Recently we were invited to try the newly launched Jaan at the Penthouse Sofitel Downtown. Jaan is a progressive Indian cuisine restaurant, the brainchild of Chef & Owner Farrokh Khambata.
Drawing inspiration from the finest produce from the Japan, Far East and Europe, their chef team has created mind-blowing combinations to raise the expectations of Dubai’s dining scene to another level.
As we entered the Ambience of the place was spectacular, the restaurant was divided into smoking and non-smoking areas i.e. the bar and dinning areas. The graffiti wall was what grabbed our attention. The beautiful Graffiti was stunning and gave a very rustic and artsy vibe to the place. Being located on the 31st floor, Jaan boasts an incredible view of the city along with Burj views from some areas.
The staff was very friendly and took us through every dish explaining us about how they came up with the dish and what makes it so special.
We started off with their cocktails. The modernist bar with its innovative and flavorsome cocktails was certainly set to amuse the mind and palette with its provocateur presentations. We decided to go for the Fire n Ice and Smoking Cosmo cocktails.
Fire n Ice:
The cocktail list at Jaan is going to leave you in quite a pickle; they really spoil you for choices and it was just so difficult to pick just one. But the fire n ice drink really intrigued me and I was certainly not disappointed! The drink was presented beautifully and it was just such a refreshing mix of mango and figs with a kick of chilli blended to perfection!
This drink presented in a fancy straw glass style was infused and showcased a hint of molecular gastronomy enhancing our overall drinking experience.
Life of a Nemo:
We started off with a butso style Kuromaguro bluefin tuna salad. The appetizer is interestingly named ‘Life of a Nemo’. We only found out why when we were served and found our salad bowl seated on a fish bowl!! The presentation was not only surprising but raised the stakes higher for the rest of the dishes that were to follow. This is definitely something we’ve never seen before! Moving on to how the salad tasted, bluefin is known to be a delicacy mainly in parts of Japan and is one of the highly priced tunas in the world. The salad tasted exquisite, with special Japanese condiments and spices kept minimalistic yet delectable.
Chef Farrokh’s immense experience using Japanese, Asian and Indian ingredients has culminated in this culinary wonder fusing traditional Japanese techniques with Asian and Indian flavors. He takes it one step further by using an array of fresh local produce. This Vegan sushi with crispy avocado and tempura flakes was a captivating mix of flavors with every bite. The ingredients went along just perfect. This is a must-try for all Sushi lovers!
Bhutjholakia Style Silken Tofu
The Bhutjholakia style Silken Tofu was another Vegan starter dish we tried. It was a crispy Tofu with North-eastern Ghost pepper, which was Panko-fried to perfection!
Turkey bacon wrapped prawns:
We were then served Turkey bacon wrapped prawns and we absolutely couldn’t get enough of these. These have got to be one the best prawn dishes we’ve ever had! These prawns glazed in Sriracha sauce and wrapped with smoked turkey bacon were an absolute delight to my taste buds!
Cherry wood chicken:
For main course we opted for the Cherry wood chicken. The chicken is enhanced in taste braised over cherry wood giving it and aromatic flavor of wood smoke and finished with some very spicy boriya chilies and cashew nuts. Even though we don’t really prefer spicy food, we enjoyed this dish thoroughly with a side of water of course! :p
Chole Hommus served with Amritsari Kulcha.
Next we ordered their Sizzling chole Hommus served with Amritsari Kulcha. This dish is a whole new twist on the traditional chole dishes that we usually have, To begin with, its called a ‘hommus’ The dish is served on a sizzling platter along with stuffed amritsari kulchas. I honestly thought that the hommus would be a little out of place but clearly I was wrong, this dish was such a burst of flavors and we absolutely loved how effortlessly the Hommus was incorporated into the dish. The kulcha was hand breaded and had a delicious potato stuffing. I did think that the kulchas tasted good as it is and dint necessarily had to be paired up with the chole. Personally, I would’ve enjoyed just plain kulchas with the chole rather than stuffed ones.
Dhaba Butter chicken
The Dhaba Butter chicken came in the most cutest tiffin box with a quirky quote “You’re my Butter-half” note on it. Loved the presentation of this dish! The flavors of the Butter chicken were bang on perfect. The chicken was succulent and was just right.
Normandie Diary Dal (pictured above along with the butter chicken)
The dish is righteously known as the Normandie Diary Daal. Normandy is a region in France, which produces one of the best cheese and diary products in the world. The Daal was beautiful, rich and creamy and was one of the best one we have had in a long time now. We absolutely loved how the black dal flavors were enhanced with the world’s best cream and butter.
Arabic Malai Reshmi Murgh Biryani
We have tried several Biryanis for various places, but this one just stole the show for us! The Biryani is known as the Arabic Malai Reshmi Biryani due to the Zataar flavors infused in it. The boneless chicken served on a bed of basmati rice is flavored with aromatic Indian spices. This was certainly not one of your usual biryanis; the flavors were literally on another level.
For desserts we tried out yet another fusion dish- the French toast Shahi tukra with a Maple cinnamon squeeze served with almondine kulfi icecream. The chef’s take on Shahi tukda turned out to be a beautiful rendition of the much-loved Indian dessert. Being someone who usually withdraws away from Indian sweets, I couldn’t get enough of this mouth-watering dish! I loved how each element of the dish complimented each other bringing out a total lip-smacker!
This dessert was the latest addition to their extensive menu. The chocolate cigar being the hero of the dish came in stuffed with a rich chocolate mousse filling served with caramel ice cream with a tinge of whisky flavor to it. To be honest, we aren’t fans of liquor in our desserts and hence did not enjoy this dessert as much as we enjoyed the Shahi tukra.
Lastly, our mints came in this quirky little truck with sections of different kinds of rose, mints and mouth freshners. Presentation on fleek we may say!
Below are some of the celebrity’s favorite dishes prepared by Chef Farrokh Khambata himself:
To conclude, Jaan brings to the diner a unique concept of using the best produce the world has to offer and infusing these ingredients with exotic herbs, flavorings and spices, keeping in line with India’s gastronomic heritage. It was certainly an exquisite and personalized culinary experience from beginning to the end.
Jaan is located in the Sofitel Hotel, Downtown. For more information visit http://jaandubai.com or call 04-3388477 for reservations and bookings.