July 11, 2020

Samba at Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila

New Normal Dining, COVID-19 Update, Dine-In Review



Samba is one of my favorite restaurants even before the coronavirus pandemic hit Metro Manila. That's why when I heard the news that it was finally reopening, I immediately messaged them on Facebook to reserve a table on its reopening date (08 July 2020). So, is it safe to dine-in again at Samba?


► ARRIVAL EXPERIENCE



All guests are required to fill-out the hotel's Travel and Health Declaration Form prior entry to the hotel. For your convenience, you can already fill this out while in transit to the hotel. Once submitted, you will receive your QR Code Pass via the email address you provided in the form. Upon arrival, present your QR Code Pass to the security on duty. Your temperature will then be taken before you will be allowed to enter the hotel.



Upon arrival at Samba, the restaurant receptionist will also scan your QR Code Pass. Your temperature will again be scanned before you are allowed to enter the restaurant.




► RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE



The first thing I noticed was there were fewer tables now to observe social distancing. Guests are also not allowed to seat face-to-face. Tables that used to accommodate four persons can now only seat two persons.



I also noticed that there is a Hand Sanitation Area inside the restaurant, making it convenient for guests should they need to sanitize their hands. Restaurant staff also kept a safe distance from the diners and would only approach you if you called their attention.




► DINING EXPERIENCE



The table was free of clutter. Only a paper placemat, cutlery wrapped in a napkin, and a glass with cover were set-up on the table when we arrived. Plates were only provided upon request or when required. A mask sleeve was also provided to safe-keep your mask. The e-menu is available via a QR code printed on the disposable paper placemat. I think that's smart. Dishes are covered when served to guests. This is to protect the food from airborne contaminants.




► FOOD EXPERIENCE

Aji de Gallina

I learned to love Peruvian cuisine because of Samba. The comforting flavors and aroma are very close to Filipino cuisine. Our Hispanic heritage also provides a string bind between our cuisines. One best example is this classic Peruvian dish called Aji de Gallina. Chicken meat was cooked in a creamy yellow chili pepper sauce. The Aji de Gallina is then served on a bed of potatoes with rice on the side. I find it very comforting because it reminds me of the Filipino dish Chicken Pastel which I also enjoy eating with rice.

Lomo Saltado

Just like Filipino cuisine, Peruviana cuisine also has Chinese influences. In fact, there is a separate category for these Chinese-Peruvian dishes called Chifa. A representative Chifa dish is the Lomo Saltado. It is basically a beef stir-fry dish with soy sauce mixed with Peruvian vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. The dish is also paired with steamed rice.




► CONTACTLESS PAYMENT OPTIONS



As of November 20, 2020, contactless payment via GCash and GrabPay, as well as WeChat Pay and Alipay, are already accepted at Samba. Cash, credit card, and debit card payments are still accepted. I was also able to redeem my Golden Circle points as payment for our bill.



Samba
Level 8, Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila
30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City (BGC)
Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours: Daily 11:00am to 09:00pm
Contact: +63 (02) 820-0888
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