Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila introduces a new restaurant in its growing collection of dining destinations: Samba.
Samba, located at Level 8 of the hotel, features the fresh flavors and colorful dishes of Peru, a country making its mark in the culinary world for its biodiversity and acclaimed chefs. Known as the original fusion cuisine, Peruvian fare is a confluence of more than 500 years of immigration and inculturation of Spanish, African, Chinese and Japanese influence with native Peruvian culture. Throughout the years, Peruvian cuisine has gained more popularity and now, Manila can savor the authentic flavors of Peru at Samba.
The restaurant’s chef de cuisine Carlo Huerta Echegaray, hails from Cusco, Peru, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being the former capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th to 16th century. Echegaray introduces some of his country’s iconic dishes such as ceviches, tiraditos, anticucheria and main courses in Samba. Some of the signature dishes include Ceviche Limeno: fresh shrimp, octopus, scallops, calamari, lapu lapu, drizzled in fresh lime, red onions, aji peppers, coriander sprouts, tobiko and leche de tigre; Causa Limena: mashed potato, aji Amarillo, jumbo crab, shrimps, salsa acevichada, quail egg; Anticucho de Pulpo: chargrilled octopus, panca pepper, roasted potatoes, ocopa sauce, rocoto carretillero; Lomo Saltado: stir-fried US prime beef tenderloin, tomatoes, onions, pisco, soy sauce, arroz con choclo, Andean potatoes; Arroz con Mariscos: Peruvian seafood rice, calamari, octopus, shrimps, scallops, white wine, paprika creole seasoning, parmesan cheese, coral butter; Pargo al Horno: oven-roasted white snapper, lemon, thyme, cilantro, bell pepper, zarza criolla and Chiclayana rice; Parihuela: Peruvian bouillabaisse, grouper fillet, shrimp, squid, scallop, crab, panca pepper, fresh cilantro; Tres Leches: soft Genoise sponge soaked in three types of milk, torched meringue and blueberry ice cream.
The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating for 122 guests, with the al fresco area overlooking the hotel swimming pool on Level 8. Designed by Manny Samson & Associates (MSA), local material in natural and subdued tones capture the elegant and bespoke interior design applications. Manny Samson, the principal designer, has honed his talent in the creation of memorable interiors in various parts of North America, Africa, Australia, South America and Asia, while residing for almost two decades in Los Angeles, California, before moving back to Asia. “I have embraced the use and adaptation of ethnic art forms from the uniqueness and character of a country’s culture for an interior design project. With this design principle, there is a continuous innovation of material applications and refined details.”
Notable in the restaurant interiors are the butterfly patterns on the glass panels, reflective of Peru’s natural heritage as the home of over 3,700 butterfly species – more than any other country and equal to about 20% of the world’s total butterfly population.
Samba invites guests to feast in a familial and familiar setting, surrounded by a stunning panorama of sun, sky and rising skyscrapers. For restaurant reservations and further information, please call Samba at (63 2) 820 0888 extension 7247, email [email protected] or visit its website at www.samba-fort.com.
Carlo Huerta Echegaray: Chef de Cuisine
Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray is a native of Cusco, Peru. He started working in the kitchen at the age of 16 and pursued his culinary education at Le Cordon Bleu Peru, where he perfected his cooking skills and techniques, always looking for new fusions and flavors. He spent several years of his career travelling through South America, where he researched more intensely on Peruvian ingredients and ancient recipes. In 2010, he became the executive chef at Vivaldi Restaurant, one of the most important fine-dining restaurants in Lima. Later on, he assumed the position of corporate executive chef at Embarcadero41, managing the kitchens of 15 restaurants in Peru, Ecuador and the United States. With 15 years of culinary experience, Chef Carlo brings the exciting and contemporary flavors of Peru to the discerning diners of Samba.
Tiki Cocktails by Ulysse Jouanneaud, Head Mixologist
The cocktail culture in Samba is inspired by South American classics – an exotic mix of concoctions that are mostly fruit-based drinks mixed with tequila and rum. Cocktails are usually synonymous to vacations and are an integral part of Central and South American culture. At Samba, the featured cocktails are from different parts of the region: Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and of course, Peru. The Caipirinha is well known in Brazil and is considered the national drink of the country. Meanwhile, in Cuba, the sophisticated rum-based drink, Daiquiri, is the choice most locals go for.
Margarita, the famous tequila-based drink, is considered the queen of all cocktails, found not just in Mexico, but also different parts of the world. Last but not the least, the Pisco Sour – recognized as the most popular drink in Peru, is made with its namesake spirit, lime juice, simple syrup, bitters and an egg white to make it frothy.
A GLOSSARY OF PERUVIAN INGREDIENTS:
- Aji Amarillo: Peruvian yellow chili pepper used in many traditional Peruvian dishes.
- Ají Panca: dried red chili with strong flavor and aroma. A basic ingredient of north Peruvian cuisine.
- Chicha de Jora: native corn beer. “The Incas believed that drinking chicha was better than water,” said Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray
- Criollo: a term meaning the product of European influence with Latin American culture and flavors.
- Chiclayana: a symbol of Peru’s gastronomy, based on fresh cilantro, ají panca and chicha de jora. Signifies Real Peruvian homemade food.
- Huancaina: meaning “topping or dipping.” Savory ají amarillo, queso andino and crackers sauce al Batán.
- Leche de Tigre: literally translated as “tiger’s milk,” it is a citrus-based marinade that cures the seafood in a ceviche. Leche de tigre contains freshly squeezed lime juice, limo pepper and cilantro. In Peru, the invigorating potion is often served alongside ceviche in a small glass and believed to be both a hangover cure as well as an aphrodisiac.
- Rocoto: a spicy seasoning used in almost all Latin American cuisine. The redder it is, the spicier it gets.
- Zarza: Sour and spicy salad made with red onion, peppers and lime. “Zarza can make you smile and feel the heat,” according to Chef Carlo.