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About Sampan - Philadelphia
Sampan, an intimate new restaurant located in Center City, Philadelphia, serves a fun menu of modern Asian small plates, ideal for mixing, matching and sharing. The comfortable, inviting setting offers guests an intimate, up-close-and-personal experience with Chef Michael Schulson and the acclaimed cuisine that has made him one of the country’s most sought-after chefs. Designed by Philadelphia’s Sparks Design and Urban Space Development, Sampan offers seating for up to 120 guests in a warm, comfortable setting. The restaurant features reclaimed timber, distressed metals and a rustic, natural aesthetic anchored by a custom-crafted, color washed painting that illuminates the room and lends a soft, glowing ambiance to the cozy space.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Asian, Pan-Asian, Seafood
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Everyday Happy Hour: Everyday
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Hors d' oeuvres packages start at $15 per person per hour and dinner packages start at $40 per person. Open bar packages start at $25 per person for the first two hours and $7 for each additional hour should you be looking to entertain. Bar packages must be combined with either an hors d' oeuvres package or a dinner package and are not offered on their own.
Limited street parking is available, in addition to public parking lots on Sansom Street in between 12th & 13th Streets and 13th & Broad Streets. There is also a parking garage on the corner of 13th Street, in between Chestnut Street & Market Street.
Private Party Facilities:
Sampan was designed with entertaining in mind. Two identical dining rooms flank a central bar to allow for a total of 120 guests to occupy both dining rooms or a cocktail reception in excess of 150. The outdoor Graffiti Bar can host up to 75 additional guests with the same menus offered.
Private Party Contact:
Bridget Baran: (888) 858-6536
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Sampan is the perfect location for entertaining. Two identical dining rooms flank a central bar for a welcoming feeling with great energy. The restaurant can seat up to 120 for a sit down dinner or in excess of 150 for a social gathering. The outdoor Graffiti Bar can host an additional 75 and is fully heated and open 10 months out of the year. Our event coordinator will work with you personally and all menus are fully customizable.
Sampan - Philadelphia Ratings and Reviews
We were dining pre-theater on a Saturday evening and at 6 PM the restaurant was already very active! We were running late but the front were very understanding and accommodating! We wound up getting on of the tables at the front near the window looking out onto 13th, which was really fortunate. The one knock about Sampan has to be the noise level. With our table we only had to deal with sound coming from one direction and not all sides. Full bar with plenty of specialty cocktails and decent but not extensive list of wines by the glass. The menu offers plenty of small plates options but we opted for one small plate and an entree each. Our server, Amber, who was excellent, suggested that, since the servings are a little slight, that we might want to add a side. We normally would not but chose something different, the duck fried rice which was outstanding. We switched appetizers because my wife does not do spicy and the tuna cracker had some zip to it. The hamachi crudo had a wonderful presentation and was very flavorful. The sea bass and scallops entrees were very good choices. Amber was right, the portions are not large so the side dish came in handy. Definitely try the Yuzu tart for dessert and the sushi was interesting; vanilla ice cream wrapped in a peanut butter rice krispie treat served with chocolate sauce on the side. It had been seven years since we last visited Sampan and came away with a so-so feeling but, upon this visit, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it and stop back sooner when heading to the Forrest for a show!
The new fried chicken preparation is vastly inferior to the previous one. The umami chicken is nicely fried, but almost devoid of any flavor. The Korean Fried Chicken was succulent and extremely flavorful. Also, the brussel sprouts came out as 80% loose leaves and 20% actual sprouts.
To be fair, the General Tso Soup Dumplings are incredible. I very much enjoyed the BBQ Chow Fun.
My girlfriend was visiting Philadelphia for short couple of days and we were excited to try Sampan for a fun and overdue date night. We even arrived 10 minutes early so that we can get seated on time. We waited by the bar for another 20 minutes beyond our reservation time to be seated while three other parties of the same size for the same time arrived after us and were immediately seated. Turned out that they mistakenly seated the wrong couple ... understandable, but not even so much as an apology was given. Onwards and upwards; or so we thought. We finally got seated and then waiting another ten minutes to get a menu... again seeing another couple get seated next to us, greeted, and to have their order taken. No attention was paid to our table by the same waitress who didn't even mention any specials or explain the menu. The food came, and needless to say it was great as expected. It was both creative, delicious, and palate pleasing. Unfortunately the service continued to leave much to be desired and left a sour taste in both of our mouths. While my water would get filled periodically, not once in the entire meal did my dates glass be refilled(we had to resort to trading glasses with each other). We put all that behind us and we're ready to relax and finish our drinks while we waited for the dessert. EXCEPT, our waitress swiftly whisked away the empty plate remaining ... along with our 1/4 full fish bowl that we were still drinking. We turned to get her attention but she was gone... along with what was unfortunately left of our expensive but refreshing dark and stormy. The mini ice cream cones for dessert were a cute reprise but, although Sampan's food met my expectations, the service itself tarnished what would have been an otherwise great evening.
