Get a taste of authentic Peruvian fare at Samba, Shangri-La at the Fort!
After trying out the different menu offerings at High Street Lounge and Raging Bull, my expectations for Samba, one of Shangri-La at the Fort's newest F&B outlets, was on an all time high!
My first word upon stepping inside the restaurant? Wow.
More than the interiors, I was actually really thrilled to see that Samba is located right by the pool! You can sit in their air-conditioned area if you're feeling hot, but personally, I'd recommend dining al fresco where there's fresh air, sounds of water splashing and kids playing all around. Their dining areas feel like two completely different places, so choose to sit wherever your mood dictates.
Best to come here at night, when the view is even more spectacular.
Since Gio of Eater.PH and I arrived ahead of everyone, we decided to enjoy some drinks by the pool first. Their Magic Liquid mocktail is a fusion of fresh mint, maracuya, mango puree, orange juice, and pineapple juice.
I ordered the Samba Capirinha which contains Sagativa Pura Cachaca, house ginger scrub, fresh lime, maracuya, and fresh basil. To be honest, I'm not much of a drinker; their menu came with photos, so I picked the one I thought was most photogenic. Haha #bloggerproblems
It's nice though, right?
Their cocktails are at Php400 a pop, while the mocktails are at Php250. They also have a huge sharing bowl called the Digga Digga Doo (Samba blended rum, Don Papa rum, Maraschino liqueur, La Fee absinthe, homemade creole shrub, pineapple juice, house ginger beer, and almond tea blocks) for only Php1,600.
One by one, our foodie friends arrived, and soon, we got to taste Samba's Peruvian fare.
It was an amazing night filled with delectable and flavorful dishes from Head Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray. It's not everyday you get to try Peruvian cuisine and I'm so glad Shangri-La at the Fort decided to dedicate an entire restaurant just for it! Here are the dishes we got to try:
Chicharrón e Cangrejo
When they first placed this on the table, I wasn't sure what it was. The name Chicharron e Cangrejo doesn't exactly ring any bells. Haha. Turns out, it is crispy soft shell crab with Peruvian limo chili, cilantro, pineapple, passion fruit sweet dip, and zarza criolla. The passion fruit dip really brings everything together so make sure to get a bit of it in every bite.
Conchas al Carbon
This dish is a feast for the eyes and mouth. They cook the scallops right in front of you, so better get your phones and cameras ready if you want to capture the moment. These chargrilled scallops are marinated in ají Amarillo ceviche, cilantro leaves, and red onion.
Next seafood item on the list is the Salmon T-RA-D-TO. It may look like a simple dish, but these salmon slices are drizzled with lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, onion brunoise, celery, mushroom, and micro greens to give it that extra oomph.
Ever since I discovered ceviche, I always look forward to trying different kinds. Did you know that ceviche actually originated in Peru? It's pretty much the nation's most famous dish! Samba takes it up a notch with their Ceviche Limeño - shrimp, octopus, scallops, calamari, lapu lapu, red onion, coriander sprouts, tobiko, and leche de tigre. I don't know why, but there's just something about citrus flavors that I really enjoy.
The Chalaquitas also reminds me of ceviche since it incorporates citrus flavors in it as well. Here, scallops are topped with onions, tomato bruoise, lime juice, coriander, and corn (the salsa aka chalaquitas). It's definitely my favorite appetizer at Samba!
As the night went on, we got to sample more drinks. The Kama Sutra has Havana Club 3yrs rum, Caol Ila smoky whisky, Samba Mama Juana, grapefruit juice, fresh lime, and house aphrodisiac. While the Pakalolo (a mocktail) features spicy chai tea, fresh thyme, peach puree, and apricot and pistachio jam.
A Twisted Cocktail you have to try is the Pisco Perucho - Campo de Encanto pisco, Mancino Bianco, fresh lime juice, homemade pandan syrup, and fresh thyme.
The Frankenstein was an evening favorite - Plantation 3 Stars rum, Myers' Dark Rum, Bacardi 151' overproof rum, Pimento Dram, fresh lemon, orange juice, grenadine.
For the mains, we devoured the following:
Pork Anticuchos con Salsa de Adobo
Eighteen hour slow cooked pork belly - what's not to like? The meat came out tender and oozing with flavor! When they poured the sauce over the pork and crispy sourdough bread bowl, I almost salivated. I mean, just look at how creatively they presented this dish!
The Anticucho de Pulpo is yet another unique dish we discovered at Samba. Chargrilled octopus is mixed in panca pepper with roasted potatoes and bell peppers on the side with a choice of three dipping sauces. If you noticed, they make use of panca peppers a lot in their dishes since that's the variety of pepper that is grown in Peru and normally used in Peruvian cuisine. You're getting the real thing here, so there's no need to fly off to Peru just to try the food. ;)
Brazilian Moqueca de Camarao
It's a bowl of shrimp stew slash seafood bisque with Malagueta chili powder, lapu lapu fillet, seafood, coconut milk, extra virgin olive oil, palm oil, cilantro, and white rice!
Arroz con Mariscos
Fresh seafood is abundant in Peru, so it's no wonder most of Samba's dishes are of fish, scallops, octopus, and shrimps. The Arroz con Mariscos is no exception as it comes with Peruvian seafood rice, calamari, octopus, shrimps, scallops, white wine, paprika creole seasoning, parmesan cheese, and coral butter.
It's the type of creamy seafood paella that I will come back for over and over again.
They saved the best for last. The Chuletón de Res is their 800g sous-vide chargrilled US certified black angus prime rib with pepper sauce, roasted sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot, and asparagus.
It comes with just the right amount of sauce, nothing too over the top so you can still appreciate the flavor of the meat.
It's safe to say that this was everyone's favorite (especially the guys haha)
For dessert, we had their Picarones, which is basically homemade Peruvian pumpkin donuts with raw sugarcane syrup and citrus sorbet. Eat this fast as the sorbet melts pretty quickly, but make sure to combine all three elements to get the most out of this dish.
Their Merengado de Guanabana stole the show as it comes in a white chocolate encasing which one has to pick up and drop to get to the actual dessert.
Everyone semi-panicked and rushed to pick up their phones as the waiter gave instructions on what to do.
Inside, you'll find guyabano cream, crispy crusty almond merengue, fresh blueberries, and strawberry coulis.
To cap off our evening, they served us their homemade Peruvian ice cream in Queso Helado (Milk Cinnamon), Lucuma (Andean Chesa), and Choclo (Corn).
It was definitely a night to remember. Thank you, Samba. :)
Samba is located on the eight level of Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street Corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City