Prepare yourself for a different kind of experience if you decide to sample the fares of this classical Ottoman style restaurant. This is not like any Turkish food you have ever eaten before and that’s because it’s not, strictly speaking, Turkish at all. A mindset of trying some exotic dishes is more appropriate. Of course, not all Ottomans dined on the top fare that this eatery offers but rather you are afforded the opportunity to play make believe sharing a stately dinner with the Sultan. Don’t worry that you will be confused by the choices though, the restaurant has cleverly prepared a small pamphlet with pictures and description of each dish, since even the native Turks don’t know what half the things on the menu are.
Fresh baked bread is served from the get-go; the olive bread is especially nice with delicate flaky crust and savory black olives hiding inside. I was lucky enough to sample many separate main dishes Terkib-i Çeşidiye, Deniz Mahsülleri Yahnisi, Tavuk Sultan Sarma, Mutancene, and Sac Tava.
Mutancene is a slow cooked lamb with spinach underneath. The lamb was extremely tender and flavorful.
Sac Tava comes out on a metal pan sizzling with a small fire under it. Reminiscent of fajitas, it is meat and veggies you scoop onto your plate and eat with bread.
Terkib-i Çeşidiye is a mixture of lamb and veal stew with cracked wheat pilaf underneath. It smacks of the East with nuts and fruit stewed with meat… something of the Persian variety. The sauce hints of liver which I am told is an attempt to recreate the flavor of Musk Deer stomach lining which was traditionally used to season this historical goulash.
Deniz Mahsülleri Yahnisi is a seafood stew with shrimp and squid with a light tangy tomato sauce served with smokey eggplant puree. The crunchy chunks of artichoke added a welcome crunch.
Last was Tavuk Sultan Sarma, the Sultan’s chicken rolls. My favorite dish of the evening, the roll was tangy and the crispy veggies under it were a refreshing taste of fresh.
Conclusions: Paşazade will provide something new on your plate.The restaurant is decorated with a motif of Ottoman street-scape and the service is excellent. The prices are modest compared to the complexity of the food, especially in such proximity to the Sultanahmet district. So, the next time you are wishing you could eat something un-Turkish (Thai, Ethiopian, all those other places not represented in the Istanbul eating scene) go for a classical Ottoman dinner it just might surprise your taste buds.
- Don’t Miss: Mutancene
- Best Perk: New experience
- Average Price: 23tl
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