Sampan - Philadelphia

4.7
3536 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 3536 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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New England
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience! The bartenders were very attentive and friendly. The food was excellent!

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OT
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely go with the tasting menu!

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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was incredible. Went for happy hour and was bummed that you couldn't get some of their options if you were seated in the dinner dining room but it was still all delicious

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RA
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

A great dining experience - the food was phenomenal - cannot wait to go back and try the items we didn't do the first time.

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AA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it...food was excellent. We did the tasting menu and everything we tried was fantastic. We couldn't decide on what we liked best. So worth eating here.

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Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Had a reservation, checked in early and was still seated a half hour after my reservation time. However, the food was amazing and executed quickly. Would go back again simply for the food.

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AB
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Great meal. Server was knowledgeable and everything was prepared perfectly. Only issue was that it is very loud inside and tables are packed closely together.

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ES
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always fast service and great, consistent food quality.

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H
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service were outstanding. All of the dishes we ordered were seasoned perfectly and appealed to our taste (Brussel sprouts, seafood mix, crab tacos, and lobster Chow fun). Although it was crowded the noise level was not overwhelming, but we weren’t sitting in the bar area. We definitely will visit again and highly recommend.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Seated quickly, great table, solid service

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 5

Was just ok

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o
Philadelphia
22 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Had been here once before with a large group and remembered the food as very good, so was excited to visit again with my partner. We were underwhelmed. Why is it so hard to have both good food and good service in the same meal? Service was friendly and attentive. Tuna and rice crackers was the high point. All our other dishes were simply not interesting. We defined it as "pan-Asian food for people without a passport." Black pepper beef dumplings packed any zest or fire. Peking duck had delicious bao buns, but the duck itself was far too chewy and tough. Given the competition on 13th St., I think they have to up their game.

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a
Philadelphia
54 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great meal at Sampan on Friday night. With the Opentable reservation, we were seated right on time, avoiding the line to dine outside. Our server was very helpful, although she never did tell us her name so I can’t thank her personally. We really enjoyed the Wagyu beef and wound up ordering a 2nd one. The cheesesteak dumplings were really tasty too. Ordered several larger dishes with the favorite being the delightfully tasty and flavorful Chilean Sea Bass. Overall, a very enjoyable dinner, prompt and timely service and a definite place to eat at in Philadelphia.

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CJ
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great! There was a slight delay in our food, but the staff was so considerate and constantly checking in on our food and giving us updates.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Great vibe. Really enjoyed the time.

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P
New York Area
75 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food great as always. Tried a few new things this time, the rabbit egg rolls were really yummy. Crab tacos a big hit as well!

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SD
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was perfect & wonderful in every way! I will absolutely be back soon!

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Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Really enjoyed our experience! The service was outstanding and the food for the most part was delicious. However, we were a little disappointed with the Pekin Duck. It was tough, chewy and not seasoned well. We then ended up ordering the Chilean Sea Bass which was incredible! Overall, we enjoyed Sampan and will definitely be back.

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J
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Our second time. Food was delicious and well prepared. Loved the variety of entrees and presentation. Great place to share and have fun! Yes, a bit noisy … but fun!

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D
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

highly recommend this asian fusion. delicious and original, creative food. convenient and great service

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OT
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We both loved it. Unique menu and great food.

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RN
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fun place to dine out with a small group. Lots of options for how to dine. Great cocktails! Just wish it was easier to read the menu in dim lighting and hear any conversation.

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K
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

For how popular this restaurant is, the food and the ambience was at most mediocre. My husband and I had the pleasure of eating really good food while visiting Philly and we were excited to try out a Asian fusion restaurant. The restaurant however was disappointing. It was too loud inside and the food we ordered was sub-par. We ordered the vegetable chive dumplings which came drowned in sauce and we ordered the edamame dumplings which were better but not great. The price point was decent.

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MM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our waiter/service was really good and the food was delicious. It was a little loud but we had a great time.

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OT
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Tried various courses as part of the tasting offering. Food was generally good. Decent level of spice. Swordfish kebabs were a standout. Seating cramped. Nightclub vibe not compelling nor conducive to conversation. One visit will be sufficient.

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Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing and the waitress was especially helpful regarding the menu . We’ll definitely be back !

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DM
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent meal . Very busy even at 5:00 but the service was efficient.

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TR
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. We always do the chef tasting because why not? You get to choose more than one thing and it's perfectly portioned. And you get mini ice cream cones at the end. Worth it,

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, amazing food!

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M
Atlantic City
12 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sampan is amazing. I come every year on the same day and get the tasting menu. It’s delicious!

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Poconos
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent all around. We loved the tasting menu, and it was a good value!

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

This place is just ok. There was nothing wrong with the food or the service but they were just ok, and at a price that should have brought far better than ok. None of the food was anything special. The dishes were rather generic, nothing that lives up to the price you are paying. I would suggest saving yourself some money and go to Chinatown.

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a
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing. Service top notch. Informed service staff and attentive service that was never intrusive. Great suggestions. My party and I enjoyed every minute,
I highly recommend the chef’s tasting menu. The best of every category on the menu.
Edamame dumplings and wings might be my favorites.

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New England
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Great happy hour. Good prices on cocktails and appetizers

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CR
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was simply amazing. The service was excellent.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was so good!

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MB
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was fantastic - I have a seafood allergy and she could not have been more helpful in not only letting me know what options I did have but got creative with options. Will be returning again!

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TC
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it. Love it every time. Husband and I had a great time. Tried chefs sampler. And it was great.

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NM
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Noisy. Too much fried food for our liking. The 29 year olds were more happy than us baby boomers.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 4

Drove to Philly for a get together with friends we haven’t seen in a while. We had a reservation for 7:30 but our friends unfortunately got stuck in traffic and didn’t get there until 749. My husband and I had checked in 20 mins early but couldn’t be seated until our whole party was there. When our friends arrived we were told we had lost our table but could be seated at the kitchen bar, where it would be impossible to catch up. The host told me I was texted to tell me we would lose our table but he texted the wrong number. He told me it didn’t matter, they knock you after 15 minutes, even though some of us were there in time. I pleaded that we were only a few minutes over and he was sure to tell me that meant we were 19 minutes late and there was nothing else they could do. He almost lost the restaurant customers who drove an hour to be there and were looking forward to the meal for weeks. I made one more attempt to be seated and he finally sat us at a table intended for a smaller party. We were happy to get a seat, but it did make it difficult when doing the tasting menu since food comes out rapidly as it is ready and we had no room. I loved the food and our waitress was wonderful. We understand it’s a busy restaurant in the city, but stuff happens and it would have been nice if they were a little more flexible.
I would go back because I understand one rude host doesn’t make up the whole restaurant,but probably not when I am wanting to catch up with friends. It was really loud and very dark (I could barely see the food in my plate) and we felt we were being rushed out the door. We will probably just do a bunch of apps next time. They were our favorite part!

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