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Brunch Of The Month: Bonita AppleBrunch at Miss Lily’s

Island vibes reign supreme at Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai.

Now open for a sixth year, it’s safe to say that Miss Lily’s has become a Dubai institution for regulars and those who turn to the Carribean venue for a guaranteed good time. There is no other place quite like it, and while we’ve been to many of the professed “hotspots” around town, nothing quite lives up to the charm and charisma at Lily’s. The Caribbean feels are so real, from the larger-than-life speakers that amp up the central area, to the laid-back ambience of the exclusive, elevated lounge, and the vibrant dining room with its dim lighting, comfy booths and vinyl-lined walls – this is where you come for the food and stay for the music. 

Winner of four FACT Dining Awards, including ‘Best Saturday Brunch – Casual Dining’ in 2021 and 2022, Miss Lily’s has become a firm FACT favourite. Yet the venue has decided to mix up its award-winning formula and overhaul its popular weekend soiree with the launch of the new Bonita AppleBrunch.

Miss Lily's

Drawing inspiration from the Hip-Hop track by A Tribe Called Quest, Bonita AppleBrunch exudes a lively, colourful vibe that transports diners to the sunny Caribbean islands. With pumping tunes encompassing the best of Afro, Caribbean, Dancehall, Hip-Hop, R&B, Reggae, and Soca, DJ Crown Prince keep diners grooving all afternoon long. Not bad for an intimate venue tucked away inside a shipping container on the fifth floor of Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai.

If you’re already familiar with Miss Lily’s menu, then (like us) you will already have your go-to order on lock (Jerk Chicken and Plantain it is). However, for those wanting to venture out and try something new, the charismatic Chef Richie Richards has plenty of Caribbean classics up his sleeve throughout the four-hour brunch. The casual Caribbean joint is known for specialising in a modern approach to classic island cooking, drawing from the diverse roots of Jamaican cuisine and offering delicacies seasoned with spices. 

Miss Lily's

With knives and forks at the ready, a slew of sharing starters arrive at the table. These include golden Patties generously stuffed with fiery beef and a Crunchy Bok Choy Salad filled with mixed nuts and pumpkin seeds. The salad is (as the name suggests) fresh and crunchy, while the Pepper Shrimp takes the Spanish dish of gambas al Ajillo and elevates it into Caribbean territory by harnessing the heat of Scotch bonnet. Elsewhere, the Jerk Chicken Wings slathered in a sweet and sticky BBQ sauce will require you to break all the rules and get stuck in – is there any other way to eat those tasty chicken wings? Nope. 

When it comes to the main course, diners are encouraged to select from signature dishes, including Jerk Chicken, Chicken & Waffles, Curry Goat Stew, Steamed Fish and Roasted Pumpkin Pesto Pasta or classic brunch staples like Avocado Toast, Eggs Benedict, Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes and Pulled Oxtail Flatbread.

Miss Lily's
Taste of Jamaica

Our table descends upon the Taste of Jamaica, a generous plate of ackee and saltfish, fried dumplings, callaloo and fried plantain. It’s the perfect immersion into some of Jamaica’s most treasured delicacies for those unfamiliar with Caribbean cuisine. The World Famous Jerk Chicken proves to be another popular choice. Marinated in jerk sauce and served with a sweet mango apricot chutney, the plump and juicy chicken is complemented by a tasty bowl of rice and peas – everyone at the table agrees that it’s acceptable to lick your fingers after this top-notch carnivorous delight.

Miss Lily's
World Famous Jerk Chicken

Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the Sweet Potato Pudding (made with vanilla, nutmeg and rolled oats) or a platter of tropical fruits. There’s a good chance that throughout the brunch, DJ Crown Prince will spin a track that will automatically manoeuvre your body into getting up out of your seat and having a dance. Miss Lily’s triggers all the nostalgic feels, where the music ranges from Beenie Man’s Rum & Redbull (2011) to Dawn Penn’s You Don’t Love Me (1994), before kicking it all the way back to 60s Bob Marley.

Drinks are always at the ready with many choices to quench your thirst, from curated cocktails to house pours, beers and wines. 

Miss Lily's
DJ Crown Prince

If you haven’t heard of Miss Lily’s, 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 a place to celebrate sunny vibes and the Caribbean’s deep musical roots. When the team reiterate that Miss Lily’s is more than just a restaurant: “it’s a family, it’s a culture, it’s a movement” – they mean every single word. The service speaks for itself and you’ll likely be captivated by the easy vibes, which in a city full of too many imitations and gimmicks, is so refreshing to see.

Bonita AppleBrunch at Miss Lily’s takes place on Saturdays, from 2pm to 6pm. AED 275 (soft beverages) and AED 350 (house beverages).

GO: Follow @bonitaapplebrunch on Instagram for reservations and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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