Simply put, the food is amazing. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Philly, for any occasion. I've taken dates, family, and business colleagues here - each time the staff was awesome and the food was out of this world. (Try the Brussel Sprouts, they're the best!) The first time I came here was for a bachelorette party. It was a last minute choice, but it was one of my favorite parts about the evening. Whether you're coming for dinner, happy hour, or just a quick bite, you can't go wrong with Sampan.
Disappointed is the word. When my date asked for Tito's on the rocks, he was given something that was surely a cheap alternative vodka. We are bartenders in New York, we know our Tito's. Our waitress, Amanda was the name I believe, was cold and uninterested. She didn't seem to be enthusiastic about her job or servicing her customers. I've been in the restaurant business for 7 years now and the service we received would just be unacceptable in any establishment i've worked in. The food was good, not great.
Great food. Went on a Saturday night so the service wasn't great, but, it was really crowded. To be expected. But I was on a date and it was really just too loud in there for conversation. I think I'd rather go back with my boys, who I'd rather hear less of anyway lol
the food was delicious but the tables were on top of each other! We sat at a table for 2 & the table next to us was touching our table, so when the people sat next to us it was like they joined us! Everything else was great but they need to give people more space.
Great food, as usual. 😊 The pork bun are amazing and the edamame dumplings...so good that we ended up ordering a second serving. The Waugh beef is tender and flavor full and the broccoli nice and charred! Only disappointment, the wine list. The prices are high for what they offer, we ordered a 70$ bottle of wine and wasn't good at all. The red wine was too cold, and felt very bitter even after we left it breath.
Next time will stick with the sake (they are good!)
I have dined at Sampan probably 20 times and never once have I been disappointed. The good is always amazing, fresh and quickly prepared. The drinks are strong and refreshing. The wagyu beef skewers are seriously unreal. Make sure you get them. We will absolutely be back soon!
The food was fantastic! Most of us ordered the chef's tasting menu--$45 pp, which was a great deal. We chose some of the items and let the chef do the rest. My son-in-law, an Atkins man, was allowed to order separately from the menu, very accommodating of them. We loved the beef (both on a stick and the filet as a main)and scallops in particular, though the crispy crab and soup dumplings were also hits. The seven of us sat at one table but broke into two groups in order to hear--the noise might be the only drawback.
Got the $45 tasting menu which is nice because you get to pick a dish from each of 7 categories. The only choice which fell flat was the fried chicken which was a bit dry - everything else was delicious, favorite was the sea bass and the edamame dumplings. I really enjoyed the sake flight. The noise level is very high due to open kitchen, loud music vibe, and sheer size. The service got the job done but smileless, impatient, and bored appearing. The pace hustles, we were in and out in an hour even with the 7 course tasting menu, the check was brought prior to dessert!
Great food, but this is the second time I've had a sour ending during my visit. Previously I experienced being asked to take our drinks to the bar to finish up so that they can give our table to another party that was waiting. Extremely rude. I finally got over that experience and decided to bring business associates to the restaurant for dinner. At the end of dinner, our server took our dessert orders, then rushed off and hurried back with our check. Yes, our server handed me the check before serving us dessert. What is this, Ihop? Extremely rude, and quite frankly it soured a lovely evening.
Before you even go to the restaurant, check out the Grafitti Bar which is right behind it and connected to Sampan. Have an appetizer or two and a glass of sake. It is a fantastic experience. We had the tasting menu and absolutely loved it. You get to choose two apps and then one each of meat, sides, fish, etc. It is served family style and was absolutely wonderful. The edamame dumpling was phenomenal. We also loved the duck. Between two of us we had one sake flight and it lasted the entire meal. It is a great way to try everything.
The seating is tight and at one point the meals starts coming out way too fast leaving no room on our table. It was unfortunate the wait staff didn't pace these better.
Sampan was great for a fun/romantic date night! The food came very quickly and the servers were nice and moved fast. Our main server gave her recommendations on the menu selections and was pretty attentive. We tried a few of the small plates and were very happy with them. It was an awesome date! We would definitely return. The only cons were the very dark lighting and the loud noise level. I may just be getting old though so take or leave that comment!
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