With David Corcoran’s “Very Good” review of Mehndi in the New York Times on 10/7/07, I decided that I would bring this post back to the foreground — Jason
Mehtani Restaurants (Ming II, Mehndi, SM23)
88 Headquarters Plaza
1 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ, 07960
Web Site: MehtaniRestaurantGroup.com
The Mehtani family name is synonymous in New Jersey with Indian Food. Their long-standing restaurant empire in the Edison/Iselin area and in Morristown with Moghul, Ming (Indo-Chinese) and Moksha (South Indian) have set key benchmarks by which many other Indian restaurants in the Northern NJ area are compared to.
The young and charming Shaun Mehtani has followed in his parents’ footsteps and has continued the tradition of serving high quality Indian cuisine in a newly opened restaurant court in Morristown’s Headquarters Plaza shopping center. Here you’ll find two distinctly different Indian restaurants, one traditionally Punjabi and Mughlai (North Indian) serving primarily curries and tandoor dishes, and the other Indo-Chinese, a spicy, tangy fusion cuisine that originates from the province of Calcutta and utilizes Chinese-style wok cooking methods. You’ll also find an ultra-modern cocktail bar in the form of SM23, a cool night spot which mixes wild and exotic Asian-inspired cocktails.
The Mehtani Group Restaurants in Morristown’s Headquarters Plaza.
Shaun Mehtani presiding over his guests at Mehndi Restaurant in Headquarters Plaza.
Exotic Subcontinental dining awaits in Morristown. Click on “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
SM23 is a great place to have a cocktail or two before having a meal at Mehndi or Ming II.
A Lemongrass Martini, one of the many exotic cocktails using premium liquors on SM23’s drink menu.
The Main Dining Room at Mehndi. The restaurant is named after the traditional art of painting intricate henna dye tattoos on women (and men) during festive occasions, such as weddings.
During the weekends Mehndi hires a Henna artist for the evening and you can get your very own Mehndi design. Every design is unique, and they last for about two weeks.
In contrast, Ming II is both ultramodern and elegant, yet still evokes a traditional Chinese dining setting with Feng-Shuei design elements.
A trio of wonderful tandoor breads from Mehndi’s clay oven.
A tandoori chicken sampler from Mehndi. The chicken kebabs here are of the juiciest I have ever had coming out of a tandoor oven in New Jersey.
Chicken Tikka Masala, a classic Punjabi dish sauced with tomatoes, cream and spices.
A tasty vegetable curry with dried fruits.
Cauliflower Manchurian, an Indo-Chinese dish from Ming II.
Drums of Paradise, an adaptation of “Lollipop Chicken” one of my favorite Indian Chinese appetizers.
This is a Indo-Chinese lotus root appetizer from Ming II. The sauce is tangy, sweet, and spicy, which is quite typical of the cuisine, which makes heavy use of cumin, coriander, tumeric and tamarind. While the cooking style is definitely Chinese, the spicing is completely different than what you would typically find in mainland Chinese food.
In addition to dinner service, Mehndi does a great Indian buffet lunch.
Paneer Mehndi is made with cubes of cheese and a spicy spinach curry.
A spicy eggplant curry, one of my favorites.
An assorted plate of vegetarian curries, Tandoori Chicken, Rice and pickles/chutneys from the buffet lunch at Mehndi.