(Last UPDATED 5/17/22) Description and review of Junoon Flavors of India, a family-run Indian restaurant located in East Sacramento. NEW: See UPDATE #2 below.
I had been looking forward to trying Junoon Flavors of India ever since they opened in July. The restaurant is located on J Street at the former location of Cielito Lindo Mexican Gastronomy.
Like many of my neighbors I was sorry to see Cielito Lindo Mexican Gastronomy close its doors. However, I am thrilled that Junoon has moved into the neighborhood. While East Sacramento has a variety of ethnic restaurants it has up until now lacked one serving Indian cuisine.
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Junoon (the word means “passion”) is only open for take-out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Junoon website is not yet set up for online ordering I called in my lunch order.
It was a nice sunny day so I decided to stroll over to pick up my lunch as the air quality index for particulate matter from the ongoing forest fires had improved to “moderate”.
The first thing I noticed when I entered the restaurant were the two murals on the walls. One mural is of two peacocks and the other mural two multi-colored elephants. The two colorful murals complement the interior walls of the restaurant which are painted either grey or hot pink.
The menu states that “due to the current situation, we are offering a limited menu for now”. However, I thought that the selection of dishes was more than adequate.
The Jonoon menu offers:
- Five Starters
- Six Tandoori Dishes (assorted meats, fish and vegetables cooked on skewers in a traditional tandoori clay oven)
- Seven Vegetarian Dishes
- Five Chicken Dishes
- Two Seafood Dishes
- Three Lamb Curries
- Five Biryani (assorted meats, fish and vegetables served with aromatic, aged Basmati rice layered with saffron, cardamon, cloves, and bay leaves and garnished with nuts and fresh herbs)
- Seven Roti (naan and stuffed naan)
- Four Desserts
- Four Sides
- Five Lunch Wraps (only served Monday-Friday during lunch)
Non-Alcoholic beverages available include cold coffee, tea, lemonade, iced tea and soft drinks.
For lunch that day I ordered:
- Samosa “starter” (two savory pastries stuffed with potatoes, green peas and roasted cumin served with chutney) ($5)
- Chicken Curry Masala (chicken dish with onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic in a curry sauce served with aged fragrant saffron Basmati rice) ($12)
- Garlic Naan (traditional Punjabi bread made with leavened dough in a clay oven with garlic and cilantro) ($3)
Once home I noticed right away how well the various components of my lunch had been packed. Everything smelled delicious and I was pleased to see that there was enough for two meals.
I enjoyed one of the two Samosa with lunch that day. The Samosa was good sized and very tasty indeed. Both it and the accompanying chutney had a spicy, but good heat.
The Chicken Curry Masala was excellent. Like my starter it also had a spicy heat, making the saffron Basmati rice the perfect accompaniment.
Last, but not least, the Garlic Naan was very flavorful – not to mention huge.
Needless to say, I am already looking forward to returning to Junoon to sample more of the menu. The Lunch Wraps (fresh Naan bread with Junoon’s special sauce, potatoes, onions, cilantro, tomatoes and organic spring mix with a choice of cauliflower, paneer, shrimp, Chicken Tikka or lamb) ($9.50 – $12.50) sounds interesting.
Junoon Flavors of India Revisited
(10/21/2020) When a friend recently suggested ordering take-out from Junoon for lunch I was all in. We each planned to order and pick-up our meal, and then meet in my backyard to enjoy lunch and catch up.
When my friend arrived and we started unpacking our lunches we discovered that we had both ordered the same starter and main course!
- Vegetable Pakoras (fritters dipped in chickpea batter and fried) ($5)
- Amritsari Chicken Tikka (boneless chicken marinated in Yogurt, fresh herbs, roasted whole spices, and green chilies) with saffron Basmati rice ($14)
The Vegetable Pakoras came with a tasty dipping sauce that we both enjoyed. And, while I enjoyed the flavors of the Amritsari Chicken Tikka, my friend thought the dish a bit salty.
I had ordered the Garlic Naan for the second time, and the leftover Garlic Naan, Vegetable Pakoras and Amritsari Chicken Tikka made a very satisfying lunch the following day.
(5/17/2022) The Sacramento Bee reported today that Junoon Flavors of India has closed, but that it will reopen under new ownership on Saturday, May 21 as a “new” Indian restaurant.
It was reported that Mohit Bahl suffered a physical injury that will require an extended recovery period. The business has been sold to Suman Khadka and Sushil Kuikel who plan to change the name of the establishment to the “New Kathmandu Kitchen”.
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Junoon Flavors of India Snapshot: 3672 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95816 (916) 942-9796 or (916) 879-4974 Lunch: Everyday (11:00 a.m. to 2:30); Dinner: Monday – Thursday & Sunday (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) Friday & Saturday (5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) Vegetarian Friendly Walk-Ins Welcome Parking: Small lot and street parking
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