Just a mention of modern-day Korean dramas and those beautiful cafe scenes come to mind. It’s always perfect – the setting, the facial expressions, the lighting, the actress, the nip and tuck, the flip phones, the songs. Hang on, not the songs. Maybe I’ve not watched enough to judge but from my experience, most of them felt like recycled ballads from the 80s or 90s. Then again, Kenny G, Richard Marx and Chicago did charm the world over and over again with their saccharine tunes (and compilations) and earned them lots of money along the way. I guess I must be the real the problem here.
My preconception of this place was nothing short of a scene right out of those hallyu K-afes and since I’m not capable of nor do I idealize long locks, colourful eyewear, fitting designer attire and romantic prose, something else must have really driven me towards this Korean joint. It was the obnoxiously appetizing stinking rose. Ah, just the thought of it makes me want to get some chicken rice with that garlicky chilli sauce.
The interior was sophisticated but somehow dramatized by the hanging of fake garlic garlands and such. And the songs, aha....just as I expected. So, there I was, commenting on every song in the playlist that I know of and XLB must have thanked the universe for my order of the Garlicpeno Pasta for it did shut me up for about 15 minutes or so. It was really hot! And tasty too, thanks to the finely chopped, slightly tangy (pickled?) Mexican pepper, shallots and some crispy fried garlic flakes. Painstakingly good, this. I read somewhere that South Korea has the highest suicide rate within the developed countries due to, among others, depression and stress. I presume that since we, in this region, should not be statistically too far behind, the Garlicpeno seems to suggest a more intelligent remedy in combating these psychological conditions. There’s nothing like a good sweat to wash away the negative charges. To me, the effect of the jalapeno was not instantaneous but when it did hit, it was sweat me a river. Though it was barely a few hours after a sumptuous lunch, we thought that we should have something else to peck, like garlic bread. Here, it’s called a Garlic Bread Tower, intentionally toppled and flattened by the wait staff, exposing the filling of garlic powder where the texture was similar to desiccated coconut. Despite the pouring amount, it was not sufficiently pungent, much to my disappointment.
The objectives were pretty clear – to be stuffed with, as the name of the restaurant suggested, a mad amount of garlic and leave with some immunity booster. Sadly, the former didn’t materialize but despite that, if Mad For Garlic was to be gauged solely by the fantastic Garlicpeno pasta, I think it’s worth a revisit. We’re eyeing the fried rice with garlic next. Oh, and there's a dish called Dracula Killer as well.
Sir, it’s really hot. Ok for you?
Bring it on.
Mad for Garlic
3 Temasek Boulevard
#01-039 Suntec City (Galleria)
Tel: (+65) 6333 1507