When I first heard about Krazy Garlik, I thought every dish would reek of the spice so I wasn't in any hurry to visit the garlic-themed restaurant. If I had known what was in store for me, I would have planned an earlier trip to the bistro.
Upon entering, you would notice a tall shelf filled with stuffed toys of the restaurant's garlic mascot. Immediately my daughter whispered that she would like to have one of those. Who could resist those perky little garlic bulbs?
The branch in Greenbelt 5 had a dim interior and was set up with an open kitchen and bar. One side of the resto was furnished with a backlit mural of Alice in Garlic-land. The waiter led us to a table beside the open kitchen where the cooks greet you with a smile as you take a peek at how they prepare the food.
For the appetizers, we first chose the Garlic Bruschetta (P225) and I immediately fell in love with the dish. The crunch of the garlic bread resonates in your head as you take your first bite. Then the melody of flavors instantly stimulate your palate, while you force to stop your mind from analyzing the spices, and just immerse yourself, for at least one moment, in this glorious fusion of ingredients. The second bite permits me to take a closer look at the dish's components. The tomatoes and onions in garlic vinaigrette give that very nice acidity that really stirs up the appetite. On the other hand, the mozzarella cheese drizzled on top, subtly tames the relish of its sharp, vinegary taste.
We also ordered the Beef Salpicao (P395). The beef was very tender, not at all gristly so that made me appreciate the viand. In terms of flavor, the garlic wasn't overpowering and thus made me erase my previous notion of the restaurant having a garlic-overloaded menu.
We opted for the Chorizo Fried Rice (to share P365; regular P210). While it may have held better on its own, paired with the meat dishes, it was a tad too much. The chorizo provided much saltiness, and so it really didn't complement the other food items.
The 40 Kloves Garlic Chicken (regular P375; to share P695) was sadly disappointing. The chicken was dry and the garlic cream sauce wasn't that much of a help. The garlic flavor was mild albeit the simmering in 40 cloves. That part was fine, I just couldn't get past the desiccated meat.
I loved the Grilled Tuna Belly (P395), make that, I loved the garlic cloves on top of the tuna belly. The soy vinegar gave a nice touch to the tuna, notwithstanding it didn't taste like belly at all. The solid meat reminded me more of the fish itself rather than its stomach. I prefer Blue Marlin belly and this thought made me miss Whistle Stop which used to serve the best tasting one in Manila. Too bad the owners closed down the original shop years ago. Okay, that's another story. Anyway, the roasted garlic brings me back memories of a Masterchef Australia episode wherein Chef Maggie Beer was demonstrating how to cook Chook (Aussie slang for chicken) roasted with garlic and verjuice. Maggie was showing the contestants how lovely and sweet the roasted garlic cloves were and even took a couple of bites. I was thinking, how can you easily take in pure garlic? Back to the present, and there they were, similar roasted garlic cloves, staring back at me. I bravely forked a piece and I was immediately surprised that it didn't taste like the garlic that I'm used to. It was very soft and sweet and made me a garlic convert. Well, at least for the roasted kind.
Another favorite is the White Fish Fillet with Creamy Seafood (P545). The fish, which I think is Dory, is always a good choice for achieving that melt-in-your-mouth fillet. Topped with creamy shrimp and scallop sauce, the plate bursts with so much flavor, and yet so refined that you just want to savor every bite. The little bits of scallop and perfectly cooked shrimps provide texture to an otherwise smooth dish.
The Infinity Iced Tea (P110) has a sweet homemade blend. The Ripe Mango Fruit Shake (P120) was just your typical fruit shake and even tasted of the canned concentrated kind. The Cranberry Juice (P85) reminded me of the Ocean Spray brand you can buy at the grocery store. Suffice it to say, they weren't really something special.
Krazy Garlik, like all the other restaurants in the Bistro Group, is a purveyor of fine food that comes with a pretty price. We did enjoy our meal, as there were more hits than misses. And of course, by the time we asked for our bill, my daughter reminded me of the garlic stuffed toy she wanted. I got her the small one (P350), but you can also get the big one for P650.
The waiter offered us the Bistro Circle Card that amounts to P1,000. The perks include:
1. A 20% discount every time you visit TGI Friday's, Italianni's, Fish & Co., Flapjacks, Billy Rock, Pig Out!, Krazy Garlik and The Stock Market for one year.
2. A special one-time 25% discount in any of their restaurants during your birthday month.
3. Complimentary appetizer vouchers from each Bistro Restaurant Concept.
Spot: 2nd Floor, Greenbelt 5
Contact Nos.: 501.3752 to 53