Kariye Camii Sokak No. 6, Edirnekapı, Istanbul, 34240
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Foodies, Honeymooners, Seasoned travellers, Escaping the crowds, History, Relaxation, Romance, Special occasions
Expert review of Asitane
The setting might not be as lavish as a sultan’s palace, but the meals cooked at Asitane – drawn directly from, or inspired by, carefully researched Ottoman-era texts – are as probably as close as a modern diner will ever come to enjoying a 16th-century royal feast.
I love the complex blend of sweet, sour, and savoury often found in Ottoman food, whether the dish be baked apples stuffed with rice, sour cherries, and lentils or an almond soup flavoured with grated coconut and just a hint of pomegranate juice. Hearty main dishes might include goose kebab, veal marinated in apricot sauce, or a baked whole sea bass stuffed with walnuts and spices. Lots of good choices for vegetarians and a nice wine list too. There is a full bar.
The formal, old-fashioned dining room isn’t nearly as inspiring as the food, but the tree-shaded outdoor courtyard is a soothing setting to enjoy a relaxed meal. Diners are mostly tourists, except during the month of Ramadan, when locals pour in for Asitane’s special fast-breaking dinners.
Service is formal and attentive, if sometimes a bit slow.
Set inside the Kariye Oteli in the rather far-flung Edirnekapı district, Asitane is worth the trek. Combine a meal with a visit to the gorgeous Chora Church next door – one of my favourite sites in Istanbul – and a wander through the decidedly un-touristy neighbourhood.
Main dishes range from 26 lira to 38 lira.
More information on Asitane:
- Price guide:
- Traditional, Turkish
- Kariye Camii Sokak No. 6, Edirnekapı, Istanbul, 34240
- 0212 635 79 97
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Every day 8am-11pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards: