This is my new cookbook, Yallateef! (a middle eastern word for expressing delight) by Marwa Makool. Marwa is a member of the family that runs the “incomparable food empire” in Melbourne called the Oasis Bakery.

Marwa inspired me when I heard her speaking about cooking on the radio recently. So yesterday, on a plain old Thursday midday, I thought I’d have a quiet lunch at her bakery. What a revelation! Deep in suburbia on a semi-industrial estate, I opened the door and found hundreds of people buying spices, eating, lining up in the huge cafe. What a place.

The food was great, the efficiency fascinating. At one point, the queue to order at the cafe went out the door and it’s all handled with ease. I’ll be going back soon, and on the weekend I’m going to make something I’ve wanted to make for years: baklava.


Oasis Bakery, 993 North Road, Murrumbeena, open 8am to 7pm.



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