(As featured in 10 Most Awesome New Homegrown Restaurants That Matter in Manila 2016!) SAMBA is the first authentic Peruvian Restaurant by Peruvian Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray in Manila, located at Shangri-La at the Fort. We love it because of the ceviche with its leche de tigre sauce, its predominantly seafood and vegetable focused menu, and the flavors of the Peruvian chilis. We’ve been here three times already–during the Samba preview, the TBEX speakers’ event, and as paying customers for a Christmas dinner with our friends. Here’s our foodie guide to Samba… SAMBA Address: Level 8 Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Philippines Telephone: +632 8820 0888 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: Samba, Manila Instagram: @shangrilafort Twitter: @shangrilafort Youtube: Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila Website: https://www.samba-fort.com/ Shangri-La at the Fort Manila Staycation Series: • Shangri-La at the Fort: Why it is the Best Family Staycation in BGC?! (2018) • SAMBA: Manila’s Finest Peruvian Restaurant?! @ShangriLaFort (A Review) (2016) • RAGING BULL: Best Steakhouse & Bar in BGC? (Preview) @ShangrilaFort (2016) • CANTON ROAD: Best Modern Cantonese Chinese Restaurant in BGC?! (A Review) (2016) • MINISTRY OF CRAB Manila Guide (Is it Worth it?) @ShangriLaFort (2019) Samba is at the 8th Level of Shangri-La at the Fort, where the hotel’s swimming pool is located. It has more of a clubhouse feel than a festive Peruvian ambiance, with a 70-seater capacity in the air-conditioned restaurant area. Check out the SAMBA Menu. Some prefer the al fresco area, which is perfect for events or functions and spacious enough for 70 people. We had the best TBEX Speakers’ Party here–the first ever event at Samba. Related Post: TBEX: The Biggest Travel Blogger Conference Finally comes to the Philippines! One of the best features of SAMBA is its view of the Shangri-La Pool and the ever-changing BGC skyline. (Note: as of this writing, the pool is still closed because they are changing some of the tiles. Can’t wait for it to open!) Yuca chips are served as complimentary appetizers. Pisco Sour (P400) Order a Peruvian cocktail like the Pisco Sour, which uses Porton, one of the finest handcrafted Pisco by Hacienda la Caravedo in Peru. APPETIZERS When you eat at Samba, order a 3-course meal, starting with an array of appetizers, the main dishes served family style, and end with the Peruvian desserts. Ceviche Limeño (P525). Shrimp, octopus, scallops, calamari, lapu lapu, red onion, coriander sprouts, tobiko, leche de tigre. Try the mixed seafood ceviche. Note that it’s eaten with a spoon because you definitely have to eat it with the leche de tigre sauce. Conchas al carbon (P475). Chargrilled scallops, aji amarillo ceviche, cilantro leaves, red onions. We love these chargrilled scallops with spicy ceviche sauce served with flaming star anise. Anticucho de Pulpo (P500). Chargilled octopus, panca pepper, roasted potatoes, ocopa sauce, rocoto carretillero. This is my favorite anticucho, made from grilled Octopus and served with three different sauces: • Spicy Aji Panca sauce from dry red chili, • Rocota Sauce, which resembles a tomato salsa because of its color but made of chili, and • Nutty Ocopa sauce. MAIN DISHES Brazilian Moqueca de Camarao (P750). Malagueta chili powder, lapu lapu fillet, seafood, coconut milk, extra virgin olive oil, cilantro, white rice. We love this Brazilian dish because of its soup–made with extra virgin olive oil, seafood broth, and coconut milk! You can ask for extra soup to be served on the side. Arroz con Mariscos (P700). Peruvian seafood rice, calamari, octopus, shrimps, scallops, white wine, paprika creole seasoning, parmesan cheese, coral butter. A must-order rice dish, which is like a soupy paella with the consistency of risotto, with seafood and creamy sauce. Lomo Saltado (P750). Stir fried US prime beef tenderloin, tomatoes, onions, pisco, soy sauce, arroz con choclo, Andean potatoes. Order the tender lomo saltado if you like a meat dish to pair with your