Wednesday, August 28, 2013

#16 Sampan

Sampan for Brendan's 26th birthday! First, old. Second, you could say I am not the best at making decisions. I basically deflect most questions that involve decision making that come my way. Brendan highly dislikes this quality, so for his birthday I decided to make all of the plans and not tell him anything.  He highly disliked this as well, he may have asked me 12 times where we were going. It was pretty empowering I must say! So the plan was Sampan for dinner & then R2L for dessert and a drink (blog post to follow). Sampan is a contemporary Asian restaurant located at 13th and Walnut. I loved the decor inside. The bar was packed and there was a pretty large crowd sitting down for dinner as well. I always get weird about going out to eat on a Tuesday night. We passed way too many people walking to the gym on the way to the restaurant. But once we walked into Sampan that guilt was erased. There was a great vibe in there. Plus it is located right in Midtown Village amongst other great bars and restaurants like El Vez, Opa, McGillans, & Barbuzzo, so we were not alone in our Tuesday night outing.

I should also mention that Brendan works with someone who has an in at Sampan. If you're reading this Shannon, THANKS! We got completely treated the entire time. The waitress kept bringing us food we didn't order saying "Compliments". We were confused at first, wondering if everyone gets these complimentary dishes but hey, keep 'em coming. Typical that on Brendan's birthday, that I planned, he is the one getting us hooked up with free food. Among this free food was Edamame Dumplings and Tuna Rice Crackers. The edamame dumplings were amazing, definitely a great combo of two Asian dishes that I love. The tuna rice crackers were a little above our adventurousness. Especially for Brendan, he is not a seafood fan. It was a blob (for lack of a better word) of tuna over warm rice crackers. I guess his hunger got the best of him because he actually ate one! So proud!

Sampan is meant to be a small plates type restaurant. The waitress described the menu like "On the left hand side you have our smaller dishes, and on the right hand side you have our dishes that are more entree sized, but the point is to order 4-6 dishes and share among each other". For no reason at all, this stressed me. So do you want us to order one small dish and 2 entrees? or 4 small dishes? Someone tell me what to dooo! Emphasizing my fear of decision making even further.

 We came to the conclusion to order 2 small dishes and 2 entrees. We started with the Chicken Mustard Satay. So good, had a kick to it, too! We also got the Seafood Lettuce Cups. They were basically lettuce wraps with HUGE shrimp and noodles inside. Also really good.

For the entree portion of the meal, I got the Shrimp Pad Thai. The only other time I had Pad Thai was at a BYOB Thai restaurant in Scranton where my roommates and I brought jugs of wine and basically only went there because we could drink for cheap. (Surprisingly, Scranton was slightly lacking in their BYOB eating establishments.) Anyways, the pad Thai was truly great. The combo of the light noodles (Brendan asked if they were onions.....) and peanut flavor was spot on.

Brendan ordered the Crispy Szechuan Chicken. This dish basically reminded me of sesame chicken. Also delicious and went well with the pad Thai noodles.

The total bill was $79. For all of the food we got I am not complaining at all. We had such a great time here. The menu wasn't huge so I am not going to rush back here, we got to experience mostly everything we wanted to on the menu, but I would recommend to others! I also would like to apologize for my lack of food descriptions. Great & good & delicious can get a bit dull, but all I know is that I liked everything.Thanks Sampan!

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