It seems Indian Cuisine has become my new forte! Ask me about Kulfi, street-style Indian favourites, the use of liquid Nitrogen in modern cooking techniques and I’m your girl! Fine-dining Indian restaurants with a twist, are proving very popular in Dubai and this week was my third visit to a restaurant of this ilk – JAAN at the penthouse.
A refreshingly modern design, JAAN’s concept draws inspiration from Japan, The Far East and Europe to create a menu that not only tantalises the taste buds but will impress on the eyes. Located in the Sofitel Downtown, it overlooks some seriously impressive views of Dubai and the Burj Khalifa. Having only launched a few weeks ago, I was quite impressed how busy the restaurant was, which is credit to the attention Chef & Owner Farrokh Khambata has drawn in.
We started with some cocktails; all of which are thoughtfully named reflecting the twists in the food menu. A ‘Smoking Cosmo’, ‘Kitty Brewer’ and ‘Drunken Picasso’ are examples of the playfulness you can expect to find.
The Cold Smoke Chaat kicked off the evening with a huge hit of flavour. Although I missed the smoke in the picture, the arrival was a real announcement dinner had started! I didn’t expect the level of intensity that came from this street-style favourite dish. Every mouthful was an real array of tastes – crispy puffed rice, ‘liquid N(2)0 crumble’ – it was a chef at his very best. It remained one of the favourite dishes of the evening – guess I better go to India!
The ‘Life of Nemo’ blue fin tuna was delicious, incredibly fresh and really did melt in the mouth!
Although the taste was sublime, the presentation of the dish didn’t fall on the right side of quirky for me – whilst I appreciate the attempt to deliver something unique, having live fish in the bowl was a little cruel and disconcerting for my liking.
Continuing with the fish affair, Yellowtail Amberjack topped with rare gucchi – splendid!
One of JAAN’s signature dishes – the ‘Cherry Wood Smoke Infused Chicken’. I made the rather careless mistake of trying one of the Indian chilis; I thought I was pretty well acquainted with spicy foods but my mouth was on fire for the best part of 10 minutes. Fortunately, the service at JAAN is exceptional and our lovely waiter was on hand to bring me a very quick, and large glass of milk to ease the heat (which works a dream by the way!).
After the chili taste dissipated and I was able to actually taste the chicken, I was very thankful for the speedy recovery! The chicken was creamy, moist and had a whole new depth of flavour you wouldn’t expect. Bravo.
Hokkaido Mushrooms and Truffle Kofta – a savoury ball of heaven!
The Salmon Kejriwal and soft shell crab roll; both presented beautifully although not quite the same level of flavour as the Chaat and other dishes rolling out from the kitchen.
“NaaZa”, which is described as a ‘wacky combination of naan and pizza’, did exactly what it said on the tin and in all the good ways! Stuff me some hot baked camembert with truffle in a garlicky naan crispy ball and I’m GOOD TO GO!
“Big Head Prawns…Indian Butter-Garlic style”. I loved this dish, the star of the show were the prawns with little to no accompaniments, and rightly so, as the prawns were exceptional and perfectly cooked.
J and I took in the views before sitting down to mains, and had a spy on their quirky clock displays too.
All I have to say about this next dish is,
TAKE ME TO BURMA!
Ohh, wow! Seriously though – I really truly have never tasted a little black pot as good as this one. A tradition in Burmese cuisine, the Khow Suey is a one-dish meal served with a variety of condiments. JAAN offer it with organic vegetables, chicken, prawn and lobster…
We opted for the lobster, and the lobster bisque they create is just sensational. I could have happily not added anything to it and sat in the corner of the room in awe with my bowl and spoon. Truly a flavour combination masterpiece!
The butter chicken for mains, as you probably already clocked, was served with green garlic and chive naan. I personally love my naan being infused with a very strong hit of garlic so this was a little on the light side, but this could be a silver lining if you’re on a first date!
Desserts are a masterpiece in themselves, playful takes on items and words that are transformed into an entertaining and delicious treat!
The Valrhona SoufflÃ© would have been top of the list but it’s a 25 minute wait and we didn’t think ahead, so instead opted for the ‘Chocolate Cigar’ and ‘L.S.D – a Berry Addiction’. Although I’m sure the soufflÃ© would have been worth the wait, these two impressive desserts meant nothing was lost! (Except maybe the healthy check box for the night!).
And to finish off this fanciful meal, a classic Indian after-dinner snack (or digestive aid) – Mukhwas.
JAAN is a special place with a lot of love and thought gone into it. For me personally, there were plenty of dishes I had never tried before and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. With the removal of some little fish and a flavour enhancement or two for their sushi rolls, I would rate this as one of the best restaurants in Dubai at the moment. Eating out has become so much more than just the food on the plate and JAAN have understood that and raised the bar.
Hope you enjoyed this blog and let me know any questions or comments below!
For bookings or more details about JAAN, you can visit their website here or call on +971 (0) 4338 8477.
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!