Interesting and worthwhile option
Posted on 09 / 08 / 2015
This is a very respectable vegetarian restaurant in a city that already has several options. I've been to Hiltl and Tibits many times, and it's hard not to compare SamSes against them. It does fairly well in the comparison, but read on. (I only tried the buffet; I don't know what the menu items are like.)
The buffet is divided into three sections: prepared salads (more like quinoa and beets, not green and leafy); creamy dishes (Asian- and Western-inspired); and singleton items (like little patties and sausages). This is a nice layout, and each section has about eight options, giving plenty to choose from. There is only a small amount of fake meat, and very little Indian presence (unlike Hiltl). None of the dishes is labeled, but the staff will happily explain each one to you.
In terms of price, it costs just about exactly the same as Tibits and a bit less than Hiltl. The number of choices is comparable to Tibits (but somwhat different in character, as I describe below) and far smaller than at Hiltl.
Service is very friendly, and the place is very pleasant. It's a bit cheaper to take food to go, which is easy to do (they have boxes at the ready, and will readily supply you with cutlery).
Frankly, I preferred Tibits somewhat over this. Tibits has many more fresh vegetables and greens, which are notably missing here. I also prefer the flavors at Tibits. SamSes has more in terms of prepared sauce-laden foods, but these tended to feel a bit heavy. I felt there were more healthy eating options in Tibits. Not all the flavors appealed to me as much as they did at Tibis, either. But on a day when I was looking for "comfort food", this would definitely be the place to go.
Overall, I liked SamSes. It's in a bustling location and a great restaurant. I just personally happen to prefer Tibits a little more, especially since there is no notable difference in price. But that's not a strike at all against SamSes, which would hold its own just about anywhere. Nice people, nice place, well worth a try or more.
One other thing. On some evenings they seem to get lots of reservations, so if you really have your heart set on trying them out, call ahead. If you go on the early side (say 5:30), they will give you a table provided you can clear out before the reservations, which is very reasonable.
good range of food, relatively little fake meat, great staff and place
too little greens, not all flavors pleased me, not clearly better than competition