Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Junoon, a Michelin-starred Indian? (New York)

An Indian restaurant with a Michelin star? I couldn't really imagine it with the Indian places in LA, but I'm sure London would have plenty great restaurants and it seems like NYC is trying to catch up with Chef Vikas Khanna's Junoon.

Lunch was a great opportunity to dip our feet into Junoon, with their $24 deal for 3 course prix-fixe (limited menu) or $38 for 3 course a la carte prix-fixe (can order from the entire menu). The spacious and lavish decor is certainly Michelin-star worthy.

I was curious about the dishes on the regular menu, so I had the a la carte prix fixe while my companions ordered the $24 deal. For the appetizer, I went with the Adraki Bater (quail marinated in cumin, ginger juice, and lime juice)

Adraki Bater
These tandoori quail may be my favorite dish that we tried. It was both interesting and very flavorful and moist.

DestinationEats ordered the Piri Piri Shrimp in a Goan chili sauce with avocado and jicama salad
PiriPiri Shrimp
Not as spicy as Indian food can be but packed with spices nonetheless, and the shrimp were well cooked.

Murg Mirza Hasnu - chicken thighs marinated in hung yoghurt, Junoon garam masala and cheddar cheese with a quenelle of chopped tomato salad
Chicken Tikka
This was less interesting but still a good execution of tandoori.

All our appetizers met or exceeded expectations and the meal was off to a good start.
We saw a table getting some mango lassi and was tempted. The mango and strawberry lassi were really good, but also really expensive. For $8 each, they didn't even fill the whole glass. Lassi is not wine!

The most disappointing part of the meal was the lobster roll. I found it dry and not that flavorful. I'd stick with the Indian dishes next time.
Lobster Roll

I ordered the Venison Boti Kebab - cubes of venison finished on the grill after a marinade of hung yoghurt, fresh lime juice, ground fennel, and mustard oil
Venison Boti Kebab
They were good but I thought they could be more tender. I thought the quail appetizer were both better and more interesting.

For dessert:
Coconut rice pudding, red wine roasted figs, candied almonds, ginger ice cream
Coco Rice Pudding
I liked this dessert quite a bit as I liked all the ingredients in them. This was probably the most interesting of the desserts.

Part of the prix fixe menu: chocolate cheesecake.
Chocolate cheesecake
A good but standard chocolate cheesecake with a touch of Indian influence.

cardamon kulfi
Cardamom Kulfi
A simple, traditional Indian "ice cream", but it was hard to eat this cube with a spoon/fork.

The lunch at Junoon was pretty good and it was certainly not a bad deal for NYC, but I wasn't wowed. I loved the space and the rest of the menu has promise. Perhaps dinner service would be better to see what the Michelin star is all about. Definitely skip the lobster roll, though, and maybe anything else that's not Indian ...


27 W 24th St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 490-2100
Junoon on Urbanspoon



Interesting! Thank you for posting this Fiona. I've always wondered why "ethnic" renditions of fine dining are rarely seen on the Michelin list.

Fritos and Foie Gras

I was there for dinner and really loved it. I am surprised and disappointed that they didn't impress at lunch. If you have the opportunity, I would really urge you to try dinner there!

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