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“2nd visit left a "bad taste" in my mouth”
Review of Sampan

Sampan
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Ranked #43 of 4,372 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Walnut
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“2nd visit left a "bad taste" in my mouth”
Reviewed October 5, 2012

The first time my husband and I went to Sampan I absolutely loved it. The service was excellent and the food was delish!! I knew that we would be back often.

Sadly, the second time we visited was not so great. Everything was fine until they brought out our pork belly bao buns. We had ordere these on out first visit and they were excellent. This time, on my husband's second bite, he said something tasted weird. When we inspected his food, we realized that the piece of pork belly on his bun was devoid of any meat and was essentially just a big piece of fat, breaded and deep fried. GROSS. Though we normally don't send anything back, we realized that no one would want to eat this and alerted our server, asking if we could just have one new bun, not a whole order.

He in turn brought the manager over who VERY arrogantly informed us that what we ordered was "pork belly" and it tends to have a lot of fat on it and maybe we would be more comfortable with a chicken bao bun. I almost punched him with the way he was talking down to us. We are very aware of what pork belly is and of the fact that it can be very fatty. We also know that if this guy ordered 5 lbs of pork belly from a purveyor for his restaurant and they brought him a big chunk of just fat, he would also return it. I have worked in and managed restaurants myself, and there is nothing worse than dismissing a customer and trying to make them feel inferior to you and your "food knowledge". Sadly, because of this one loser, we will not return to Sampan nor recommend it to anyone.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Conlo47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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383 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    225
    114
    32
    10
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Horsham, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
“Asian fusion with a zing!”
Reviewed September 26, 2012

Very hip bar/restaurant. Took the whole family (three kids) to this restaurant. Everything was served family style, so we got to try all the dishes, and they were excellent. Short ribs were outstanding. This chef really knows what he/she is doing. We had dessert and one took too long to come out, so they comp'd it. I thought the desserts were expensive for what you got, but that didn't take away from the meal.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Roger S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
32 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“awesome food!”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Sampan is in an awesome location, and serves great Asian cuisine. I love the crab wonton tacos and I highly recommend them. They make their drinks very strong!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank AllisonF3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful Day”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We sat outside on a mild September evening for Happy Hour. The menu is small but lovely. Everything we ate was yummy. I had a delicious Pomegranate Martini and sampled the crsipy brussel sprouts, mushroom dumpling, shrimp and lobster Bao Bun . . . all perfect and great sizes! Great service and pretty decor inside.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jill T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Excellent Tasting Menu!”
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Absolutely awesome atmosphere. I definitely recommend the tasting menu ($45) You get about 7 dishes, they are small dishes but they add up quickly and you will leave satisfied. The dishes are all delicious. They also have an outdoor bar in the back alleyway, also very nice atmosphere.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ali W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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