The guys behind Mad for Garlic were definitely not kidding about their obsession with garlic. Hailing from Korea, this Italian cuisine inspired restaurant not only has a menu with a strong emphasis on garlic, even the lamps and decor resemble garlic bulbs.
Located in the heart of the nightlife scene in Singapore – Clarke Quay, the modern looking restaurant looks like the perfect place for a date night. Well, that’s if neither is bothered by each other’s garlic breath. By the way, reservations are highly recommended on weekends. We ended up with bar counter seats because we didn’t have prior reservations, and it wasn’t till much later did we manage to move to a proper table.
Garlic Bread Tower ($12.50): Warm crusty baguette topped with fresh garlic puree. It was served as a tower, but even before I could snap a photo, the waitress had already compressed and cut it up. Other than it’s initial presentation, this is no different from the usual garlic bread. It didn’t help that the garlic flavour was rather mild, and $12.50 for garlic bread is definitely way overpriced.
Garlic Snowing Pizza ($22.50): Thin crust pizza topped with shrimp, pineapple, fried garlic and lots of cheese. I usually stay clear of pizza with pineapple, but this unique combination of flavours worked well together, and was surprisingly addictive too! My only gripe is that it is a little on the sweet side. Perhaps less pineapples and more garlic would balance things out.
Shrimp and Garlic Sprout Pasta ($21.70): Don’t be deceived by the description on the menu that it is done in light olive oil sauce. This is one fiery pasta (even for someone who has a high threshold for spicy food)! I was expecting to see shrimps the the size of those on the pizza but was pleasantly surprised to find decent sized prawns. This chili pasta was tasty with the seafood but the garlic sprouts seem redundant.
Chicken and Spinach Cream Pasta ($22.40): Though it was indicated on the menu that this pasta comes in a spicy cream sauce, the sauce was no way near spicy. The cream was a little too thick and it was already cloying barely halfway through the pasta. Would have preferred the chicken to be more tender also.
Garlic Sizzling Rice ($21.40): My favourite dish of the night and by far the most garlicky one as well. This isn’t just any other garlic fried rice. Served on a hot iron pan, the fried rice is done with bacon, fish roe and garlic pickles, and topped with tons of fried garlic chips (can’t never get enough of it!). I particularly liked the play of textures with the addition of crunchy (or ‘QQ’ as some will call it) fish roe which added a burst of flavour with every bite. Not to mention the pickled garlic which intensified the flavour of the dish. Despite it’s hefty price tag for fried rice, it is definitely worth a try.
Overall, although there were some hits and misses, this place is still recommended for garlic lovers and for curious foodies. Unfortunately service was dismal and most of the service staff appeared lost. We got so tired of getting the attention of the service staff to refill our glasses that we helped ourselves with the water jug. Perhaps you will have better luck next time!
Mad for Garlic is located at Block 3B, River Valley Rd,#01-16, The Foundry; and is open from Sunday to Tuesday from 17:00 to 23:00 and Wednesday to Saturday from 17:00 to 01:00.
Car parking spaces are available at Block 3 of Clarke Quay. Alternatively, you may wish to park at Liang Court which is cheaper.