The Small Chick and I had a press dinner at Junoon on a Wednesday, and we loved it! The restaurant was quiet when we had dinner as we had an early dinner at 5:30 before Sara had to run to go see the premiere of Elysium. Otherwise, the ambiance was quite romantic and very relaxed. Junoon is a great place to bring someone special. The host sat us at a table for four in front of the open kitchen where we watched the cooks make our meal and bake naan bread.
Sara and I had the Junoon Spiced Naan to start with, which was naan stuffed with mozzarella and gruyere cheese. The naan was finished with a homemade spice blend and roasted garlic. It was fresh and delicious way to begin our meal at Junoon. We decided to try the Restaurant Week prix fixe menu, which is normally $38 for 3 courses. I had the Eggplant Chaat as an appetizer which was fantastic! There were several bite sized, crispy eggplant slices with yoghurt, tamarind, and red onion. For my entrée, I was given a choice of basmati rice or naan. I was so pleased with the Junoon Spiced Naan from earlier that I asked for naan with my entrée.
I had Kerala Shrimp Curry, and there were only about four or five shrimps in the curry, but with the naan on the side I felt full rather quickly. I love dipping my naan into sauce of the curry. The shrimp was seared with coconut milk. The sauce had curry leaves, mustard seeds, green chilies, and smoked kodampuli. I had never heard of kodampuli until I ate it at Junoon, so after some research, I found that Kodampuli is also known as gambodge, Malabar tamarind, and fish tamarind. Kodampuli is a kind of fruit that is used to add a sour taste to curries in Kerala. Kerala, which is regionally referred to as Keralam, is a state in southwest India on the Malabar coast. It’s always good to know background on what exactly you’re eating!
Dessert was simple and wonderful, but sometimes a simple dessert is better than an overloading it with flavors. After all, I had already had so many spices given the naan, the eggplant, and the shrimp! I was able to give my taste buds a bit of a break from the spice madness once I bit into the passion fruit mousse. The passion fruit mousse had a spiced glaze with passion fruit syrup. The dessert went along perfectly with my Bourbon Rose cocktail.
I was extremely impressed with everything Junoon had to offer, and the staff was extremely kind and accommodating to Small Chick and I. The head chef even came out to meet and greet with us to let us know more about the Junoon menu from the culinary perspective. The chef also gave us complimentary water and basil seed shooters which acted as a palette cleanser. He gave us a sashimi turka on the house as well which he described as having a medium spice level by Junoon’s standards, although elsewhere it would have been considered a spicier dish. The food and beverage director came to Sara and I to ask if we had any questions about the cocktail or wine menu. He told us that all of the cocktails on their menu were inspired by the Indian cuisine offered at Junoon. I wished good cheers and encourage all SCBDers to come to Junoon and enjoy a Star on Earth floral cocktail with chardonnay, maraschino, pear brandy, and star anise. Drink and eat on!
*Disclaimer: The PR team paid for our meal. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*
More pictures from Junoon: