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“Disappointing” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Asitane

Asitane
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Ranked #93 of 13,374 Restaurants in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $6 - $19
Cuisines: Turkish, Middle Eastern
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic, Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Fener & Balat
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2013

I found the food surprisingly bland and uneven. We got four dishes, two appetizers and two entrees. One of the appetizers had almost no seasoning or taste; it was nothing but boiled cauliflower, and other had some taste but it was nothing special. We also got a dish with goose and the lamb shank. Lamb shank was good but boring. The dish with goose was in my opinion a disaster even though it sounded interesting in its description. It was mostly rice and had very little minced goose meat

  • Visited January 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 33Traveller4545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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904 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    70
    32
    19
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Sofia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Huge disappointment!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

We ate at Asitane for New Year's Eve. We had chosen it because of the good reviews on Tripadvisor and the appealing (written) menu for the occasion. It was by far the worst moment of our stay in Istanbul. The food was heavy and not very good. I had to ask three times the waiter to change the red wine (the one originally selected was worse than the cheapest vinegar you could find in any basic supermarket). I finally got something decent with the main course, a kind of risotto with turkey wrapped in filo pastrey (quite far from the voluptous description of the written menu). Nobody in the restaurant finished it. Last but not least, the music was worse than whatever you would expect in the elevator of a zero star hotel. All this for the modic price of 110 Euro per person! It was so sad that we left at 11pm to celebrate at midnight in the streets despite the open bar until 1am.One could argue that this was an evening out of the ordinary, and that maybe in normal times the restaurant can be better. But if a restaurant is not at the top of its art for such an occasion, why bother giving it another chance?

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Porever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Exotic food and excellent service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

A fabulous place for lunch, particularly if visiting st saviour in Chora. Felt very special to dine on historical dishes, the stuffed quince was exceptional. Service was very warm indeed and we were given an assortment of drinks to taste. The rosewater and milk pudding was also delicious.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Tumtumtutor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Professional but lacking passion”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

Asitane is a beautifully set up restaurant, beside the not to be missed Chora Church. The owner's approach is well thought out, with modern standards for their clientele of more well heeled guests. The menus are presented with a little history of each item; the descriptions are concise, however the delivered dishes don't quite meet expectations. The executions are competent but lack the personal signature of a Chef with passion. The issue maybe the raison d'être of the restaurant, to present historical dishes. Perhaps if the kitchen had specials which offered modern interpretations or historically inspired versions, a sense of the Chef's personality would be present. As it is, we have people manning the kitchen in a manner, where everything comes off looking formulaic.

Our family of four had lunch on Christmas Day and included the almond soup, Bourek pastry, another pastry stuffed with goose and a stuffed sea bass. Be aware that the main entrees are not served with accompaniments, unless noted on the menu. Everything was well prepared, to the standards that one would expect from a 4 star hotel kitchen. Unfortunately, my regard of many hotel restaurants is they come off as "corporate", unless led by a Chef with vision.

Overall, the lunch was lovely, set in a very comfortable room with professional service. The meal came to somewhat more than 200 TL, with 1 beer and teas / juice; in my opinion, overpriced.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank flashbulb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Full immersion in the Ottoman cuisine and history of Istanbul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

First of all, the position of the restaurant is superb. Located on one of the seven hills of Istanbul and near to the Theodosian walls and to the superb Chora basilic witht its magnificant frescos and mosaics, definitely worth a visit before or after lunch. Then, the restaurant itself. The access is through a garden where one can eat during summer. The inner rooms are sober and welcoming as a first-class Parisian restaurant. The staff is friendly and speaks fluent English, and there is no trace of abusive folklore. Then, the food. I was here two years ago, when, redux from an aborted visit to Chora (it was Wednesday, when the basilic is closed) I inspected the menu and found somewhat completely different from the usual fare of most Turkish restaurants. I could not resist curiosity and went in. The food was exquisite and gives really an idea of what the Sultans ate in their time. The combinations of flavors were unusual and appetizing, and the place was ideal for a dinner in pleasant company. This year I came back and attempted different meals in regard of two years ago. My first impression was confirmed and I can only add that this will neither be my last visit to Istanbul nor my last visit to Asitane.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Pierre54_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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