Monday, July 17, 2017

Van Gogh is Bipolar at Maginhawa

Van Gogh is bipolar, and he's a Dutch artist who lived a tragic life, one of the most prominent artists who we briefly discussed in my Art History class back in college. Van Gogh is Bipolar, is a restaurant, one we've been discussing about trying out since after college...and one I finally got to try last week. Ever since my brother experienced eating there a few years back he'd been repeatedly telling me about his desire to go back for a second. After agreeing that we eat dinner with a few friends at a new Korean restaurant at BGC, he tells me that he just made a reservation at Van Gogh is Bipolar because he forgot what we agreed on a few hours prior. But come to think of it, I think I was meant to go there because just two days before we went to the restaurant a friend posted a link on Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal as Van Gogh in a docudrama called Painted With Words. The beauty of the script lies in the fact that they used a lot of the words coming from the written letters of Vincent sent to his brother Theo. A word of caution though, the movie is a downer...because it deals with frustration, depression, loneliness, and art at the same time.

Here's the link to the 1hr.20mins. movie by the way: Painted With Words

Welcoming salabat and turmeric tea drinks. And the menu on the right is where
you'll have the power to customize your dinner at a limited rate.

The other side of the room where you can vandalize.

You can choose what hat to wear for dinner. They have a lot of selection,
that it reminded me of photobooths.

They have a Japanese toilet, and a very cluttered CR.

You can choose a pot located at the center of the room and make tea.

You can choose to mix leaves for your tea or make calamansi juice.
I made an awful combination, so I convinced my friend to drink it for me.

Their little black book where they explain stuff about the resto.

You will have to take off your shoes before entering the premises of the restaurant/home. There are a few tables available, so I suggest you make a reservation beforehand, especially if you plan to eat there for dinner because they require you to have a proper sit-down meal that could take at least two hours to finish from your welcoming drinks down to your dessert. It's the "Experience" for 999 per head plus service charge that is required when you dine there for dinner. You can also choose the Signature, Lovers, or Great Supper for dinner. Their a la carte option is only available during the afternoon, while the Classic can only be checked during lunch. 

The servers will explain the steps, and every time the food is served they explain some bit of background about the food. Some servers explain better than others. They also tell you that each plate is specially made for the if they give you a breast part or less meat, it means you need to diet. Seriously, I saw my brother getting larger portions of meat as compared to my other friend. And they got lamb meat while I got chicken breast! But it doesn't matter, we all shared our food with each other in the end. 

While waiting for the food to be served, you can go around the restaurant, pick random hats to use, check their comfort room, write on the wall, make tea, or do some experiment thing...better yet, take lots and lots of photos. It took a long while for our food to be served, because there seems to be three cooks at the back kitchen and to servers up front. But they try their best to make a good first impression.

Taste-wise, the food tasted...healthy. You know, not too oily, a little bland, and a lot of leaves. They have a knack for chili flakes, you can put them on anything that they serve. There were some interesting combinations that I mean their appetizer which is the raw egg shot. I love eggs, but I don't like them raw. Their main course was filling though, that we all left with a full stomach. It's a combination of a hit or miss when it came to taste for me. Their dessert was a bit sad, it was more of a show. If you're lucky, the owner could approach your table and chat a bit explaining about the concept of the restaurant. The concept is that they serve mood-food, sort of therapeutic and health, which is nice. Long story short, the owner is bipolar, and this is his diet.

Do I recommend the resto? Yes, for the experience, more than the food.

It's basically arroz caldo with chili flakes and uncooked random leaves.

Fresh buko juice with mint leaves on top. It took me the whole night to finish
the whole thing. Their coconut meat is too thick to eat though, so we didn't
bother to let them break it open...I wish it was a younger buko.

Raw egg yolk, tamarind puree, sea salt, chili flakes, apple cider, honey,
and Jagermeister. The tamarind puree dominated the shot, and thankfully
not the raw egg yolk.

My main course of baked chicken breast, black rice, salad, mixed fruits, buttered
vegetables, and edible flowers (which I didn't eat because I have that in our
garden, and it kinda have this fibers on its petals...not a good idea.)

The main course for us carnivores. This is the lamb my brother got, while the
dessert on the right belonged to another table. They got a better one than we did. :(

The Naughty dessert. A shot of absinthe mixed with brown sugar and cayenne pepper
and is burned to reduce the alcohol. The chaser is a spoon of gooey fudge and almond.

You can tell them if one of you has a birthday, and they'll put candles in your glass.

We sat on one of the bigger tables. There are only two big tables that sit 6.
Other tables sit 2-4, but that's elbow to elbow.

*Some photos belong to my friends Andrew and Anthony.