Mad for Garlic is an Italian restaurant that originated in Korea. The dishes at Mad for Garlic are infused with garlic, prepared in an unique way that removes the pungent smell of garlic from each dish, and appeals to both garlic and non-garlic lovers.
Mad for Garlic
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Don't get me wrong, especially with the 1-for-1 pasta or pizza Standard Chartered deals which comes occasionally, I love this place! And having been to the outlet in Korea, I really appreciate we don't have to endure the same waiting time as in the Gangnam outlet in Seoul.
But honestly, after discounting the fact that a franchise may never be as good as its original, the appetisers and desserts do fall short. Though I would still recommend patrons to come and try their pizzas and pastas! Not many places remain quiet in Suntec on weekends so the restaurant, located in quiet corner, is certainly a God-send!
1. The Mad Mexi Nacho Pizza ($23.50): I don't quite get why a Korean-Italian restaurant could come up with a Mexican Nacho Pizza, but its certainly Mad-ly tasty! The minced beef pizza with generous toppings of nacho chips are perfectly complemented with its salsa sauce. On its own, the pizza may seem a little dry but add a spoonful of salsa to the top and you are good to go!
A special mention for those who don't like garlic too much but had no say in the location: This will be a great option for you!
2. Gorgonzola Pizza (S$21.40): A very hugely popular pizza flavour in Korea, those who don't have a penchant for blue cheese should stay far far away. But what makes this unique is the lightly fried garlic bits in honey which infuse a unique flavour to the dipping sauce - a perfect balance with the strongly flavoured gorgonzola cheese.
3. Garlic Snowing Pizza (S$22.50): Their signature dish, it certainly caters for those with a sweet tooth with shrimp, diced pineapple and a sweet mayonnaise-like base layer with infused garlic. I recommend having this if you have people to share as more than 1 piece is really quite heavy.
4. Garlicpeno Pasta (S$18.80): With crispy garlic slices and mexican pepper in aglio olio pasta, this is certainly another well-loved signature for those who can take some spice and hope to drive away some vampires. And if your date isn't too in love with garlic breath, then you've been warned: it will likely drive them away too.
As mentioned above, the appetisers and desserts have disappointed though and amongst those that I have tired include the Garlic Bread Tower (which seems nothing more of a gimmick-style bread propped up), and their Tiramisu (which thankfully only had a garlic-symbol motif as part of the plating rather than garlic flavours in the dessert) which were both very much forgettable.
So ditch appetisers, plan for desserts elsewhere and enjoy the delicious mains to hit that garlic sweet spot!
Revolving around the concept of an ingredient, Mad For Garlic is a new concept restaurant that originated in Korea, but focuses its menu on serving classic Italian dishes such as pasta, pizza, and risotto. Offering over 50 kinds of menu items all based around garlic, Mad For Garlic is definitely not a place to dine at if you plan to do any kissing later.
Even the ambience reflects its theme of garlic and wine. Mad For Garlic has an attractive wine rack which takes up an entire wall, and the overhead lightings are wreathed in garlic cloves. Beyond this, Mad For Garlic has a rather simple, minimalist look, with dark colours and large, functional booths.
I find the service at Mad For Garlic to be above average. Staff constantly move around to check on diners, and are knowlegable about items on the menu. I find that they project a certain level of professionalism when speaking to them, especially the senior staff. Food is served relatively quickly. However, the junior staff do lack wine knowledge, only able to offer basic advice on wines.
While Mad For Garlic offers classic Italian dishes, they put their own spin on it by incorporating garlic into everything, even the appetizers and desserts. Portions are generous and suitable for sharing, and prices are reflective of a up-market cafe, but not as expensive as a full service restaurant. I especially liked that Mad For Garlic makes its own pasta in-house, however, they only offer spaghetti as the sole pasta choice.
A house specialty, the Garlic Bread Tower is served table side, providing mini entertainment for diners. Filled with fresh garlic puree, I find the crisp, warm bread to be really tasty. Recommended as a starter.
The Grilled Chicken & Mushroom Risotto has beautifully smooth and creamy risotto, while still being al-dente enough with a slight bite, and a fragrant mushroom aroma. Generous slices of mushroom, garlic cloves, and leaves of spinach make this dish healthy and fragrant, while the grilled chicken slices were tender, moist, and had a slight smoky char from the grill. Excellent dish, and I would highly recommend this!
The Shrimp And Garlic Sprout Spaghetti features house-made spaghetti, in an light olive oil, chili and garlic base (aglio olio), topped with fresh, whole prawns and garlic sprouts. Loved that the freshness of the ingredients shines through, and that the 4 whole shrimp are quite large. Thought the use of olive oil was a little too liberal though.
