Oasis Deli at TTDI showcases healthy and delicious Middle Eastern dishes

Middle Eastern cuisine and stretches of the Great Silk Road may be united by religion, but the complexities, nuances and distinctive way each country uses ingredients and cooking techniques offers a culinary compendium. as dazzling as it is delicious. Inspired to bring to the table what Muslim travelers might experience, three friends with eclectic career paths came together to create Oasis, a modern delicatessen entirely focused on Persian, Levantine and Eurasian ingredients and flavors.

Welcoming customers since January 2022, Oasis is conveniently located in one of the trading grounds surrounding Taman Tun Dr Ismail’s Tun Mohd Fuad Square open-air car park. Those who have long suffered from finding a spot would appreciate this valuable nugget of information. The combined trifecta of Taman Tun’s strategic location (between Petaling Jaya and the Damansara Heights and Mont’Kiara neighborhoods just there), an upwardly mobile urban population, and a growing reputation as a foodie’s paradise (the concentration of good restaurants and chefs in the area alone is staggering – from DC’s Darren Chin, Short and Gai, to Akira Sano of Sachi Dining and Gary Anwar of Ember) makes Oasis’ opening bet a calculated and smart move.

Naturally, the name of the grocery store was chosen to conjure up a little haven of abundance – a refuge from harsh environments and, for those whose imaginations are more vivid than others, images of caravans of merchants traversing valleys. and mountain passes before happily coming across a watering hole in the shade of palm trees. in the middle of a sea of ​​burning sand. “Our vision is to travel the ancient Silk Road and experience its wonderful array of culinary offerings in a modern setting,” says Huey Chew, a renowned interior designer and one of three Oasis partners, alongside investment banker and venture capitalist Emeri Johari. and former Royal Military College boy and former naval officer Ariffin Mohd Hashim.

“Each place on the Silk Road, whether it is a splendid city, a wealthy trading town or a green oasis, has its own character and culture and yet is connected across the desert and the mountain in all other places. It was along the caravan trails that vegetables, fruits, grains and seasonings – and cooking techniques – passed from one civilization to another, to be absorbed and transformed into local delicacies.Middle Eastern cuisine is just one part of the rich tapestry of diverse flavors and gastronomic surprises that the civilizations of the Silk Road offer.We have all traveled to various parts of the world. “Old Silk Road and had our own unique experiences of a lifetime, which identified with us and stayed with us. I guess our interest was sparked after experiencing such exciting dishes and warm hospitality.”

So, for example, if you miss Cairo and, with it, the famous Abu Tarek cochary – a humble street food of rice, lentils, beans, pasta, spicy tomato sauce and fried onions – or perhaps a hearty lamb stew enjoyed while hiking in the mountainous region of the Black Sea, do not hesitate to collect ingredients to recreate it at home. From Palestinian Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Greek Oregano, Syrian Vinegar, Saffron Sugar Sticks, Walnut Fig Jam, Cardamom Coffee and Iranian Saffron, there is enough to delight the expert or the aspiring chef at home. A bar counter (alcohol-free, naturally) is made even more striking with the use of honeycomb tiles in varying shades of tones, providing the perfect showcase for Oasis’ best-selling item – pure organic honey always on the shelf. comb. Oasis also only uses halal certified Australian beef and lamb and delivery is free within a 5km radius. The staff are also incredibly helpful and friendly, sometimes offering you a free cup of Turkish coffee, made using a Fiorenzato machine, while you wait for your groceries to be organised. If you prefer tea, there are two fine old samovars nearby, waiting to be called to duty.

It must be mentioned that a visit to Oasis is warranted, even if only to feast on the detail and attention to interior detail. Notice the rug designs, painstakingly and artistically screen-printed directly onto the polished concrete floor. We were informed that the mold making alone took two months to perfect so they wouldn’t break during the selection process. Bright hand-woven chairs, designed by architect friends using polypropylene, add subtle pops of color. Customers are also welcome to place orders for the chairs (which look great indoors or out, by the way), customizable to their own preferred palette.

Speaking of palates, Oasis’ menu is all about feeding families as well as feasting with friends. Portions are generous and there’s something for everyone, from finicky under-fives to picky aunts. There is a selection of pizzas and pastas but you can safely skip all that. Instead, start with the wonderful dips, best blotted with as much flatbread as you can eat. Hummus Tahinah (RM25) is a reliable choice, but also try Mirza Ghasemi’s Persian favorites (RM35), roasted eggplant with tomato and garlic, and Kashk Bademjan (RM35), also with eggplant but with kashka thicker, saltier cousin of yogurt.

Order a kebab (RM30 to RM42), which takes its name from the Arabic for “roast meat”, and koobideh (RM42 to RM44) are a given just like the kooftah (RM38), pretty little meatballs bathed in an appetizing tomato-based sauce. With flatbread or rice served with most main dishes, you’ll definitely need another order of something with gravy, and here we recommend the famous Middle Eastern meat and okra stew. known as Bamiya (RM45). Yemeni Mandi rice, served with chicken or lamb shoulder, is aromatic and flavorful, reminiscent of Indian biryani but slightly different in technique and presentation. Here the meat is not poured directly over the rice but served separately and neatly. The dish gets its punch from the generous use of hawajj, a spice blend often including, but not limited to, cumin, pepper, and turmeric. If all the meat, rice and bread turns out a little heavy, lighten things up with an order of roasted cauliflower (RM25). Resist the urge to order the special roast potatoes (RM25), though.

To help wash it all down, the Pomegranate Spritz (RM12) is refreshing. If you feel the need for something a little more exciting, order the Barbican (RM11). Frequent visitors to the Gulf countries will know that this is the most popular malt drink – a non-alcoholic beer, if you will.

There is also a dedicated weekend breakfast menu featuring Kuku Sabzi (RM22), the Middle Eastern version of frittata and, of course, Shakshuka (RM25). As the holy month of Ramadan has just begun, Oasis has launched several take-out sets perfect for breaking the fast from the comfort of home. Choose from a variety of combinations including smoked Mugharbi duck, lamb shank, saffron rice and a selection of baklava.

32 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL. Tue-Fri, 11.30am-10pm; Sat, 9.30am-10pm; Sun, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Mon. 011 5413 1355.

This article was first published on April 4, 2022 in The Edge Malaysia.

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