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“TERRIBLE FOOD”
Review of Asitane

Asitane
Ranked #96 of 14,052 Restaurants in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$5 - US$18
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, Lunch, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Fener & Balat
Reviewed 22 October 2013

After reading all the rave reviews, we decided to eat at this restaurant even though it was quite far. The decor and embiance and the live music were good. But as the food started to be brought in, the only item that I can say was good was the hot buns. The appetizers were tasteless. I am a vegetarian so I thought I would order the Baked Zuchini dish. Sounded really good on the menu, but after taking two bites, I was gagging. There was not taste. I would not even feed this to a baby. I wonder if half of the great ratings that are on this site are fake. I have travelled the world and have eaten amazing food and know what good food tastes like. This restaurant is all hype.

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Thank Meena D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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320 - 324 of 931 reviews

Reviewed 21 October 2013

Great restaurant in the shadows of the Kariye Museum. The menu has several recipes from the palace kitchens dating back to the 15th century. The 15th century hummus recipe had a hint of cinnamon in it that was delicious. The stuffed melon was fantastic. The wine paired perfectly with our dishes. Dessert is a must. Overall a wonderful dining experience.

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1  Thank Garrick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Our experience seems to be very contradictory to others on this board. Three of us arrived for a meal here which is quite a distance by taxi. However the design of the restaurant is very nice and comfortable. The first thing that stands out is the price of the food which is very high compared to other excellent Restos in istanbul. As such I was expecting an excellent experience to justify the cost. Our starter was four spoons of different spreads to eat with the bread. The highlite of the meal was the bread was warm and the spreads were ok, however the serving sizes could be larger.

Then the real disappointment was the main courses. On guest had a veggie meal which was a baked zucchini meal. This meal was very bland with zero taste. After two bites, the diner was feeling very nausious from the taste and stopped eating. My meal was a chicken stew. First the quantity served was extremely small for the price. It appeared like someone cut up half a breast of chicken and put it in a. Warm soup. Absolutely no taste and very bland. The last diner had a lamb dish which also had small meat portions on a bed of crumpled chips. Once again very little portions and taste.

Overal the design of the restaurant was good, but the food had no substance. The price is unreasonable for what you get .

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Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

Incredible food, just fantastic! Great service, a little expensive but it's worth it! Nice atmosphere. Just a magnificent restaurant! So, if you want to try different Turkish meals, I definitely recommend Asitane 100%!

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1  Thank Kerim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Asitane is a concept restaurant. The concept is that it serves authentic, unique, researched recipes from Turkey's past, food that was served to Sultans and Potentates. Great concept. It and the positive reviews from TripAdvisor and my guide book drew me in. But I go out to eat good food, not concepts, and no amount of hype can mask the fact that this restaurant does not deliver its promise or seem to care about delivering it. Case in point: I ordered the signature dish, the stuffed melon. This favorite of some historic Sultan is a scooped out half melon filed with ground meat, spices and other admittedly tasty things. So far so good. But the melon that cradled the concoction was "raw": hard, unripe and tasteless. I had to cut it with a knife and fork. When I pointed this out to my waiter in response to his perfunctory, "How is everything?", he spouted an excuse that combined, I paraphrase, "We can't get ripe melon here" and "It's not the time of year for ripe melon." This outrageous lie could be refuted by stepping out the door of Asitane and walking a couple blocks to the nearest fruit market where sweet ripe melons were stacked like cordwood. How, I wondered and wonder still, could a restaurant that boasts the culinary exotica of antiquity dare to serve an "authentic" dish missing one of its essential flavor notes, the sweetness of ripe melon? It's like serving potato/leek soup without the leeks. Or Cherries Jubilee with only the Jubilee. Assuming, for the moment, the waiter was right and ripe melon was nowhere to be found, why was the dish on the menu? Why was it served? Customer service is not a concept the staff of Asitane is imbued with. "I'm sorry you're unhappy with the dish. Could I bring you another at no cost?" would have been an appropriate response from a well-trained waiter. Or, "Let me take the cost of the dish off your bill." No dice. Even the offer of a complimentary dessert and coffee would have worked wonders on my attitude. But that's not the all of it. There was the salad with the fancy name and pedigree (created c.1850) that consisted of a few leaves of lettuce on a plate drizzled with what looked and tasted like Ranch dressing. There was the fact that no one welcomed me when I arrived at the restaurant or even bothered to acknowledge that I'd made a reservation. Finally, a restaurant of Asitane's pretense to culinary loftiness (with lofty prices to match) should never, EVER, serve Lipton Tea. It's inexcusable. A $60+ lunch and I get Lipton tea? In Turkey? Land of tea? This restaurant is a fraud. Take the positive reviews with a large grain of organic sea salt. Read the negative reviews carefully and decide whether a trek to this beanery on the distant fringe of Istanbul is worth the time to find it and the bundle you'll drop. You can get better food for less closer to wherever you're staying in Istanbul.

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5  Thank Felipe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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