Friday, 30 January 2015

Guu Izakaya

January 30, 2015
Irrashaimase! I feel like my knowledge of random Japanese words has been lacking lately and this dining experience was a big welcome back.
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Nasu Miso
Following my recent obsession with nasu dengaku (miso eggplant), I knew I had to order this when I saw it on the menu

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It's a nice purple colour and the eggplant looked really nice with the green onions and sesame.
The eggplant was really oily and not as soft as the one at Shinobu, but the format made it easy to share with a group.

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Karaage
Fried Chicken Bites - delicious and simple with mayonnaise and lemon. I'll take a bucket full of this over greasy KFC chicken.

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Unagi Doria with BBQ eel, mushroom and cheese on rice
I love BBQ eel and I feel like you can never go wrong with it. I'm always a little surprised when I see cheese in Asian food because we don't use a lot of cheese in cooking - but the cheese turned out really well in this because it added a slight hint of saltiness to balance out the sweet eel. 

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Lobster Sashimi
It looked fantastic! However, it wasn't really lobster sashimi because the lobster was cooked and chilled. There were some good sized chunks though. 

Overall: Guu Izakaya is one of those places where you can always count on delicious food and quick service. The only thing you have to watch out for is the prices - it can add up pretty quick and the smaller your party - the higher the cost because Izakayas are all about large groups eating and drinking together. 

March 22, 2013

The Guu Izakaya location on Church Street was the first Toronto branch of the popular Guu Izakaya franchise in Vancouver. I've heard that this branch was "better" than Sakabar on Bloor and I was excited to see if this was true or not.
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I walked in expecting to be served the same izakaya menu as the one online. Instead, Guu Izakaya had a separate lunch menu. The lunch menu was set up to be individual plates/meals rather than the sharing menu popular at Izakayas. In a way, it does make sense: Izakayas serve Japanese bar food (and alcoholic drinks) at night and they'd have to cater to a different clientele at lunch. 
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Menus
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The meals were served on individual trays like a bento box:
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Toriten
Chicken Tempura with Tar-tare sauce and tempura sauce on the side
The tar-tare sauce was different: made with a pink mayonnaise (possibly coloured by beets) and chunks of chopped boiled egg in it. It didn't have the same salty and tangy taste I was expecting with tartar sauce. 
The battered chicken was fried to a nice crispy texture. I liked some of the sides including the miso soup with potatoes and carrots, the fried tofu behind the miso soup was also really good and the salad with soy sauce dressing was nice. 

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Hirekatsu
Panko breaded pork tenderloin with sweet miso sesame sauce
I liked the way the miso sesame sauce complemented the mini crispy fried pork cutlets. 

Overall: The service was okay and we had a decent lunch at Guu Izakaya. I still want to come back for the real Izakaya menu at dinner.

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