New Age Vegetarian Cuisine – Kechara Oasis @ Jaya One
Kechara Oasis @ Jaya One
The New Age Vegetarian Cuisine Restaurant
There was a brief period in my life when I became a Vegetarian. I gave up all meat, fish and poultry, and survived on greens. Needless to say, that lasted about a week, and I was soon back eating meat.
I really respect people who can actually change their eating habits and be a complete vegetarian. Be it for health, religion or taste, vegetarianism is a healthier way of life.
“Kechara Oasis is inspired by H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche who wishes to encourage vegetarianism and making vegetarian diet delicious, appealing and readily available to people.”
The restaurant itself is located in Jaya One, on level B1, accessed is via the carpark. It boasts a relaxing ambience with Tibetan touches, and the main dining room can accommodate up to 210 guests for dinner and lunch banquets.
“Kechara Oasis’ brand of vegetarianism is based on a holistic health of body, mind and spirit, and protection of the environment and achieving a balance on earth.”
All profits go to support KECHARA organization and its many activities, such as the Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK), a community action group that distributes halal food to the homeless and urban poor in the heart of KL.
Kechara Oasis is the only fine dining restaurant of its kind in Malaysia, and the menu features over 100 dishes influenced by cuisines from Vietnam, Thailand, Tibet, Taiwan and Nepal.
Using only the finest seasonal produce and the freshest ingredients, its signature dishes are inspired by Chinese, Tibetan, Nepali, Vietnamese and Western cuisines. No garlic, onions or eggs are used in any of the cooking.
Fatboybakes (guest blogger) and I sat down to dinner with Jeffrey Gan and Anne Raj, members of the team behind the restaurants success.
We were to sample Kechara Oasis’ signature dishes and drinks. To start, refreshing glasses of Passionfruit, Avocado, and Mango Lassi.
Deliciously cooling and refreshing.
Our favourite was the Passionfruit flavour that had a tinge of sourness to it.
A must try. A crunchy salad of shredded vegetables, pine nuts, cashews. The bonus is that it also contains coral seaweed, known for its nutritious gelatine properties that keeps skin and bones healthy. This is a salad I could eat everyday!
Kung Po Chicken
I asked Jeffrey what was the point of eating fake chicken when you could eat the real thing. He explained to me that the dishes were not much cooked to mimic meat, but rather named to explain the method of cooking. In this dish, chicken is replaced with Hedgehog Mushroom, with a meaty, firm and chewy texture.
“Tastes like chicken!” I said. “I agree,” replied fatboybakes. The sauce was dark, thick, sweet and spicy, laden with red and green peppers and cashewnuts. I liked it.
This is a very popular dish amongst both patrons and the chef’s themselves! Malaysian head Chef, Chef Au, has trained in Tibet to bring back authentic methods of cooking vegetarian food, has slave over a hot stove to perfect this recipe. The Oyster mushroom is first deep fried with a light batter, then coated in a secret-recipe creamy butter sauce. “Tastes like soft-shell crab!” I exclaimed. “I agree!” replied Fatboybakes. This not-eating-meat thing was really not bad at all!
“What are Momo’s?” I asked. Jeffrey explained that they are a traditional steamed dumpling popular in Tibet. The dough is fashioned into a pouch around the filling, first steamed then pan-fried. It reminded me a little of Japanese Gyoza.
There are many variations of fillings for Momo’s, and here at Kechara Oasis, Chef Au uses diced potato, cheese and herbs. It’s not just the name that’s exotic about this dish! Eat with the homemade secret recipe chilli oil for added kick.
Ting Mo, sibling to Momo, is a variation of the latter. It is a light, fluffy steamed bun that reminded me of ‘Man Tau’. Served with a Masala sauce, a fragrant mix of herbs and Indian Spices. I actually used the bun to mop up the sauce from the Kung Po chicken, and Jeffrey laughed. Apparently, a lot of guests order Ting Mo and eat it with one of Kechara’s many curries.
We moved on to dessert specially prepared for us by Chef Nick, who specialised in Western cuisine.
The chocolate mousse at Kechara Oasis is thick and rich, garnished with crushed pistachios. No eggs or gelatine is used, just a good dash of whipped cream and a generous helping of dark chocolate.
And with that, my first fully vegetarian meal in 10 years was complete. We didn’t eat very much but were quite full by the end, which Anne explained is typical for vegetarian food. “You get full very fast, but also hungry very fast after!”
I must say, both Fatboybakes and I were impressed at the tastiness of each dish.
Perhaps the next time we visit Kechara Oasis we’ll indulge in less ‘meaty’ dishes and venture into more ‘Vegetarian’ dishes. I spied a Minced Petai Tofu on the menu , as well as Yu Xiang Eggplant, and the famous ‘Buddha jumps over the Wall’, which needs pre-ordering for a minimum of 10 people. Yes, there were plenty more vegetarian delights to try, and now, I know where to go…
Unit 19-LG1, Level B1 Block D Jaya One,
No. 72A Jalan University,
46200 Petaling Jaya,
Open for business daily, Monday to Sunday
Lunch: 11:30am – 3.00pm
Dinner: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Reservations and Enquiries
Irene Lim 012 234 9859
Jeffrey Gan 012 387 5689