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Friday, March 16, 2012

Van Gogh is Bipolar

Van Gogh is Bipolar

     Our friends have been raving about and were urging us to try this place. We've read a lot about this restaurant and liked what we saw. We didn't pass up the chance to go to this place on our rest day. :)

     If we'd describe this place in a word, it would be HAPPINESS! Read on to find out why. :p


Come in!

     Van Gogh is Bipolar, a quaint, oddly furnished place, is Jetro Rafael's home by day and restaurant by night. Mr. Rafael was diagnosed as bipolar three years ago. To cope with this, he cooked and created unique dishes that play with your mood. He uses ingredients that can either calm you down or lift your spirits up! His cooking is both beneficial to him and to those who savor his dishes. 

     We didn't have the chance to talk to Jetro because he was being interviewed by a group of college students but it's good that they asked what we wanted to know. By eavesdropping, we learned that, like anybody else, he had a hard time accepting his condition. This didn't hinder him though from living a productive life. PROST! :)

Footwear is not allowed

     We made reservations three days in advance via SMS as he only allows 12 diners a night. First things first, footwear is not allowed inside his home. :p 

VGIB's House Rules

     Once you enter the small but festive looking room, you'd have to follow the House Rules. We'd tell you all about our dining experience through these rules. :p

1. Indoors are reserved for 12 diners only.

     Better make reservations since he doesn't accept walk-ins. On the far right corner is a table big enough for six persons. This area is separated by a thin curtain, just to give some privacy for small group dinners. Then there's a table for two on the left corner of the room, perfect for intimate dining. :) 

     Two more sets of seating are available for couples, all different and peculiar which makes for a laid back ambiance. Plants, herbs, art projects, collections from countries the owner has visited decorate the room. A round table full of teapots of various designs sits in the middle of the dining area.

Eccentric designs

     The biggest and most interesting feature here is the cabinet filled with test tubes, lamps, disguises, bottles, and vases -- odd but really nice stuff! The different tea leaves and honey is also served here. On the right is a small window where food is served from the kitchen.


2. Stupids and idiots are welcome. :p

     We're in the medical field so we know something about this mood disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder. A person can be hyper or ecstatic one moment and then become depressed the next. Some famous bipolars are Kurt Cobain, Robert Downey, Jr., Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe and Vincent van Gogh.

Table for Two

     The seating areas are all different and doesn't follow a single theme. This one had an umbrella as a lampshade and had a reddish glow. The wall is full of clippings and writings, adding to the eccentric feel of the space. Another seating area is for six, with an oblong table with mismatched chairs.

Mix and Match

     Near this table is a small counter where you can carve whatever you want. On the counter are some scrabble and number blocks and stacking toys similar to Jenga.


3. No servers here. If you need anything, please ring the bell by the kitchen window.

Relax :)

     It's just the owner and the cook so no servers. You can go to the counter and ring the bell if you want anything.

4. Write your name and orders on paper provided.

     Near the window is a small pad and pencil where you can write your orders. They'll just call out your name once the dishes are ready.

What's your course? :p

Experiencing the Bipolar Diet

     That night, we were to choose from 3 different meals - 3, 4 or 5 course. According to Jetro, all the ingredients he uses are fresh -- he even does his own grocery, buys goods from the market.

Course #1: Soup

Virginia Woolf Tears

     Slow cooked organic wild turkey broth soup. This one had banana chips, turkey, carrots edible flowers and herbs. Both a healthy and delicious starter!

Courtney Love's Potion of the Day

     Made from the freshest and organic fruit extracts with pure wild Palawan honey. No sugar added! We really loved this concoction! It was so refreshing and you can really taste how healthy this drink is because of the fresh fruits he mixed in!

Course #2: Main Dish

     You can choose from Happy Fish or Chill Meat. We ordered the two so we can try them both! :)

Pres. Theodore Roosevelt's Meal

     Black rice pilaf served with crispy salmon belly bits. Salmon is an excellent source of omega poly-unsaturated acid known to make you happy. This dish also has mangoes, nuts, blueberries, tomatoes and green leafy veggies - all so healthy and scrumptious! We loved the different textures and tastes these ingredients have! 

