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.
The bottleshop side contains a fine, small range of well-chosen 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 form up front, but moves to well-handled sourdough pizza for mains. It’s nothing revolutionary, but the kitchen has a deft hand for plating simple, enjoyable dishes.
Ceviche comes with tomato and corn chips. Rosemary and garlic flatbread can be added to with prosciutto or stracciatella. And pre- or post-pizza, crusts can be ordered on their own to be dipped into pesto, sugo or chipotle aïoli. And 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.