Chef and charismatic television star Michael Schulson returns to Philadelphia with the opening of Sampan, a modern Asian restaurant where he serves the acclaimed cuisine that has made him one of the country´s highly sought-after culinary talents. Schulson returns to Philadelphia after having opened Buddakan in New York City for Stephen Starr and Izakaya at the Borgata in Atlantic City and then having gone on to star in Style network´s popular series Pantry Raid and TLC Ultimate Cake Off. Chef Schulson has been looking forward to a time when he could come back to Philadelphia and cook in a small, personal space, which he has now achieved with Sampan. To him, Sampan is a place where he can prepare serious food from across Asia while interacting with guests and sharing his love of the cuisine with them.


Designed by Philadelphia´s Sparks Design, Sampan features distressed metals, reclaimed timber and a rustic, natural aesthetic anchored by a custom-crafted, color washed painting that lends a warm ambiance to the space. In contrast to the large scale restaurants such as Manhattan´s Buddakan and West Philadelphia´s Pod, where Chef Schulson served as executive chef, this 80-seat gem is a cozy setting that allows his passion for Asian flavors, thoughtfully prepared, to shine.


Schulson´s says his mission at Sampan is to make the more exotic and unfamiliar flavors of Asian cuisine accessible and inviting to American palates. Sampan menu is composed of a variety of small plates – Chef Schulson´s preferred way to cook because it is ideal for sampling and sharing. Tempting dishes include: his signature Edamame Dumplings, with truffles, shoots and sake broth; Thai Chicken Wings with pickles, mint and basil; Pekin Duck with tamarind pancakes, scallions and cucumbers; Lamb Satay with yakitori, penko and ginger; Crispy Chili Crab with Hong Kong noodles, black beans and ginger chips; Mao Pao Tofu with pork, ginger and garlic; and Wild Mushroom Salad with goat cheese, puffed rice and truffles. Prices range from $5 to $19.