Garlic as a dessert? The unique Garlic Berry Ice Cream features sweet garlic jelly that releases a burst of garlic goodness after the initial sweetness of the gelatin gummy. Served on a dollop of French Vanilla ice cream, with topping of raspberry and blueberry compote, the contrast of sweetness, tartness, and sharpness of the garlic complement each other well.
The Garlic Snowing Pizza is almost like a turbo charged version of the classic Hawaiian Pizza, featuring fresh shrimp on each slice, pineapples and 2 types of cheese. Garlic chips are sprinkled liberally across the thin crust, giving each mouthful a powerful flavour. Very good!
I am not a food gourmet. I can't tell the difference between Italian/French/Mexican cuisine. I can only tell you if it tastes good or it doesn't. And it did taste good. Though I am one who really likes garlic, seeing that I can eat garlic raw. I thought that their dishes would do better with more garlic, but that's probably just my opinion.
I liked their sizzling rice, and with the capsicum and fish roe, it did create a rather unique flavour. However, it might not be for those who do not have a tolerance for chill, because I felt that it was too spicy for my liking--an issue compounded by the fact that the rice was sizzling, so it was both temperature hot and spicy. Another dish I liked was their Snowing Pizza, which I thought highlighted the garlic rather well.
I liked the ambience very much. The service staff are attentive and service is fairly prompt. Though if you're going with a bunch of rowdy friends, you might feel a little out of place, because the place doesn't feel like it's meant for such gatherings. I know from personal experience.
I love Mad For Garlic and even went there for Valentines Day! Though it isn't romantic and all, it still has a nice ambience to it because of its modern decor. (a little dark inside though!) There is an impressive bartender there. (do sit by the bar if you want to watch him!)
For the food, I recommend this garlic fondue. It is the best thing I had since I first started eating at this place (which was at the Suntec branch), and now I still visit the Clarke Quay branch regularly. There was a long queue the last time I went there on a Friday night though, so reservations should be made in advance. Love the snowy pizza and the pasta's good too. Oh, and alot of the waiters and waitresses are korean!
Mad for Garlic may be Korean in origin but there is certainly nothing Korean about the food. At least as far as I can tell, the pasta and pizza items are pure Italian fare at its best, and not some kind of Italian-Korean fusion (if there is even such a thing). So I highly recommend visiting Mad for Garlic to satisfy your craving for Italian food. Prices may be steep depending on what you order, but I think you will get what you pay for, in terms of portion sizes and quality of food.
The Meat Lover's Creamy Pizza was one of the best pizzas I've had in a long time. It was topped with slices of sausage, ham, bacon, and slivers of onion (and a generous mound of freshly grated cheese on request). The crust-to-topping ratio was perfect for me, as the crust was thin enough so that every bite was less the starchiness of bread and more the meatiness and creaminess of the toppings, and the crunch of onions. The pizza was a tad sweet, and I found out that this was due to the wine sauce. The sweetness, however, did not overwhelm but lent the pizza a mellowness that contrasted pleasantly with the saltiness of the cheese and meat toppings. It was a cream-based pizza but not at all cloying. On the contrary, it was extremely addictive; I polished off more than half of it.
The pasta we had, a tomato-based seafood pasta, was not as amazing, but passable nonetheless. It was a sizeable portion, like the pizza, and came with two fat shrimps, mussels, and squid. The shrimp and mussels were so-so, but the squid was texturally unexciting -- bland, boring lumps that could afford some flavour and more spring to the bite. The pasta itself was not too bad, and I liked that the tomato base was not the wet, soupy kind, but chunky and stew-like.
If I had to choose my favourite restaurant in Singapore, it would definitely be Mad for Garlic. Mad for Garlic serves Italian food, in which all dishes are infused with garlic elements to create tasty and aromatic food for customers.
Although it may seem a little intimidating to have dishes with garlic as the base, the dishes are anything but pungent. In fact, the garlic lends each dish a delicious aroma that definitely whets the appetite, and even sweetens up the dishes. I am personally not a fan of garlic, but eating at Mad for Garlic was an amazing experience for me, as the garlic could hardly be tasted, and I really wouldn't have known that there was garlic in each dish if not for the tell-tale menu.
I would personally recommend the Lobster Pasta at Mad for Garlic. I fell in love with this dish at first bite, and till now, it's still my go-to dish whenever I visit this restaurant. The pizzas at Mad for Garlic are delicious as well. Try the Garlic Snowing Pizza! The garlic sauce is surprisingly sweet and is an amazing deviant from the typical Hawaiian pizza.
Mad for Garlic also has amazing ambience. The lighting of the restaurant is generally dim and the restaurant even houses a wine bar, creating a very romantic atmosphere about the place.
Service is pretty prompt as well, and the staff even offers their honest opinion of dishes to try when asked.
Although the prices at Mad for Garlic can be a little steep for a student like myself, there is no doubt that the food there is worth every single cent!