Guu Izakaya

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February 8, 2013 by synthiat

On December 20th, I ended my Vegan Challenge and I went out for dinner with friends. We went to Guu Izakaya, a Japanese restauarant in Toronto. I’ve never been before so it was my first time trying out the place.

When we got there, the place was pretty full (They have another location called Guu SakaBar – never been there as well). It’s not a big restaurant, so it’s understandable that it would be packed around dinner time. We would have made reservations but at this time, they didn’t take them (Now they do!). It was about a half hour wait for my friends and I – we had a group of four. The place has a waiting area inside and off to the side. There’s a big heater, powered by gas tanks, and while you wait, you can order drinks. However, when you do so, the drinks arrive in the waiting area – not when you get your table.

Since the place isn’t that big, tables were close in proximity to each other. The restaurant also had bar seats, but we wanted a table. Also, whenever someone comes in or leaves, they yell something in Japanese. I’m not sure what they say since I don’t know Japanese but it’s probably along the lines of “Welcome!” and “Bye!”. The atmosphere is quite loud; music is blasted, making it kind of difficult to hear those around you. The lighting was a bit dark for my taste but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Anyway, onto the food. The dishes are quite small and a bit pricey for the portions. However, each dish was delicious. Here’s what I ordered:

Kurage: marinated jellyfish - $4.50

Kurage: marinated jellyfish – $4.50

Karubi

Karubi: grilled salt and pepper beef short ribs with scallion sauce – $6.80

Brie Cheese: deep fried brie cheese with mango and blueberry sauce - $6.80

Brie Cheese: deep fried brie cheese with mango and blueberry sauce – $6.80

Unagi Doria: BBQ water eel on mixed mushrooms rice with cheese on top - $9.30

Unagi Doria: BBQ water eel on mixed mushrooms rice with cheese on top – $9.30

Salmon Natto Yukke

Salmon Natto Yukke: chopped salmon sashimi with seven friends (natto, takuan, shibazuke, scallion, cucumber, garlic chips & raw egg yolk).
*Note: This I didn’t order. It came to our table by mistake and I thought it was the brie cheese dish. They were nice enough to not charge me for this.

My favourite dish overall was the Brie Cheese. I mean, you can’t go wrong with deep fried food! The mango and blueberry sauce added some sweetness to the thick cheese taste, giving a nice balance.

My least favourite would have to be the Salmon Natto Yukke. It’s not because it was given to us by mistake, but because I’m not a fish person. Thus, eating the salmon sashimi pieces mixed with the raw egg yolk really did not sit well with me. Underneath the bowl, laid sheets of seaweed. I assumed you put in the salmon mix onto the seaweed and make a wrap. This helped the taste a bit but not by much.

We didn’t eat dessert, as we were all full by the dishes we ordered. But would I go back to the restaurant? Yes. I would like to try their desserts and other dishes. They seem to have new dishes or specials going on every day!

If you’ve been to Guu Izakaya or Guu SakaBar, let me know what you think of it!

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Follow Guu Izakaya/SakaBar on Twitter: @GuuToronto

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