japanese bar food…a review on guu izakaya…

15 Jul

If you’re from Vancouver, you’ve probably been to one of the many locations of Guu restaurants to have some delicious Japanese tapas prepared in a ridiculous number of ways.  With all the hype of Toronto getting their very own, we decided to head to ours in Gastown (though not the original location) and have some Japanese guys with ultra cool hair yell our orders across the restaurant.

This place is always packed, we arrived early and sat at the bar to have a couple of drinks before the rest of the gang showed.  Guu is notorious for always having a special drinks and food menu that rotates frequently.  Sake martinis and virgin pomtinis were delicious with splashes of Japanese cream soda lime and mint.

The charm of this place is that everyone speaks Japanese….everyone gives you great big smiles and everyone has incredible cool and edgey hair styles.  When you place an order, the server yells it out….the people at the bar repeats it and yells it to the kitchen, and the kitchen staff yells it to confirm.  Awesome.  Same goes in reverse when the food is ready.

Read more to find out all 7 plates that we ordered!

Lotus root chips $3….who could ask for a better snack?  Pretty little deep fried flower discs with a little sea salt.  Savory, crispy and simply decorated with a sheet of origami paper.

Spinach and sesame…..looks like black tar poured over a heap of spinach in the shape of ice cream.

Deep fried eel with a soft boiled egg and ponzu sauce.  Delectable!  The egg had the texture as if it was poached…kind of creamy against the crispy eel!

Beef Tataki….raw beef sliced uber thin with daikon and green onion.  Always one of my favourites at this place…the beef is very tender and almost melts in your mouth.

Prawn and Scallop Rice Gratin…..looks Italian!  This dish was molten lava when it came out and remained super hot for some time after.  Baked seafood with rice all topped with cheese?  Yes please!

Salmon sashimi…ok this isn’t the place to go if you want sushi and sashimi since it’s not their specialty but we couldn’t resist trying a little.  It was very fresh so we weren’t disappointed.  The little leaf shaped wasabi is actually created by hand with the help of a knife to create the details.

Pickled black cod sashimi…..I was expecting a punch of vinegar but the black cod still retained it’s subtle flavour and was just as buttery as when fully cooked.  This was a nice treat since none of us has ever had black cod raw.

Guu is creative both with it’s flavours and plating.  The atmosphere is fun and bustling with lots of yelling in Japanese.  Service is super courteous and polite and although the food doesn’t come out super fast….they are really good at pacing it so you don’t get everything at once.  If you do the full blown tapas style…expect to pay a little more than ordering a one dish rice bowl.  Highly recommended…I bet this is why Torontonians fight over tables at the new Guu!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Flavour: 4/5
Presentation: 4/5
Uniqueness: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Value: 4/5


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