In 2014, Raffi Manna got out of the kitchen, but quickly realized he craved the heat. Less than a year later, Manna would don the chef’s hat once more in his next venture on the restaurant scene, Oasis Café, 5702 E. Virginia St.
After a long career building a reputation at his former business, Raffi’s Italian Restaurant, Manna decided this new café would instead offer up amazing Mediterranean options.
“I used to be a civil engineer,” says Manna. “But I left that to serve food because this is my passion. I cook from my heart.”
This attitude shows. Manna handcrafted all of Oasis’s recipes, creating his own twists to traditional flavors. The baklava contains a hint of orange blossom that adds a tropical fruitiness to the classic sweet walnut flavor. He serves a homemade egg-lemon sauce with stuffed grapevine leaves blending savory and zest with the familiar dish that melts in your mouth.
Most folks go to Oasis Café for the chicken shawarma and Raffi’s famous crab cakes, which he brought with him from Raffi’s Italian Restaurant due to popular demand. The chicken shawarma is seasoned with more than 15 spices, marinated for a full 48 hours, and served with a ginger garlic sauce.
Oasis Café is open 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m Monday through Saturday and offers catering and vegetarian options.
For more information about Oasis Café Mediterranean Grille, call 812-602-3660 or visit their Facebook and Instagram pages @cafe_oasis_evv.