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“Picturesque Fine Dining”
Review of Aqua

Ranked #180 of 13,534 Restaurants in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, Turkish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: Besiktas
Description: Overlooking the Bosphorus, Aqua showcases fine Mediterranean cuisine, with Italian and Turkish specialties and signature dishes that feature fish and lamb. A breakfast buffet features international offerings, while lunch and dinner offer an à la carte menu accompanied by an exceptional range of fine wines. A children's menu is available.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
711 reviews
232 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 370 helpful votes
“Picturesque Fine Dining”
Reviewed May 21, 2014

The picturesque restaurant location at the Four Seasons Bosphorus has superb service, great salads, pasta & fish. The view of the Bosphorus is quite picturesque and makes for a lovely setting. The service was excellent and very accommodating. The cuisine ranged from antipasti, soups, salads, various Italian specialties and several signature dishes for lunch and the breakfast was excellent, all good! We stayed at the Four Seasons and dined in several times for breakfast and lunch trying the various items on the menu, it was always delicious.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Mi-Dan20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
51 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Good Italian food”
Reviewed May 18, 2014

Wonderful setting on the Bosphorus.. Very romantic with lights from the boats on the water as you eat.
Very attentive waiters, helpful and happy to ask the chef to come out of his busy kitchen to talk to the diners- A great service which is unheard of in some great restaurants.
The manager was very involved and made everyone felt looked after.
Fresh ingredients which we could taste. Would eat here again. Lovely restaurant in a great location.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank bzzziebee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
São Paulo
Level Contributor
167 reviews
130 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“A good Italian”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

The place is beautiful, good service.
The food was fine but the menu is limited. Would recommend only is someone really wants to have Italian food in Istanbul.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank debiasi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
56 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“This level of quality very rare in Istanbul”
Reviewed March 6, 2014

Nearly 5 years since becoming a permanent dweller in Istanbul – I had the best meal I’ve eaten in Turkey. It was made by an Italian. The meal was at Aqua at the Four Seasons Hotel at the Bosphorus and the chef was Enrico Cerea, Executive Chef of 3-Michelin Star Da Vittorio near Bergamo. Enrico Cerea was performing his mystic at the invitation of Four Seasons Executive Chef, another Italian, Sebastiano Spriveri for just a short couple of days.

The wife and I were pleasantly greeted and seated. About 20 seconds after I received my menu, the lovely young lady next to me says, “I’m going to do the Tasting Menu” to which I said, “I better step it up and join you!” The evening of melting began with the Butter Bread: lightly crispy and soft with a texture almost of dessert pastry. Over the course of the evening I ate three.
The first course was Tuna Spaghetti with sweet garlic sauce and pistachio crumble. Lovely and exceedingly fresh tuna cut into long strands and assembled on the plate in a swirl. Divine.

The second course was Potato and Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi stuffed with cheese fondue and black truffle. If I told you that it was the single most incredible dish I’ve eaten on Turkish soil would you believe me? My wife would. We were truly floored by the creaminess, lightness, earthiness, tanginess, and black truffle generousness of the dish. ‘Wow’ is all I can say. Later that evening, when we met Chef Sebastiano he recoiled in warm, proud laughter when I told him that I can eat this one dish every day for the rest of my life!

The fish course was roasted wild line caught sea bass with broccoli broth and lemon meringue which was a delicious dish in its own right, but the lingering effects of that unbelievable gnocchi left us recovering from our hallucination.

The main course was Baby Lamb Confit, celeriac puree, baby spinach and candied apples. Extremely delicious and its execution would make any chef proud. Nice touch of freshness on the plate with the sweet yet tart apples. My guess is that they were Granny Smiths.

Now for the dessert. Now, if I told you that our sweet course of Martian landscape: hazelnut and chocolate, cocoa crumble caramel mousse and milk chocolate cream was the best dessert I’ve ever eaten in Turkey would you believe me? That witness of my five years here sitting on my right would! Chef Sebastiano came over with two cups of Americano and blasted our desserts with freshly brewed wonderfulness. Absolutely delicious and I loved the mix and balance of hot (from the coffee) and cold (from the mousse) as well as creaminess contrasted with texture. Honestly, you’d have to be a caveman in order to not want to order this Martian dessert from the name alone.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a comment about the fact that it was by far the most expensive meal that I’ve had in Turkey. However, I would put in overtime at work for weeks to save up and revisit the next time Chefs Cerea and Sebastian want to wield their magic.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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2 Thank TravelingfromSF_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
65 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“What a view”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

This is my second time trying Aqua. The setting is perfect - on the Bosphorus with a beautiful garden and wonderful service. While I love the restaurant, the menu is very limited and the food isn't the best. The presentation is gorgeous, but the taste is just not there, and it is pricey. The outdoor seating is worth the visit though.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JaneBitar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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