Disclosure: I dined as a guest of the cafe
Living in the inner-city suburbs definitely has its perks. It’s easy to get around, to the city, to the hottest new openings and…well be basically spoilt in terms of food options.
One thing I have found though, it has made me lazy. Massively lazy to get outside my comfort zone, to travel more than 20 minutes to try anything most weekend mornings and give things a chance I normally wouldn’t otherwise; which means I’m missing out and not finding as many hidden gems (and let’s be honest, that’s always the most fun).
So although I was initially going to turn down an invite to Oasis Bakery in Murrumbeena, when my boss saw the invite, she told me to take a couple hours off work and go check them out.
I’m pretty lucky, I know.
And, well, what can I say? It was definitely one of the best breakfasts I’ve had this year!
Oasis Bakery is a family owned Middle Eastern bakery, supermarket and cafe, opened in the late 1990’s by Emad and Marwa Makool. It’s now had three generations looking after it day to day. The market is an absolute beast, it’s huge, well organised and with a fantastic range of products.
The bakery is oh so tempting in the warm light; with pastries and sweets beckoning at you to come have a closer look. The homemade baklava in particular, generous in girth, just calls to me; especially when it’s topped with chocolate. Mmhmm!
But we’re here to try out the new breakfast menu, conjured up by their new chef (ex-Rockpool), and Emma quickly makes just about one of every dish appear from the menu in front of us!
It’s all middle eastern inspired, but with fun and creative twists and turns, with some familiar brunch favourites thrown into the mix as well.
The Smoothie Bowl with dragonfruit, pitaya, mango, banana and baobab smoothie on a bed of housemate granola topped with Archie’s Blend #1 and #2, chai seeds, fresh berries and shaved coconut is a colourful and delicious way to start the day, and also much more filling than one may initially expect! There’s a lot of crunchy granola goodness in there.
The Spring Eggs are almost too pretty to eat, two poached eggs with citrus labneh, miso avocado, radish, halloumi and a tomato medley. Another bright and fresh dish, I absolutely cannot stop picking at the perfect grilled halloumi!
Archie’s Avocado mixes up the usual smashed avocado offering with some charred corn and quinoa on the side, the the Shakshuka baked eggs is everything you want it to be (I know Brad (being the baked egg fan he is) would have loved this).
The abundance of the Lebanese Breakfast is just gorgeous, and although it’s huge, with scrambled eggs with soujouk, ful medammas, olives, grilled halloumi, tomatoes, cucumbers, chilli labneh balls and pita, it is also so wholesome and balanced. I would honestly prefer this big breakfast over the average big breakfast any day (may help that there’s halloumi involved though).
The Kim Chi Lamb is my surprise favourite for the day, and not a dish I would have expected out of a middle eastern eatery! Seared lamb is served with asparagus, scrambled egg, kim chi tabouli and black sesame on sour dough toast. If you’re into big flavours, you will love this, it’s bold and kinda punches you in the mouth with kim chi heat and rich lamb decadence. Would eat all the time.
In case you’re wondering, yes, you can get coffee (they use Rosso Coffee beans), tea from T2 and more importantly, do justice to Prana Chai.
You absolutely cannot leave Oasis Bakery without something sweet, there are two amazing offerings on the menu…and the cabinet of baklavas are just impossible to walk casually away from.
You’ve probably seen it making the rounds on Instagram, the Carnival Hotcakes are a child’s dream and a parents nightmare (but I guess we're all kids on the inside, so no problems!), with two buttermilk hotcakes, salted caramel sauce, honey popcorn, toasted marshmallow and fairy floss.
It’s pretty intense.
The buttermilk hotcakes are both fluffy but dense; with a lovely cake feel in the mouth and I just cannot get over the salted caramel sauce on everything.
I have to say though, I think I was a bit more of a fan of the PB & J waffles; two Belgian waffles with raspberry compote, peanut butter parfait, grape molasses, fresh raspberries and Persian fairy floss. I just loved the cold and creamy and delightfully bold peanut butter parfait with the tartness of the raspberry. I’m a peanut butter and ice-cream kid, what can I say?
To finish, even though my dining companions groaned of fullness, I could not resist a cheeky request for baklava.
Although all the baklava is good, what you really want, is the big fat slices, which are actually home made by one of the aunt’s and have so much more flavour packed into each mouthful. Although it’s hard to go past the classic combination, I’m all about the one with chocolate rolled up all in it.
I’m totally floored (and totally full) when we finish up at Oasis Bakery; I love that it’s surprised me, that the food is reasonably priced, that it’s absolutely bursting with flavour, that it’s a slightly different offering (which keeps me excited) and that everyone who works at Oasis Bakery is just so lovely.
I know some of you must be like me, a bit lazy to get out, a bit lazy to travel some days, but seriously guys, make your way down to check out Oasis Bakery, you won’t regret it (and will probably leave with a boot full of groceries too)!
9/993 North Rd
Murrumbeena VIC 3163