New eats: Somm's Table is a worthy addition to Makati's restaurant scene

Jeeves de Veyra

Posted at Sep 23 2022 06:18 PM

MANILA -- Makati’s Legaspi Village is a haven for those looking for good food as restaurants and cafes can be found left, right, and center. But to get to Somm's Table, one of the area’s new destinations, one must venture underground.

Part speakeasy, part brasserie, Somm's Table is a worthy addition to the block bordered by Esteban and Bolanos Streets which already has a varied selection of cafés and restaurants. The sign, by the down ramp to the Exchange Building, is on the smaller Bolanos street and is quite easy to miss. There are some parking spaces for guests after business hours -- and in Legaspi Village, that’s a big plus.

Inside Somm's Table. Jeeves de Veyra
Inside Somm's Table. Jeeves de Veyra

The vibe is that of a cozy hidden lounge performance space minus the smoke. A grand piano sits at the center, with colorful posters bringing color to the interiors.

Owner Raphael Gries puts the "Somm" in Somm's Table. With a WSET 4 certified sommelier at the helm, one can bet that the wine cellar that spans the length of the restaurant has a well curated collection. From affordable bottles of Bordeaux to those worth six or even seven figures, they have something for every budget and palate. The bottles are mostly old-world European, so someone who likes French wines would have a nice selection to choose from.

Gries and his chef, Julien Sobolewski, found themselves in the Philippines after Brexit aborted one of their projects in the UK. Gries even managed Kabayan Grill, a Filipino restaurant in Isabela owned by in-laws, for a while until he had the opportunity to open this new restaurant in Makati.

Julien Sobolewski and Raphael Gries of Somm's Table. Jeeves de Veyra
Julien Sobolewski and Raphael Gries of Somm's Table. Jeeves de Veyra

The menu at Somm's Table, like the wines in the cellar, is predominantly French food. Gries himself has been in Michelin-starred restaurants since he was 14, having worked for the likes of Joel Robuchon, Eric Frechon, and Eric Briffard. He serves everything from French pastries and small plates for pica-pica to big-ticket cuts of steaks, along with recommended bottles of wines.

Here are some choice selections from Somm’s Table:

Gries said that this Gazpacho is just a summer dish that is served in the south of France where he’s from. This one has roasted tomatoes, bell pepper, and goat cheese. Jeeves de Veyra
Gries said that this Gazpacho is just a summer dish that is served in the south of France where he’s from. This one has roasted tomatoes, bell pepper, and goat cheese. Jeeves de Veyra
The St. Jacques Scallops on a green pea mash was a nice savory appetizer. Jeeves de Veyra
The St. Jacques Scallops on a green pea mash was a nice savory appetizer. Jeeves de Veyra
This understated combination of speck, croutons, and cheese was elevated by smoking the lightly tossed salad in cherry wood. Jeeves de Veyra
This understated combination of speck, croutons, and cheese was elevated by smoking the lightly tossed salad in cherry wood. Jeeves de Veyra
This French onion soup was a case of onion-ception – made with three different types of onions and served inside an onion bulb, with 6-month aged parmesan. The buttery-garlicky crouton on the side is meant to be dipped and bit into. Jeeves de Veyra
This French onion soup was a case of onion-ception – made with three different types of onions and served inside an onion bulb, with 6-month aged parmesan. The buttery-garlicky crouton on the side is meant to be dipped and bit into. Jeeves de Veyra
Perhaps as a nod to his experience with Filipino food, Gries serves up an indulgent lumpia with foie gras and duck confit. Already rich as it is, dipping this with truffle cream strangely balances the whole dish out. Jeeves de Veyra
Perhaps as a nod to his experience with Filipino food, Gries serves up an indulgent lumpia with foie gras and duck confit. Already rich as it is, dipping this with truffle cream strangely balances the whole dish out. Jeeves de Veyra
Everything in the Egg Nest dish is edible, and breaking the nest of crispy rice noodles and letting that absorb the poached egg with salmon and 20-year Imperial caviar make for a refined bite. Jeeves de Veyra
Everything in the Egg Nest dish is edible, and breaking the nest of crispy rice noodles and letting that absorb the poached egg with salmon and 20-year Imperial caviar make for a refined bite. Jeeves de Veyra
One would expect the Green Pea Risotto to have subtle flavors, but this one is very tasty. But as with most risottos, it would be nice with a squirt of lemon for some brightness. Jeeves de Veyra
One would expect the Green Pea Risotto to have subtle flavors, but this one is very tasty. But as with most risottos, it would be nice with a squirt of lemon for some brightness. Jeeves de Veyra
Salmon was perfectly cooked, with the apple chutney nicely adding fruitiness to it. Jeeves de Veyra
Salmon was perfectly cooked, with the apple chutney nicely adding fruitiness to it. Jeeves de Veyra
The Moroccan-inspired Lamb Ragu on fettuccine has a nice al dente texture. Jeeves de Veyra
The Moroccan-inspired Lamb Ragu on fettuccine has a nice al dente texture. Jeeves de Veyra
Poulet de Bresse is to chicken, as Iberico is to pork, or Wagyu is to beef. It's a marque of excellence reserved for chicken grown in a small region of France. The kitchen at Somm's Table accompanies this with a wild mushroom gravy and a potato gratin. Jeeves de Veyra
Poulet de Bresse is to chicken, as Iberico is to pork, or Wagyu is to beef. It's a marque of excellence reserved for chicken grown in a small region of France. The kitchen at Somm's Table accompanies this with a wild mushroom gravy and a potato gratin. Jeeves de Veyra
The Tarte Tatin with razor-thin slices of apple rolled in the pastry showed off the desserts of the restaurant. It was a nice bite with Gries' version of the Galette du Mont Saint-Michel – a buttery cookie, and a dollop of ice cream. Jeeves de Veyra
The Tarte Tatin with razor-thin slices of apple rolled in the pastry showed off the desserts of the restaurant. It was a nice bite with Gries' version of the Galette du Mont Saint-Michel – a buttery cookie, and a dollop of ice cream. Jeeves de Veyra
For the last dessert, Gries tops the cheesecake made with a local ube crème liqueur with chocolate shavings. Jeeves de Veyra
For the last dessert, Gries tops the cheesecake made with a local ube crème liqueur with chocolate shavings. Jeeves de Veyra

What’s next for Gries and Sobolewski? They are planning to further develop the farm where they harvest ingredients for their concepts, and are also targeting to open their very own pizza concept in the near future.

Somm’s Table can be found at the first basement of the Exchange Building on Bolanos Street in Legaspi Village, Makati and is open from Wednesday to Monday , 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. More details are available on the restaurant's social media pages. 

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