Big news from the Big Apple to kick things off this week. New York City’s acclaimed contemporary Indian restaurant Junoon is due to launch its first extension of the brand in Dubai. Opening at the Shangri-La Dubai in the autumn of 2014, this second outpost will be the first of many for the restaurant concept, with additional branches planned for the region. In New York, the original Junoon has retained its Michelin star each year since opening. In Dubai, the new 145-seat Junoon will be serving a menu of approximately 65 percent of the original New York menu, with the rest dedicated to exclusive Dubai-only dishes, including several recipes focussing on local varieties of fish and seafood.
Further whispers on the rumour mill suggest that Australian chef and TV personality Neil Perry will also be launching a new restaurant in Dubai. Currently due to open in February next year, the eatery will be called Spice Temple.
Meanwhile, The Beach at JBR continues to grow, with more eateries added to the canon at the seaside complex. Citywalk success Sapori di BiCE will be opening its second Dubai branch here in August 2014, with a two-storey, 250-seat venue. Also, now open at The Beach at JBR is Montreal-born café Eggspectation.
If you’re hungry for new dining experiences, there is plenty more to keep you busy. For southern American-style comfort food, head to newly launched Lemonade in Ibn Battuta Mall. The eatery has a particular speciality for the soft drink from which it takes its name, serving flavour variations from watermelon and rosemary to pomegranate. For more American-inspired dining, try new The Hamptons Café on Jumeirah Beach Road. The three-tiered venue boasts a rooftop garden as well as a salon, which will host regular events inspired by English, Chinese and Russian tea culture. Thai food fans can also check out new eatery Fuchsia in TECOM.
Finally, there’s also some brand new brunches to try, at contemporary Spanish spot El Sur, and Indo-French fusion concept La Porte des Indes. Head to El Sur for Friday brunch and you can sample an à la carte selection that includes lamb chops caramelised with honey and quinoa, or garlic and chili prawns (with a modern twist of black garlic).
Taking place on both Fridays and Saturdays, the weekend brunch at La Porte des Indes features a chaat table, serving Indian street food favourites bhel puri and papdi chaat. Starters and main courses are served à la carte, with signature dishes including duck kebab, poulet rouge and lamb pepper fry, plus a dessert buffet to finish things off. Guests are also welcome to head into the kitchen to see their main courses prepared, or to the bar to create their own mocktails. There is also live jazz on Saturdays.
Until next week, bon appétit!