The fabulous Oasis Bakery is a deli, bakery, cafe and so much more. Focusing on – but not limited to – Middle Eastern food, this culinary wonderland offers everything from house-made dips and savoury pastries to cooking classes and event catering. And one of the best spice aisles in Melbourne.
Location: Oasis 9/993 North Rod, Murrumbeena, VIC 3163 Ph: (03) 9570 1122 & Oasis Fairfield 92-96 Station St, Fairfield, VIC 3078 Ph: (03) 9489 6399
Surely there are few shopping experiences more exciting for a devoted foodie than a trip to Oasis Bakery?
Whilst definitely championing the alluring aromas and colourful diversity of Middle Eastern food, this grocery store come deli come cafe come cookery school is, in reality, a gluttons dream.
Opened in 1998 by the Lebanese Makool family, Oasis has developed from a simple grocers into a major force in the Melbourne foodie scene.
The store itself is a cornucopia of colourful produce. From glossy fruit and veg and packs of freshly baked bread to one of the prettiest delis in town.
And don’t forget the spice section. It’s the place to head to for big packs of Smoked Paprika at a fraction of the price of most supermarkets.
At the weekends, the Oasis Cafe is busy knocking out Lebanese Pizzas and Lamb Shawarma Wraps. If you don’t fancy making dinner, no worries. You can either browse the stores shelves and cobble together a tasty meal or order one of their Takeaway Dinner Packs. And if you’re planning something a little more upscale, the Oasis team offer a catering service.
Lastly, as if all this isn’t enough, cooking demonstrations are run at regular intervals upstairs from the shop floor.
These days, Oasis Bakery is less of a food store and more of a mini gourmet empire.
Click here for more on the Best Middle Eastern Food and Restaurants in Melbourne
Oasis Bakery Murrumbeena couldn’t be better named.
Set in a small industrial estate facing onto the decidedly unglamorous North Road, a large palm marks its spot on the streetscape.
Step through the front doors and you’re in a high-ceilinged, converted warehouse, packed with colour and enticing smells.
To the right, there’s a small cafe with a smattering of tables for those who wish to eat in. Serving counters and displays of freshly made salads and baked treats line the far wall.
Step to the left, and you’re in the fresh and veg area of the shop itself, with the dazzling deli to your right.
As you move through Oasis, there are 2 things you can be sure of: everything is spotlessly clean and everything is displayed beautifully.
Plus, there is a mind-boggling array of produce to take in.
For hummus, slow-cooked lamb and more, see our post on SOWL Restaurant in Carnegie
Smartly, both Oasis Fairfield and Oasis Murrumbeena have a cafe. After all, driving across suburbs to go food shopping is a far more attractive prospect when a tasty lunch is part of the journey.
Of course, Middle Eastern fare is the focus if the menu at these eateries.
For Breakfast, it’s hard to go past the Shakshuka ($16.9) with Baked Eggs, Feta, Maras Chilli and Turkish Bread Toast. Having said that, we are rather partial to the Cheese & Soujouk Jaffle ($9.9) which is a brilliant Aussie/Lebanese hybrid.
If you’re more in the mood for Lunch, then there are plenty of interesting things to try. From Lebanese Pizzas, to plates of Dips and the popular Oasis Snack Pack ($17.9). The later comes loaded with Chips, Shawarma, Zaatar, Garlic Sauce & BBQ Mayo and is the cafe’s spin on the kebab shop favourite – the HSP (Halal Snack Pack). And it’s pretty hard to resist after a hard morning’s shopping.
Or perhaps you just need a wee pick me up? Well, we find that a Coffee and a finger of house-made Baclava always hits the spot. And maybe a Halloumi Pastry, if we’re really hungry!
Feel like making your own Kebabs for the BBQ at home? See here for everything you need from Skewers, to Kebab Makers and even a Portable Charcoal Kabob Grill.
Oasis – The Shop
Where do I start?
Oasis Bakery includes – not surprisingly – a bakery. But then there’s also a fruit and veg area, packaged meats by Peter Boucher, a huge range of savoury pastries and pies made in-house, teas, condiments and tins of exotic produce. In addition, there’s dried fruits, nuts and seeds – all available by weight – and even a small pet section.
Incidentally, the cookware and crockery department is a great place to shop for last minute gifts of the foodie in you life.
Talking of gifts and foodies, a tagine makes a wonderful present – or simply a great addition to your own kitchen. See here for prices and more information.
However, the 2 stand-out attractions in my mind are the stunning deli counter with everything from olives and hummus to glistening, cones built from Turkish delight. And the spice aisle. Oh that spice aisle!
Seriously, if you own an Ottolenghi cookbook, you really need to visit Oasis Bakery.
From Allspice through to Zaatar, whatever flavouring you need for your tagine or meze, you’ll find them here. The Chilli section is particularly strong with Ancho, Chipotle and Maras, amongst others. Another popular shelf features a number of Dukkahs – many of them blended to Oasis specific recipes.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of their tubs of Aleppo Pepper, Nigella Seeds and their Fish Spice Blend.
Just up the road from Oasis Murrumbeena is Saul’s Sandwiches Bentleigh outlet. Read our review of Saul’s Sandwiches here.
The catering arm is two-fold.
Firstly, there is a range of Takeaway Dinner Packs. Many customers found these a great fall-back during lockdown and they continue to be popular.
We can vouch for the Vegan Shepherd’s Pie ($45) and the extremely moreish Pear Frangipane Saffron Tart ($14.99). Divine!
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a bit more ambitious, Oasis also offers Event Catering. From finger food such as their Mini Pockets – Falafel (25pcs for $58) to their Lamb Spices Rice Platter (6-8 Serves $65) via Salads, Dips and even Shawarma Meat by the half or full kilo.
And if you’re looking for an easy picnic to take on a road trip, the Small Deli Box ($50) and Small Dessert Box ($35) should keep even the fussiest eater happy.
Whilst we’re talking of catering, here are some of the Best Caterers in Melbourne
Oasis Cooking Classes
Finally, as if all this weren’t enough already, Oasis Bakery has a busy schedule of Cooking Demonstrations.
As I write this, I see I’ve just missed the Pomegranate Madness session.
This offered insights into making the famous Pomegranate & Walnut Salad, a Pomegranate Jeweled Rice and Pan Seared Pomegranate Lamb in a 90 mins class costing $60.
Maybe next time, hey?
The Oasis Bakery is a really pretty special.
What was founded on a love of Middle Eastern food and flavours has developed into a must-visit foodie experience.
We guarantee you won’t leave empty handed!
Editor’s Note: The team at Oasis Bakery put together great gift boxes for many of the special dates in the calendar. As such, there’s a rather gorgeous Mother’s Day Gift Box currently available. The delightful selection includes Turkish Delight, Cupcakes, Flowers, Prosecco and more. Hit this link for more information