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“fantastic place”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of New Samsi - CLOSED

New Samsi
Price range: US$16 - US$24
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Cheap Eats
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Takeout
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“fantastic place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2011

We went for a family meal and it was fab, the atmosphere is brill as it very relaxed and they aren't pressuring you to leave as soon as your meal is over (as some places do). We had 3 soft drinks, chicken gyzoa, veg gyoza, veg tempura, 2 portions of edi fry, 2 portions of 16 mixed sushi and sashimi and chicken yaki udon. I must stress that it isnt cheap which is why we only go for special occasions (between 3 people we spent about £65) but it was lovely.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank orchidflower7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
140 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 280 helpful votes
“Average at best”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2011

A mixed result, was my last trip to New Samsi. We've been there 5 or 6 times, and while it may be as good as the few other Manchester Japanese places, it's far from perfect. Manchester simply doesn't have a good Japanese place. A sad state of affairs.

The food at Samsi is pretty good....not great, mind, but pretty good. The service is, to me, a problem.

Last night we had their ultimate "feast", the "Sumo" banquet.

1) Miso soup. Not much to say, Miso soup is pretty much the same everywhere.

2) Tempura. One prawn each, and a couple of bits of veg. The tempura at Samsi falls well short of the ideal....which would be dead light and crunchy, with little "fingers" of batter coming off the main bit....as I've had it in the very best Japanese places. Here it's simply adequate......maybe a bit better than average, but nothing special. The dipping sauce was watery and VERY low on flavour.

3) Skewers of chicken. Fine. Basically terryaki sauce poured on chicken cubes. Again......pretty good but nothing special.

4) Fried chicken. Small bits of.....fried chicken. Nothing particularly Japanese about these....just bits of deep fried chicken meat. Not a patch on KFC (no joke), but perfectly edible.

5) Prawn and steak. The prawns came in a garlic /butter/oil sauce that tasted EXACTLY like scampi you'd get in an Italian restaurant. A bit over-cooked, but again, not bad. Not Japanese food by ANYBODY'S definition, but if you like Italian scampi in garlic sauce, these are fine. The steak was virtually tasteless. No flavour at all. None.

6) Salmon terryaki. Pretty good. Again, the same sauce as on the earlier chicken skewers. A perfectly good dish. Not the best version I've had, but fine.

7) Desert was, as is almost always the case in Oriental places, laughable, so I won't bore you with the details.

What I find off-putting about this place is the service. They seem willing enough, but have NO apparent sense that people are out for a good time, not just to cram food down their gobs and get out.

LONG before we'd come close to finishing one dish, the next one would be dumped on the table without a word being spoken. It's as if they care NOTHING about the pace of the meal that the customer is setting; you will eat at the pace that THEY dictate. A good restaurant keeps subtle track of how each table is progressing and times the following courses to arrive AFTER the earlier courses are done. Here it's just amateur hour......cook it fast, dump it on the table, and goodbye. Considering we spend £75 for two, decent service would not have been too much to ask.

To be honest, if I want Japanese in Manchester I'd have to go back to Samsi, as the alternatives are virtually nonexistent.....Wagamama is pretty bad, Tampopo has a bit of Japanese on their menu, but falls well short of the mark. But the best bet is to wait until you're somewhere with really GOOD Japanese food....which unfortunately ain't Manchester.

My suggestion would be to NOT have Japanese, and instead take advantage of one of Manchester's true treasures. Try Koreana, a Korean restaurant just off of Deansgate. Korean is fairly similar to some Japanese dishes and is, if anything a fair bit better. And the food at Koreana blows Samsi off the map....it's truly amazing. 'Just one man's opinion.

Visited March 2011
Thank Johnb8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Window gazers take note!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2011

So if, like me, you tend to peer through the restaurant window and think that's a good barometer of how good a place is likely to be, then you'd most probably walk very briskly past Samsi in Spinningfields. It's large glass fronted interior tends to be, by all accounts, very quiet with few, if any, customers. That's usually a terrible sign... but this is Manchester where the Japanese community is feable and the appreciation of good food is very nearly non-existant - I mean for Pete's sake, how can Sapporro Tepenyaki be the best restaurant in Manchester. Having food flung at you surely can't be the best Manchester has to offer can it?

When it comes to Japanese there's very little choice in the North West, the aforementioned Sapporro, a Yo! (which this venue used to be) and some imitation Japanese by their asian counterparts in Chinatown. Samsi however, despite the tumbleweed in the dining area, tastes like the real deal.

The sushi is excellent and at equivalent prices to Yo! (£3 for 3 slices of Tuna or Salmon Sashimi, £2 for Salmon nigiri), but Samsi sets itself apart with those that want to experience Japanese food beyond the conveyor belt/supermarket sushi. They have a very respectable range of hot and cold food and despite the great sushi, I'd say that the a-la carte or set menus are really where Samsi visitors should look.

I had the salmon teriyaki (£10.95) and it was perfect in just about every way. Two slices of fillet, laid on top a bed of crunchy teriyaki vegetables and accompanied by beautifully steamed rice and a selection of pickles that I would put money on being homemade.

So whilst Mancunian's seem intent to pack out Sapporo and spend the evening picking bits of prawn out of their hair and cleavage, take advantage of the deserted dining area at Samsi and grab a very reasonably priced, real-deal Japanese meal.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank algray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing food and outstanding service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2011

Samsi had been recommended to me by a friend and I finally had the chance to sample their food last Sunday along with my girlfriend. The food was amazing and the service was second to none and we both thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon. The staff were very personable and really added to our experience
I had the Steak Teryaki which was cooked to perfection and was great value for money. My girlfriend had the Don Buri Katsu dish which was rice with crispy pork and a poached egg, the presentation was immaculate and the food tasted as good as it looked. We also drank a number of bottles of asahi which is a bottled Japanese beer and accompanied the meal perfectly. All in all a very good Sunday afternoon.
I will definitely be visiting Samsi again in the very near future and recommend you all do the same!!

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank LeeG27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
“Great atmosphere, fresh, tasty food. Never a disappointment.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2011

Since discovering Japanese food I thought yo sushi was fantastic however stumbling across samsi, yo sushi has become a thing of the past! Now if ever I choose to eat out samsi is always my first choice with it's fresh, clean and outstandardly tastey food which never fails to tickle every taste bud, samsi offers me a perfect experience everytime. Full marks samsi spinningfielfds!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Zahratarhhouni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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