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“Great change” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sushi Samba

Sushi Samba
Thingholtsstraeti 5, 101, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
+354 568 6600
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Ranked #67 of 321 Restaurants in Reykjavik
Cuisines: Sushi, Brazilian, Japanese, Asian fusion
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Sushi samba offers a unique fusion of Japanese and South American cuisine combined with the freshness of Icelandic ingredients. The Sushi samba meu is created to fully capture and draw from those influences and offers a wide array of great selections, exciting small courses, new style sushi and even an amazing steak platter - perfect for two.
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Great change”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013 via mobile

Having been in Reyjkavic for a night and the wilderness for 3 we were looking for something different, so went with the recommendation to Sushi Samba. Great place, busy and buzzing, with people dressed up and some casual. Service was a bit ho hum, but I guess they were pretty full. In all loved the sushi, and sashimi just what we were looking for. It is on the expensive side but it is Iceland.

Visited April 2013
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252 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Amwaj Islands, Bahrain
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Thoroughly enjoyable if you choose the Samba (a little pricey though, even for Iceland)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We visited Sushi Samba whilst we were staying at the CenterThingHolt Hotel (next door) February last year. We had been craving to sample some of the fresh Icelandic sushi for the whole duration of our trip and decided to therefore treat ourselves to a meal here for our final night. The reason it was a "treat" was because whilst most restaurants feel pricey in Iceland to the international tourist anyway, this place was particularly expensive, however from the great reviews we had heard through various sources we decided it had to be tried. The place was also always busy every night and we felt lucky to book a table when we did.

The atmosphere was rather dimly lit with a reddish tone, and had samba music playing. It was a fun atmosphere and good for groups (there were quite a few). Personally for me, it bordered on being a little too dark and a little too loud (particularly as a dining couple) yet at the same time the atmosphere grew on me as I became more accustomed to it throughout the meal.
Service at the start was good; it wasn't the best service ever experienced, but it was happy, friendly and relaxed. We had to ask for an explanation of the menu options, but once asked the waiter was helpful.

As we looked around at other tables, next to us there was a large table enjoying a platter of sushi rolls, and then quite a few other tables were enjoying skewered-meat dishes. Bizarrely, despite both myself and my boyfriend heading to the restaurant craving and assuming that sushi was going to be our meal of choice, from what we saw, we decided to order a samba meal instead. The sushi appeared to just be a large volume of identical rolls/nigri etc. and nothing stood out as being particularly appealing. I like a bit of variety and don't recall there being a Bento-box option (or perhaps there was but it felt overpriced - I cannot quite remember). Sashimi tends to be my favourite and I don't think this was available in the Sushi Taster menu. Either way, eventually we decided on the Samba Taster menu... and we were truely not disappointed!

Our food arrived fairly quickly (but not too quickly). The tenderness, and flavours of the juicy meat, along with the presentation of each dish was amazing! Simply amazing! In particular, I also have to mention how fabulous the accompanying sauce was. Everything with regards to the food was perfect!

Another point worth mentioning is that half-way through our meal, a dish was brought to our table that we had not ordered. When we questioned it, the waitress was very polite and relaxed as she went to find out what had happened to our order. After enquiring with her manager & the kitchen, she swiftly returned to our table, apologised for the confusion and confirmed that we had ordered a different dish instead which they would bring to our table as soon as possible. She then invited us to enjoy the extra dish free of charge. The scenario, could have been somewhat uncomfortable at some establishments I have visited in the past, but we felt this error in our order could not have been dealt with any better or with any more ease by the staff. Plus we got to enjoy an extra tasty dish - bonus!

As previously mentioned, the overall price was somewhat steep, but in relation to how expensive dining out in Iceland had generlly been for us elsewhere we didn't feel the value had been heavily overpriced (although it is worth noting that wine is particularly pricey).

All in all, we left feeling that we had enjoyed a fabulous meal.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Dublin, Ireland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Visited this restaurant last Friday whilst in Reykjavik for Easter weekend. Found the whole experience brilliant - great food, great cocktails and great atmosphere. My friend had the sushi samba taster meal (apparently amazing) and I had vegetarian sushi, all of which was delicious. Especially the desert! We tried Fish Market also but found this restaurant not only much better, but also better value. Would definitely recommend going here if going to Reykjavik.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Good drinks”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

I was able to walk right in and be seated. I thought my meal which included sushi was just average. Nothing I ate really made me go, this is great.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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San Francisco, California
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Pricey Mediocrity”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

I dragged myself and five friends to Sushi Samba because it was the highest rated of the handful of sushi restaurants found by the TripAdvisor mobile app, but I wish I'd found somewhere else because the experience didn't justify the tab of nearly $100 USD per person.

All five of my friends ordered the five-course tasting, but I was the lone exception. I love maki mono, so I handpicked five rolls a la carte. It wasn't until my friends had all received their fourth course that any of my rolls appeared, but once they did, they all tasted nearly identical. From the sauces to the other toppings to even the cuts of fish themselves, no flavor stood out. I don't know how a volcano roll can be barely distinguishable from a rainbow roll (or be bland), but it was.

The lone standout was the foie gras roll, which was absolutely delicious except for the rice. Each piece of foie gras sat atop what must have been a 1.5-inch cube of tasteless, mushy rice. All the other rolls had way too much rice as well, which would have been at least tolerable had it tasted like well-prepared sushi rice.

My friends weren't quite as disappointed with their five-course tasting, but they weren't excited by it, either. They thought the alcohol pairing (sweet wines) was unusual for sushi, and everyone agreed that dessert was the best part of the meal.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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