Saturday, September 10, 2022

A Bar, Speakeasy, Patisserie, Deli and French Fusion Restaurant in the Basement at Somm's Table

Where to find Makati's newest and coolest bar, speakeasy, patisserie, deli and restaurant? Just head down the basement at Somm's Table...

Michelin-star trained chefs Raphael Gries and Julien Sobolewski bring their own unique take on creative and innovative French cuisine, traditional patisserie and deli with a cool speakeasy and contemporary bar vibe at Somm's Table. Makati's newest dining and bar destination, Somm's Table is located at the basement of the Corner Exchange Building along Bolanos Street in Makati. The unique location becomes part of the charm and experience in this bar, patisserie, deli and restaurant. At Somm's Table, going down the basement is the surest way to an elevated bar and dining experience.

I've seen unique establishments through the years, and Somm's Table ranks high up there with its unusual basement location. Like a secret speakeasy, Somm's Table has all the elements for a memorable night out the moment you descend down the basement. A few steps from the elevator and past the parked cars at the basement, the glass lined walls with its impressive wine selection immediately tells you this is where you want to be. You just never know what you'll find in the basement...

...and a bar, patisserie, deli and restaurant definitely isn't your usual basement find. Raphael Gries and Julien Sobolewski transforms the basement at Corner Exchange Building into something truly special, and probably one of the best new dining destinations in Makati. Offering international cuisine with a skew toward French dishes, Somm's Table also boasts of an extensive wine selection from their very own glass cellar along with handcrafted cocktails from the bar. Plus, it's a patisserie and deli too. You might think there's a whole lot going in Makati's newest dining spot. And indeed, there is but Raphael and Julien bring years of Michelin-star experience between them to Somm's Table. 

That unmistakable French connection at Somm's Table is reflected not only through its inventive French inspired fusion cuisine but also showcased in its walls and eclectic art pieces. That same French flair is also reflected with the extensive and curated fine wines at Somm's Table featuring a predominantly French selection in their elegant glass wine cellar. Raphael Gries is a WSET 4 certified sommelier, hence the name of the unique restaurant, bar, patisserie and deli.  

Consistent with its sommelier and chef-driven concept, an elegant piano topped with exquisite wine glasses greets diners upon entering Somm's Table right after the glass wine cellar. It's first impressions like this that sets the tone for your dining experience in the newest spot in Makati. And finding it in the basement adds an intriguing layer to the experience.

The modern speakeasy vibe resonates at Somm's Table, and the bar is the first of many layers threading your experience. A handcrafted cocktail is in order...

The Amaretto Sour (P 400) drapes the palate with its refreshingly tart and mildly sweet notes with every sip...

...while the sharp yet soothing finish of the Ginger Papa (P 450) from their Signature Cocktails selection opens up the palate for a lavish and sumptuous dinner at Somm's Table. The impressive wine selection, spirits and beer along with its handcrafted cocktails makes this bar in the basement one of Makati's best kept secrets. 

Raphael Gries finalizes the evening's sequence of orders for an inspired feast with novel and creative spins...

...that began with the Goat Cheese Gazpacho (P 350), a hearty reinterpretation of a Spanish classic. The rich hues of the broth is a visual clue to the vibrant notes of the dish, delivering a flavorful burst with every sip. 

The fresh tartness of the tomatoes and bite of the red onions combine for intense flavors mellowed by the creamy and silky smooth goat cheese for contrasting yet balanced notes. Pure, fresh and bold unrestrained flavors, the Goat Cheese Gazpacho is the opening salvo in a lavish feast at Somm's Table. The first dish, like the first impression, defines the rest of the dishes at Somm's Table. And it's a great start.

The day's fresh ocean harvest teases the palate with the St. Jacques Scallops (P 490) with succulent scallops on a bed of green pea mash and asparagus salad. Delicately seared, each bite delivers a briny sweetness pairing well with the subtle sweetness of the green peas and asparagus. 

The scallops are undoubtedly the stars of the dish, with the other components playing a supporting role complementing the delicate and nuanced flavors for another masterfully executed dish at Somm's Table

For the evening's second course, Raphael and Julien served their own innovative take on a classic salad dish infusing it with a fragrant smokiness for a refreshingly new flavor experience. 

