Sampan - Philadelphia

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4.7
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3682 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Asian
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.
What 3682 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Philadelphia
120 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I going back to Sampan for the tasting menu...an excellent value that can't be beat!

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s
Philadelphia
27 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Second visit, ordered the prix fixe (1 entree, 2 appetizers, 4 other dishes, plus soft-serve dessert). Food was fresh and came quickly, server was very attentive. Cocktail (kantoi road, similar to a margarita) wasn't very flavorful. Some dishes were good (korean beef skewers were very tender), but most were very sweet, like Chinese take-out for Americans who don't want authentic flavors. The papaya salad tasted mostly of vinegar and salt, the shrimp pad thai tasted like ketchup. It's extremely noisy, I don't recommend the place for anyone over the age of 45 as it is very difficult to converse.

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GS
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything was excellent, but the food came at us too quickly. We were out in one hour.

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b
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The food looked great but the taste was a little lacking. The place is really special but the food is just okay. We did get ice cream cones to “smooth over” our disappointment.

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LD
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service with delicious food in a great location. Noise level is a little high but a great place for foodies and a fun night out.

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JG
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the city’s best - you can’t go wrong!! The food and service are always outstanding!!

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R
Philadelphia
25 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place to have a social gathering but noise level makes it difficult to have a conversation

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R
Philadelphia
47 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

Noisy. Food very spicy. Poor value for money. Probably ok for the twenty something crowd that likes dark places and high prices to get a meal.

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LL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Food excellent but so noisy hard to have a conversation with others at our table.

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BW
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My absolute favorite restaurant. If I could eat here multiple times a week I gladly would. Very fast service and friendly waiters. The food is always consistent in quality. I’ve tried over 15 things from the menu and still have not found anything that I haven’t absolutely loved!! This place is amazing

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P
Tampa
24 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We tried the tasting menu at $45/head so we could sample the various dishes. The pros were
Great service from Sam, and a very enjoyable selection of food. Highly recommend the filet,
general cho dumplings and swordfish. The cons were freezing cold air conditioning, tables packed
too close to each other (when a neighboring table leaves you hang onto your drinks in case they get
butt swiped, they’re that close), and lighting so dim that even Millennials have to pull their phones
out to read the menu.

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OT
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The food was extremely good. Korea beef and pork bao bun are a must!

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DG
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As usual, Sampan was great. Menu is amazing. Had edamame dumplings in broth. And Korean BBQ beef satay. Knockout was duck fried rice. Too much food for one person, but I did my best. And took an order of the duck fried rice home. Have tried many menu items over the years, including numerous items in a medium-size group. Last time I sat at the bar and shared orders with complete, but friendly, strangers. No problem going as a single or in a group. Reservations a must.

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N
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorites places for happy hour, such a great value for excellent food, outdoor seating was comfortable, friendly service, and great drinks. Highly recommend for meeting up with friends and catching up without breaking the bank

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DD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nick was the best server and all the staff there clearly knew what was going on. Fantastic food as well, would recommend for anyone!!

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MA
Philadelphia
52 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went for my husband’s birthday and overall things were great! The host and hostess were quite rude and snippy with us for showing up early. We were then told to wait at the bar once our reservation time was reached. We went to the bar, ordered a drink and then the host came to get us. But was annoyed when I told him he will need to wait as my drink was not yet ready.

Despite the host and hostess, our servers were great and the food was great! However, the kimchi fried rice had no actual kimchi in it. And the duck was one of the worst we’ve had! Sorry! It was not crispy, it was chewy and bland. However, the dumplings and boa buns were amazing! The best part was the sushi dessert!

We will be back as most of the food was fantastic! And the price was great for everything we ordered!

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LP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

