To celebrate the 56th year of Jamaican Independence, BBC Good Food Middle East visited Dubai’s Caribbean hot spot, Miss Lily’s, to soak up the restaurant’s reggae charm and sample its dedicated Independence Day set menu. What’s it like? It was August 6th 1962 when the United Kingdom signed the Jamaican Independence Act, ending British rule …
To celebrate the 56th year of Jamaican Independence, BBC Good Food Middle East visited Dubai’s Caribbean hot spot, Miss Lily’s, to soak up the restaurant’s reggae charm and sample its dedicated Independence Day set menu.
What’s it like?
It was August 6th 1962 when the United Kingdom signed the Jamaican Independence Act, ending British rule of the Caribbean island. Since then, the Jamaican spirit, music and fantastic food have become aspects of the nation’s culture that we now know and love.
All three of these elements are very much present at Dubai’s Jamaican eatery, Miss Lily’s. Hidden on the fifth floor of the Sheraton Grand, the restaurant’s interior is dimly lit, but the wall hangings and furniture are both bursting with colour. Staff are dressed in casual attire, and there’s a very laid-back and friendly approach to the evening from the moment we walk in.
What were the food highlights?
We’re seated in a booth when our waitress – who is dressed in a funky pair of Batman leggings (which I love) begins explaining the Independence Day menu to us, which has been specially curated by Chef Dharam Rana.
The three of us ordered one of each appetizer to share, which included the Hot Peppah Roti, Honey Jerk Chicken Wings and Fried Fish Cocobun Slider. Jamaica is famous for its Jerk Chicken, and the wings did not disappoint. Fall-off-the-bone meat, filled with flavour and served with a honey jerk glaze certainly got our taste buds racing for the night ahead. The Hot Peppah Roti is a similar concept to that of a quesadilla, and came filled with potatoes, cheese, peppers and a side of Scotch Bonnet Sour Cream. Scotch Bonnet, as we soon discovered, is made from Jamaican yellow peppers, and is certainly not for the faint hearted!
We also sampled the Jerk Corn off the a la carte menu, which is Miss Lily’s best-selling dish – and we soon learned why. I couldn’t get enough of it! Caked in sweet, toasted coconut, and accompanied with a pot of jerk mayo, this dish is an absolute must-have. It’s branded as a “sharing” option on the menu, though I’m not sure I will be sharing it next time.
Onto the main event. The three main course options on the set menu comprise Jamaican Chicken Curry, Plantain and Vegetable Rundung, and Escovitch Fish with Bammy – all of which brought delicious, traditional Jamaican flavours to the table. The Plaintain curry was a particular favourite, and found the perfect balance between sweet and spicy.
A trio of desserts brought the evening to a close, and included Tiramisu flavoured with Jamaica’s Mountain Peak Coffee, Rasta Cake with charcoal ice cream, and a Jamaican Independence Day themed birthday cake. The Rasta Cake, complete with sprinkles of hundreds and thousands, re-ignited the inner child within me – but who doesn’t love cake and ice cream?
How was the service?
Each and every member of staff that we had the pleasure of dealing with at Miss Lily’s oozed enthusiasm and passion for both the theme of the evening and the menu itself. Their laid-back approach put us at ease as soon as we entered, but they were always on hand to advise us on their personal favourites off the menu.
The bottom line
Miss Lily’s brings fantastic Jamaican food to a cosy, funky venue in the heart of the city – and it’s served to you by a bunch of fun and upbeat collection of staff that clearly love this cuisine. It’s a small, intimate venue, so I would highly recommend booking in advance if you want to give it a try.
Details: The Jamaican Independence Day menu was priced at AED 150 per person without beverages. For the a la carte menu, a three-course meal will cost around AED 250 without beverages.To book a table, call +971 4 3562900 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.