Mad for Gar­lic

HK Magazine - - DINING -

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. $$

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