COM­MON TABLE

Wel­come to the spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor of the le­gendary gas­trop­ubs of Makati: Pep’s and Ponti. Ex­cel­lent food, le­gendary mu­sic playlists, and yes, ex­tremely beau­ti­ful peo­ple.

Let’s Eat - - WHAT'S INSIDE -

It was all very Veni, Vidi, Vici ev­ery Wed­nes­day and Fri­day night dur­ing the wild nights of my GTE days back in the 1990s. The jump-off point was al­ways the orig­i­nal Pep’s on Pasay Road; its name­sake and owner, Pe­pelou Ave­cilla, worked with us in the Yel­low Pages, and he al­ways as­sured us of dis­counts at his bar, which was our sec­ond home. Our fa­vorite post-work/pre-party en­ergy booster/ stom­ach liner was his “Ar­roz a la Cubana”, and we called it our “meal com­bat”, our “army ra­tions” be­fore we went off to bat­tle in Eu­pho­ria, Faces, and Mars, seek­ing to con­quer and per­haps, win the fa­vor of a fair maiden. Ten years later, Il Pon­ti­cello, with its se­cret stair­case, be­came the venue of choice for sim­i­lar shenani­gans. Just like Pep’s, Ponti had the per­fect pair­ing of ice cold booze and spec­tac­u­lar bar chow. There is a real need for ev­ery gen­er­a­tion to latch on to such a place where mem­o­ries are made and friend­ships are sealed. It’s the bar where ev­ery­one knows your name. I’ve found this decade’s coun­ter­part, and it’s eas­ily as good as, and in many ways, even bet­ter than the ones that came be­fore: Cheers to Com­mon Table!

Here’s the thing about Com­mon Table. You can come for the drinks and stay for the mu­sic, or come for the com­pany and stay for the danc­ing, or you can come for the food, and stay for more of the food. Or bet­ter yet, all three, most spe­cially, the lat­ter: a French-trained chef, af­ter all, one of the most re­spected and highly-re­garded in our coun­try’s restau­rant in­dus­try, is back there in the open kitchen, per­son­ally pre­par­ing some of the most ap­peal­ing and most sat­is­fy­ing ap­pe­tiz­ers and mains in Metro Manila. His name is Ian Padilla, and he spent two years cook­ing in the two Miche­lin-starred Taillevent in Paris, be­fore com­ing home to open the ground­break­ing fine din­ing La Girolle five years ago. It was a restau­rant truly ahead of its time. Chef Ian in­tro­duced three thou­sand peso tast­ing menus, as good as any in France, to the Titas and Titos of Manila, and when the con­cept had run its

course, the chef turned his at­ten­tion to a more ac­ces­si­ble menu, in a more ca­sual set­ting.

The dishes in Com­mon Table are friend­lier, but pre­pared with the same fi­nesse as La Girolle’s; Ian’s trusted kitchen fam­ily is with him in their new home: Sous Chef Rache Rodis and Chef de Par­tie Pete Tat­ing. It’s a team of true pro­fes­sion­als, and to­gether, they’ve com­posed the ab­so­lute best bar menu in town: their Oys­ter Sisig and Eggs & Foie are al­ready worth the trip to Sal­cedo Vil­lage. And do stay on for their baked-to-or­der Macadamia Cookie on a cast iron skil­let. It’s all to die for, or to fall for. The best way to de­scribe Com­mon Table’s spe­cials came from Let’s Eat’s very own master pho­tog­ra­pher, Gabby: if you bring him or her here. In­deed. Guar­an­teed good vibes, baby!

“THERE IS A REAL NEED FOR EV­ERY GEN­ER­A­TION TO FIND A PLACE WHERE MEM­O­RIES ARE MADE AND FRIEND­SHIPS ARE SEALED. COM­MON TABLE IS THAT SPE­CIAL BAR FOR THIS DECADE.”

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03 1 Eggs & Foie

2 Ground Floor Per­spec­tive

3 Oys­ter Sisig

4 Aburi Rice

5 Macadamia and White

Choco­late Skil­let Cookie

6 Chef Ian Padilla 04

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