Traditional Doner Experience in Tatar Salim Restaurant, Istanbul

When thinking of Turkish food, Doner Kebap (Döner) would probably the first one that would come to the minds because it is a very famous food both within and outside Turkey. Doner is actually a special form of Kebap prepared by stuffing meats and wrapping around a metallic stick.
Doner means “to rotate” and Kebap means “roasted meat”. Doner is getting roasted gradually by rotating where one part faces fire. The meat is prepared thorough mixing it with suet, various herbs, and spices. Within Anatolia region, the meat that is used for doner is mostly lamb, beef, and chicken.

History of Doner:

Taste'n Travel; Doner in Ottoman Times (1854, Istanbul)
Taste’n Travel; Traditional Doner in Ottoman Times (1854, Istanbul)

Doner has been a traditional Anatolian food for decades; however there is no clear information about when it was invented. It is believed that traditional Doner is inspired from Crimeans who were roasting meat on their sword.

In 17th century Evliya Celebi, a famous Ottoman traveler describes Doner in his notes as a traditional Crimean food where the locals eat at winter with “Boza” (a traditional Turkish drink). In that time, Doner was used to be roasted on a horizontal stick. After the 18th century, Doner started to be roasted on a vertical stick.

Doner was in a photograph for the first time in 1854, which was taken by James Robertson in Istanbul. The photograph shows thatDoner was prepared with lamb meat and vertically being roasted on the coal fire in those times. Doner is also very popular in Anatolia since the 19th century, the most traditional tastes originate from Kastamonu and Bursa region. 

Tatar Salim Restaurant:

One of the best places to taste the most traditional Doner in Istanbul is Tatar Salim. One of the best places to taste the most traditional restaurant in Istanbul is Tatar Salim. The Doner in Tatar Salim is prepared with lamb and beef meat mixture and special herbs and being roasted on a wood fire. This way of roasting gives the traditional Doner extra flavor.

Tatar Salim is my favorite doner restaurant; as a Turk, I ate many Doner Kebaps however I can say that the Doner that I had in Tatar Salim is unquestionably one of the of the most delicious one. My first visit to Tatar Salim was two years ago, since that time I go to Tatar Salim whenever I visit Istanbul. According to a list on Onedio,Tatar Salim is ranked as second on the list of “The most traditional Doner in Istanbul.

Taste'n Travel; Tatar Salim Traditional Doner Istanbul
Taste’n Travel; Tatar Salim, a place to taste traditional Doner in Istanbul

My last visit to Tatar Salim was on a Saturday evening, we went there with my family. The place was crowded as usual however we managed to find an empty table. It seems like everyone in Istanbul have already heard that good food is being served on Tatar Salim.
The decoration of the restaurant is modern and simple. From the outside, it gives the impression of a good quality restaurant. I cannot find so much to say about decoration, it is not the best one that I have seen. I surely have a lot to say about the food because that was the only thing that I focus in Tatar Salim. I was there to have a good Turkish food as like the other people and it was the only thing that I was focusing on.

The menu of Tatar Salim is simple that it is specialized on traditional Doner. Such limitation is not bad for this case because Doner is a very special food and needs expertise to be produced in the best quality. This limited menu makes you feel that you are having the traditional Doner from the hands of the experts. I actually like this approach not only because I find it a professional approach, but also it is easy to make a decision in a single-menu restaurant.
Tatar Salim simply offers lentil soup, Doner, Salad, Potato, Pickles, Ayran and Sutlac and Baklava. The best thing about Tatar Salim is that all the served food is delicious and best on quality. The vegetables are fresh, the bread is oven-baked and warm…

On the last course, a very delicious dessert is served. So far, I have chosen and would choose Sutlac as the desert.  The Sutlac is always served with hazelnuts, and this makes it extra delicious. I think that Sutlac would compete with Doner tastewise. So, the best part of food in Tatar Salim is actual all the parts and whenever I am visiting there, I feel like I am in a food festival.

Taste'n Travel; the served food and traditional Doner in Tatar Salim Istanbul
Taste’n Travel; the served food and traditional Doner in Tatar Salim Istanbul

Tatar Salim Restaurant is located in Atasehir district on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. This place is a convenient option for anyone who wants to have the most traditional Doner in Istanbul with the best quality.  The dishes are between 20 to 22 Turkish Liras (around 7 euros).
The official address of Tatar Salim is Atilla İlhan Cd. Efe Sk. No:2/1 Küçükbakkalköy / Ataşehir. If you are traveling by car, there is a free valet service which makes the parking easier. Tatar Salim is open between 11:00 to 23:00 every day. Tripadvisor rating for Tatar Salim is 4 out of 5. Click here to access to Tatar Salim’s official website. You can also order online from their website.

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