Thursday, 9 August 2018

Spices: Van Gogh is Bipolar

I've mentioned that my basis of a good restaurant is always about the food, no matter where or how the place looks like, food is always my priority. But after being here in Van Gogh is Bipolar is hard not to put into consideration the aesthetic of the place. Plus dining here is all about a cause.

Van Gogh is Bipolar

Upon being seated, we were given welcome drinks and were handed out a map with suggested instructions on which part of the resto we should go visit. The small quaint place was filled with so much quirkiness. Being and going around inside felt like being inside a fairytale.

Welcome Drinks and Map

Palete Cleasing Area

Entering the Dark Room

Express your innermost though inside the Dark Room

One can opt to go ala carte but we decided to try out their 4-course menu that consists of appetizer, soup, entree and dessert plus a glass of drink There were 3 choices and we opted for the 'carnivirous/chill' set and the vegetarian/happy & chill set'. (1,000ph for the 4 course set menu)

Salad and Soup

Basically the dishes served were the same except for the entree and the carnivore soup which has chicken in it. I wouldn't go into details of each dish as the place was all about helping people, the dishes are created to help people with bipolar personalities. For me, the food tasted like a good home cooked meal, it tasted nutritious and healthy.  If these dishes have helped people with their mental health, I wouldn't want to change anything and keep every ingredeient and flavor as it is.

Egg Shot Appetizer

Carnivore Entree

Vegetarian Entree

Ice Candy / Popsicle Dessert

In the middle of dinner, there was a life server who asked permission to perform a piece he wrote, everybody excitedly exclaimed yes. He proceeded to say that he's going to perform nude and the piece was about his experience in taking his own life. The mood at the resto suddenly made a 180 degree turn, from being celebratory to gloomy. The performance was really good, i particularly liked the deep and meaningful play of words. After the performance, the diners were stunned and didn't know how to react. After the performer explained his story and saying that he's doing well, the mood again changed into a happier tone.

This is how I'll remember the resto, it wasn't totally about the food but the total experience.  From having a celebratory mood to gloomy to going back to being happy, the resto sort of made me feel the struggles of people having a bipolar personality.

One of the life servers proceeded to expound that the resto has turned into a haven for people who's struggling with their mental health. They provide personal and group counseling to those who are in need of help and by dining there, we also help indirectly. Kudos to Mr. Jetro Vin Rafael who created all the recipes and turned his home into a restaurant in order to help people with their mental health.

Van Gogh is Bipolar
Address: 154 H Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Tel No.: 0922 8243051
Operating Hours:  12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Spices: The White House

We weren't really planning to go wine and dine in Davao but I chanced upon the White House while surfing the net for things to eat. The place looks really nice on picture and people were raving about the food so I decided to give the resto a try in spite of having a full itinerary.

From the facade of the old house to the warm wooden interiors,
the place looked really classy . I like where we are seated, in front of the theater kitchen.

The three of us decided to go for different degustations, the best part about the degustation menu is the price, it only ranges from 990ph to 1590ph. For our amuse bouche, sweet crispy dilis (anchovies) was served. Bread and butter was also served.

Sweet Crispy Dilis

Bread and Butter

Since we share everything, we got to try each and every dish. To start we were served, Smoked Toro Tempura Roll, Tuna Sashimi and Wasabi Oyster Tempura. The tuna might not be of the highest quality but it was perfectly prepared, no fishy aster taste and no stringy tendons on the fish. The oyster tempura was my favorite as it had a nice crunch outside and a nice moist and juicy center.

Tuna Sashimi

Smoked Toro Tempura Roll

Wasabi Oyster Tempura

Our salads were, Pako and Prawn Salad, Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad and Mesquite Smoked Duck Breast Salad Roll. We enjoyed all the salads as everything tasted so fresh and it was seasoned with just the right amount of dressing. Special mention to the Smoked Duck Breas Salad Roll, it was utterly good, the duck was moist, tender and the combination of the smokey, sweet and salty flavor was perfection.

Pako and Prawn Salad

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

Mesquite Smoked Duck Breast Salad Roll

The soups we had were all kind of disappointing as each one was served lukewarm and bland as there wasn't much flavors. The soups we had were Nori Pumpkin, Cream of Asparagus and Smoked Tomato.

Nori Pumpkin

Smoked Tomato

Cream of Asparagus

For our first entrees, we all had perfectly cooked fish. The Halibut, Salmon and Sea Bass tasted so fresh and delicious.

Pan Seared Halibut in 3 Kinds Mushroom

Pan Seared Salmon

Pan Seared Sea Bass

A deliciously sweet palete cleansing pineapple sorbet was served for our intermezzo.

Pineapple Sorbet

Our 2nd entrees, consists of two beef dishes and a pork dish.  The U.S. Hanger Steak was perfectly  cooked to a medium rare as we requested. I thoroughly enjoyed the aromatic wine reduction with the beef.

Hanger Steak

The U.S. Topblade Salpicao was served sushi style, served on top of nori crusted rice. On its own the beef salpicao was moist, I would have prefer to eat it on its own as the sushi rice wasn't properly seasoned.

Topblade Salpicao

My favorite among all the entrees was the Buta Kakuni, an eight hour braised Pork Belly. It had a super tender melt in your mouth texture and the flavors were just something to die for. So good!

Buta Kakuni

After dinner, we decided to have our dessert and coffee at the relaxing outside lounge garden. The dessert of the day was a piece of durian cake and meringue. Both the coffee and dessert was decent but nothing really extraordinary.

Durian Cake and Meringue

Americano and Cappuccino

It was such a pleasant surprise to be to dine like this in Davao. Though some of the ingredients weren't top notch and aside from the soup, everything was perfectly prepared and made. We all had a nice time dining here and I wouldn't have any 2nd thoughts of going back when I find myself back in Davao.

The White House
Address: Camella Northpoint, JP Laurel Avenue, Buhangin, Davao City
Tel. No.: 082-2824540