After an epic fail of a restaurant invite (as in "we weren't expecting you"), Miss Y and I were in search for eats. Being a Monday night, options were indeed limited. Despite driving all-the-way from Deep Cove into Downtown, we passed by restaurants that were either uninteresting or closed. Hence, we went to an ol' standby being Guu with Garlic. Not that we weren't tempted by other restaurants nearby namely Pizza Fabrika and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. I guess, I'll be paying Lower Robson another visit sometime soon!
After we ordered, the food came faster than an out-of-control car (like the one I witnessed smashing into a pole on Kingsway in front of Dollarama). The Duck Salad with roasted duck, greens, mushrooms, garlic chips and wasabi dressing arrived first. I found the duck itself to be rather hard and lacking in moisture. The salad underneath was fresh and crisp, but the wasabi dressing was extremely light (and there wasn't much of it). Thankfully, the garlic chips and mushrooms helped add a touch of flavour. Next, we had my personal favourite, the Ebi Mayo. This was prepared nicely as the large prawns were meaty with a slight snap. Crispy and not doughy, the batter clung tightly onto each prawn. We found the mayo to be balanced with a good amount of sweetness tempered by acidity and a spicy finish.
Luckily for us, the menu at Guu is pretty focused, hence, there was no way that Miss Y would order her usual strange items. She insisted on an udon of some type, so we ended up with the Yaki Udon consisting of pan fried udon with beef, mushroom, green onion, soy sauce and butter. As expected, the flavours were subtle with only a background saltiness combined with the aromatic butter. The noodles were chewy and toothsome while the modest amount of beef was sliced thin and tender. Next up was the Tontoro or grilled pork cheek with yuzu ponzu sauce. I really enjoyed this dish as the pork cheek was expertly prepared where it was succulent, exhibiting its classic chewy-rebound texture. Furthermore, the appetizing acidity from the yuzu ponzu sauce brightened up pieces of pork where it wasn't overly salty either.
Another solid offering was the Salmon Sashimi with avocado and sesame dressing. The little nuggets of salmon were buttery and fresh while the avocado was a bit brown (could be from the dressing as well). No matter though as it was buttery and ultimately tasted fine. What brought the whole thing together was the aromatic nuttiness of the creamy sesame dressing that had the right balance of sweet and salty. To get some more veggies, we got the Fried Eggplant soaked in soy sauce that was tender and full of flavour. It wasn't spongy though, rather it ate more like a soft squash. Flavourwise, it was mild (surprisingly not salty at all) with a background sweetness.
Lastly, we had the Deep Fried Japanese Sweet Potato tossed in a sweet sticky soy glaze & sesame. This ate like a dessert as it was fitting as our final dish. The potatoes were firm while still soft inside. There was a slight crispy exterior shell that was enveloped by a molasses-type soy glaze. This was really sweet, but tasty nonetheless. With that, our meal came to an end much like it always does at Guu - enjoyable (while not particularly outstanding either) and relatively inexpensive.
- Decent service
- Decent eats
- A little less refined than other Izakayas
- Seating isn't the most comfortable, but that is par with the course