Megaworld puts spotlight on sampaguita dishes

The country’s largest homegrown hospitality management chain, Megaworld Hotels and Resorts (MHR), heats up its kitchens and gives the Sampaguita, Philippines’ national flower, a date with the tastebuds.

“There’s more to the local jasminum sambac, a variety of sampaguita that grows in the Philippines. Our goal is to get the conversation going and educate guests about its iconic aroma that adds a new layer of flavor to one’s local dining experience,” shared Socrates Alvaro, cluster general manager of food and beverage for MHR.

Bistek Tagalog with sampaguita

Cheescake Sampaguita

Cheescake Sampaguita

Sampaguita Ice Cream

Sampaguita Ice Cream

The hotel group now offers its guests their Sampaguita Menu made available daily across their 12 properties located in Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, the National Capital Region, and Tagaytay. The line-up features heirloom dishes all infused and garnished with food grade sampaguita extract and blooms. The entire selection includes options for appetizers, salad, soup, mains, desserts, and baked goods.

While lounging at the bar, guests may even try out cocktail creations with notes of the sampaguita.

Sampaguita Rubbed Pork BBQ

Sampaguita Rubbed Pork BBQ

When asked how they do it, Ariel Castaneda, executive chef of Richmonde Hotel Iloilo, answered, “We’ve tried the brining and pickling process, in which we infuse salt to the fresh flower and extract the full flavor.”

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Considering other options, they’ve also tried dehydration where they dry out fresh flowers, petals and leaves and steep them into a mixture to give body to the dish.

Over time they’ve gotten more success doing the smoking process.

“We use fresh and dried Sampaguita petals, to smoke meats, fish, and sauces to enhance the aroma of the dish. We get all sorts of reactions from guests who would try different sampaguita dishes and would normally be amazed of the different flavor profiles it gives when mixed with other ingredients,” Castaneda detailed.

Kaakit Akit, Paraw Regatta, Maripoda and Sampaguita Fizz

Kaakit Akit, Paraw Regatta, Maripoda and Sampaguita Fizz

In more ways than one, the sampaguita shares an uncanny similarity with Filipinos, said Alvaro: both are resilient as they bloom more in difficult conditions.

“In the long run, we aim to diversify how our guests can better appreciate the versatility of the Sampaguita and bring it back to a wider audience. Being a proud homegrown brand, we seek to elevate what we have locally for the rest of the world to taste and appreciate.”

To enjoy this offer, guests may book a table directly with any Savoy and Belmont properties located in Boracay, Cebu, and Manila. They may also try it out in their Richmonde Hotels located in Eastwood, Ortigas, and Iloilo or maybe drop by the Hotel Lucky Chinatown in Binondo. Others may consider Kingsford Hotel Manila in Paranaque and lastly Twin Lakes Hotel in Tagaytay overlooking the Taal Lake.

For more information visit or visit any of Megaworld Hotels and Resorts and their properties’ official Facebook page.

Kim Rodiz

Kim Rodiz is a national journalist who wrote a lot of reports since 2014.

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