One of a growing number of İstanbul restaurants specialising in so-called Ottoman palace cuisine, Matbah offers dishes that were devised centuries ago in the royal kitchens of Constantinople. The menu changes with the season and features unusual ingredients such as goose, quail, quince and molasses. Try the sailor's roll starter (seven cheeses wrapped in filo, fried and drizzled with honey).

The setting is attractive; the attentive staff is full of explanations about the historic dishes and there's live oud music on Friday and Saturday nights in summer.