This is part 2 of our blog post on Certified Foodies about Van Gogh is Bipolar, an extraordinary restaurant located at Maginhawa Street in Quezon City. If you’re visiting Manila, or you live here in the Metro and you want to bring your friends to a new restaurant, this is a must-visit.
Since I took a ton of photos at the place and some of them are not GP enough to be posted on our food blog 😀 (you’ll find out later), I decided to post them all here.
Van Gogh is Bipolar is owned by Jetro Rafael, an artist, traveler and photographer who’s been struggling with bipolar disorder. He found a way to improve his mood – by changing his diet. He opened the restaurant to share his mood-altering diet to everyone 4 years ago, and the rest was history.
You can read all about my dining experience at Van Gogh is Bipolar on our food blog. It’s a meetup with The Burp Society, and everyone had an amazing time. The place was filled with artworks, trinkets, and so many interesting things, I couldn’t help but take a photo of each corner of the restaurant.
You’ll see his own paintings on the walls.
This long table reminds me of True Blood for some reason.
The waiting room for the comfort room had this eerie feel to it. There’s a skeleton inside. I swear, that skeleton moved when I was waiting for my turn at the loo. Hahaha just kidding. No, it’s not a real skeleton, don’t worry. Or is it?! 😀
There’s also something a li’l scary hanging at the ceiling. And all around you, you’ll see writings, photos and notes by people who have been in that same room before me.
The room is dark, but you’ll see people’s handwritings in neon, glowing enough for you to be able to read each one. It’s the place where you’re free to write your deepest, darkest secrets. And, I tell yah, there were shocking revelations written on those walls. I might have written something there… you’ll never know and I’ll never tell. 😉
Pardon the quality of some of the photos. I refused to use flash, so some of my photos are too grainy. But, I think I managed to capture the feel of Van Gogh is Bipolar so you can vicariously live through this narrative of my experience there.
Oh, near the long table, there’s a door marked ‘ASYLUM’. We later learned the door leads to Jetro’s room.
It’ll take you maybe an hour to navigate through everything you’ll find inside the restaurant/Jetro’s home. Might be overwhelming to some, but as I took photos of almost every corner of the resto, I was astounded by the darkness and the feel of the whole place. If only I wasn’t entertaining TBS, I would’ve spent more time gazing and checking out everything I see.
Even the shoe garden which was reserved for us that night was a sight. Hanging above you while you dine are shoes – clean ones, from the looks of it 😀 – of all sorts. Jetro told us that they’re part of his art installation, which he decided to move here.
I also noticed these weird-looking chairs. Jetro later on told us it was from another art installation and he calls them “Cuckoo Chairs”. He grew plants on the chairs and now they’re sporting these kick-ass shoes as well.
I may not completely understand the story or his reasoning behind these art installations, but he did make us wonder…. he made me think. My interpretation may be completely different to yours, and that’s okay. That’s how art should be. It’s personal, even its effect on each of us.
It was definitely a memorable experience, not just because of the food, but everything about Van Gogh is Bipolar: Jetro, the different components of his dishes, the artworks, the feel of the resto. It’s somehow difficult to completely describe the impact of this experience to me, so I highly recommend you go and find out for yourself. All I know is my experience at VGiB is a story I’ll continue to share for many years to come. 🙂
I invite you to read my review of Van Gogh is Bipolar on Certified Foodies.