About Carben Restaurant
Carben is located in Hintonburg and thrives from the vibrancy and support of the community. The restauarant is named after the owners Caroline Ngo and Kevin Benes. It is a play on carbon, which is a compound found in all living plants and animals.
The food at Carben is expressive, modern and ever evolving. We are inspired by local and international ingredients and cuisine. We are always challenging ourselves, our staff and our customers. We love collaborating our food with craft cocktails which are created with the same intensity as our food.
The space was designed by Shannon Smithers-Gay from one80 Design. The space is modern and rustic with a touch of industrial – from the quartz bar, to the personalized back wall, and the large modern light fixtures. We want the space to feel inviting and a place that everyone wants to keep coming back.
Ottawa, ON K1Y 2Y7
Global, International, Canadian
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday – Sunday: 5:30-10:00pm
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday:10:30am-2:00pm
CAN$30 and under
Beer, Full Bar, Weekend Brunch, Wine
Carben Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
I did not enjoy the shrimp appetizer. The texture of the shrimp part of the appetizer was rubbery and it diminished the flavour of the shrimp.
The cod dish was flavorful but the portion size was pathetic, especially considering the item price. There was too much salt in the rappini.
The chocolate dessert was delicious but, again overpriced.
Guaranteed a wonderful dinner. This has been our 4th or 5th visit. We have introduced many friends to this quaint with restaurant. We wanted to enjoy a special dinner with guests coming from out of town. Their dishes are artistic as well as full of flavor. The starters are delicious and worth sharing. It is hard to pick just one. There is such a unique combination of sides and tastes that compliment the main entry. The menu is not large but just the right amount of options so that you don't waste time humming and hawing over it. I had the duck with a hint of curry and our guests had the Cornish hen which was exquisite. We will be back for sure.
Innovative cuisine with superb service in a relatively quiet relaxed atmosphere. We went with friends and had one of the nicest dinners we've had in a long time. The decor is simple, but the plates are all hand made stoneware. And then there's what goes on the plates. Every dish has a Carben "play" on what you might find elsewhere. They pride themselves on finding a way of tweaking the dish that brings out the best in the ingredients, adds some interesting combinations of flavours and scores high on presentation.
The menu changes often to reflect seasonal ingredients. Prices are in the mid to high teens for starters and high twenties for mains.
As for the rest, great cocktails, great desserts, nice selection of digestifs and a very nice espresso.
Now on to the service. Absolutely outstanding. Service was attentive but discrete. Our water glasses were always filled, but there was now hovering or "how are you enjoying it so far" after you've taken the first bite. Also, the service was warm and friendly. We had the feeling that we were guests rather than customers.
We entertained some out-of-town business colleagues at Carben Restaurant recently and our experience was exceptional! This quaint restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere throughout this culinary delight. Our server welcomed us to Carben Restaurant and proceeded to explain our special food experience, since this was our first time at this fine establishment. Our server was friendly, polite and very knowledgeable about the menu offerings. We also appreciated the fact that the staff took notice of our discussions and never interrupted us - we barely knew they were there until needed. The drinks and food were absolutely delicious. Carben Restaurant uses local ingredients to offer a very unique presentation for anyone's palate. The portions were very reasonable as was pricing. Even with a drink, an entree, coffee and dessert, I never had that feeling of being stuffed. Overall, this was an exceptional dining experience. We'll definitely be entertaining more guests in the future. Well done!
We were there on a Thursday night, and it was not very busy. The service was excellent, and All three courses were creative, artfully presented, and delicious. My one wish for improvement would be to have an inexpensive "filler" course, I.e. Order rice at the end of the meal.
I am an active person, and I could have used some more calories. That said, I have a reputation for eating a lot, so I'm sure real foodies would not need it. Wonderful place, we plan to return.
My wife and I were there on our date and our server was excellent. We are Muslim and our server and his colleague were very accommodating and went out of their way to help us with our dietary restrictions and make us feel welcome. The food that we chose was delicious and looked like art. We will be back for sure!
This was our second time at Carben and we were not disappointed! Our server was extremely knowledge from suggesting cocktails to entrees that suited our tastes. The presentation of the plates were artistic and the food was amazing! We'll be back soon - thanks for the excellent experience.
Overall, the food was just okay. Presentation was excellent, portion sizes were as expected, but it missed the mark as far as depth and variety of flavours. A bit on the pricey side, but to be expected in that neighbourhood. Service was speedy, professional and personal, and the restaurant was clean and inviting. Not a bad time, but just meh.
Although the food and service were both very good, the noise level in the restaurant required the two of us to almost shout across the table at one another to be heard. We are not big people (or big eaters) but the portions were quite small and we actually left hungry so value for money was not great. Food was beautifully presented but we won't be rushing back.
Superb in every sense of the word! The experience was complete with both genuine hospitality and exciting, creative food options. A wonderful visit where we left thanking our hosts extensively.
My visit included the sublime smokey mushrooms, and a gorgeous salmon dish rich in flavour. Enjoyed a lovely glass of Spanish tempranillo!
Looking forward to returning Thanks to the amazing team, keep rocking it!
Extremely kind staff with a way with words. Naj gave us beer samples because we seemed confused about which one to get! Extremely accommodating as I am a vegetarian and made sure to let me know there was gelatin in the violet cubes in the lemon cake dessert. Full of outstanding flavours and so much thought put into the stunning presentation. Wish we got 2 Wood Ear Mushrooms, the miso was so unique! Definitely going again!
My first visit but definitely not the last!
Had dinner with three colleagues. We each ordered something different and shared tastes of each other's meals. Everything was top notch, really creative and super tasty.
The cocktails and "mocktails" were fantastic. The service was superb.
I highly recommend this little gem!
Best dinner I've had in Ottawa. The dishes were well-presented and aesthetically pleasing, with exciting combinations of flavours and textures. The service was impeccable - the waiters were attentive, and provided a thorough rundown of the menu. I noted in my reservation that the dinner was to celebrate my partner's graduation, and the bartender delivered a lovely surprise (a root beer-inspired cocktail - my husband's favourite soft drink!). Can't wait to go back again!
It is wonderful to find a restaurant with such passion about food, combined with exceptional skill in preparing food. The cuisine is interesting and well balanced, some of the best dishes I have ever had, I would highly recommend it to all those who value excellence and exquisite food.
Went there on a quite weekday night for an anniversary. We were welcomed with attentiveness and warmth. The food was fantastic, this is where you go to taste food and not fill up on French fries. The service was outstanding, the dishes were well thought out and a delight to eat. Not for the faint of wallet, but worth every penny.
My husband and I shared all the small plates except for the carpaccio, and the food was simply AMAZING! We were visiting Ottawa for five days and this was by far the best restaurant! We also dined at Beckta and Fauna, also very good, but Carben was hands down the most exciting of the three.
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