Guu Izakaya

Guu Izakaya is an izakaya located on Church St in downtown Toronto. It is highly recommended that you don't come here if (a) you have a massive migraine or (2) you're hungover. Why? Cause it's extremely lively and loud inside as the staff constantly shouts out welcomes and goodbyes to their guests.


I made a reservation for five people on a Saturday two weeks ago at 5 pm. Note that the only time available that you can reserve on both Fridays and Saturdays is 5 pm. The seating limit is 2 hours and they hold your reservation for only 15 minutes after your reserved time.

The food menu and drinks menu.

We were given the menus and the server took our drink orders. For those who are drinkers; they have a pretty decent selection of alcoholic drinks.


We decided to make it simple and ordered from the party menu; ended up getting five of the [B] course (which was $35 per person) ($35 x 5). This menu is great as it offers the top ten popular items from Guu and is ideal for sharing.



One of my favorite starters at Japanese establishments is the edamame (boiled soy bean). The ones here tasted pretty good with the right amount of saltiness.



The sashimi salad (assorted sashimi & greens) was really delicious. The fresh greens surprisingly went well with the sashimi and was a refreshing starter. Additionally, the sashimi that was used had a nice texture to it (not mushy or super soft).




The mauro tataki (seared BC tuna sashimi) was dressed in ponzu sauce, and sliced decently thin.



The first time that I tried takoyaki was in an izakaya in Tokyo; it had an interesting taste. Takoyaki (deep fried octopus balls) is a battered cover ball filled with diced octopus, and then deep-fried. The takoyaki at Guu tasted very similar to the ones that I had in Tokyo so it brought about memories of my trip. The dish was well-presented and topped off with flakes and shavings of bonita.


Another favorite of mine was the ebimayo (deep fried prawn). The lightly battered prawns were of a decent size, and drizzled in a sweet mayo sauce.


The dish came with five pieces of gindara (grilled black cod) for the each of us (second dish not pictured). However, some pieces were a lot smaller than the others. The buttery black cod was grilled nicely, and marinated in a sweet glaze. I believe that if you order this dish on its own; it's one of the pricier items on the menu.


I wasn't a particular fan of the kaki mayo (baked BC oyster topped with cheese) as it was a lot more cheesy than I would have liked. However, the others did like the odd combination of mushrooms, spinach and cheese mixed in with their baked oysters.



The lightly battered karaage (deep fried chicken) was a hit at our table as we quickly devoured them one by one. The deep fried chicken was very crispy on the outside, yet succulent on the inside. It tasted even better when dipped into the accompanied buttery mayo.


Honestly, the two bowls of kinoko bibimbap (rice, mushroom & cheese in sizzling bowl) didn't look that appetizing at first. However, the combination of rice, mushroom & cheese actually tasted pretty good.



The last item of the night was ice-cream. We were given the choice of black sesame, green tea or coconut ... naturally I chose green tea as I always do at Japanese establishments.

Overall, I had a great night as the food was delicious and the company that I was with was wonderful. The only slight hiccup was that one of the servers kept on reminding my friend (who was sitting on the outside) of how much time we have left, and she did this roughly 5 times. That was about once every half an hour. Although she politely reminded him; we thought that it was unnecessary as we were aware of the 2 hour limit and were going to be done on time. Other than the constant reminders, she was friendly and efficient as were the rest of the staff.

The total damage for the night (not including tip yet).


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.5/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4.5/5
Price: $$ || Online Menu
 
Address: 398 Church St, Toronto, ON, M5B 2A2

Guu Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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