903 Main Street
West Springfield, MA
Sunday 10:00AM - 9:00PM
Tu - Th 11:00AM - 9:00PM
Fri 2:00PM - 1:00AM
Sat 11:00AM - 1:00AM
Try Something Different at Oasis Restaurant
By Mei Mei Thai
and I were smoking sweet apple- and strawberry-flavored tobacco by
inhaling deeply through a hookah pipe. Perfectly legal. A couple of us
felt light-headed, but it was only a temporary buzz. We lounged there on
the floor at the back of the Oasis Restaurant and Café in West
Springfield, Massachusetts, laughing at the inexperienced shisha-smokers,
while they watched the pros release smoke rings from their mouths. But,
this was just after we had a filling meal.
entered Oasis, a new Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern restaurant
that recently opened this year, the waitress directed us to a dimly lit
room. I saw a long, red sheer curtain dividing us from where we had
smoked, and out of curiosity, I took a peek. It was a red room that had
several colorful prism-shaped lamps and rugs. It looked like a
comfortable place to relax.
Arabic music playing in the background as we took our seats. Ceiling
fans hung above us, and candles were lit on every table. The restaurant
still needed more decor and a set theme, but since it’s a new place,
they can work on that as they continue their business.
The menu featured a variety of rich dishes to choose, ranging from
appetizers and homemade breads to goat and chicken, as well as sweet
desserts and beverages like mango juice and lassi drinks. Such meals
were chicken biryani, chicken samosa, goat korma, and several vegetable
what to order, I asked my friends for suggestions.
a shish kabab,” Neha Madhok said. “Kind of like grilled chicken on a
stick with some Indian spices blended [in it].”
I got the
same thing, but one shish kabob wasn’t enough. So I ordered chicken
karahi, garlic naan, and plain basmati rice.
waitress took everyone’s orders, the cooks went to the kitchen, while
we sipped on our lassi drinks, waiting for our food. They tasted creamy
and bittery-sweet, and were made of plain yogurt, milk, and water. A
typical Indian beverage for only $2.00.
Then, it was time to eat. The food came in half an hour or so, not too
long of a wait. The scent of chicken mixed with onions, tomatoes, and
green peppers filled my nose as the waitress placed it in front of me.
My mouth watered with hunger. Soft and chewy – it reminded me of
chicken curry. I scraped off bits and pieces of chicken from the bones
with a fork, scooped it up with garlic naan (baked Indian bread), and
eagerly devoured it. Very satisfying.
A dessert we
all tried and liked was the kheer, a rice pudding treat for $2.99.
the rice pudding,” Olga Rosado said. “It tasted like rice and milk,
and that’s like a Dominican dessert we have called arroz con leche.
The kheer had almonds, pistachios, and cardamom, it was good.”
agreed that the food was delicious, but others had different opinions
about the overall mood of the café.
was good,” Laura* said. “But to make it a complete experience they
need to create the right atmosphere and come up with a theme. The walls
were cold and bare.”
On the other hand, Rosado liked the feel of the restaurant.
it had a nice atmosphere,” she said. “Especially, in the back room,
because it felt cozy.”
the decor of it,” she said. “It makes one feel very warm and at home
[because] it was traditionally set up with the rugs, lamps, drums, and
red room felt soothing. Even romantic, if you wanted to bring a date.
But its function had a “special” social event – the shisha. And,
Oasis offers those on Fridays and Saturdays, which are also college
nights. I must say, I had a good time trying the shisha. Probably,
because I had felt completely relaxed.
priced meals, most under $8.00, Oasis is a place you should try. It’s
different, and it’ll give you a chance to broaden your horizons, like
their mission statement:
is to create the first traditional South Asian and Middle Eastern
Restaurant chain across America. By doing this, we hope to spread
cultural diversity and awareness of all faiths…”
Oasis just started out, I enjoyed my Indian, Pakistani and Middle
Eastern culinary experience. The food was delicious, but the desserts
tasted even better. The only major downside of my entire meal was the
chicken karahi. There were only a few pieces of chicken, and that was
disappointing because I love to eat. A lot.
It’s not a
restaurant that I would go to every day, but it’s a place to dine when
I want a something different. And, when I want to smoke and be in my own
little world for only a small fee. Don’t get it twisted! I don’t
smoke regularly. In fact, I don’t smoke at all! But for those who
would like to try it, Oasis is the place to stop by on Main Street. Give
it a go, you may like it.
For hours of
operation, contact info, and the menu, visit: www.oasisrestaurants.com