I made the reservation well in advance to celebrate a co-worker’s fall admission to obtain her PhD. Upon sitting for less than 30 seconds the waitress was asking if we were ready to order. We both found it a bit puzzling, but we took it in stride. As the night progressed were rushed through our meal. For example, the waitress returned while we were still eating asking if we wanted to box up our food. She then returned with the same question minutes later. We complied and she returned with our food boxes and the check. At that point I was very annoyed and requested a desert menu. She snatched the check and came back with desert and new check in less than 8 minutes. We were constantly being watched by the hostess and interrupted multiple times by the staff for no real apparent reasons. The icing on the cake came when were chatting briefly preparing to exit when another staff came over to our table demanding that we leave. Yes, this woman came over telling us that they NEEDED THE TABLE AND WE COULD GO TALK AT THE BAR. When I asked for a few more minutes, SHE CONTINUE TO SAY, "WE REALLY NEED THIS TABLE, WE NEED THIS TABLE NOW!" This was not done in a discreet manner. In fact, the couple next to us heard the whole conversation and proceeded to ask us to confirm it. It was totally embarrassing and RUDE! Every time I come into this place there is some hostess or waitress being dismissive or rude. There is a culture of implicit racial bias going on with staff of this restaurant. After confronting the ignorant staff, I promptly requested my signed check (with 20% tip) and I deleted the tip. I REFUSE TO GIVE MY GREEN CASH TO SOME LOW-LEVEL WAIT STAFF THAT THINK THEY CAN TREAT ANYONE WITH SUCH DISRESPECT. The couple next to us had their take-out bags visible but THEY (WHITE) were never once asked to vacate their table. They too were talking and NOT preparing to leave. We were thinking of hosting an academic dinner meeting at Sampan. It's a NO now.

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L
Dallas
18 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Sampan is always delicious. One of my favorite Philly spots. For best value, do the tasting menu!

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N
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is always excellent there. The service was even great despite the crowd in the restaurant.
I made a reservation for 2 on a Monday evening, glad I did because it was busy.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The food was great and came out hot and fresh! Place is a little on the noisy side but great if your looking for a vibrant atmosphere.

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c
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sampan is one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia! The service is impeccable as well as the food. The menu is tapas style with an Asian influence. Each dish is carefully thought out, curated and presented. The flavors and textures play in your mouth to create an ultimately wonderful experience. The soup dumplings keep me coming back! The cocktails are very good and compliment most of the food choices perfectly. I highly recommend this spot, and will be back again and again!

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SP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Said great and that is all I need to

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BB
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went and invited friends for my birthday dinner. It was a great experience and everyone loved it. The food was great and the family style food was a nice change.

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C
New Orleans
12 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s hard to pick a favorite dish, but the seven course tasting menu is definitely the way to go! We never leave disappointed (or hungry)!

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OT
Tucson
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Birthday celebration with family

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WA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We were a party of 12 celebrating our daughter’s high school graduation. Food was excellent. We had a variety of small plates including the cheesesteak bao, veggie dumplings, general tso soup dumplings. Larger plates included spicy beef chow fun, Peking duck rice, filet mignon, and chicken stir fry. I cannot explain how delicious everything was. Fun night celebrating!

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CH
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved Sampan! Fast friendly service, amazing food, and great atmosphere

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful start to finish! Highly recommend

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AC
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

The food was really good! I love how the menu is shareable. The server was really nice but service was really slow that night. Not sure if it was just super busy or it's always slow. We weren't in a rush so it wasn't a big deal but if you are, this might not be the place for you.

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GS
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service

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CG
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 5

Good food but service bad. Made a reservation but still made us wait half an hour before we sat down

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We got the chef's tasting and made all the selections ourselves. Everything was at least good, and most of the plates were outstanding. This was one of the best meals I've had downtown in many years. Will definitely be back.

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T
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had my birthday

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I were visiting from Boston so had never dined here. The waitress recommended the tasting menu which is what we got. The food was outstanding! The service was also top notch. We will return next time we visit Philadelphia!

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OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always have a great experience at Sampan. From the food to the service they have always exceeded our expectations.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great

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DI
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Food and service was outstanding. The music and noise level was really loud and took away from the experience.

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SD
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been to Sampan twice and absolutely love their food! It’s a fun vibe. Be sure to make a reservation-it gets really crowded. I highly recommend this restaurant!

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O
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Hi
Everything was terrific, good and service at table was great. Except Two things:
1, the music was too loud. Difficult to hear the people sittning next to you. And what Waiter said
2, when we got there we were waiting 10 minutes for the forth person. We har booked for four and knew he was on the way. Dispite this the woman at the entrance refused to seat us. This was very anoying and strange. i understundom you don’t want empty seats but you do certainly not feel welcome when you have booked and are not allowed to sit. And honestly we dis not understundom the reason very well. My suggestion would be to offer a small drink on the house or so by the bar if you really want to have everyone in place befor seated.
It is a bad first impression that takes a while to Washington of.

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