Sampan review image



124 S 13th St, Philadelphia
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This pan-Asian spot should be one of the first places you go when you’re in Center City and want to post up somewhere for Happy Hour. That's because Sampan has a few excellent dishes on the menu like edamame dumplings, cheesesteak bao, kung pao chicken, and shrimp pad Thai that you can bite into while sipping on $25 fish bowls that mix tequila, white wine, green tea, and grapefruit in one gigantic plastic cauldron.  

This Midtown Village spot, which is from the same people behind Double Knot, specializes in small plates like buns, rolls, fried rice, and noodle dishes. And when you come for that Happy Hour after a long day at the office, you should focus on dishes like Kobe sliders, a chicken katsu boa with smoked mustard as cabbage, and kimchi fried rice for $6. The outdoor seating is open for every season, plus when you want to just drink and snack, you can just hop on into the alley and hit up Graffiti Bar since they've got the same menu.

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Food Rundown

Edamame Dumpling

Just like the bowl you get at Double Knot, this doughy and chewy dumpling is stuffed with edamame, and comes swimming in a light sake broth. The truffle in the blend doesn’t overwhelm it, so when you bite into the warm pouch, all you’ll taste is the earthiness of the pea shoots and the subtle sweetness of the soup.

Cheesesteak Bao

There’s a growing number of places in the city reworking cheesesteaks into things like fries and pizzas. Here they pack small strips of beef and melted provolone into these small perfect circles. Their baos are tossed in the pan so the bottom has a nice char on it, and each order comes with a cherry pepper relish that’s both oniony and sweet.

Korean BBQ Beef Satay

They have four satay skewers here, but this is the one you should get. The beef is tender with a gingery glaze and a scoop of peppery kimchi on top to give it a bit of a crunch.

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