November 08, 2016

Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort: A Hidden Sanctuary at the Foot of Mt. Banahaw


We often think that the most common place has nothing special to offer thus we neglect paying attention to them. Sadly we just past-by the simplicity and beauty of the most common places that we know not knowing that it is a gem that has yet to be find by our naked eye and innocent heart. I was thought by life to stop once in a while in the journey. When you pause for a while you will be able to see the most beautiful thing in the most common place or thing in this surface - like mountains, lake, rivers or even the rice paddies.



When I knew about Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort in Lucban Quezon I was amazed like a child seeing his first balloon floating on air. I had this child-like feeling because I am sometimes guilty of focusing on the destination not the journey. 

Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort is a garden-of-eden sanctuary located in Majayjay-Lucban Road. It is nestled at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw. Samkara mainly serves the pilgrims and executioners to Lucban’s finest Kamay Ni Hesus. Families gather at Samkara to eat and have quality time with each other. 



When you enter the restaurant, your eyes will be amazed by the playful interior. Instead of using a uniform tables and chairs, they opt to make it unique from each other giving the whole dining area a different vibe. 

The whole dining area of Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort is like a gallery of artwork and produced from Quezon Province. The area is very picturesque and “instagramable” I actually have tons of photos on my smart phone. 


When I asked one of the staff for Samkara’s specialty he quickly said “Ginataang Kalabaw” (Carabao cooked in Coconut Milk). I automatically gave him a 2 seconds stare for his answer. Well I was shocked that they are serving Carabao. I said we’ll order that tomorrow. It too late for us to eat heavy meal. 

It was raining the night we arrive so we choose to stay inside our elegant accommodation and decided to stroll the resort in the morning. 





I like our room so much. Actually I love all the accommodation of Samkara. Its pastoral and rural vibe soothes through your veins. Each rooms is a literal Bahay Kubo – but Bahay Kubo of the 21st century. Inside the rooms is a surprise. The mosquito net, for me is the centerpiece of the room interior. It literally sets the mood inside giving you this purity effect that when you lay on your bed with the mosquito nets covering your gentle body – everything just stops and it will hum you till you sleep.  



Our Kalawili Room has a veranda overlooking the other side of the landscaped Samkara and the vast rice fields of Lucban. It is a good spot to meditate or just think of life necessaries before you sleep or when you wake up. I made a lot of notes and journal entry during my “me-time” at the veranda with my tea and while the heaven was crying.





When we woke up the heaven greeted us with a fine blue sky. We roamed around and saw that Samkara is truly a Garden of Eden in Lucban. The guided pathway going to the pool is manicured with ornamental plants and Christmas decorations.




Down the resort is a swimming pool using natural water from the nearby river. Sadly, because it was raining, we could not swim. They have cottages for day tour visitors that is big enough to accommodate a whole clan. During weekends when the restaurant is full they extend the dining area up to the garden area. The wind blowing was so cool given the altitude of Lucban and because of the presence of the mystical Mt. Banahaw.

Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort is so beautiful. It is an ideal place for small gathering for families and intimate reunion for friends. Lana and I had agreed that Samkara is an ideal place for a an intimate destination wedding. I would like to have a small number of guest for my wedding - less one hundred would be enough. Lana does not have problem with this. 

Imagine a wedding at the foot of Mt. Banahaw. And while the ceremony is on-going the river flows and it creates a natural music for your wedding vows. Perfect!



After we roam around and fed our eyes with stunning natural and man-made views we felt that our tummy should now be fed. As we walk towards the restaurant, we saw a cool place that we think is also a dining area. The place if full of framed quotes, memorabilia and books. And like the main restaurant it has a good music. It is like a cafe! One of the staff asked for our orders and we requested the famous Lucban longanisa.




A photo posted by Lana Margaret Caronongan (@binibining_margaret) on


And of course Lucban longanisa will never fail me. Matched your breakfast with this fresh passion fruit - you'll have a boost for the day!



Before we left Samkara Restaurant & Garden Resort we were treated with a sumptuous lunch coupled with Samkara's signature dessert. 


Our Sumptuous meal at Samkara!

At last we gave in to the call of Ginataang Kalabaw ala Samkara. I don't know of this is their specialty... but I guess this is one of their best sellers. The fusion of the flavor of the meat and the coconut milk gave a feastful treat to the pallate. The creaminess was so fine while the spicy  taste courtesy of the chili and ginger gave the overall texture of the dish. The meat was so tender and juicy. 



They also gave us Calderetang Lengua and Garden Salad for variety. One of the highlights of the lunch was the Nata de Coco with Mango Sago. I know that Quezon Province is rich in coconut plantation thus produce from coconut tree is abundant. But out dessert came out as a surpirise to me. The simple blend of mango and the crystal liquid texture of the Nata de Coco was superbly delicious. 

Passion fruit turned into a healthy drink

Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort is a haven for me. Given the chance and time, I would definitely go back and spend a night or two. I promise that I would bring my mom their next year... I promised that to her and also to myself.

 
Samkara Resort and Garden Restaurant

Lucban, Quezon Province
Conatact Number: Manila Office (0916 4696276); Lucban (0947 922 0081)
Email: reservations[at]samkara.ph