Pres. Abraham Lincoln's Meal

     Black rice pilaf served with wild turkey bits. Turkey contains tryptophan that activates serotonin which flush out bad mood and gives you that super chill mood. This dish also had baby potatoes, mangoes and some blueberries. The turkey was cokked perfectly, was tender and delicious! All the other healthy stuff was filling, too!

Course #3: Desserts

     We were so full so we looked around first before having our dessert. We took photos of every nook and cranny of the restaurant. Haha! :D After clicking away to our heart's content, we asked for our dessert -- a choice between wholesome and naughty. 

Marilyn Monroe's Messy Ice Lolly (Wholesome)

     All natural flavored ice candy made with real fresh fruits, water buffalo's fresh milk and wild honey. On top of the ice candy are green apples, blueberry and mint leaves. This one really evoked a happy feeling! The mixture of tangy, sweet, sour, fruity was awesome! We could finish 2 more of these. Haha! :D

Mel Ginson's Darkest Sin (Naughty)

     A shot of vodka with melted dark chocolate, crushed walnuts with honey. He first gave us test tubes with vodka, put alcohol in the serving dish and lit it up to heat and melt the chocolate. After drinking the vodka, spoon out the rich chocolate as a chaser. Jetro was kind enough to give each of us a glass -- since he said we shared everything. :)

5. For the drinkers, read instructions on how to make your own tea.

Tea time

     We had 6 kinds of tea to choose from, each evoking a different mood. There's extra upper, upper, happy chill, light chill, soothing and extra calmer. Get 2 teaspoons of your choice of tea leaves, put in the pot and fill it with hot water.

Select your own teapot

     At the center of the room is this round table full of teapots of different designs and sizes.

Tea for two

     We chose the soothing tea -- avocado. You can refill your teapot twice and if you want a jigger of honey, it costs only 10php.

6. After eating, kindly place soiled dishes by the kitchen window.

Kitchen window

     This was where we wrote and placed our orders. After enjoying your meal, this is also where you bring your soiled dishes. Don't forget to ring the bell! :)

7. For billing, put payment in the red box. Get your own change and receipt.

Payments here

     Jetro relies on the diners' honesty with regards to paying the bill. You write your own receipt, put your payment in the box, and get your own change.

Honesty: The Best Policy

     Using this kind of payment system is tricky since you have to trust everyone that they'll pay and with the right amount. But after having such mood upping meals/ happy-mood-inducing-meals, who'd dare not pay up right :p

8. Carve your name on the tea bar and scribble your dark secret inside the dark room.



     You could probably call this a freedom counter/table since you can write or carve whatever you want on this wooden desk. It was fun making our mark here at this restaurant! :p

     Then there's also a space called the dark room where photos, writings of intriguing nature are posted. 

Dark Secrets

Dark Room


Ecstatic! ^_^

    This was a one-of-a-kind experience! It was our first time to eat such kinds of meals, by a bipolar owner/chef, at a home-turned-restaurant, with our shoes off and with just 8 other people and one-of-a-kind payment system. We thoroughly enjoyed the dishes, especially the desserts, as well as tea time! 

     Indeed, this is where you can celebrate imperfections and embrace flaws and weaknesses. Prost! :p

Van Gogh is Bipolar
154 Maginhawa St. Sikatuna Village
Quezon City
Contact Number: +63 922 824 3051


  1. Oohh... I've always wanted to dine here! I really really wish I get that chance someday soon.

  2. do eat here! you'll surely enjoy it! the ambiance, and of course- the food's great! =)

  3. I've always wanted to eat here! :D Hope the bf and I can visit Van Gogh is Bipolar super soon! <3

  4. i've always wanted to visit this place before! great looking food! :)

  5. Sumi & Beryl: We will be waiting for your post about your dining experience at V.G.I.B.. :)

  6. Wow! Such a unique resto in the metro! :D Thanks for sharing the house rules. At least I know what to expect. I love the menu names by the way. :) Can't wait to dine there in the near future. =)

    1. Check VGIB's Facebook account often, the resto is closed sometimes because the owner is out of the country. We love the names of the dishes too! Classy and intriguing! :)

  7. ang galing!!! pwede pang special dates to :)

    1. Perfect for surprise dinner dates! :) bring your special someone here ;)

  8. magkano kaya dapat budget for dinner for 2?

    1. depends on what he's serving for the night. our 3-course meal was 666php. the 4 and 5 course meal: 777php and 888php :)