Peruvian Feast at Shangri-La at the Fort's Samba

I'm just gonna go ahead and say it: Shanngri-La at the Fort's Samba churns out fantastic Peruvian food.

Is it because the head chef {Carlo Huerta Echegaray} is Peruvian? Well, that's just one of the reasons why.

Samba is known to serve authentic Peruvian food. Authenticity is what food enthusiasts eagerly seeks and the highest applaud that can be bestowed on a restaurant - apart from a much-coveted Michelin star, that is.

I honestly don't know if they serve authentic Peruvian food or not simply because I don't have that extensive know-how of Peruvian cuisine. But then again, I don't lose sleep over a food's authenticity. The most important thing for me is the taste. As long as the food gently caresses my palate and blows my mind in 100 different ways, we're good.

And Samba succeeded in doing just that.

Peruvian Feast at Shangri-La at the Fort's Samba

Samba is located on the 8th floor of Shangri-La at the Fort. It's just right beside the swimming pool. As you can see, I arrived shortly before the restaurant opened, hence the lack of people.

Shangri-La at the Fort's Samba

The first time I tried Samba was back in 2016, when acclaimed Peruvian chef, Mitsuharu Tsumura graced the pre-opening event. His restaurant {Maido} captures the 13th spot in the prestigious list of World's 50 Best Restaurants. He whipped out highly memorable Nikkei dishes that night along with another amazing Peruvian chef, Virgilio Martinez.

Shangri-La at the Fort's Samba

Fast forward to today, Samba's still going strong and still creating fantastic dishes with ingredients that truly sets them apart.

Every last Saturday of the month, Samba has a special Peruvian feast called Sabado De Fiesta. It's complete with live entertainment, amazing dishes, and live stations such as the one above.

The main dining area is inside the restaurant, by the way. We just opted to stay outside to have that Sabado de Fiesta vibe. Plus, the ceviche and tacos stations were located outside. 

Top Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray makes an appearance to ensure that the food is served perfectly. He also created a hefty serving of Samba's ceviche. That celebratory Peruvian-style wonder demands to be eaten in heaps. AMAZINGGG!!!

Speaking of amazing, I tried this Sexy Colada and got immediately hooked! Inside this hollowed out pineapple is an amplified version of the usual Piña Colada ingredients. It's a sweet, sharp, coconutty mixture with a good buzz. It's basically a tropical paradise inside a makeshift pineapple mug. 

For an additional PhP 800, you can drink your heart out to the Sexy Colada, Sangria, Pisco Sour, Michelada, Corona, and Anakena Wine.

Lemonade, soda, and iced tea lovers can get an unlimited serving of Classic Lemonade; Kiwi and Cucumber Lemonade; Ginger and Calamansi Iced Tea; Peach and Almond Iced Tea; and different sodas for only PhP 400.

What I love about live stations - aside from the entertainment factor - is the ability to tailor-made the food according to my preference. 

The Ceviche Live Station at Samba allows you to pick-and-toss the ingredients that you like; or in my case, add more of what I like.

Avoiding the ceviche base is a no-no, of course. But you can have a little or more of the rest of the ingredients like the hondashi sauce, aji amarillo pepper, cancha corn, pumpkin, fish stock, and lime.

Seafood choices include prawns, scallops, tuna, and mussels. The salmon is for something else. I'll tell you what it is for in a while.

Let's first checkout Carlo Huerta Echegaray as he creates a magical bowl of tuna ceviche.

Here's the finished product! Tuna ceviche that's bursting with so many intensely satisfying flavors and colors!

Parihuela de Mariscos is a Peruvian version of a bouillabaisse. The seafood broth filled with aji panca, corn beer, bell pepper, clams, fish fillet, squid, and mussels will immediately warm you as soon as the aroma hits your nostrils. 

I think the Taco Station is the second most abused part of Samba's Sabado de Fiesta. I can't blame those who would hoard 5 tacos at a time, though. These were a thrill for the palate - especially with extra guac.

The tacos are prepared a la minute.

Other fillings include tender beef carnitas, frijoles charros, salsa picante, and jalapeño cheese!

The salmon is for this! Excellent is the only fitting word that best describes the Salmon Tiradito. The slices of silky salmon are cloaked with vinaigrette and truffle oil, and finally, topped with salsa picante.

My tummy was already begging for something cooked after eating my way through a couple of servings of raw delights. Enter the Mixed Anticuchos.

Let's start with what's considered to be an aphrodisiac in Peru: Anticuchos de Corazón. You already have an inkling of what this is from the word itself. Corazón means heart. So yes, it's a skewer of well-marinated beef heart! It's delicious, by the way; especially with chimichurri, ocopa, or rocoto sauce.

The rest of the skewers are Choncholli de Pollo and Shitake. They're served with slices of grilled vegetables and halved baby potatoes.

If you've been reading my food posts for quite sometime, you'd know that I'm married to rice. I have an unconditional love for it!

We already have one rice dish on the table, the Arroz con Choclo a la Mantequilla de Coral. Again, with feelings: Arroz con Choclo a la Mantequilla de CoralThat one was quickly overshadowed by the Arroz a la Nortena. Easier to pronounce and tastier, too!

The one-dish wonder is filled with all the ingredients that I love: rice, cilantro, shrimp, parmesan, and scallops. If you think about it, you can already create a flavor explosion with those. The addition of chicha de jora turned it into another level. Wonderful! 

Another wonderful Samba dish is the Sudado de Mero - a grouper fillet stew. It's one of those dishes wherein the price truly justifies the quality. 

I thought the fish looked a little dry when it was placed on our table. After taking a forkful, I immediately apologized to the grouper for my initial impression. It's juicy, tender, and simply full of flavor {thank you white wine, aji amarillo, tomatoes, and onions}!

I am aware that I abused adjectives in this post. Those of you who have tried Samba know why. Those of you who haven't, well, you'll understand why the words like "amazing" and "fantastic" fits this restaurant, too.

Sabado de Fiesta will be available every Saturdays of August 2018.

8/F Shangri-La at the Fort
30th Street corner 5th Avenue Bonifacio Global City, 
Taguig City, Philippines
Tel. No.: 820.08.88
Instagram: @shangrilafort

Onward and Upward!


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