Vikas Khanna's Junoon restaurant opens in Dubai

Junoon Dubai has a host of locally-inspired dishes to add to its repertoire
The founder, Rajesh Bhardwaj

The founder, Rajesh Bhardwaj

Junoon, a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant concept from NYC spearheaded by chef Vikas Khanna, has opened in Dubai.

After its opening was revealed last year, the brand, founded by restaurateur Rajesh Bhardwaj, launched its second location in the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. It opened in New York City in 2010, earning a Michelin star for four consecutive years.

“Dubai is one of the fastest growing and most multicultural cities in the world, and a business and trade hub with a broad appeal as a tourism paradise,” said Bhardwaj.

“It was a natural choice for the first extension of the Junoon brand outside of New York City.”

Junoon’s menu features five cooking elements from India: tandoor – clay oven; tawa – cast iron cooking; digri – open fire pit; handi – curry and patthar – stone cooking.

Chef Vikas Khanna and Bhardwaj worked closely with at team of chefs, including executive chef Steven Hubbell, who devised several locally inspired dishes for Junoon Dubai using ingredients sourced in the Middle East.

“The first thing we did was to explore the local spice souks and markets in Dubai to unearth some key flavours and ingredients that we could work with,” said Hubbell.

He added: “We wanted to create a real identity for Junoon Dubai that kept the ethos of Junoon New York, but had its own signature and reflected some of the fantastic produce that we have to hand in the region.

“The goat here is dynamite, so we knew that would enhance our menu, along with some of the fantastic seafood available in this region and of course the spices and unique Middle Eastern flavours such as using rose and dates.”

Diners can expect a mixture of Junoon signature dishes along with locally inspired creations which include: sordid sweetlip fish tadka – curry leaf tadka (spices fried in hot oil, added on top of the fish), grapefruit, crispy dulse and sea urchin; mutton rose bryani – mutton kofta with saffron, mint and rose; and for dessert, chocolate date – milk chocolate parfait, date cake, hibiscus puree, chilli glass and braised dates.

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