The moment you hear the name Mad for Garlic, you know it’s a garlic-themed restaurant. What you don’t know is that this is an Italian that originated from Korea (reminds me of Bel Mondo, an Italian restaurant that originated from Osaka, Japan).
Mad for Garlic’s first restaurant was in Apgujeong-dong, an affluent entertainment and residential district in southern Seoul. With its garlic-specialised Italian menu and a good selection of wines to compliment the dishes, Mad for Garlic soon became one of Korea’s most popular restaurant chains. There are currently 36 Mad for Garlic outlets in Korea, 2 in Jakarta and 1 in Singapore.
In 2013, Mad for Garlic was voted by Korea Times and Korea Herald as the Best Performing Italian Restaurant in Korea.
Mad for Garlic’s menu comprises mainly Italian dishes, but it is not hard to spot the Korean influences in dishes such as Oriental Beef Pasta and Herb Pork Sizzling Rice.
We were recommended Dracula Killer [$13.50] by the staff who told us that this is a popular starter among patrons. Roasted whole garlic is cooked with anchovies and olive oil served with shredded Grana Padano and 6 pieces of sliced baguette. The process of roasting has taken away the sharpness from the garlic, the olive oil blends well with garlic oil to serve as the perfect dip for the sliced baguette.
If it’s your first time here, you can’t go wrong with Garlic Snowing Pizza [$23.50] which also happens to be their bestselling pizza. When the staff shreds the white parmesan cheese on the pizza at your table, it really does look like it’s snowing. I personally feel that this is more like a dessert pizza, for the combination of sweet white sauce, fried garlic, shrimp and pineapple creates a sweetness that is rather unforgettable.
6-Clove Garlic Gorgonzola Penne [$23] is one of the new additions to the menu alongside Garlicpeno Pasta [$19] and Oriental Beef Pasta [$22]. The sauce reminds me of the classic carbonara sauce but the bland taste could use a few sprinkles of salt and pepper. Served with sautéed mushroom and roasted whole garlic, this is one for the cream-lovers.
Garlic Sizzling Rice [$22.50] is the bestseller in the rice section and it’s not difficult to see why. The combination of fried rice, pickled garlic, bacon and flying fish roe gives the dish a sweet-saltiness that is perfectly balanced.
I have always had a thing for pannacotta, so when I saw Panna Cotta with Garlic & Berry [$11] on the menu, I knew I had to try it and I end up pretty disappointed. The pannacotta is not as creamy and dense as the one I had at Bel Mondo recently and the berry sauce does nothing to elevate the overall taste of the dish.
Mad for Garlic
Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City #02-300/301, Singapore 083983
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11.30am – 10pm; Friday – Saturday 11.30am – 11pm