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FOOD > Delicious meals fit for a Sultan at Delicious meals fit Darüzziyafe

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Wonderful tastes linger in diners at Darüzziyafe, a restaurant first established within the Süleymaniye Social Complex, that now has locations in Istanbul and Bursa

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Serving up historical Ottoman dishes the 
restaurant integrates a bit of cultural history with each flavorful bite. AA Photo

Serving up historical Ottoman dishes the restaurant integrates a bit of cultural history with each flavorful bite. AA Photo

Darüzziyafe, the dinning hall located within the Süleymaniye Social Complex and established by Sultan Suleyman, has a delicious history of dishes dating back nearly 460 years.

Süleymaniye Mosque and the Süleymaniye Social Complex were designed by the architect Sinan between 1550 and 1557. Darüzziyafe was first used as an imaret house, one of a few names used to identify Ottoman soup kitchens built throughout the Ottoman Empire from the 14th to the 19th century. After 1913, the building became a Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, but was later transformed into a restaurant in 1992 in Istanbul after restorations were made.

In Bursa the Muradiye Social Complex offers delicious Ottoman tastes also under the name of Darüzziyafe. The restaurant attempts to keep the tastes of traditional Ottoman dishes from fading from the palates of domestic and foreign diners, the restaurant’s manager Murat Tülüce said.

Serving up historical Ottoman dishes like mengen soup made from milk and almonds, abant kebab and keşkül, a milk pudding made with coconut, the restaurant integrates a bit of cultural history with each flavorful bite. Tülüce said they are planning to offer a different menu every day.

Popular dishes and delicious syrups

AA Photo


Darüzziyafe Turkish Cuisine was settled in Istanbul’s Suleymaniye Social Complex, which is one of the most imposing edifices of Ottoman Architecture. The restaurant entertains guests with a historical ambiance that harmonizes the delicious heritage of the past with a modern understanding of taste.
The two Darüzziyafe locations use recipes obtained by the late Professor Dilaver Cebeci who researched Ottoman archives to find 500 different recipes which were then taught to the chefs at Darüzziyafe. “The meals are chosen from among those recipes and adapted to present day cuisines,” Tülüce said.

The service mentality at Darüzziyafe focuses on combining knowledge and experience of Ottoman cuisine with academic evidences. For example, one of the most important characteristics of traditional Turkish cuisine is to use seasonal fruits and vegetables. For that reason, Darüzziyafe, in following the rules of traditional Turkish and Ottoman cuisine, prepares its menus according to what ingredients are in season so that diners get only the freshest herbs, vegetables and fruits.

Traditional recipes from Ottoman palace cuisine have been modernized by the chefs at Darüzziyafe. Some of the classics dishes at Darüzziyafe, loved by local and foreign guests, hail from the kitchens of Ottoman palaces. These include Süleymaniye çorbası, Yufkalı Dârüzziyafe köftesi and Fukara keşkülü.
Abant kebab and a lamb stew served on mashed eggplant known as Sultan’s delight are the most popular dishes at Darüzziyafe with visitors often demanding to know the recipes. Many of the drinks on the menu are also pulled from historical recipes, including various kinds of sherbets made from seasonal fruits. Rosehip, cornel cherry and pomegranate are popular choices. The restaurant’s syrups are also prepared in traditional Ottoman style. Honey syrup balances the hemoglobin and has a relieving effect on body.

History of Darüzziyafe

Designed by the architect Sinan on the order of Sultan Suleyman the Suleymaniye Mosque is the central piece of a kulliya and tops one of Istanbul’s seven hills.

During the Ottoman Empire the Darüzziyafe building was used first as an imaret and then as a dinning hall. In 1913 it welcomed visitors as a Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. The museum was moved to İbrahim Pasha Palace in 1983 and Darüzziyafe sat empty until 1987. The building was allocated to the Foundation of the Turkish World Researches that year and a nine month restoration project was begun.

Restorations were carried out to scour the stone and marble surfaces, landscape the surrounding garden and restore the miniatures, stained glass windows, and needles to their original appearance. Repair work was also completed on the building’s roof. A light and sound system was put in along with modernizing the kitchen and dinning hall. On Jan. 18, 1992, Darüzziyafe served its first guests a taste of Turkish cuisine. Darüzziyafe Turkish Cuisine has continued to serve as a “banqueting chamber” keeping alive the tastes and culinary culture of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire.

Everyday diners at Darüzziyafe sample delicious recipes carefully chosen from the archives of Turkish and Ottoman culinary history.

July/30/2012

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