A Taste of Centuries-Old Fare In Istanbul

Asitane Restaurant20080416 Menu Composition0996 A Taste of Centuries Old Fare In Istanbul

By Karina Schroeder

Meals at Asitane are fit for a sultan.

The Istanbul restaurant is a unique find in this ancient city, serving cuisine based on centuries-old Ottoman palace recipes. Succulent, exotic, and delicious, these dishes will stir your imagination and your mind.

Located adjacent to Chora Church, with the oldest Byzantine mosaics in Istanbul, Asitane is neatly tucked away from the crowds. It offers great outdoor seating and a view of the church.

asitane restaurant istanbul e1368187197455 A Taste of Centuries Old Fare In Istanbul

Many dishes, like stuffed grape leaves with sour cherries, cannot be found in other restaurants. Yet they are all worth trying.  Each dish is listed with its original Ottoman name and recipe date. Some go as far back as the 15th and 16th centuries.

Asitane Restaurant Ottoman Fare Istanbul A Taste of Centuries Old Fare In Istanbul

According to Asitane’s website, the recipes are taken directly from historic documents: “the kitchen registers from Topkapi, Dolmabahce and Edirne Palaces, books and memoirs written by visiting overseas state officials, documents in Beyazit and Millet Libraries, and a book entitled “Bir Ziyafet Defteri” detailing the circumcision ceremony in November 1539 of Beyazid and Cihangir, the two sons of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.”

One dish from 1539 is “Mahmudiyye” -stewed chicken flavored with cinnamon, cloves, and apricots garnished with Rezaki raisins and almonds. Imagine feasting on this alongside Suleyman at Topkapi. It’s an amazing, and unforgettable experience.

Mahmudiyye e1368187999316 A Taste of Centuries Old Fare In Istanbul

Photo by Karina Schroeder

About The Author

Karina Schroeder is an art, culture, and travel writer based in NYC. She writes two blogs, http://karinaschroeder.com and http://eco-impulse.net, and works as the New York Arts and Culture Editor for GirlAround Town.

All Photos except Mahmudiyye via Asitane Restautant