When a new restaurant opens in Bali, we make it a point to try it right away and see what it’s like. SIP Sunset Grill
is the new concept from fun and friendly French sommelier/restaurateur Christian Vanneque of SIP Wine Bar
in Seminyak. This time, he has opened a larger restaurant with the usual reasonably-priced wines. Managing the place is another “Frenchie”
Eric Guth who has worked at several hotels and was the opening F&B director of the Bulgari Bali.
The restaurant is cozy with leather banquettes lining the room, brick walls and lots of natural light. There is a large bar at the front with a few cocktail tables and a separate private dining room in the glassed-in wine cellar. The kitchen is visible from the dining room with the large grill as the focal point. They also have an outdoor area with several tables and a vertical garden. The location on the Sunset road and ample parking out front makes it very accessible even to those coming from Nusa Dua, the Bukit or Sanur. There is also a glassed-in bullet proof display case where the most expensive bottle of white wine is kept – the 1811 Chateau d’Yquem that Christian purchased at auction for £75,000 (around US$122,000) – see photo below.
The menu at SIP Sunset Grill is simple with less items compared to SIP Wine Bar. A few starters and salads then from the grill, several cuts of meat (sirloin, rib-eye, tenderloin, pork chop, chicken breast), fish (catch of the day, salmon) and a grilled seafood plate. For lunch, there is a very reasonably-priced two course set menu for 85000++ IDR (with taxes, around US$12) with a choice of starter and main or main and dessert. For lunch one day, A had the set lunch – a delicious starter of leeks vinaigrette followed by the chicken vol au vent – chicken and mushrooms in a gravy served in a puff pastry case. I chose two starters for my lunch – the Salade Nicoise a la SIP which came with the grilled tuna with roasted peppers over bread on one side, and the salad greens and quail eggs on the other. For my main course, I had the seafood vol au vent – squid and prawns in a saffron sauce which also came in a puff pastry case. We shared the strawberry and meringue dessert and finished off with espressos.
I also went with a friend last week but this time we didn’t have the set menu. She had two starters – the Nicoise salad and the scallop raviolis while I had the tuna carpaccio and the grilled chicken with tarragon sauce. Light lunches which we chose especially so we could share two desserts – a creme caramel and the honey souffle.
On another occasion, we went for dinner and A had the two-fish terrine to start while I had the tuna carpaccio. For our main courses, A had the pork chop from the serious cuts section of the menu which has larger cuts of meat, while I had the classic Entrecote-frites-Bearnaise. We all shared several desserts – the extra sweet honey souffle, a dark bitter chocolate mousse, a decadent rum-infused Baba au rhum and the strawberry Arlette – a millefeuille filled with whipped cream and strawberries.
SIP Sunset Grill will go on my safe list as the type of restaurant that you can go to with the kids on the weekend or with friends for a quick lunch mid-week. The food is simple, the prices are reasonable, the service friendly and the wines on their list well-chosen – everything needed for a good restaurant. They’re still on their first month since opening so expect a few minor glitches (like the bills getting mixed up) but I’m sure they’ll get that sorted out sooner rather than later. It’s another great addition to the island’s growing number of more casual restaurants and with both Christian and Eric at the helm, it should become one of Bali’s best.
P.D. 14 November 2011
Since posting this, there have been a few changes at SIP Sunset. Manager Eric has left and a new French chef, Karim Hassene, has taken over the kitchen revamping the menu and adding on several new and improved dishes while still keeping the spirit of their French-influenced grill menu. I was there for a recent dinner and was impressed by what I ate: a red pepper carpaccio with a crispy goat-cheese croquette, salmon teriyaki with roesti, pumkin ravioli with tomato concasee and a simple grilled tenderloin this time with thin-homemade fries and a side sauce of chimichurri. Now, I’m ready to go back for several more meals and eat my way through their new menu.
Sunset Road 88X
Telephone: +62 361 847 5830 or 31
*Open daily for lunch and dinner. Kitchen serves food till late.