King Somm is a wine shop with a bar and casual restaurant on the side. It gets very busy with eastern suburbs locals who, hitherto, have been starved of the diversity and excitement of cool and interesting bars found in the more established restaurant precincts closer to the CBD. Bayswater has arrived.
The wine store contains a fine, small range of well-curated wines. Old-school booze hounds may blanch at some of the small-producer, low-intervention or “orange” wines on offer, but these traditionalists are well catered for too, with titles from Margaret River, New Zealand, Burgundy, the Jura, Spain and Italy.
Food is in the small and share plate format. It’s nothing revolutionary, but the kitchen has a deft hand for plating simple, enjoyable bar food and snacks.
Chorizo croquettes are standard stuff and nicely paired with a smoked (hickory) mayonnaise. Braised white beans were braised with silverbeet and hazelnuts and finished with dukkah and a silky, glossy quenelle of stiff labne. Superb, original and a bullseye spot-on dish for the wine-centric offer at King Somm. A salad of witlof, goat’s fetta and walnut is wine friendly and fresh. Pizzas are okay.
You can dine at the bar, at tables or hi-tops with stools or at the big communal table in the wine store.
King Somm has emerged to stake a claim as the first smart, articulate, fun and modern bar and restaurant in the slowly gentrifying village of Bayswater.