Philly dim sum with a difference

Sampan, the creative Asian restaurant in Center City, is all about putting twists on classic dishes.

April 26, 2011 3:52:43 AM PDT
Up for brunch with a difference? Sampan, the creative Asian restaurant in Center City, is all about putting twists on classic dishes.

They've just added weekend brunch based on the classic Chinese favorite dim sum. Chef de cuisine Khamla Vongsakoun offers the steamed dumplings off the traditional pushcart, but with fillings you don't expect.

There's one filled with corned beef and sauerkraut -- an Asian take on the Reuben sandwich. There is a dumpling filled with soup that tastes like the Chinese standard General Tso's Chicken.

There are also pieces of barbequed rib meat, a shrimp-and-scallop creation, and chicken feet cooked with hoisin sauce -- something you'll probably like once you try it.

But the menu also accommodates brunch traditionalists. There's a straightforward steak and eggs plate, and the chef's version of smoked salmon.

Out at the bar, there are more brunch essentials done Sampan's way. The Mimosa is made with Asian citrus juices instead of orange. The Bloody Mary contains no Worcestershire sauce. Instead, it's made with Nam Pla, the fish sauce Thai chefs use to add saltiness to their dishes.

As with dinner, the staff at Sampan hopes you'll visit with an open mind and come prepared for a culinary adventure. Most dishes have some creative difference but no radical departure from your expectations.

Sampan is located at 124 S. 13th Street in Center City. Brunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. open Saturdays and from 11:00 a.m. to closing on Sundays. The dinner menu is available nightly.

For more information, phone (215) 732-3500, or go to their website, http://www.sampanphilly.com.


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