Lifting the lid reveals the Smoky Caesar Salad with Speck (P 480), a luxurious twist with its medley of crisp and garden-fresh greens topped with cured smoked ham, crunchy croutons and cheese romanced by the fragrant smoke. 

The familiar salad dish is reinvented with multiple layers of flavors...

...with mild notes from the smoke and bold flavors from the Speck adding a lavish weave of richness to the dish.

Each bite brings a delectable play on contrasting flavors and textures with the finest and freshest ingredients. Raphael and Julien brings a luxurious and innovative twist to comfortingly familiar flavors, spinning unique layers with a distinctly modern and creative approach.

And the creativity doesn't end there. The Onion Soup (P 310) topped with 36-month old Parmesan and served with crisp and buttery sourdough has to be one of the most playfully inventive executions of the traditional soup. Served in a large onion, the presentation is a reflection of Raphael and Julien's modern culinary style. The proof, they say is in the pudding and one sip of the rich broth drapes the palate with a distinct, rounded and deep sweetness. 

The bold sharp notes of the 36-month old Parmesan is the perfect finishing touch to the hearty dish, warming the palate with its comforting flavors. Tradition with a contemporary and whimsical touch come together in this classic dish at Somm's Table

In between courses, enjoy another round of handcrafted cocktails from the bar... 

Raphael and Julien then infuse local flavors to their Starters Menu with the Lumpia Duck Confit and Foie Gras (P 490) served with Truffle Sauce for crunchy and savory bites pairing well with their handcrafted cocktails. Tender shreds of duck bring a savory punch with each bite announced by an audible crunch made even richer with the foie gras and the deep earthy notes of the truffle sauce. 

Raphael and Julien draw inspiration from their Michelin-star experience as well as a variety of culinary influences from Japanese and even local flavors for an impressive repertoire of rich and savory flavors.  

And both Raphael and Julien continue to impress with the Egg Nest with 20-year Old Imperial Caviar (P 630) sourced from the river Amur deep in the Russian far east bordering northeastern China. The elegant starter first feeds the eyes before the palate, completed by fresh microgreens and edible flowers topped with gold flakes for that luxurious finish. Caviar, salmon, egg in one luxurious ensemble, this one's is an absolute must-try at Somm's Table.

The intricate dish brings contrasting textures with the crisp "nest" as the vessel for the delicately poached egg with its silky smooth richness. The briny sharpness of the Imperial caviar and buttery richness of the salmon completes the flavors for a balanced and luxurious finish.

Other equally tempting options from the Starters Menu of Somm's Table include the Uni and Crab Croquette (P 250), Poached Hokkaido Oysters (P 650) and the opulent Imperial Beluga Caviar 9 Years Old (P 8,999). 

For the mains, Raphael and Julien serves up another familiar and comforting dish from their playbook with the Green Asparagus and Pea Risotto (P 540). Masterfully executed with its creamy and smooth texture, the risotto delivers a delectable lightness with the nuanced sweetness of the asparagus and peas and one more spoonful is soon on its way for another palate-pleasing dish at Somm's Table

The Pan-Seared New Zealand Salmon (P 780) is a deceptively simple dish elegantly plated on a mound of fresh greens with a side of sweet and tart apple chutney. You really don't need to complicate a dish when using the freshest and finest ingredients.  

The buttery texture of the New Zealand Salmon just melts in your mouth releasing even more flavorful notes. The crisp skin with its concentrated flavors adds that contrasting layer of texture with the fresh greens and apple chutney rounding out the flavors. 

Somm's Table also offers a variety of tasty sides to pair with your main course, like the Creamy Spinach (P 280)...

...and Corn Mash (P 280) with its natural sweetness. Other options include the Rice Pilaf (P 190), French Fries (P 220), Potato Gratin (P 250), Ratatouille (P 270), Mashed Potatoes (P 290) and Burned Cauliflower Purée (P 290). 

The Moroccan Lamb Ragu Pasta (P 790) is a satisfying meal in itself with savory lamb on wide noodles topped with shards of cheese. The rich blend of spices and seasonings of the fork tender lamb in an equally rich tomato-based sauce is both hearty and comforting with its bold flavors.

