The long history of Oasis was written not only from the time
when they first re-introduced again the mythical arrangement
of rijsttafel or “rice table” in the menu, but also its historical
values as an iconic building from Jakarta’s past –
the time when the city was still titled as Batavia.
Two decades after the turn of the 20th century, a Dutch personage with an immense fortune from plantations decided to build a private residence in the exact same place where Oasis now resides. It has since become one of only a few well-preserved colonial buildings in Jakarta.
The mansion survived World War II and became the United States Naval Attaché in Jakarta temporarily afterwards. Several decades later in 1968, Oasis was born. But not only until 1979 was rijsttaffel finally promoted and since then, the restaurant has received its legendary stature as it survives until this very moment.
While it is true that most of the guests of Oasis are usually foreign tourists and expatriates working in Jakarta, they are known to spread the word mouth to mouth to the rest of the world about their experience – about how they marveled upon the building’s architecture and how extravagant the of taste Indonesian cuisine is – especially due to the unique serving of rijsttafel that features a dozen of maidens, each serving a different dish at the same time.
Everything was beautifully arranged, well-serviced, and most of all – cooked perfectly up to the point where you might be amazed at how Indonesian cuisine can be alleviated into a higher level like this.
They would tell the story of how time pauses even at the moment they enter the restaurant. It all starts from the traditional tunes that come from a gamelan band and the decorative gong from the 18th century that welcomes them. Inside, they see teakwood beams on the ceilings and the classic black-and-white checkered tiles that reflect the tender light of Austrian crystal chandeliers.
On every conceivable angle, they also witness Indonesian tribal artworks, masks, and paintings that color the walls until finally they reach the main dining room where a commanding presence is felt from a stained glass window made in 1936 Batavia depicting The Netherlands’ thinker during the Renaissance era, Desiderius Erasmus. The classical décor can also be seen within its private rooms and the garden behind. All in all, Oasis has all what it needs to become an iconic restaurant.
The rijsttafel menu constantly changes from time to time, traversing many borders of Indonesian cuisine from city to city and region to region. At times, a specialized selection of traditional Javanese cuisine or Betawi cuisine is available on specific occasions, but most of the time, the rijsstafel consists as a mixture of many Indonesian home dishes with a little bit of colonial influence.
With this kind of experience, it’s a surefire that anybody will spread the word whenever they return back to their native countries. Numerous foreign dignitaries and celebrities have all frequented the restaurant and this privilege is surely something that will put Oasis in a beneficial position as an old guard restaurant, the preserver of culture, and the promoter of local tourism. (RF)
OASIS | Jalan Raden Saleh no. 47, Jakarta – Indonesia | T: +62.21.315.0646 | www.oasisjakarta.com | Facebook: Oasis Restaurant
Opens Mon-Sat from 11am – 3pm (lunch) and 6pm – 10pm (dinner)