paella. Tacu Tacu a lo macho (P680). Rice, beans, extra virgin olive oil, sauteed seafood, panca pepper a lo macho sauce. It’s rice with seafood in a creamy Peruvian chili sauce. At some point the sauces tend to taste the same, just with different levels of spiciness and creaminess. Lapu Lapu al cau cau (P975). Peruvian seafood stew, Andean mint, aji amarillo, pepper sauce, braised lapu lapu fillet. This is another Peruvian seafood stew using Lapu Lapu fillet, served with Aji amarillo sauce and has a distinctive mint taste. Chef Carlo uses different Peruvian chili for Samba’s unique sauces–Rocoto chili, Aji Limo, Aji Amarillo, and Fresh Jalapeño. He also uses Peruvian Corn Beer in most of the sauces for even more exciting flavors. DESSERTS We tried most of the desserts. This one is a favorite because of the additional theater of dropping the white chocolate balloon. Merengado Chirimoya (P300). Guyabano cream, crispy crusty almond merengue, fresh blueberries, strawberry coulis, white chocolate balloon. There’s a sense of adventure scavenging through this dessert surprise made of merengue, berries, and guyabano cream. To eat, hold a delicate piece of white chocolate and put on little bits of guyabano cream, merengue, and berries. Peruvian Ice Cream (P140). Lucuma (Chesa) flavor. Check out their homemade ice cream with this unique flavor from a Peruvian fruit called Lucuma, which resembles a Chesa fruit. Choclo (Corn) (P140) Try this for something different…like eating a popcorn ice cream. Picarones (P300). Homemade Peruvian pumpkin donuts, raw sugarcane syrup, citrus sorbet. This is was just OK. I generally don’t like fried items for dessert. They also serve a good alfahores biscuit with a fine cookie texture and balanced sweetness. Trio de Arroz con Leche (P300). Smooth rice pudding in three flavors, lucuma, oporto del abuelo wine, cinnamon, raisins. You have to try their signature tres leches dessert, which resembles a soaked chifon cake with leche flan. We love SAMBA! It simply is one of the best restaurants to open in Manila this 2016! We really liked the unique Peruvian flavors because of the authentic ingredients used, like the chilis, leche de tigre, corn beer, and pisco. It’s also healthier to eat here because the cuisine is more focused on seafood, vegetables, grilled cooking, and the use of extra virgin olive oil in their soups. I recommend ordering the following 3-course meal but served family style: Appetizers: Ceviche Limeño, Conchas al carbon, and Anticucho de Pulpo Main Course: Brazilian Moqueca de Camarao, Arroz con Mariscos, and Lomo Saltado Dessert: Merengado Chirimoya and Trio de Arroz con Leche Budget about P1,000/head for a full 3-course meal experience + drinks. The drinks are expensive, but if you were to try just one Peruvian cocktail, I would recommend the pisco sour. The clubhouse ambiance is a bit boring, but it’s fun to eat at the alfresco area with the cool breeze and the view of the pool. Congratulations to the entire Shangri-La Fort team for this successful Peruvian dining concept! SAMBA Address: Level 8 Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Philippines Telephone: +632 8820 0888 Email: email@example.com Facebook: Samba, Manila Instagram: @shangrilafort Twitter: @shangrilafort Youtube: Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila Website: https://www.samba-fort.com/ Shangri-La at the Fort Manila Staycation Series: • Shangri-La at the Fort: Why it is the Best Family Staycation in BGC?! (2018) • SAMBA: Manila’s Finest Peruvian Restaurant?! @ShangriLaFort (A Review) (2016) • RAGING BULL: Best Steakhouse & Bar in BGC? (Preview) @ShangrilaFort (2016) • CANTON ROAD: Best Modern Cantonese Chinese Restaurant in BGC?! (A Review) (2016) • MINISTRY OF CRAB Manila Guide (Is it Worth it?) @ShangriLaFort (2019) Live an Awesome Life,
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Disclosure: We paid for our meal. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. P.S. Make sure to have a Golden Circle membership because you can now earn points for restaurant dining and not only for hotel stays.