Sampan - Philadelphia

4.7
3452 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 3452 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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OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined 5 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food and service! Everything comes out as it’s ready so it’s all hot and fresh, which is always appreciated. I requested intimate seating for my reservation and they set us up in a wonderful spot. Will definitely be back!

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 5 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was beyond amazing! Loved every bite

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dining experience. Food was very prompt and delicious . Our waitress was great along with Josh one of the managers on staff that night. He came by to check on us and went above and beyond to make sure we were completely satisfied. -john table with 2 girls friday night

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food, impeccable service, great value, good ambiance.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 1

Only the service was very good. Food was adequate- taking Asian fusion too far. Suggest they dial it back

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Service was awesome! Everyone working was so friendly and was attentive. Food was good. Portions were a tad small but good quality.

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MI
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great happy hour options for food and drinks. Definitely a favorite and must see

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

All of the food here is fantastic, especially if you like to try a few different dishes as opposed to having one entree. We had a dietary restriction that was difficult for them to work around and they went above and beyond to do so, super cool! The only minor issue I had was that it was pretty noisy and surprisingly crowded for a Wednesday night, so I can’t even imagine what the weekends are like. Nice sultry atmosphere, but if you’re on a date and looking to talk it might be a bit too loud! I’ll be back without a doubt.

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HF
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The flavors at Sampan are unmatched. The prices are SO reasonable and the atmosphere is simply fun. DEFINITELY worth a visit if you are passing through Philadelphia.

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

Did the chef tasting menu and it was great. was so full after it was definitely a great choice for us.

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D
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 4

Super disappointed and annoyed is how our night started. My wife and I got engaged at Sampan 4 years ago on Valentines Day, and have returned each year to celebrate. As I always do, I requested a specific table which we had been sat at when we got engaged. Each year when we celebrate, the table is always ready no matter how busy they are, and each time the manager would come to the table with a glass of champagne to help us celebrate. NOT THIS TIME. As tonight was extremely bad weather the restaurant was relatively quiet. Which is unusual for them. We arrived 20 minutes early. Usually we stop at the bar, but tonight they seem to want to rush us to the table right away. I could tell the manager saw our notes in the reservation and completely ignored them. He told the hostess to get us sat right away. Ok, we followed the hostess into the dining room. She sat us at the very first table along the bar wall. Probably the worst table in the house, and there were many empty tables. When I mentioned I requested the table in the corner she mustered up all the attitude she could and replied...”yeah,well, it’s obviously being used now!!”. My wife looked at me in shock. I was like, WTF, IS SHE KIDDING ME WITH THAT REPLY!! Since we were celebrating I didn’t want to make a scene, but I was ready to walk out the door at that point! Who the hell does she think she is. We wanted to have a romantic dinner and we sat with three inches of two big guys dinning next to us, so close we might as well have been with them. The only saving grace was the food and service. Our server Scott was fantastic as is the service always. We will contemplate finding a new venue to celebrate, cause if this hostess and manager who worked tonight are the new faces of Schulson, i’ll Pass and find some place that appreciates loyal guests!! Step up your game Sampan! Treating loyal guests like crap does not make them return.

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KF
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service here are beyond amazing. Do the Chef's tasting!!!

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MS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Best!

Great Food, Great Service

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A
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and our waitress could not have been more helpful! we had a difficult allergy which she was able to accommodate and recommend what we should have. Between the two of us we had 2 entrees and four small plates and left full - we will definitely be going back!

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b
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about our experience was great. We were seated for our reservation right away. We told the waitress we were seeing a show and she ensured all of the food was delivered timely and we had plenty of time to get to the theatre. We went with the Chef’s 7-course selections and asked for the Chef’s recommendation of dishes. It did not disappoint!

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OT
Springfield
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love that they have vegan options available and their food is sooooo tasty!!!

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B
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a really good place for good quality food. Service is excellent. We were late to arrive for our reservation still they were nice to accommodate us. We have always enjoyed this restaurant.

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T
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Girls night out in Philly! Nicholas was a wonderful waiter ... great suggestions, great sense of humor and the right amount of attention. Loved our dinner and our cocktails

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G
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious. Great service.

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NA
London
9 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

We came 1 min after 15 min grace period (parking driven). They even acknowledged that it was 1 min (and by the way we were in the area for at least 3-4 waiting for them to be done with someone who had table for a later time and was looking for her friends). Still they didn’t have table for us - and clearly they couldn’t give it to anybody as we would see them). So we ended up with two seats at the bar- was ok for us and we had a nice waitress but I really dislike these kind of places. Then of course typical when you order wine and it says 2014 on the menu and they bring a bottle of 2016- those who drink wine will know that it varies by year including price - and usually younger is cheaper but of course you get charged the same as on the menu :) food pulls our numbers up as it was very good and well done, interesting too. We will be back for food with our teenagers but the service can be better if you want to have nicer adults meal.