Soft yet firm, the flat noodles are evenly coated with the rich ragu and the distinct savory notes of lamb coming through with every bite. Simmered for hours, the ragu delivers an intense savory richness with each bite. As with all the dishes served thus far, the variety of dishes reflect casual dining elevated at Somm's Table. Raphael however refuses to describe his culinary offerings as fine dining, preferring a more laid-back style enhanced by the speakeasy vibe of Somm's Table.

Raphael and Julien then takes a page from traditional French cuisine with the Bresse Yellow Chicken (P 1,490) plated with creamy Wild Mushrooms and delicately layered crisp Potato Gratin. Made with the white chicken of the Bresse Gauloise breed from eastern France, it's regarded by many as the "aristocrat of the modern table poultry." The breed follows strict appellation protocols remaining one of many iconic and traditional dishes in French cuisine. The breed commands premium prices, and Somm's Table is one of the few establishments that serves this particular delicacy.

The delicate crispness and juicy texture of the meat brings fresh, clean and uncluttered notes complemented by the deep nutty and earthy hints of wild mushrooms. For Raphael and Julien, there's just no compromise when it comes to quality and authenticity, sourcing the freshest ingredients from their farms with a variety of vegetable crops originating from Europe. This also includes world-class quality meats and other ingredients imported from around the world.

Other hearty mains include the Ikejime Lapu-Lapu (P 550), Authentic Carbonara Pasta (P 730), A5 Wagyu Burger (P 990) and Duck Confit (P 1,480). And if you want to go all-out, Somm's Table also offers premium world class meats like the Gold Leaf Covered Super Prime Tomahawk (P 54,999), a massive 3 kg slab from Riverbend Ranch recognized as the best Angus beef in the US; the Super Prime Angus Beef Ribeye (P 4,400), Matsusaka A5 Wagyu Sirloin (price on a per gram basis), Pork Secreto Iberico (P 1,990) and French Veal Tournedos (P 1,700).   

From cocktails and starters to mains, Somm's Table is definitely the hottest new bar and dining destination in Makati. But save room for dessert...

The Apple Tatin (P 310) paired with ice cream caps your sumptuous feast at Somm's Table on a high note. The crispness of the flaky pastry shell with the sweet tartness of the apples is the perfect sweet ending for a memorable night out in the basement along Bolanos Street. And there's more... 

The Ube Cheesecake, made with the award-winning Agimat Ube Cream Liquor rounds out the indulgent desserts at Somm's Table

Pure indulgence, Somm's Table caps the evening with local flavors infused in its traditional and creative fusion-inspired menu. Raphael and Julien clearly have something going for their restaurant and bar with its cool speakeasy vibe in Legazpi Village. But that's not all. Somm's Table is also a patisserie and deli...

Guests to the exclusive preview were given samples of their fresh-baked patisserie specialties...

...including Croissants (P 120/P 60 Mini), Pain Au Chocolat (P 120/P 60 Mini), Cinnamon Rolls (P 120), Mini Raisin (P 52), Mini Chocolate Twist (P 49) and the traditional Baguette. With its patisserie selection, Somm's Table is also the perfect spot for a late breakfast or afternoon snack offering hot beverages and coffee like Cappuccino (P 180), Coffee Latte (P 180), Macchiato (P 150), Cafe Americano (P 180) and Irish Coffee (P 290).

The Deli offerings at Somm's Table is equally impressive with its Cold Cuts selection like Speck, Serrano Ham, Mortadella con Pistachio, Chorizo Iberico, Salsichon, Guanciale, Rosette, Coppa, Hickory Smoked Bacon and Lomo. The Cheese selection includes Brie, Brie Truffle, Vieux Pané, Manchego Iberico, Truffle Manchego, Bufala Manchego, Gouda, Parmesan 36 Months, Bleu d'Auvergne or blue cheese, Gorgonzola, Scamorza and Fresh Mozzarella

Somm's Table is open from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm, 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm Wednesdays to Mondays so plan accordingly. 

Bar, restaurant, patisserie and deli. And you'll find it in the basement along Bolanos Street in Makati. Like they say, you'll never know what you'll find in the basement. But on thing's for sure. You'll find a hidden gem adding to the vibrant culinary landscape of Makati, at Somm's Table... 

Somm's Table is located at the basement of Corner Exchange Building, Bolanos Street, Legazpi Village, Makati. You can call 0945 975 6772 for inquiries or visit their website at for more information. You can also visit their FB Page at  and IG Feed at for more updates.

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