BY CAROLYN ONOFREY
Michelin starred ‘modern’ Indian restaurant, Junoon best is known for their courteous service, grand appearance, and pricey-for-the-genre food. Their 5 course pre fixe dinner will set you back $75, but little is known of their two lunch specials – a two course appetizer and entree selection from Junoon’s a la carte menu or a more traditional Indian tasting platter called Thali, both coming in at $19.95.
The 2 course pre fixe lunch special is a great way to sample some of what Junoon has to offer, but the Thali platter steals the show with its small tasting portions in katori (small bowls) which are served on a metal, semi-circular plate.
During my lunch at Junoon I started with the lahsooni gobi ($12), fried cauliflower in a sweet tomato sauce. It was a flavorful way to wake up my palate and begin to acquaint myself with the Indian flavor palate, which at Junoon seems to have a more international appeal rather than strictly Indian. For the main course I sampled the meat option of the Thali platter (a vegetarian option is also available). Six small bowls greeted me, each with something different to offer and each with its own warm hue, a visually stimulating experience. The platter consisted of Chicken Lababdar, Lamb Kolhapuri, and Piri-Piri Shrimp while jasmine rice, yellow daal, and raita (a cooling yogurt cumin sauce) helped to round out the meal. Stand out for me was the Chicken Lababdar, moist chicken pieces in a tomato and onion sauce which finished slightly sweet and smoky while the Lamb Kolhapuri had just the right amount of spice and gave off a more earthy flavor.
Though you probably won’t stumble in to Junoon for your midday lunch on a dollar slice kind of day, it would be a great place to take those clients you want to impress, or even that co worker you’ve been eyeing at the water cooler.