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AV
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food made with a light touch and fresh ingredients. I always feel like I'm clean eating here.

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EC
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Love the cozy atmosphere! Food was really good - brussels sprouts are a must! Only dish we weren't thrilled with was the Pad Thai - a little to saucy and sweet for us. But definitely a fun experience with my daughter! Thank you!

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J
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Had a reservation for 5pm, Uber driver missed her turn and we arrived at 5:10pm. The restaurant was full and there was a line nearly out the door to the hostess stand. When we finally reached the hostess, it was 5:17. She informed me they have a 15 minute grace period for reservation so we couldn’t be seated. Not sure if they expect guests cut the line if there is a reservation or what but ended up having to wait 20+ minutes for a table. Food was a tad underseasoned, but the happy hour is an incredible value. Also had a great waiter!

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LB
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Overall, pretty good! Nothing too innovative in terms of “modern Asian”- crispy rock shrimp in spicy aioli, pork belly boa buns, all the usual stuff. The sea bass was really good, particularly the mushroom and curry. The waygu skewers were quite small and I although they were good, I probably wouldn’t order again for $13. The chicken stir fry was awesome as well! The hamachi crudo was very good, but also extremely small portions. Would return!

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OT
El Paso
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really wanted to try out something completely different than what we’ve experienced before, and also something local to Philly. Sampan was an awesome choice! We loved every single one of the 10 dishes our table shared, and the ice cream was the perfect end to the meal. Our server was very friendly and dynamic, and it was a great experience!

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W
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Wonderful service. Good beers.
Clean establishment

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OT
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience! Loved that they accommodated us with a table that could handle the baby’s stroller. A perfect night out!

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KB
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Uniquely decorated. Delicious dishes.

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DC
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love love love the food. Although loud it’s a fun atmosphere everyone having fun gets loud! Will eat there every time I’m in Philly

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

The host was really rude. The restaurant was behind on tables, and we had to wait thirty minutes after our reservation to get our table. The guy working the front was rude and unfriendly throughout the process (from the moment I said hello to just check in). He seemed stuck up and arrogant. Otherwise, the food was good, and our waitress was nice.

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JC
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a reservation for 730p and we were not sat until past 830p. However they were very apologetic and offered us complementary appetizers, a round of drinks, and a dessert. Still overall a great time, and our out of town friends loved the food!

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AT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We had a friend in for the weekend and were very excited to take them out to Sampan, as it’s one of our favorites that we don’t get to visit very often because we have a toddler at home. Our reservation time was for 7 pm, but when we arrived we were told our table wasn’t quite ready as they were waiting for party to get up, 25 mins went by and a manager came over to let us know he was working on the problem and we would be seated shortly. After another 15 mins they offer us counter space which we said we didn’t want because we wanted to be able to talk to each other while we dined. The manager gave a bit of attitude about this and said we should basically take what they were offering because it was included in the reservation, this was after telling us 20 mins before that there was a table they were waiting to clear for us. Finally at 8 we were taken to a table that seated two people even though there were 3 of us, my husband and I were sharing a single booth spot. Lucky for us the 3 top next to us opened up and I was able to convince them to give us that table. After all of that we were sent two complimentary appetizers, but we were also rushed through our dinner. Like I said in the beginning we never get to go out to a nice dinner, so this experience was extremely frustrating. The food was delicious, I just wish things were handled a little better.

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

We went to Sampan on a recommendation from a friend and wow it didn’t disappoint! We opted for the tasting menu and every dish we tried was fantastic.

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DG
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was such a welcoming experience. We had a reservation, we didn't have to wait. Ambience was great! Young crowd. Our server was very friendly, she suggested all the good stuff on the menu. Food came very quick, very fresh and very delicious. It is our fourth time going there, as a date or with friends, always a pleasure to be back!

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about Sampan was amazing. The service is OUTSTANDING as is the food. Definitely a must if you’re in Philadelphia !! Won’t disappoint.

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SW
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best happy hour in the city. Great food, great service and atmosphere!

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I really enjoyed Sampan. The food had so much flavor and the ambience is perfect. Our server was quick and attentive and everything came out really fast. Definitely one of my favorite places to go for Asian food in Philadelphia.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent find while visiting Phila., looking for Asian food. Delish.

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MN
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing, the time it took for them to bring us our food was perfect. Would recommend this to anyone that wants good food and scene!

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S
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Had a reservation for 930pm and we were not seated until after 10pm. Food was ok... I wasn't impressed. It was something new but my husband and I will not return.

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