Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Must Try: Samba's Sabado de Fiesta

Weekends are made for lazing around the house and recharging for another battle with reality come Monday. However, there are times when I find myself excited to wake up early on a Saturday despite a grueling Friday because good food awaits! And such is the case a few Saturdays ago. 

Hello, Samba!
Samba is one of my favorite Peruvian restaurants. As one of the few establishments that offer top notch fresh ceviche and to die for Arroz con Mariscos, I found myself visiting this place quite a number of times. 
And if its mouthwatering dishes are not enough to convince you to visit them, they now offer a scrumptious buffet spread every last Saturday of the month for PHP1,800 per head (and PHP900 for kids).
Aptly called Sabado de Fiesta, several of Samba's bestsellers are included in the menu such as Mixed Anticuchos, Arroz a la Nortena, Sudado de Mero, Seco de Pato and Arroz Con Choclo a la Mantequilla de Coral
Of course, the ceviche (and tiradito) bar is also present; and now with a taco bar as well!
I'm a sucker for ceviche so I requested for a bowl with all the seafood available--tuna, salmon, oysters and scallops and shrimp mixed with ají limo, a bit of ají amarillo and lime. 
And as always, it was pure joy! The subtle sweetness of the fresh seafood, zest from lime, and spice from ají limo and ají amarillo was a beautiful blend of land and sea. 
Or enjoy it sashimi style (known as tiradito) with rocoto cream! 
Its tacos were pretty good too. Feel free to customize your tacos with pork carnitas, frejoles churros, salsa picante, jalapeno cheese, guacamole and salsa picante. 
Make sure to get yours made on the spot so that your tacos are warm in every bite.
It was a bit gloomy when we visited so having a bowl of Parihuela de Mariscos or Peruvian Bouillabaisse with fresh seafood was perfect to whet our appetites for mains. This bright orange hearty soup definitely hits the spot with its slight spicy kick from aji panca. I enjoyed it a lot with its good serving of clams and mussels. 
One of the many dishes that make Sabado de Fiesta a must try is the Mixed Anticuchos. This sizzling plate of prawn, mushroom and chicken skewers served with a variety of dips is a crowd favorite. Tasty as is, you can also have it with ocopa or rocoto sauce. I went crazy with the shiitake mushroom skewers! 
Other dishes not on display but part of Sabado de Fiesta are Seco de Pato (Duck Leg Stew), Sudado de Mero (Grouper Fillet Stew) and Arroz a la Nortena. 
This bowl of duck leg stew was seasoned to perfection. Cooked with ají apianca, frijoles de Chincha, and piquillo peppers, each bite was bursting with bold Peruvian flavors. This dish is best enjoyed with rice. 
Speaking of rice, you might want to try your duck with the delightful Arroz a la Nortena, a cilantro base rice topped with prawns, scallops, mussels and chicha de jora (corn beer). Add some lime juice for zest. 
If you prefer something lighter, go with the grouper fillet stew. Made with white wine, ají amarillo, tomatoes and onions, this dish had that addictive complex flavors. Its taste is more delicate and allows the grouper's fresh flavor shine and take center stage. 
To cap our meal, we had Dulces Peruanos, a plate with Tres Leches, Buñuelo (fried dough ball) and assorted fruits. 
If you prefer to enjoy this mouthwatering feast with drinks, you can top it up with La Babida (PHP400) for non alcoholic drinks which includes beverages like lemonade, iced tea, Magic Liquid and soda or with La Vida Loca (PHP800) which covers alcoholic beverages such as Sangria, Sexy Colada, Pisco Sour, Michelada, Corona nad Anakena Wine. 
I'd go with La Vida Loca if I were you as its Sexy Colada is amazing as it is the concoction of Tiki Maestro Daniele Dalla Pola.
Note: Service for ceviche may tend to be slow as there are only one or two chefs behind the station. If you want to get your bowl fast, best to stay near the ceviche station so that they'd prioritize yours. 
Samba is located at 8th Floor, Shangri-La at the Fort, 5th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

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