Main courses. They so often let us down. We’ve talked about ordering a load of starters and a few desserts, and leaving it there, many times, but we never do. On leaving Miss Lily’s, though, we wish we had.
The Caribbean restaurant, an import from New York, has created quite a buzz in the few weeks it has been open, evident by our failure to get a table at short notice. You need to book here, even if it’s just for drinks at the bar (it seems the laid-back Jamaican vibe doesn’t extend to the door policy).
Once in, the service is quick, unfussy and helpful. The menu isn’t huge, but it fits in most Jamaican specialities and a few fusion dishes (ackee hummus anyone?). Starters are great. Salt cod fritters are coated in good batter and the curry sauce adds some bite. Jerk corn is sadly missing its jerk, but nonetheless, it’s excellent. Rolled in toasted coconut, it’s a delight. The blistered shishito peppers are the perfect small bite (for those who like heat), too.
So, what about those mains? The jerk chicken is far from juicy, the skin is limp and the marinade has no traceable fire. It’s hard to tell when it was near a grill. The chicken in the ramen is better, but the flavours are a little dull. We want both to pack more of a punch.
Ginger ice-cream tells the same story and for Dhs32 we’d like more than two quail egg-sized scoops. Thankfully, banana mousse saves the day.
Food aside, the restaurant’s décor wows. The tightly-packed tables create quite an atmosphere (though, some may like more space) and it has been decked out with vibrant touches. The ska and dancehall tunes are also superb.
It’s just a shame the cooking doesn’t have the same zing as the venue itself.
The Bill (for two) 1x cod fritters Dhs45 1x jerk corn Dhs38 1x shishito peppers Dhs30 1x jerk chicken Dhs120 1x jerk ramen Dhs134 1x banana mousse Dhs46 1x ginger ice-cream Dhs32 1x large water Dhs20 1x body good Dhs40 Total (excluding service) Dhs505
The Bottom Line A touch of the emperor’s new clothes.