Mad for Garlic
Korean Fusion. Shop 1104, 11/F, Food Forum, Times Square, 1 Matheson St., Causeway Bay, 3752-2880. From one pungent ingredient to another, popular Korean chain Mad For Garlic replaces the ubiquitous kimchi with the addictive aromatics of garlic, using it in 11 different methods of preparation across the bold-flavored menu.
HIT We loved the garlic bread tower ($48), a crispy baguette toasted upright, with a volcanic mound of paprika spiced garlic mince on top. The server smushes the mound of garlic into the soft fluffy center tableside; served piping hot, the combination can’t go wrong. The grilled chicken ssam ($108) was a relatively healthy starter with salad greens wrapped in puffy naan bread smothered with garlic butter.
The garlic steak ($188), a juicy rib-eye heaped with toasted garlic chips, arrived a little too rare for us but the servers graciously changed it. The greatest surprise was the garlic and banana nutella pizza dessert
($68), with sweet garlic cloves that somehow paired well with banana and chocolate.
MISS Acoustics aren’t great, and unless you’re seated at a booth, you’ll probably find it hard to hear the person across from you. Pastas are a bit on the goopy side, especially with the garlic carbonara ($98), which had too much sweetness (and heaviness) from the garlic cream. On another visit, the beef tenderloin ssam ($198) came with dry naan, with the garlic cream served on the side in a bowl of oily, limp grilled veg.
BOTTOM LINE You may have to wait for a table, but inventive, easily shareable dishes and wallet-friendly prices make for a fun dining experience nevertheless. And besides—who doesn’t love garlic?
Open Mon-Sun 11am-11pm. $$