I was very lucky to be able to join Davao Food Appreciation Tour (DFAT) this year. I had no expectations of Davao food and restaurants so it felt like almost everywhere we went to was a pleasant surprise.
Our first restaurant was Trellis ‘N Vines, the one along F. Torres Street, where I was shuffled off to immediately after being picked up from the airport. At first, I was turned off by the restaurant’s name because it reminded me of seedy bars in Manila. You know, those bars or shops with names like D’ Burger Joint, etc. When I finally saw it and saw that there were families eating, I concluded that it’s completely harmless.
We started off with Sinuglaw (P260), a purely Davao delicacy. Sinuglaw is a portmanteau of “sugba” which means to grill and “kinilaw” which means ceviche or cooked in vinegar. This dish is made of succulent tuna, grilled pork, veggies, green mango, chili, and soy sauce. I enjoyed this healthy dish which complemented the other food which were served. The grilled pork’s skin was crunchy so I munched on those a lot.
Another Trellis ‘N Vines specialty I loved is their Chicken Biryani (P215), perfectly spiced for the Filipino palate and the chicken carefully cooked. I can’t recall if basmati rice was used or if Trellis employed a local rice variety. All I remember is that I liked how their version tasted.
The dish from this restaurant which I will never forget is their Crispy Noodles (P150). Although it is the usual crispy noodles found in Chinese restaurants, I couldn’t get enough of it. Maybe it’s because the vegetables were fresh and I didn’t find a trace of MSG but I really finished off this food to an embarrassing degree.
The other dishes served to us that day. Either I found them okay or forgettable. I decided to just focus on the dishes I loved for all my DFAT entries or I’ll never be able to finish writing because we tried so many.
I can’t find a unifying theme to the dishes Trellis ‘N Vines serve. It’s a mish-mash of Filipino, Chinese, American, and other asian cuisine. Don’t let that get to you because once you eat, the good food will make you forgive them. Every order is good for sharing for 3 to 4 people (my guesstimate).
If you are in Davao, try the 3 dishes I recommended. I don’t really like sour tomato-based food but if you do, the Pan-Fried Bangus is also a must-try.
As for the restaurant itself, it has no frills. The dining area was clean and so were the restrooms. The staff were helpful and service was fast.
Trellis ‘N Vines
F. Torres Street, Davao City