It is always interesting to find out how a recipe or dish is created. It is fascinating to know the story behind the produce used and the inspiration behind the dish.
Oasis Bakery is a culmination of creation and consumption and is a real oasis for foodies. It has a large speciality grocery and bakery with all sorts of housemade Middle Eastern and other treats, fresh produce and ingredients, as well as a café where all sorts of traditional Middle Eastern meals are served.
One of the benefits of this set up is you are able to see what many of the ingredients used in the café are like in their rawest form. You can also observe pastries and sweets being prepared in the deli, so that you feel as though you are present at more stages of the culinary process than merely the eating.
Emad and Marwa Makool have been the owners of Oasis Bakery since the late 1990’s. Since then, three generations of their family have worked in the bakery.
The food is all inspired by their Middle Eastern heritage, with a distinct emphasis on Lebanese flavours.
In 2010, a change in their café space meant that Oasis Bakery’s success skyrocketed further, securing them a place in The Age’s Top 10 Cheap Eats for that year.
Ely Makool, brother of Emad, spoke to Trading Plates and said that one of the many keys to their success is that they get daily deliveries of fruit and vegetables.
“We have many local suppliers who bring us fresh produce on a daily basis.
“We source our spinach, parsley, beetroot, turnips and fresh herbs from a local farm in Heatherton.
“The majority of the nuts we use and sell are from overseas, but we turn over a lot and store them in cool conditions so they’re always fresh. Same with the spices we use and sell.”
But the Makool’s claim that what Oasis is really known for are their fresh Middle Eastern breads and handmade savoury pastries. Pitas, Turkish, haloumi filled, spinach filled- you name it!
Trading Plates sampled a few dishes from the Oasis Bakery café ourselves, namely the Shawarma and salad and the Lebanese BBQ platters. An assortment of grilled meats, dips, and pitas were generously served up, clearly displaying the Makool’s commitment to fresh and quality ingredients.
It was too tempting not to sample a variety of sweet pastries and biscuits as well, all of which were a welcome finish to the meal.
Speciality grocers are a great way to learn more about different cuisines and being able to sample some finished meals at the end of the shopping experience was a real treat.
9/993 North Rd, Murrumbeena VIC 3163
(03) 9570 1122