Guu Izakaya

I was SO pleased to finally try this restaurant after hearing how awesome it was, and how long people have to wait. They don't take reservations, and we heard that the average line up was 2hrs. When we got there with a party of 6 people, and heard the lineup was only going to be an hour, we were plesantly surprised.  While we waited, we got a glimpse of the interior from peep holes on the outside wall.

Let me say first that it was completely worth the wait.  We arrived at 8:45pm and unfortunately waited until 10:15pm before we got let in. The place is small, and maybe fits about 50-70 people. It's quite cozy and communal tables are the trend here.

An Izakaya is traditionally a bar that serves food with drinks. At Guu, and other izakayas like Manpuku in Toronto, they serve food then and the drinks accompany it, but it's small dishes like tapas but all authentic in it's origins.
 It even looks like the Izakayas in Japan on the wiki.

When we finally went in and sat down, all the servers and cooks shout out a greeting, and everyone stares at us. I imagine it's to welcome us to their establishment.
During our meal, we also saw 3 birthdays (I suspect that they pretend to get the attention) but the whole restaurant will clap and sing Happy Birthday.
When you leave, everyone shouts at you, Thank You for coming, or something of that sort.
In a sense, suddenly you've entered this family for about 2 hrs while you dine.

During the meal, food came pretty quickly and with our bouncy and cheerful server, she got our orders in quick and was really nice about everything. I hastily tried to take photos before the food was devoured (you can imagine after waiting to eat until 10:45pm)

Although we had 6 people, every dish seemed to be made for 2-3 people and shared. Everything was also priced on average $4-7 per dish. We ordered about 2 dishes each. This place would still be good for couples, where you can order a lot, try different things and not end up with an overly full stomach, or empty wallet.

We started with the
"ABURI SALMON" Lightly seared atlantic salmon sashimi
with ponzu sauce and wasabi mayo
(there was wasabi on this? i didn't even taste it!)
It was very good sashimi. soft, tender tons of flavour.
Next was
Rice, garlic sauteed mushrooms and cheese with seaweed sauce
 The cheese really added a nice creamy texture.
Then (my favourite)
"TAKOYAKI" Deep fried puffed octopus balls served
with TONKATSU sauce and mustard mayo
Not as big as the ones from Manpuku, but they also don't take 20 mins to make. Yummmm
"HOTATE BUTTER" Pan fried scallop with soysauce and garlic butter

As I predicted, the scallops were buttery smooth.  (and I forgot to take a picture!!!!)

"KAKUNI" Sweet miso braised pork belly with boiled egg 
This was very much like Dong Bo Yuk in Shanghainese cuisine, but without the thick red sauce. It was good, but Chinese version is better.

"TONTORO" Grilled pork cheek with salt and YUZU pepper
It was okay. The meat was bit tough.

"GINDARA" Grilled black cod with SAIKYO miso and white wine sauce
A little more pricier than most dishes, but SO good. Soft fish, with tons of miso flavour

"GYUTANGUE" Grilled beef tongue with salt
We got this during round 2, and it was one of the specials for each stick $2. It was very good and tender tongue.

"KAKIMAYO" Grilled oysters with spinach, garlic mayo and cheese on the top
This was pretty worth the cholesterol.  I could have eaten the whole thing myself.

"KARUBI" Salt&papper grilled beef short ribs with green onion sauce 
I liked this version of Kalbi. the meat was not tough at all. 

Lastly, this was an udon, but I'm not sure which one. It doens't look like much, but the noodles were covered in a smooth creamy miso-y sauce that made it really tasty.

Overall the highlights were:
 - takoyaki
 - kalbi type short ribs
 - cheese bimbimbap
 - oysters 
 - black cod

No comments:

Post a Comment