Kechara Oasis is a fine-dining vegetarian restaurant located in Jaya One, Petaling Jaya that serves vegetarian dishes from Chinese, Tibetan, Vietnamese and Western cuisine. Not long ago Kampungboycitygal was invited to the restaurant and we (Jason and Ivy included) got to tag along as well.
While browsing the menu I was surprised to see seafood like lobster and cod fish were available. As real as they look, they are made of mock meat – the same for the rest of the dishes shown later. Vegetarian food has never looked so good!
It’s good to know that the chefs at Kechara Oasis have been trained at Tibet before. So the Tibetan dishes can be considered quite authentic. One of the rare drinks in this world is served at Kechara Oasis, called Tibetan Butter Tea @ RM12.80.
The name itself should be quite self-explanatory – it is a drink of the Tibetans.
For Tibetans, Butter Tea plays a regular role in their daily lives. Besides providing warmth and energy (butter is the main ingredient) Butter Tea is also drank to prevent chapped lips, which is an irritating occurrence on high altitudes.
Although we were warned beforehand about Butter Tea’s very buttery and exotic taste, surprisingly we found it to be very acceptable. Best enjoyed in small separate sips, it felt oily, like a diluted butter with a mild salty taste.
Kechara Salad @ RM38 was the first dish to arrive. A taste of it quickly reminded me of the sweet and sourish ‘Yee Sang’ we usually have during Chinese New Year, that’s the closest description I can think of.
To me, 5 Mandala Of Prosperity is best described as the vegetarian version of ‘5 Seasons’. Shown here is a small portion @ RM58 which included skewered pork, luncheon meat, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Butter Mushrooms and stir fried beans with lily bulbs.
Although luncheon meat is something cheap and common for non-vegetarians like us, I was very impressed with the level of imitation achieved by the chefs in creating it – almost flawless. The texture and taste were captured so successfully it could fool you into believing it’s the real thing.
Among the five items, the butter mushrooms was my favorite for its crispiness and the very delicious cheesy sauce that accompanied it. It’s available on ala carte as well and I highly recommend it.
The Vietnamese Spring Rolls @ RM13.80 was a fair dish which I didn’t really like except for the crunchiness. I suppose it could be a delightful dish for kids.
Kechara Oasis is extremely proud of their KOC (Kechara Oasis Fried Chicken), a dish that have earned many praises from their customers – some even thought it was better than KFC. I won’t comment on whether it’s better than KFC or not, but it’s great fried ‘chicken’ alright – meaty and crispy.
If I were to be blindfolded and fed a piece of KOC and a real fried chicken then asked which is vegetarian, honestly I won’t be able to tell. RM17 for a regular portion.
Yu Xiang Egg Plant @ RM20, good but I find the price expensive.
Golden Pocket with Broccoli @ RM40 was another dish I personally liked. I don’t know what exactly was used as the filling for each ‘pocket’. But it was flavorful and nice to the bite.
Pan Fried Momo is a traditional delicacy – a type of Tibetan or Nepalese dumpling similar to the Chinese’s Jiaozi. It was OK, nothing exceptional.
Kechara Oasis’ Fish Head Meehoon @ RM20 is available at different level of sourness according to the customer’s request. We were told that the original version the soup is deemed too sourish for some customers but I found the sourness to be just mild.
At Kechara Oasis, sour plums are used instead of vinegar to provide the sour taste. The natural ingredient has more health benefits and does not damage our digestion function. Soup aside, the fish meat not only looked like the real thing, it also tasted 80-90% similar to a real fish. Impressive indeed.
Then it was time for some desserts.
The Crystal Fruit Dessert @ RM10 was a treat for the sweet tooth. The cute looking ‘fruits’ shaped like tiny buns were filled with sweet custard.
But my favorite was actually Red Bean Banana Roll @ RM10. Each slice of banana had red bean paste in the center then heavily doused with icing sugar.
KECHARA, as an organisation as a whole, has several branches like Kechara House, Kechara Paradise (a store), Kechara Media & Publications, Kechara Soup Kitchen (community providing halal food to the homeless and urban poor) and many more.
Kechara Oasis is one of the branches that specializes in fine-dining as well as promoting non-violence towards animals. All profits obtained from Kechara Paradise and Kechara Oasis will be channeled to support the main organisation and its activities. Kechara Oasis also caters for special occasions like weddings, corporate functions and private gatherings.
Some personal thoughts: Looking at Kechara Oasis’ menu, I wondered how they could justify the prices they are charging considering no real meat or seafood was actually used. So, at first it didn’t appeal much to a non-vegetarian like me.
But if you take into account the chef’s skill in preparing healthy vegetarian dishes with taste comparable to the real thing (and looks like it too), the profits that go into charity and the fine-dining concept, I think the justification is there.
**Kechara Oasis is in the process of obtaining a HALAL certificate.
Kechara Oasis: New Age Vegetarian Cuisine
Unit 19-LG1, Level B1 (next to carpark)
Block D Jaya One,
72A Jalan University,
46200 Petaling Jaya,