Full disclosure: Miss Lily’s is one of my favourite restaurants in Dubai. It’s the fail-safe option when I have friends wanting a night out – somewhere guaranteed to be lively, with tasty food (at good prices) and a soundtrack you can’t help getting up to dance to. That’s why I ventured back post lockdown with a distinct sense of trepidation; how would COVID safety measures affect this haunt known for it’s always upbeat tempo? Worse still – would they even adhere to them?
I’m thrilled to report that this Jamaican eatery – where many a celeb including Ed Sheeran and Rihanna have been spotted – has managed to maintain its vibe without compromising at all on its safety standards. If anything, they’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can fully relax while tucking into your spiced jerk chicken. Temperatures are taken as you enter, as masked greeters show you to your table – the smoking section is till definitely the more popular one. The bar isn’t in use but provides a beautiful backdrop to seated tables. They’ve even introduced a new early bird menu – with arguably one of the best double patty burgers in Dubai – for those wanting to snack but not commit to a full-on dinner post-work.
Subtle transparent dividers provide safety – without harming the aesthetic – of the dining areas, with petite green bottles filled with hand sanitizer blending in with the colour scheme of this vibrant, vinyl-themed spot. Alternate tables are used for seating, with staggered reservation times ensuring you’ll never get crowded. They even use UV light to ensure everything is perfectly clean before you touch it, with cutlery coming wrapped in chic brown paper packing to the table.
So far, so safe. You’ll quickly start singing along to the tunes by DJ Crown Prince [make sure you check out his special Grazia Playlist] while waiting for your food to arrive courtesy of friendly servers who are definitely smiling behind their masks. You’ll definitely over-order as portions are generous, but there’s so much deliciousness to try. Must-tries include their trademark jerk chicken (in paratha-style rotis if you’re looking for some carb-action), Baja-style crispy cod tacos wrapped with slivers of pickle to add bite and toasted coconut-topped creamy jerk corn.
Rich lamb ribs come with a tangy tamarind glaze but the real star of the show was the just-launched burger. A juicy tower of pure comfort food – served with a side of fries. In keeping with the Jamaican theme, you’ll spot two seriously spicy sauces on the table, one made out of Scotch Bonnets no less, but they’re superfluous as the flavours are spot-on. Larger parties can opt for the huge family-size mains made to share; there’s a 1kg grilled Tomahawk steak (with trimmings), garlic roasted lamb shoulder or slow roasted short rib if you go down this route. Else there are hearty stews, fried chicken or pan roasted sea bass to tempt.
You might be fleetingly think about skipping dessert, but that would be foolish. Don’t miss out on their decadent sweet treats. Our top pick was the feather-light homemade coconut cake teamed with a cream cheese frosting. The morning after our meal we woke up still dreaming of another slice. Miss Lily’s has lived up to my expectations. It’s managed to keep its essence intact and still had me dancing to its beats whilst I stayed firmly in my seat.
Find Miss Lily’s Dubai on the 5th Floor, Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE. For more information call +971 4 356 2900, or visit misslilys.com