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“Don’t Miss Dining at the Asitane”
Review of Asitane

Asitane
Ranked #96 of 14,052 Restaurants in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $18
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: Fener & Balat
Reviewed July 21, 2014

The four of us had a unique and incredible meal at the Asitane. We dined inside on a cool evening, linen table clothes but a very relaxing atmosphere. Drawn from recipes found at the three main palace kitchens - Topkapi, Edirne, and Dolmabach - the menu itself is a historical tour de force. Staff were very familiar with the different ingredients, quite capable of responding to the questions we had. We ordered four different main dishes to share: The chef kindly divided each dish into quarters and we basically servied 4 different courses after the appetizers. Each and every dish was superb, a unique combination of ingredients producing new flavours to us. The service was as excellent as the food. The price for the main dishes was reasonable for what was received, it was less than what we would spend for a comparable meal at home. Upon request were we happily given copies of the menu, along with a small jar of fruit preserves made on the premises. An excellent evening, easily accesible by taxi. We did not see the lunch menu but can assume it is as excellent as the dinner. Dining on the patio in warm weather would be a treat.

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1  Thank BellaSaskatoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2014

Asitane was one of the first restaurants we selected for our trip to Istanbul. We had read about Asitane in a few magazines and the idea of Ottoman Palace cuisine seemed like the perfect complement to more modern Turkish cuisine. (Asitane researched the dishes from palace menus). And we are very happy that we went.

Overall, our dinner at Asitane was one of my favorite memories of Istanbul. We had just spent some time touring the Chora Church (right nearby) and visiting the workshop of miniature artist Taner Alakuş. We arrived to dinner on the earlier side and were seated in the beautiful garden/patio (it did help that the weather was ideal -- sunny, warm but not hot, and not humid). Do beware that in the garden there are curious cats roaming around and that take interest in the dining guests -- this wasn't a problem, but the cats are particularly friendly.

The menu offers a wide variety of dishes with brief references to the years from which the dishes originate. Our server was helpful in selecting both Turkish wine and our dishes, and overall was attentive, but not overly so. We started with the "Asitane Treats" that consisted of four different spreads/dips -- these included a chickpea spread, a light yogurt/cheese spread with scallions, peppers, and tomatoes, and a fava bean spread. It was great starter to share for something light on a summer day.

For a main course, I ordered the Mahmudiyye (the chicken stew) -- I really enjoyed the dish. Although a chicken stew may sound ordinary, it exceeded my expectations -- the chicken was super moist and mixed with almonds, apricots, cinnamon, and cloves. A mix of sweet and savory and perfect with a side of rice. My fellow dining guests enjoyed (1) the Begendi (baked lamb shank with eggplant in a pastry shell), (2) a whole roasted sea bass, and (3) the melon stuffed with minced meat, rice, almonds, and currants.

For dessert, my favorite was the “Helatiye”. It is a little bit hard to describe, but basically consisted of light cubes of milk pudding (almost like gelatin) mixed with whole almonds, watermelon, and other fruits in a rosewater syrup. (Randomly, it reminded me of one of my favorite "desserts" from Chinese dim sum -- the almond gelatin). It was a delicious way to end the meal.

Asitane is a truly lovely restaurant. They surprised us at the end of the meal with a small gift -- two jars of their own apricot jelly. The service was friendly and helpful. The food was interesting and different from our other meals in Istanbul. The surroundings were beautiful and relaxing. The location is a bit more difficult to get out to -- we had a tough time finding a cab that would take us out there from Sultanahmet, so I would recommend pairing Asitane with a late afternoon trip to the Chora Church and definitely to Taner Alakus's workshop (the workshop is to the right as you are exiting the church). (As a sidenote, we've heard that Chora is less crowded in the late afternoon, so it was great to enjoy the mosaics without lots of crowds). The neighborhood though is enjoyable -- leafy green trees with some cafes around.

Definitely recommend Asitane!

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Thank bluehawaii218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2014

We went at the recommendation of our concierge at the lovely Premist Hotel and were delighted. Asitane delivers the culinary history lesson it promises with dishes from the 16th century. The staff was helpful, the chef masterful and the location refreshing for a late lunch (when the place was not packed, as it generally is around lunch and dinner). Reservation required.

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1  Thank roxanag21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2014

Asitane has a very interesting menu. It also offers wine, cocktails and beer.

The menu says the food reflects the type of dishes served in Ottoman Palaces.

We went for a late lunch after a busy day of sight-seeing. This restaurant is conveniently located next to Chora Church - a must see in Istanbul. It's down a flight of stairs into a lovely, private garden with ample shade.

The service was adequate, but certainly not special. The atmosphere and food were excellent.

Asitane is worth the trip!

Thank KMHHalifax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2014

very delicious food , excellent service , great location , I am recommending it for a very good authentic meal

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Thank hanymaroun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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