Turkish
A cobbled promenade shaded by trees to the left and a vertical sign with Oben written on it in green letters.

Share this article

Right at the end of the Çalış seafront there is a shaded oasis that has always characterized this stretch: Restaurant upstairs

A cobbled avenue shaded by trees on the left and a vertical sign with Oben written in green letters. A cobbled avenue shaded by trees on the left and a vertical sign with Oben written in green letters.
Oben has been here as long as we can remember

Which begs the question: why had we never eaten at the Oben restaurant before, until recently?

And for this question we have no answer.

Friends have been and loved it.

We've seen a ton of reviews online, most of them great.

We have walked and run past this place more times than we care to remember.

We've sat at the Lukka Bar, right across the street, more times than we'd like to remember.

The Oben restaurant, however, never appeared on our eat-out radar.

Until this season.

We're both turning 50 this year and one of the little things we're doing is making sure we try lots of new-to-us places as well as old haunts; be they local bars and restaurants, archaeological sites, towns or cities.

And on this occasion we didn't need to leave Fethiye.

It was just a walk along the Çalış beach promenade to the Oben restaurant for that “something new”.

And now we can see that we will become regular customers.

Because there is absolutely nothing pretentious about this place.

Bamboo tables and chairs under the shade of vines at the Oben restaurant on Çalış beach.Bamboo tables and chairs under the shade of vines at the Oben restaurant on Çalış beach.Bamboo tables and chairs under the shade of vines at the Oben restaurant on Çalış beach.
In the shade of the vineyards of the Oben restaurant

The Oben restaurant is family-run. And, when you eat here, you feel like you're in a cozy garden extension of their kitchen (a kitchen visible to diners).

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, almost all eating and drinking establishments in and around Fethiye had bamboo furniture.

And the Oben restaurant still looks like that.

Maybe it's a bit of nostalgia on our part – being transported back to a Fethiye of another time – but you feel really at ease sitting in a familiar atmosphere, in the shade of the vines, leafing through a menu full of traditional dishes made at home Turkish dishes – and much more.

All of this AND bamboo furniture to boot. How can we go wrong?

Well, we can't. At least we couldn't that day.

Because then we ordered our food.

Unfortunately, we weren't hungry enough for any meze or starter, despite all the temptations.

Sigara böreği, cacık, mücver (courgette pancakes), soups, şakşuka, stuffed mushrooms: just many typical Turkish dishes and a few other tempting ones.

So for future reference, it was a quick look at those plates and directly at the power grid.

After choosing and ordering our mains, a little pre-meal surprise still arrived.

Thick slices of fresh, crusty bread, olives and spicy ezme.

We may not have been hungry enough for starters as such, but we still managed to make short work of the ezme and olives.

A piece of bread each to dip into the ezme and the rest was set aside – I knew I would mop up the tasty remains of my main meal…

Barry had opted for Turkish musakka.

Turkish musakka seasoned with green pepper in a blue saucepan.Turkish musakka seasoned with green pepper in a blue saucepan.Turkish musakka seasoned with green pepper in a blue saucepan.
The musakka is topped with a rich tomato sauce and served in a casserole dish

It came steaming in a saucepan.

Lots of meat and eggplant and a rich tomato sauce (of course I tasted it).

Maybe not ideal good weather food, but still satisfying and delicious.

As for me, I was in prawn heaven and struggled to choose from the menu choices.

In the end I opted for the spicy and creamy prawns: prawns in a chilli cream sauce.

Overhead shot of peeled prawns in creamy sauce, topped with red chilli flakes.Overhead shot of peeled prawns in creamy sauce, topped with red chilli flakes.Overhead shot of peeled prawns in creamy sauce, topped with red chilli flakes.
A generous offering of prawns

On the Oben restaurant menu, their selection of prawn dishes is translated into English as “prawns”.

For me, prawns are the tiny cold water prawns popular in the UK.

If you think like me, you'll also be happy to know that Oben serves big meaty prawns.

And it's a generous portion too.

Shrimp is not cheap. So these days, despite my love for them, I've stopped ordering them in restaurants because they're no longer good value for money.

But I had read good things online about Oben's Prawns in Chilli Cream Sauce, so I took a chance.

And it did not disappoint!

Bubbling, spicy, creamy, garlicky sauce smothers a generous offering of those plump, peeled shrimp.

And you can't enjoy all that delicious home cooking without the obligatory side of the famous Turkish rice.

We saw photos online of differently shaped portions.

Ours arrived topped with a rice love heart.

Which just about sums up how we felt about the meal and the atmosphere!

As we said above; the first, but certainly not the last; now we will eat at the Oben restaurant…

  • Oben Restaurant is located at the far end of Çalış Beach, just off the beach (see map below).
  • The restaurant is only open in the summer period from April/May to October.
  • If you dine in high season it may be best to book a table for the time you prefer.
  • Various traditional Turkish dishes are served: from breakfast dishes such as menemen to meat main courses such as liver, pirzola (lamb chops), köfte and chicken shish. There are also güveç (stew) dishes, including vegetable güveç.
  • If you don't want a Turkish meal, there are Mediterranean choices and international dishes: chicken, meat and seafood dishes; first dishes; salads; Hamburger; snacks and sandwiches.
  • If you are with children, there is a small children's menu.
  • The Oben restaurant has a bar which also serves soft drinks, tea, coffee and alcoholic drinks.
  • You can keep up to date with the latest restaurant news via their Instagram accounts.

Share this article

Related Articles

Mushroom and Green Olive Salad (Yeşil Zeytinli Mantar Salatası)

Contributor

Mosaic Cake (Mozaik Pasta)

Contributor

Turkish Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables (Menemen)

Contributor

Leave a Comment