Last week, my friend Jess introduced me to one of the most exciting places I have been to recently - the Oasis Bakery in Murrumbeena, Victoria. Murrumbeena is a little out of the way unless you live or work down that way, especially as public transport to the area is pretty thin on the ground, but luckily for me, I work there three days a week, so getting to Oasis Bakery is not a problem.
Oasis Bakery specialises in Mediterranean food. It has sweet bakery treats of Mediterranean and other origins (eg fabulous macarons!), but the highlight is the Mediterranean cafe food, including baked specialities and hot meals. Oasis Bakery is very popular and seating is limited, but you can take away as well.
When I went with Jess for lunch last week, we each had Mediterranean pastries - pizzas and foldovers. My pizza had chicken, spinach, halloumi and zaatar. The pastries are all $5.90, and if you eat there, are served warm. I also ordered a scrumptious salted caramel macaron for afters.
I went back again this week with Lee, and this time, we ordered meals. At the top of this post is Lee's choice - a harissa chicken, chickpea and barley hotpot served with flat bread. I ordered Persian jewelled rice, comprising brown rice, nuts, pomegranate seeds and raisins, served with a pot of tangy yoghurt and flat bread:
Both meals cost $13, and were sensational. I think the rice needed the yoghurt to give it some lift and make it moist, but it was delicious. The window display of the rice dish was so beautiful, I almost felt like it was sacrilege to destroy it so that I could have some. The harissa chicken was mildly spiced and a good choice for anyone who doesn't like hotly spiced food.
There are also shakwarma (wraps), falafels, kebbeh (lamb meatballs) and salads.
At Oasis, you enter the bakery, and look in the case windows to choose what you want. You then walk up to the counter, order and pay, and are given a buzzer:
When your food is ready, you go and collect it from the counter near where you walked in. Simple!
My very, very favourite part of Oasis Bakery is the Mediterranean grocery store attached to it. It is foodie heaven!!! I have spent way too much there each time I have been, but the range is fabulous and the prices are generally good. I am in love with the place.
If you are over Murrumbeena way, you can't go wrong with a visit to Oasis Bakery.
9/993 North Road
Murrumbeena VIC 3163
Phone +613 9570 1122
Fax +613 9570 1322