Van Gogh is Bipolar: A dining experience

Yesterday morning, out of nowhere, I asked Jan, "date mo ako, beh!" I wasn't really expecting a yes since he still has some work to finish so imagine my delight when he said, "Sige. Van Gogh is Bipolar?" I said yes immediately.

You see, since I have read about Van Gogh is Bipolar in the Inquirer around June or July, I have always wanted to try it out. The chef and owner, Jetro, sounded like an interesting person. He is bipolar like Van Gogh, but instead of having his condition own him, he owned it. The meals of VGIB, named after famous bipolar people, were created to make those who partake to have a better mood afterwards. How can you not want to try out a restaurant like that?

Since then, I have been trying to eat there but it has been difficult finding the chance. When a good friend arrived from New York, I was able to convince the gang to try out the restaurant. After finding it on FB, I sent a message to Jetro if we can have reservations. He replied that he was in Europe at that time and the restaurant was closed for the time being. It was a bit of a disappointment but the way he responded to my message was very polite and quite charming. I was doubly determined to try it out.

You are greeted with this sign. "Here we celebrate our imperfections, embrace flaws and accept weaknesses." I honestly feel good and liberated already!

So yesterday, November 13 (our 29th month to be married incidentally), we dressed up to have our dinner at VGIB.

Parking was a bit of difficult. It took us around 15 minutes to finally find a spot. When we finally proceeded to the restaurant, it was quite full. Another couple were 10 seconds ahead of us and were able to take the last make-shift table. I was certain that the guy who met us was Jetro, who adorned an apron with Michaelangelo's David on Italian flag colors and a military hat. He said he can prepare another table by the stairs. We told him we don't mind waiting for a good table and he said, "that's better!" He informed us we can have our tea while we wait.

For that night it was a set meal, Mozart's Meal for the Day, which was P555/head. Part of the set was tea. In VGIB, a diner makes his own tea.
Feel free which pot you would like to steep your tea of choice.

There are instructions on how to make your own tea. Quite easy and straightforward and actually fun to do!

You can choose from six variants of happy tea.

The tea area was quite charming. There were containers for the different tea as well as one for muscovado sugar. An Erlenmayer flask contained the Palawan wild honey. If you look closely you can see a bottle of Jagermeister (I do not think that is part of the tea experience.:P) Jan and I wanted to try the Spanish Plum but it already ran out so we had Avocado tea instead.
I put our share of honey in a mini-wine glass and took a couple of small clear mugs to drink our tea from. Jetro prepared a mini-table where we were waiting and placed a candle for an additional touch of ambiance. The tea was good. I quite enjoyed its taste, its warmth and its uniqueness.

After a while, one of Jetro's assistant's brought over our Courtney Love potion. It was calamansi juice with honey and pomelo bits. It was a bit sweet for my taste but was still refreshing.

After a while, we got our Virginia Woolf's Tear. It was turkey soup (not so much turkey) which had bits of banana chips in it. I didn't expect that. At first, I thought it was a piece of turkey, but after tasting it, it has to be banana chips. It was initially weird, but after a while, it all made sense. It was an interesting soup and the chips added to the whimsy of the experience.
Our makeshift table with our tea, drink and soup. Even if we were by the door and the stairs, it was still enjoyable to just be there at the restaurant.

We probably waited for 30 minutes but since we had tea and soup, we hardly realized it. Finally some diners left and we took our seat inside. As Jan and I waited for our food, I did a bit of exploring. It was not a big place but there were a lot of interesting knick-knacks and decor to look at.
There were a bunch of old alarm clocks and a mini-bust of Van Gogh. Not clear in the picture is a Starry, starry night tea pot.

There was also this old leather travel suit case covered with stickers. The globe added a nice touch.

This clock reminded me a bit of Paris though the welcome sign is in English. :P

There is again the lamp with the teapot selection. I think after the VGIB experience, I would like to steep my tea in a pot as well. It's just more charming that way. :P

I was unable to take a photo of the toilet but it was probably the most whimsical and/or artistic part of the place. The washing area was in black light so it was mostly dark with glowing drawings all around. The toilet area itself also had its share of knick-knacks but the best part was a post it containing a marriage proposal. I wonder if the girl ever said yes. I would. It would be fun to be proposed to in VGIB toilet. :P

The blackboard has instructions on how to dine in VGIB. The message from the front door is repeated in the board. Celebrate food, celebrate the self!

We actually did not place any order with Jetro. Neither did we have any idea what the meal would be. I came for the dining experience more than the food itself. And so far, it has been a quiet adventure. Our main course was finally served - Francesco Scavullo honey-glazed chicken with organic pasta.

The way to eat the pasta was to wrap it in cabbage and dip it in either the salty or sweet sauce. Jetro came by and told us that cabbage was the best food to relieve one of depression. Information that will be good to know should another moment of blah happen.

Afterwards, we were served our dessert -- water buffalo ice cream with walnut and crushed Oreo toppings. It was yum!

My favorite part of the night was dining in a top hat. It was like being invited to the Mad Hatter's party in Alice in Wonderland. Thankfully, there was no dormouse in any of the teapots. The hat rack had several hats diner can choose from. Jan and I had the most fun playing around with them!
To be honest, the food is really just one of the elements of Van Gogh is Bipolar dining experience. There would be better food out there, for sure. But what makes VGIB worth going and coming back to is the that feeling that you are being served with passion, with dreams and maybe even love. To eat there is to celebrate, to be whimsical and to have fun.

After eating at Van Gogh is Bipolar, I was quite full. Not just in the tummy but all over. :)

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Address: 154 Maginahawa St., Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Contact details: 09228243052


BabyPink said...

Wow! Nakaka-aliw naman! I love the welcome sign! Ang galing ni Jetro! :)