I have been enjoying a major love affair with the Flatiron district for many years now in New York City. At the same time, my love affair with Indian cuisine has been lifelong and has no plans of stopping. Junoon, which combines both love affair elements (Flatiron meets Indian cuisine) may just been the best Indian restaurant I’ve ever been to… no joke. Here’s why.
First of all, Junoon is a 2018 Michelin-starred restaurant. To find yourself on that coveted list will impress even the snootiest of Manhattanite, and will shut them up instantly once they bask in the glory that is their location.
Junoon is easy to get to by either the 1 or N-Q-R trains on 24th street between 5th and 6th avenue. Something that impressed me, even before I started eating their incredible cuisine, was just how unbelievably spacious and sophisticated the location was.
Not sure if decor is part of the whole Michelin-star guide, but it should be as the dining room alone was gorgeous to look at. Junoon is a fantastic place for an intimate dinner for two (which I experienced with my friend) or for a big gathering with your loved ones as they are able to accommodate both easily and in style.
Let’s get to the food, because my mouth is already salivating just thinking about it. The brains behind the dishes that we devoured recently is Chef Akshay Bhardwaj, who hails from Queens.
Chef Bhardwaj’s rise to the culinary top started in the Junoon family, as he began as an intern and worked his way up to where he is now. He, like many others who have become successful in New York City, is proof that you can really make it here if you put your mind to something. And he’s done that with the expertly made dishes that we practically inhaled.
While sitting in the main dining room, our handsome and debonair waiter recommended that we try their tasting menu that they are currently offering. What’s fantastic about this particular menu is that there are two options within each course: one that is vegetarian-friendly, and one that isn’t.
Even though I am more prone to enjoying the meat and fish options at restaurants, I have learned to not shy away from the vegetarian ones as they can be a true surprise to your taste buds. I happily enjoyed both during our menu tasting, and am happy to share which options were my favorite.
Their Five Pepper Scallop (pictured above), was hands down one of my favorites that night. What made it so fantastic was the orange marmalade that was paired with the five green pepper coulis. The mixture of sweet and spicy with the perfectly cooked scallop made for a bite that i will truly never forget.
Another stand out for me was their Teiicheri Duck, which dry-aged normandy duck breast, tellicherry peppercorn sauce and a madras lemon rice. Superb. Beyond superb. Duck is still a very underrated item in the food world, and Junoon’s version is one to be reckoned with based on just how great it tasted.
For their dessert, I would recommend the Junoon Walk. This masterpiece of a sweet treat came with banana shrikhand (sweet strained yogurt) mousse, valrhona chicory opera cake and a cinnamon kulfi (Indian ice cream). Please just bottle this somehow and let me know how to pick it up, as the spice from the entire dish blended really well with one another.
I give Junoon a 10 out of 10 for everything they presented to us and the overall execution of the evening. Don’t just take my word for it though.
For more information on Junoon, please check out their official website.