Signature restaurants of Istanbul

ARDA SAYINER @ardasayiner
Published 15.04.2017 03:36
Updated 15.04.2017 03:48
Signature restaurants of Istanbul

Overlooking the Bosporus from Ulus Park, the Sunset Grill and a long-established, international brand, Zuma, have prepared new and fresh menus to accompany the spring euphoria

This week I am going to tell you about two well-established Istanbul brands, one Turkish and one foreign. Although a great number of restaurants are opened in the city, some stand out right away through their food and style. Istanbul is a great place for domestic and foreign tourists thanks to these world-class venues.

The first one of these is the Sunset Brassiere, established as a sub-brand of the renowned Sunset Grill. Sunset Grill has been offering its services in Ulus for 23 years. The restaurant has wined and dined world stars, from Madonna to Bono. The owner Barış Tansever is one of the pioneers of the sector who taught Istanbul how to manage a modern restaurant thanks to his vision and contributions in the sector. And now, with the creation of Sunset Grill, he will welcome guests in a shared location with Sunset Grill. The area, previously used as the restaurant's bar lounge, has been renovated into a brassiere concept. The venue offers lighter but still elegant meals, and appears to be a favorite of the younger generation. Tansever says: "While we wine and dine the most celebrated artists, politicians and businesspeople in Turkey and the world, we have now made room for the grandchildren of this segment as well. We made the Sunset brand younger, thanks to Sunset Brassiere."

The venue is managed by Serdar Cabas. He is dedicated to his job, with sound communication skills, and it is quite fun to talk with him. Covered in marble, the bar lounge offers an outstanding ambience, with photos of old American artists on the wall, a mirror-column which looks like a contemporary work of art, and dim lighting. Parties are organized Thursday evenings with different DJs, and the resident DJ is Evren Katırcıoğlu. The events of many corporate companies are also held here. The menu of the venue is made up by Fabrice Canelle, who was originally the chef at Sunset Grill. Therefore, the menu special to the brassiere includes the classic tastes of Sunset Grill as well. I adored the duck pizza that I had. Teriyaki sauce goes very well with the duck meat and the thin pizza dough. Shrimp duckling is another taste that appealed to me. Truffle mushroom risotto is again one of the more assertive dishes on the menu. The wine cellar of the venue is extensive, and the cocktail menu is quite splashy.

Beef tartare offered at Zuma.

When it comes to design, the drinking glasses are truly works of art. The Nude series of the Paşabahce brand bedazzles you with its thin glasses. The plates are again one of the best in Europe. Tansever showed the same delicacy toward the design of the plates at Sunset Brassiere as he had at Sunset Grill in the past. The plates, designed by master painter Burhan Doğançay, are offered to customers at Sunset Grill, and the eatery's walls are adorned with paintings of the same artist. Tansever has truly marked his place as the guardian of Istanbul fine dining with his venue that boasts a view overlooking the Bosporus and his new brand. I hope that it will last as the Sunset Grill, and I also would like to celebrate the first year of the venue's official membership-only magazine Sunsetter. It is a trendy, upscale and quite informative publication to follow. Thumbs up!

Another restaurant that makes a difference in Istanbul is Zuma. One of the longest established businesses in the world, Zuma has branches in many metropolitan cities such as London, New York, Hong Kong. Previously located in Ortaköy, the venue moved to İstinye Park a year ago. This gastronomy brand, which has taken the world by storm, keeps up the good work in Istanbul. Designed by Noriyoshi Muramatsu, the venue was built on five basic elements. It is quite stylish with its mystical decoration, with the bar embedded in a huge real log and a terrace with a heated floor. The use of orange and brown tones has added a unique look to the venue. You can watch chef tables and sushi stations to try and see the secret recipes of this famous venue. With all these details, the venue's atmosphere definitely transports you to an Asian world. The presentation and service at Zuma especially is very successful. Do not forget to taste the sushi varieties served on giant plates. Show off to your guests with this gigantic presentation. Grilled seabass with ginger dressing was the dish I liked the most in the main dishes. I also suggest beef tartare and grilled scallop with Japanese plum sauce. In addition to the new tastes here, you can also trust Zuma's "The Gift of God" menu with 12 different dishes, a concept that is familiar to Zuma lovers and followers. When it comes to dessert, you should try the venue's light and fresh organic sorbets.

Zuma has set menus for lunch and sushi, grilled seafood and a number of varieties of roast beef await you at dinner time. The cocktails at the venue, which has a 3,000-strong wine cellar, are quite enjoyable. The Southeast Asian Cooler and Raspberry Passion Fruit Martini, which has become Zuma's signature, should definitely be tasted. Visit this popular restaurant the first chance you get. Get together with the distinguished diners of Istanbul. But don't forget to make a reservation.

Tips of the week

Top 3 Restaurants of the Week
- Sunset Brassiere / Ulus
- Zuma / İstinye
- Fenix / Etiler

Top 3 Hotels of the Week
- Sacred House / Cappadocia
- Splendid / Büyükada
- Güral Hotel / Sapanca

Top 3 People to Follow This Week
- Engin Tozak / Stylist
- Veysel Değertekin / Producer
- Oytun Berktan / Mimar

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter