On multiple occasions I have really enjoyed the Saffron Risotto ($28++) here; a spectacular, well balanced dish with creamy broth, chewy rice, juicy plump scallops with a buttery crisp sear. Big hit for me, I really appreciate their use of scallops compared to the usual prawn/calamari/clam mix that most Italian places do for their Zafferano.

The La Nonna pizza ($24.5++) has a strong presence on many review sites and blogs, but was rather in the realm of "good, not great" when I tried it. Good crust, decent ingredients. The truffle in unfortunately difficult to detect.

Gnocchi ($25++) is a miss. Dumplings themselves are heavy and cloying.

Complimentary bread basket is a very nice touch, warm crisp bun and seasoned breadstick. Simple but thoughtfully executed.

Service is professional, but the waitstaff tend to be very busy even late on weeknights. Tables are a little squeezy. I suppose both factors could be indicative that the place is simply very popular.

Decent value with the lunch promo or Entertainer.

1 Like

Appealing concept of being able to order from four concept kitchens all while seated at one dining area, accompanied by very earnest and polite servers.

Unfortunately the food is a bit flat, with most dishes in 6/10 or 7/10 territory without being spectacular.

Better dishes include the Entrecote Steak ($34.90++), done to a perfect medium rare and served with glistening golden fries; however the popular secret sauce was much too tart and insufficiently umami to really carry the dish properly. Aguacate and Queso Tartine ($15++) was tasty but could really have done with a lot more cheese at that price point, for what is essentially two small slices of avocado toast.

The combined menu is a bit lacking in character despite the sheer number of dishes available (is there really such a need to have so many variations on bread?), only really anchored by the Entrecote Steak and not much else. Am left wondering if the experience would be improved if the popular favourites from Sabio (White Wine Scallops) and Ange Cafe (Savoury Choux) or the like were made available on the combined menu.

1 Like

In my book, this is one of the better casual restaurants in Singapore.

The ambience is incredibly private and cosy; whoever designed the layout did a brilliant job with the lighting and seat / barrier heights specifically. They train their service staff very well; I've never had the same server twice, yet all of the staff I have interacted with serve professionally with a smile, and are prompt and accommodating. In these respects Mad for Garlic outperforms many fine dining restaurants that I've been to.

Food is consistent in quality, rich and flavourful, and certainly very unique due to the generous amounts of garlic they put in everything. The Garlic Snowing Pizza ($24++) is THE must-order, with a perfect crust and excellently balanced, intense flavours. Even if someone in the party doesn't fancy prawns or is horrified by pineapple on pizza... get it anyway! I have had friends remove those and eventually admit that their modified pizza slices were the best thing we ordered that day.

The other standout is the Lemon Calamari Cream Risotto ($23++) - sweet calamari meat, rich cream, lemony tartness to cut through it. Once again, intense yet balanced.

Biggest food disappointment was the Crab and Lobster Pasta ($24++), it sounds good on paper but something just doesn't quite work with this dish. And it's not that they're extremely stingy with the meat; I would think perhaps it just does not pair well with garlic.

Two negative points - they do not take any reservations, and they charge for water; and even if you are willing to pay for water, they only sell bottled and will not warm it for you. Hopefully management will consider changes to these policies in the future.

3 Likes

Made a long journey here, attracted by images of the rosti and their mushroom sauce and the promise of hawker-like prices. Was not disappointed!

Big portion of rosti charred perfectly on the outside (but admittedly, not particularly well cooked on the inside - but it's really difficult to balance both factors) with delicious brown mushroom sauce and an extra-tangy, extra-interesting sour cream which I suspect they add lemon juice to. Bonus points for the fact that they serve the mushroom sauce even if you order just the sausage sets!

Chicken chop ($8.20 with Rosti) was average in all departments; acceptable taste, texture, portion without being anything to shout about nor criticise. Instead, plan for a light brunch and go for the sausage sets ($7.20) which come with a beautiful sunny-side up egg instead.

Wide enough variety of options for which meat you can choose with the rosti set, and respectable prices. Would come more often, if only it were more convenient for me.

1 Like

Extremely popular and extensively reviewed, and for good reason. Excellent food quality, quantity and variety at a competitive price. My dining partner and I shared a Special ($13.9++) and Vegetable ($12.9++) bowl; the Special is better. Prawn, egg and pumpkin are excellent, whereas the brinjal and lotus root could be better. Leafy veggies are interesting but would have been better with less batter.

Food aside, Tendon Ginza Itsuki impressed me most with what I see as high responsiveness to customer feedback.

• Many reviews mention the long queues; the vendor responds by placing chairs to sit, providing free dispenser drinks (barley tea was excellent, much better than any drink they sell inside) and using an efficient pre-ordering system.
• Many reviews complain about the ventilation; management clearly decided that renovation or a larger location were not viable, but still made a very amusing effort in providing fabric spray at the payment counter.
• Many older reviewers did not like the chicken breast. The chefs have responded by tenderising and seasoning it brilliantly.

This kind of attitude to improve and adapt is not always present amongst merchants who already have very good business flow, and I think staff and management should be proud of what they've accomplished here.

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