Restaurant Spotlight: Mad for Garlic

November 13, 2018
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Mad for Garlic is a famous restaurant in Korea with 15 branches all over that country alone.  Now, it has made its way to the Philippines with its first Metro Manila branch in Bonifacio Global City.

As  befits its name, every item in the menu contains garlic (yes, even dessert)! On today’s Restaurant Spotlight, Pepper.ph interviews Mad for Garlic’s Executive Chef, Winkee Chong, and General Manager ,Dandy Coronel,  for more on their establishment’s interesting concept.

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What prompted Global Restaurant Concepts to bring Mad for Garlic here to the Philippines?

As soon as our President and CEO, Archie Rodriguez, tasted the food, the decision to bring it in the country was instantaneous. The food and flavors were so distinct that he knew immediately that Filipinos would love it.

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Tell us about Mad for Garlic’s cuisine. Is it mainly Korean? Or is it a fusion of different influences?

Mad for Garlic was born from Sun at Food’s CEO, Caroline Nam, and her many travels in Italy where she fell in love with Italian cuisine. To further innovate, the concept of putting in garlic as the heart and soul of every dish came from the fact that it has many health benefits.

The Korean aspect of it is found in the spiciness of the majority of the dishes. Every item on our menu is the perfect marriage of these two cultures – everything is authentic and made fresh every day. Every bite brings you Italy with that welcome Korean twist.

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What is so special about the garlic you use? How do you manage to make the same bulb of garlic taste different in every dish?

Our garlic comes from different countries, including the Philippines. The secret, really, is to source the best garlic from suppliers, which are all pre-approved by our Korean partners.

There is a lot of science that goes into every Mad for Garlic dish. At any given day, we have over 20 kinds and preparations of garlic, depending on the item to be prepared. For three months, our management team was sent to Korea to study the process of making garlic less pungent and spicy, and to be able to adjust it to the different recipes on our menu. It is not just about putting a clove of garlic on everything.

Dracula Killer (PHP 195) Soft garlic bread served with garlic cooked in olive oil and anchovies.

“The Dracula Killer is the dish you have to try when you are in Mad for Garlic. The whole escargot plate is baked upon order, which makes the garlic soft enough to be spreadable on bread. The olive oil gives that sweet taste which balances the spiciness of the garlic,” says Chef Winkee Chong.

Garlic Snowing Pizza (PHP 545) Mad for Garlic’s special sauce topped with shrimp, pineapple, and fried sliced garlic.

“The quality of our pizzas is really one of the best because of the dough. Our dough is made from scratch, hand rolled, and baked in a stone oven. This makes it thin enough to be enjoyable, but resilient enough to be rolled like a panizza.

We use Grana Padano cheese, which we grate on the spot—this makes most of the dishes we use them in taste creamier, aside from the Garlic Snowing Pizza. Pre-grated cheese, you may notice, is more moist thus affecting the overall eating experience.”

Fresh Spinach Salad (PHP 295) Fresh spinach salad with fried garlic and bacon slices with aromatic balsamic dressing.

“For this salad, we used fried sliced garlic, but the dressing also has garlic in it. The secret is in finding the best spinach leaves, which provides that great crunch in every bite. It is also a very filling dish.”

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Zuppa di Pesce (PHP 655) Special spicy soup with various kinds of seafood, and served with garlic bread sticks.

“Vongole, calamari, mussels, and shrimp go into our Zuppa di Pesce. It’s a tomato-based soup with macaroni pasta and is very spicy. It will literally wake up your senses with every bite and sip and would go so well with one of our red wines.”

Gorgonzola Cream Pasta (PHP 750) Cream sauce pasta with U.S. scallops and mashed potato with gorgonzola.

“All our menu items are from Korea and with this dish, the mashed potato balances well with the gorgonzola cheese. Plus, it (mashed potato) makes the texture of the sauce thicker but [it still remains] smooth. The basil gives it a refreshing taste.”

Garlic Sizzling Rice (PHP 425) Special fried rice sautéed with bacon, and tossed with flying fish roe.

“Fish roe provides the salty taste of our Garlic Sizzling Rice. That’s why we don’t add salt at all to this dish. It (the flying fish roe) provides that oomph in every spoonful as it bursts in your mouth.”

Garlic Sprinkle Gelato (PHP 175) Mad for Garlic’s special garlic ice cream served with a garlic cookie.

“This dessert of ours is such a pleasant surprise for most of our guests. The vanilla provides the perfect base for the strength of the garlic’s flavor. The cookie is baked fresh every day, and is the perfect spoon for the gelato. To say [eating] it is an adventure would be a great understatement – it’s a gustatory journey for all ages.”

Wine Ade (PHP 170) Orange Ade (PHP 110) Yuja Ade (PHP 110)

“We use fresh orange juice for our Orange ade, but I’d like to talk about our Wine Ade since it’s more interesting since it has soda, syrup, and wine. It’s almost like a cocktail in itself! Yuja, on the other hand, is a Korean traditional fruit preserved in honey citron, which we import. Yuja Ade, hands down, is our best seller among the ades.”

GM Dandy Coronel tells us that Mad for Garlic is all about healthy indulgence – it’s enjoying delicious food without the guilt. “Everything is made fresh every morning from scratch, from the best ingredients, each and every time. It’s a different taste profile that you feel at home with in every visit. You go to Mad for Garlic to experience the big three when it comes to an excellent dining experience: food, service, and ambience.”


Mad for Garlic
G/F W Global Center
30th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
+632 808 9517
Store Hours: Sunday-Thursdays from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Friday-Saturdays from 11:00 am – 12:00 mn
Follow Mad for Garlic on Facebook and Twitter

Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of Pepper.ph and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, Preen.ph. She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

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