NJ Dining: Mehtani Restaurant Group / Mehndi / Ming II / SM23


Click Here for Hi-Res Slide Show with More Photos!

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
Tel: 973-871-2323

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.

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The Mehtani Group Restaurants in Morristown’s Headquarters Plaza.

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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.

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A Lemongrass Martini, one of the many exotic cocktails using premium liquors on SM23’s drink menu.

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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.

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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.

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In contrast, Ming II is both ultramodern and elegant, yet still evokes a traditional Chinese dining setting with Feng-Shuei design elements.

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A trio of wonderful tandoor breads from Mehndi’s clay oven.

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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.

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Chicken Tikka Masala, a classic Punjabi dish sauced with tomatoes, cream and spices.

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A tasty vegetable curry with dried fruits.

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Cauliflower Manchurian, an Indo-Chinese dish from Ming II.

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Drums of Paradise, an adaptation of “Lollipop Chicken” one of my favorite Indian Chinese appetizers.

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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.

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In addition to dinner service, Mehndi does a great Indian buffet lunch.

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Paneer Mehndi is made with cubes of cheese and a spicy spinach curry.

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A spicy eggplant curry, one of my favorites.

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An assorted plate of vegetarian curries, Tandoori Chicken, Rice and pickles/chutneys from the buffet lunch at Mehndi.

7 Responses to NJ Dining: Mehtani Restaurant Group / Mehndi / Ming II / SM23

  1. SCIL Cadet says:

    Love the pictures and the blurb on this interesting sounding place. What do you know about the other Mehtani restaurants? Ming in Edison – I keep seeing conflicting reviews with the universal theme of bad wait staff at Indian restaurants.

  2. jaxxter says:

    I’m afraid that chicken tikka masala has nothing to do with being a punjabi classic. This dish, like most typical Indian restaurant food, was put together and first served in Britain. In fact some say it has taken over from fish and chips and become the national dish.
    Love reading your blog.

  3. RG says:

    mendhi is good. but far from the best indian food that i’ve ever had. i have found in general a consistency problem with many places. you go once, and it is amazing. so, you rave about it to friends. and go back with them, and well, its just okay.

    of note… SM 23 was making some fantastic cocktails. i had been there 3 times, and it was excellent each time. in particular, loved the grilled pineapple and cracked pepper ‘martini’. but, the last two times were very disappointing. i think they might be using more juice than alcohol now. (cheaper that way?). i’m not saying i need more booze. what i mean is that the balance of flavor is off. while before, it was a pineapple flavored cocktail. now, it comes across more like pineapple juice. same deal with the poached apple ‘martini’. i hope they get back on track. i wonder though, because it is always dead when i am in there — even on a saturday night.

  4. Lisa says:

    Hire a henna tattoo artist for entertainment at your next party or event! Check out http://hennatattoos4u.com Heather’s Henna Tattoos. Perfect for birthdays, weddings, showers, bachelorette, corporate events and more!

  5. […] of thing you’d see at some really trendy restaurant in Manhattan, not typically Jersey. Both Ming II and Mandoo Bar’s decor come to mind when I saw this place. Definitely […]

  6. […] two best known restaurants that serve this food are owned by the Mehtani Group, which owns Ming and Ming II in Edison and Morristown, both of which are […]

  7. Roshini says:

    Hire a henna artist for Bridal henna, sweet16, Batz mizvah, birthday parties, etc as Arva Attarwala http://www.jawaheraat.com/About.aspx She is just amazing in her work!!!!

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