Trellis (noun) a garden structure of open latticework that supports climbing plants or vines.

Tiongson Street in Barangay Lagao, General Santos City continues to strengthen its status as the city’s most exciting specialty-restaurant strip as another diner opened recently farther up on the Kanan (right) end of the road, at the corner of Calina Street.

The Red Trellis Seafood Garden Sign

The Red Trellis Seafood Garden Sign

This is the Red Trellis Seafood Garden owned and managed by the husband-and-wife tandem of George and Joni Sandoval.  The property on which it stands is the old lawn beside the ancestral house of Rue Ramas which they leased from her and transformed into a Japanese-inspired garden, amidst decade-old acacias.

The Oriental arch entrance into the Red Trellis Seafood Garden.

For authenticity, the couple had a mini-pond with a wooden bridge installed in the center of the garden.

Red Trellis red wooden bridge on the left side of this picture while thats a Japanese arch on the background serving as the gardens main entrance. This was shot from inside the compound.

In keeping up to its name, the place is now bordered by red-roofed trellises, where diners can eat underneath in wooden tables or al fresco in the center area.

One of the dining areas under a roofed Red Trellis adorned with festive bales of colorful cloth and illuminated by neo-classical Japanese lanterns.

Red Trellis serves mostly Asian Fusion cuisine but as George said, that they would like to be known for the fresh crab and prawns dishes in their menu.  The two times that Bariles was there, he went for the Red Trellis exclusive, the “Crabs in Coconut Milk“, a spicy Indonesian-inspired concoction (minus the curry) which he swears could make Red Trellis very, very famous soon.

Red Trellis Crabs cooked in Coconut Milk

Bathed in a thick yellow-orange sauce made up of small slices of long green pepper, aligue (crab fat), fresh coco milk and secret spices from the Red Trellis Bicolano cook, the crab meat was as tender and as succulent as it can be and it had Bariles and his photographer Marz licking the the sweetish-and-sourish mixture from their fingers.

Upon finding out that Red Trellis’ cook hails from Bicol, Bariles asked for “Taro Leaves in coco milk” or simply “Laing”.  It came in a heapful but was so spicingly delicious with just the right number of pork cuts for the guilt trip that Bariles almost forgot about the crabs, and amazingly finished off half the plate.

Taro Leaves in Coconut Milk, or Laing, a Bicol Specialty from Red Trellis Bicolano cook

Then came the Grilled Prawns with Lemon Sauce. Split in the middle looking like butterflies, the prawns’ meat were chewy and at first, Bariles felt it needed more salt. When dipped into the Lemon Sauce however, he found that it made a perfect pair.

Grilled Prawns with Lemon Sauce

On Bariles’ next visit with another set of friends, he ordered Sweet Chili Crabs which tasted as good as it looked below.

Red Trellis Sweet Chili Crabs.  Mouth-watering, isnt it?

A group of his friends from another table ordered Sweet Chili Prawns. It looked so yummylicious that he took a picture of it first before they consumed it.

Red Trellis Sweet Chili Shrimps

Other than these, Red Trellis Seafood Garden also offers Adobong Pusit, Grilled Squid and Calamares at P90 per serving. For fish lovers, they have a choice of Tilapia and Pompano.

For those who likes Laing as much as Bariles does, why not try the hotter and spicier Bicol Express (mixed veggies) at P90?

And yes, for rice, take a pick between their Black Rice and Hainanese Rice at P20 per serving. (Bariles says Black Rice is a major win!)

As Bariles sees it, the food won’t be the only reason which will make patrons come back again and again.  The establishment’s open-air garden setting and its oriental decors and fixtures which seamlessly blend into the existing flora of the Ramas’ old lawn will be another factor.

The serene Japanese-lawn setting of Trellis Seafood Garden.

Through the help of Rue Ramas herself, every part of the restaurant was carefully thought out making sure that the existing plants and trees contribute well to the restaurant’s theme and design.

And oh, the owners would like to point out that the whole area was designed to be handicapped-friendly, so people in wheelchairs can easily navigate their way inside and around the compound.  Now, isn’t that even more commendable?

Red Trellis Seafood Garden is open from 11am to 12 midnight so people can stay on after dinner and wash off all that rich food with coffee or ice cold San Mig Light.  Red Trellis can be reached by dialing 302-CRAB (302-2722).  It is located right across the new IBED building of the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University at the back portion of their Lagao Campus.