Out Dubai Eating Out 2011Having been open for the last five years, The Californian still h...

Splash Pool Bar
Splash Pool Bar

An exclusive venue high up on the 36th floor providing the perfect setting for sparkling cocktails,...

Grill 44 Restaurant & Lounge
Grill 44 Restaurant & Lounge

Offering 360-degree panoramic views of the city of Dubai and the Arabian Sea, the Warwick Hotel Duba...