If you haven’t heard of Miss Lily’s in Dubai, surely, you’ve been living under a rock. Not only is the Caribbean venue known for its delicious island cooking and too-cool-for-school staff, it’s also known to celebrate sunny vibes and music roots with simple, yet innovative nights dedicated to all the things that the pre-smartphone crowd loves about the popular concept located at Sheraton Grand Hotel. FACT’s Shabana Adam gets ready for In Living Colour…
Head over to Miss Lily’s on a Tuesday night and take a seat for a trip down memory lane. Kicking it all the way back to the early 90s when the Wayans brothers reigned supreme with their funky fresh comedy sketch In Living Colour, Miss Lily’s triggers all the nostalgic feels and reminders of a time before mobile phones and social media when music brought people together for a good time. In Living Colour reminisces back to when cross colours and starter jackets were fashion; we’re talking about the era of Janet Jackson, Shabba Ranks, and TLC to name but a few of the music icons that dominated every house party playlist.As we get comfy, ready to order the Rundown Menu (more on that in a second), resident DJ Mehdi Le Hash gets straight down to business with old-school tracks by every throwback artist we wish would make a comeback, including the likes of Cameo, Ashanti, Busta Rhymes, and some we’d completely forgotten about – Naughty by Nature, Kriss Kross, Ja Rule, Lloyd and so many more that had us revisit old memories and create a new playlist in our “notes” as the night unfolded.
Returning to the era of colour also comes with true Caribbean flavour. As Tuesday evening begins to rewind into the dusty and dreamy back catalogue of some of our music faves, the kitchen also steps up with their Rundown Menu, highlighting an array of indulgent traditional Caribbean plates and showcasing the fiery tastes of all things Jerk. Treat yourself for just AED180 to classic recipes from the yard and unmatched grill techniques in the city throughout this extensive dinner. Start with Callaloo and Cheese Stuffed Charred Baby Peppers and Jerk Honey coated Chicken Wings. The latter will require you to break all the rules and really get stuck in – is there even any other way to eat those good, good chicken wings than with your hands? Nope.
Mains offers five courses and the standouts come in the form of the juicy Jerk Lamb Chop with a side of steamed cabbage – the flavours are p.o.p.p.i.n.g and everyone at the table agrees that it’s acceptable to lick your fingers after this carnivorous delight. The Jerk Prawn is also a showstopper with its tangy kick from the lime and cilantro while the Jerk Scotch Bonnet Charred Rib Eye is a palate awakening thanks to a beautiful mix of chilli and mango chutney – genius. The Jerk Barbeque Lamb Ribs are a little more difficult to tackle with more fat than meat making an appearance – after a few tries to tear away, the majority of us give up. The Pineapple Honey Grilled King Fish redeems with its subtle yet memorable flavours. A chef’s selection of dessert follows for those who still have room. We would highly recommend ordering a side of the famous plantain for Miss Lily’s still remains the best place in Dubai for this much-loved Jamaican delicacy – in our humble and hungry opinion.Drinks are as always at the ready with so much great choice to quench your thirst. Staff are the friendliest and most welcoming group of individuals who work in perfect cohesion to make sure that it’s nothing but good vibes only throughout the venue.
Taking the party into the main area, we recall Miss Lily’s ethos: to remind the city why they fell in love with hip hop, R&B and dancehall and of course – good food – by taking it back to where it all began. Tuesday night is the best example of this; it pays homage to the catalyst of a culture that started in the streets and adapted into today’s creative-centric lifestyle.
What do we encourage you to do for In Living Colour? Dress up in geometric patterns, bust out your big gestured dance moves, and channel the days of Atari and the ignition of technology as In Living Colour works to recover vibrant social living – a replenishment from today’s heavily monochromatic social screens. We were there for the music and left with a whole new playlist – now, it’s your turn.
GO: In Living Colour takes place at Miss Lily’s every Tuesday from 7pm to 1am. AED180 for the Rundown Menu, food only. Call (0)4 356 2900 for reservations and more information.