One of the things that I had added to my New York bucket list was to dine at the restaurant of the michelin star Indian chef -Vikas Khanna. My whole family, especially my mom, is a huge fan of Mr. Khanna’s cooking after his successful Masterchef India series. The restaurant is called Junoon and is located at 27 W, 24th St, New York, NY 10010.
Since our NYC schedule was jam packed we chose to visit the restaurant during its lunch service. I had visited the restaurant with my brother so I got a chance to taste two dishes from every course. It was a set lunch deal which was around $30/person and consisted of an appetiser, main and dessert. The drinks were however extra.
For the drinks we chose the non-alcoholic mocktails. The two drinks that we ordered from the menu were Pomegranate Tai Mai ($10) and Jaswal ($8).
Pomegranate Tai Mai consisted of pomegranate, mango, lime juice and fresh basil. The drink oozed freshness and was very balanced in taste.
Jaswal consisted of cucumber, lychee and fresh lime juice along with ginger beer. If you are a fan of cucumber then you would like this drink and it just shouted summer.
The dishes that we chose for our starters were Mirchi Pakora and Bhut Jolokia Murgh Tikka.
Mirchi Pakora was made up of the shishito pepper and was filled with whipped panner and was served with onion, tamarind and mint chutney. The peppers were not very spicy and overpowering.
The Bhut Jolokia Murgh Tikka consisted of tandoor grilled chicken and ghost chilli and was served with green papaya salad and almonds. And trust me the ghost chilli is very very hot and I am not exaggerating when I am saying this. I have a high tolerance when it comes to chillies and even I found it very spicy. But the chicken was very tender and the taste was amazing.
For the mains both me and my brother went for the Murgh Lababdar which was served along with Naan bread and rice. The dish basically consisted of chicken tikka in a tomato sauce with ginger and fenugreek.
The seasoning of the dish was simply superb and the portion size was quite generous. However, since the dish was served in a mini-wok (Kadhai), it was a little inconvenient to eat along with the rice and naan which were served separately.
Last, but not the least, it was time for us to choose the desserts and we opted for Saffron Phirni and Falooda.
The Saffron Phirni consisted of mango cream, sesame crisp, candied almond and pomello. It took a bit of time to understand the taste of the whole dish. Individually, each element had a very nice taste but when tasted together, the hero element of the dish was missing. However, it was one of the most well-presented dish of the whole meal.
The Falooda included tropical sorbet, rose vermicelli, vanilla pink peppercorn foam and guava rabri. This dish was simply amazing. It had so many layers of flavours and each flavour complemented the other. The dish also had a texture to it and it was simply divine to eat the sorbet and the rabri.
All in all, dining at Junoon was a great experience. The ambience of the restaurant and the staff were very pleasing.
If you are a fan of Indian food and would like to eat a high-end Indian meal, then I would highly recommend this place. Despite being a restaurant in NYC, Junoon has maintained its authentic Indian taste. Kudos to Chef Vikas Khanna for this great venture.