Every local sushi loving Cape Townian knows Papa San! He is famous for his sushi and for closing his restaurant, moving premises and opening the same restaurant under a different name. His previous spot was Takumi which we loved but unfortunately didn’t visit very often. And I think this happens to a lot of Cape Townians – we are always chasing something new. So this is what Papa San does. He gives you something new! Takumi closed, and about a month later Papa San announces he was opening Obi Restaurant.

To be seriously honest with you – Obi is really just another Takumi on Long Street. But what is exciting is that Obi Restaurant has got us all coming back again and eating Papa San’s sushi. They are trying to be different from Takumi by serving ramen. However, the ramen is only available at lunch time. We went one Friday night and ordered all our favourites and relived the Takumi experience at Obi! Here are our favourites and recommendations!

Obi Restaurant, Papa SanObi Restaurant, Papa San Obi Restaurant, Papa San

What to start with at Obi Restaurant:

At Takumi these were apparently the classic starters. However, my first time trying them was at Obi and they were new to me. We tried the nasu miso which is fried aubergines with a sweet miso sauce. I am a huge aubergine fan and this umami delight covered with a sweet sticky sauce and sesame seeds was a big success.

The other appetiser we tried was gomae which is wilted spinach with a sesame seed dressing. This was also delicious despite not looking particularly fantastic. The flavours are amazing and sesame seeds sprinkled on just about anything makes it more delicious!Obi Restaurant, Papa SanObi Restaurant, Papa San

Sushi Feasting with Papa San:

Papa san makes authentic, delicious and clean sushi with no extra fuss or coatings of sushi mayo. Every piece is exactly how they should be. Another Cape Town champion creating beautiful authentic sushi is Kyoto Garden Sushi and you should definitely look them up!

We had the original special tempura rolls which are giant makis of salmon, tuna and avocado served without any rice and a really spectacular dipping sauce. I love these giant makis and they are always filled with the freshest of fish. Heads up – if you’re on a first date there really is no lady-like way of eating these!

And then the 8 piece Sweet Kiss inside out roll of tuna, salmon, avo, cucumber and sweet chili mayo, topped with tempura prawns. The sweet kiss is a lighter fresher choice with the edition of the cucumber. And I always love the light tempura prawns on top. A real classic and delicious too!

Obi Restaurant, Papa San Obi Restaurant, Papa San Obi Restaurant, Papa San

And then we ordered a second round!

You can’t go wrong with salmon roses at Obi and we even ordered a second sneaky sushi order. The salmon roses come in four which makes it much more amenable to sharing. These salmon roses are probably my favourite in Cape Town. The perfect balance between salmon and rice with a decent blob of mayo on top and a touch of avocado. Big win – make sure to sneak at least one round into your order!

Our second order also included beautiful slices of tuna sashimi. There are no words for how perfect this sashimi is. You can see below the perfect red clear slices of tuna below. If you haven’t had proper tuna sashimi before make sure to give Obi’s a try. It make just look like a slice of raw fish but the subtle clean flavours are amazing.

Our extra order meant no space for dessert but I would always rather eat more sushi than dessert! We’ll have to head back another time to explore that side of the menu.

Obi Restaurant, Papa San Obi Restaurant, Papa San

Something to note, whilst service is good it is not necessarily 20% tip good. The bill automatically comes with a 10% tip added. We were in a good mood fueled by much wine and missed this. Our waitress lucked out with us adding an extra 10% tip.

And another quick tip – we enjoyed a couple of bottles of the DMZ Chenin with our dinner and it was a really great pairing and pretty affordable. Have a look at that if you’re wanting a glass or two over dinner.


  • Location: 14 Long Street, Cape Town
  • Opening times: Monday to Friday 12pm to 2pm then 6pm to 10pm and Saturday 6pm to 10pm. Closed on Sundays.
  • Contact details: 021 4184040

Obi Restaurant, Papa San

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