Mad For Garlic
"There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, for me, garlic is the most deserving."
~ Leo Buscaglia, author
A first-timer in the Philippines, but already in 22 locations across Korea, Singapore and Jakarta, Mad for Garlic is a testament to the universal lure of the wonder spice. A look at their menu reveals Italian cuisine combined with Asian flavors. Apart from the garlic-themed dishes, they also offer different kinds of wine and beverages perfect for food pairing.
Their bestseller appetizer, Dracula Killer (P195), shows what high quality, simple ingredients can do.
Another great starter, although pretty costly, is the Tutto Mushroom Salad (P665) – three kinds of mushroom served in teriyaki sauce and then paired with grilled red pepper, asparagus, and arugula on the side.
Tutto Mushroom Salad
To tone down the garlic, Mad for Garlic offers some “signature ades,” with the Wine Ade (P170) and Yuja Ade (P110) as the standout choices.
Wine AdeWine Ade is red wine mixed with soda—a refreshing beverage that will be enjoyed by wine lovers, and embraced by non-wine drinkers. The Yuja Ade is composed of yuja cha, a citron tea common in Korea, and light soda with lemon. Both drinks are original concoctions of Mad for Garlic.
Since this is an Italian restaurant as much as it is Asian, pizza and pasta play a great role on the menu.
The Garlic Snowing Pizza (P545) is a favorite among Filipinos. The crust is slathered with Mad for Garlic’s “special sauce” (ingredients will remain undisclosed), topped with shrimp, pineapple, grated cheese and a generous serving of fried sliced garlic. Usually, pineapple on pizza doesn’t work for me, but this one surprisingly complements the rest of it. Mildly sweet and intensely cheesy, the garlic crisps are like little punches of flavor with every bite.
Garlic Snowing Pizza
Pair your pizza with pasta, specifically the Zuppa di Pesce (P655), which doubles as soup, as well (its Italian name translates to “fish soup”).
Zuppa di Pesce
For white sauce lovers, however, the Crab and Lobster Pasta (P475) is a good choice. The spaghetti is cooked in garlic cream sauce and then combined with crab and lobster meat. Eat this while it’s hot, as the sauce tends to dry around the edges of the pasta. I like to enjoy this dish with a drizzling of chili oil just to take its innocence away.
Crab and Lobster Pasta
Dancing Salsa Rice with Steak
Finally, when your companion confirms garlic breath, it’s time for dessert. One of two desserts in Mad for Garlic’s menu is the Garlic Sprinkle Gelato (P175). Yes, it wasn’t spared the garlic treatment. The garlic ice cream is drizzled with chocolate syrup and paired with a garlic cookie triangle.
Garlic Sprinkle Gelato
Even if they don’t offer free garlic mints after the meal, I would definitely brave garlic breath at Mad for Garlic. It’s the stuff heroes eat, a divine gift not to be misused, and smelling it makes everything all right. Poor vampires, they’ve got it all wrong.