Feb 17 2014

Sunset Grill & Bar

Sunset Grill & Bar is one of the upscale restaurants in Istanbul that is located on a hill and overlooks the Bosphorus strait, Bosphorus Bridge and Asian shoreline from above. I have been here twice and the first time I came here was during the summer when it was really warm and you could sit outside, and then it was amazing. This time I came to Istanbul and Sunset Grill & Bar during the winter months and we sat inside and whilst the view is still amazing the feeling of sitting outside in the hot weather is not there.
Sunset Grill & Bar opened in 1994 and is located on a hilltop below Ulus Park in the upscale neighborhood of Ulus. Initially the restaurant served “California” cuisine and steaks but Turkish cuisine was added to the menu in 1996 as many visitors to Sunset Grill & Bar were international and wanted this type of food. in 1999 they added a Sushi Bar as they noticed increased demand in Istanbul for Japanese food. My friend Ates said that besides the Japanese restaurant Zuma, Sunset Grill & Bar is the second best place where to have sushi in Istanbul. They also now do “New Japanese Cuisine” which is prepared by Chef Takemura. Zagat restaurant guide in 2002 and 2009 named them among the “Best Restaurants in Istanbul”, and in 2004 Sunset Grill & Bar was named the best restaurant in Istanbul by Time Out Istanbul.
The décor at Sunset Gril & Bar was sort of nice, maybe a bit too bright with too many colours, bright red and green chairs, but the view compensations for this and all you really focus on is the view. This is the place you come to on a Saturday night with your friends for good food and drinks at the bar (no club here like in Ulus 29 which is the preferred destination of my friends given the choice on a Saturday night). And despite this place being good for a Saturday night when my friend Juan came here the previous Saturday with his wife, the place was not that full, but maybe it is because it was the winter and in summer it will be more full.

As I was in Istanbul for a short period of time, I had to have Turkish food, so I ordered a Turkish starter and a main course. My starter was “Platter of Mediterranean-style Olive Oil Dishes” and in reality it was a selection of Turkish mezze. It was good, but if I would have been given a choice, I would have had slightly different things in the mezze starter.  You can also see pictures of two very impressive starters my friends had, “Octopus Carpaccio with White Turnip and Celery Stalk”, which looked amazing. They gave you a lot of octopus and it seemed big and fresh and plates were cleared. My friend Ates went for “Salmon Carpaccio with Guacamole sauce and Tortilla Chip” which was equally impressive and I wish places in London would do such a good looking salmon tartar.
My main course once again slightly let me down. It seems like other people were ordering better food than I was. I ordered “Yogurt Kebab (Beef tenderloin chunks and "köfte" - Turkish style meatballs - on a bed of pita bread with yogurt sauce)”, which is a very typical Turkish dish, and one of my favourite ones, and has soft bread, meat and yoghurt all cooked together. This yogurtly kebap did have a lot of meat, but had very few chillies and tomatoes which I like and also felt a bit bland. I could not finish the whole food as it did not taste as amazing as it could do. You can also see dishes of “Mixed Green Salad with Asparagus and Parmesan Cheese with Ponzu Dressin”, “Oven Baked Veal Cheek with Wild Mushroom Risotto” and another Turkish typical dish, “Swiss Chard Stuffed with Rice and Chopped Meat”. The veal cheek with mushroom risotto looked particularly impressive.
I think Sunset is a good restaurant, but given the choice I would go to Ulus 29 for a slightly better vibe, décor (it has a really cool bar and a club) and I also think the food there is a tiny bit better.

Date: 17/ 02/ 14
Location: Istanbul
Price for 4 people, no alcohol: I don’t know as my colleague paid

Maija rated: 




Sunset Grill & Bar
Kuruçeşme Mh., Yol Sk No:2
Sunset Grill & Bar Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5