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“Can Oba deserves the Michelin stars”
Review of Can Oba Restaurant

Can Oba Restaurant
Ranked #161 of 14,387 Restaurants in Istanbul
Cuisines: Seafood, Turkish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Sultanahmet
Reviewed 25 July 2014 via mobile

My wife and I ate dinner at Can Oba today and found it really deserves all the fame it has received recently.
As appetizer we ate fresh scallops on spinach and tomato sauce;
For entree we ate:
Risotto in a sweet tomato sauce topped with grilled baby tomatoes and strawberries and a large poece of octopus;
Potato mash topped with caramelized onions and caramelized apple and 2 large pieces of grilled liver;
Frozen cheesecake in a hot caramel sauce;
A whole peach (cooked) on a bed of peach puree and topped with home made peach sorbet.
Can't get better than this!
No alcohol, though, because it's in a conservative neighborhood across a mosque, and they don't issue licenses. Unfortunately in Turkey there is no BYOB.
Mr Can Oba is a very nice guy himself, so are his team in the kitchen and his wait staff.
Hwe were lucky getting a table in the last minute thanks to the fasting month, otherwise it's hard to get a table during regular times.

2  Thank Ski4Funn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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84 - 88 of 527 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2014 via mobile

Every time I come to Istanbul, it's a must visiting this restaurant. Even though, I believe it's getting better and better.

1  Thank Kristoforas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

We joined this place for lunch. It is really a big surprise to have such a delicious food in such a location. You can fell that the chef Mr. Can Oba is doing his job with a big love. He explain to each table what he prepared for that day, every day something different. We can really recommend this place for those you wants to have good food.

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1  Thank Gulgun_Yurdaer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

If you want a break from the usual Turkish kebabs, this is the place. I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant; I have eaten there many times and have never been disappointed. The owner and chef, Mr Can Oba, is lovely and welcoming. He has staff to help him of course, but he generally comes to each table to explain the menu. I believe he can speak Turkish, English and German fluently, and probably a handful of other languages as well! For starters, I and my friends usually share a meze platter which is typical Turkish food but very nice. However, for the main course it is great to have something different from the usual kebabs and meat dishes in Turkish restaurants. My particular favourites are the seafood dishes, such as salmon or sea bass in an orange butter sauce - heaven! The dishes are also beautifully presented, with colourful sauces and cut-up fruit. Desserts are wonderful - my brother recommends the frozen caramel cheesecake, and my personal favourite is the chocolate mousse with berry sauce. The mousse is very sweet though, so if you're not a chocoholic like me then perhaps you can share! One thing to note: as other reviewers have said, you cannot have alcohol at this restaurant. I usually love a glass of wine with my meal, but to be honest the food is so good you don't miss it. Besides, you can go to a bar afterwards. If you go early in the evening you may not need a reservation - personally I have never made a reservation, but perhaps I've been lucky. A must-try!

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2  Thank Jen_in_Istanbul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Can Oba is an experienced Chef, trained under a Michelin Starred German Chef, who decided to move back to Istanbul and open his own restaurant.

The restaurant, located in Istanbul's Sirkeci area, is small and unassuming. Looking at it from the outside you will never expect to eat what you are going to, believe me!

Once we were over with the "where the hell did we come? why are we here? what are we going to eat in this weird place?" mindset, the Chef came and explained the menu and took our orders.

We were amazed to hear things like "asparagus, scallops, lobster sauce"...

Because we were four, we ordered almost everything on the menu (except for mains... there were six...): a couple of soups, two starters, four mains, four desserts.

Before I start, I must underline how beautifully the food is presented! I am not a food newbie anymore so it gets progressively harder to impress my perpetually hungry eyes but this guy knows what he is doing. Especially when you consider the contrast with the shops around you, it's really impressive.

Coming back to the food itself, the soups were fantastic. We enjoyed every last bit. The scallops with lobster sauce that we ordered were amazingly fresh and a delight for the eyes and palate. When the mains arrived, we were already a little full but my duck with red fruits sauce was tasty and I particularly like the match between the banana and the acidic red berries (yes, banana... On top of the rice). The lasagna had a nice tomato sauce and the octopus was very well cooked. The liver and the risotto were are least favorites... They both need to improve.

The desserts, home-made ice creams and frozen cheesecake with caramel sauce were very tasty and, once again, nicely presented. We managed to finish them all despite the fact our tanks were full.

Because the restaurant is located near a Mosque and because Turkish law forbids the sale of alcohol near Mosques, Schools and the like, Can Oba cannot offer wine. This is the main drawback and an important one for me. I would have enjoyed this lunch so much more with some nicely paired wines!

Overall, we had an amazing lunch. The contrast between Can Oba's beautifully decorated dishes and the cheap "lokanta"s around really added to the experience. This is one we won't forget.

As a side note, this is the kind of Chef who is worth supporting. He could have opened a regular restaurant but he preferred to take risks and offer original food that you can't find anywhere else. He does need to improve but does his job well and with passion. I find some of the bad reviews extremely harsh and unjust. The least you can do is go there and have an opinion for yourself and support the guy, he won't be in that small shop for long!

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2  Thank TuncY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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