Friday, May 21, 2010

GUU - My 20 Minute Trip To Japan [Restaurant Review]

 Photo by: Esther Y

Yesterday I decided to visit GUU Izakaya for the first time. I live in downtown Vancouver and therefore I always saw big lineups of people waiting outside of their restaurants as I walked by. I had heard great things about this traditional Japanese tapas restaurant but I had never actually ventured in to try it. My friends and I decided to go to the Thurlow Street location but there are various ones to choose from.

I will start my review by saying that Japanese people are a lot like us Mexicans - we are both loud, friendly, and very welcoming. As we waited outside for our table, the hostess kept shouting (in a friendly way) at the customers who entered the restaurant in order to welcome them. It was almost as if they were old friends who hadn't seen each other for a decade or two - personally, I think this was a nice touch but others may disagree.

About twenty minutes later we were given a nice table for four with cute little Japanese-style benches. None of us had been to GUU before so we asked our waitress for some suggestions - she was extremely friendly and helpful and she never made us feel like outsiders for not speaking their language (a huge pet peeve of mine).

We decided to order the following:
  • Negitoro - chopped tuna sashimi with green onion. Nori seaweed on the side - (OUTSTANDING - I may be a bit biased though as I am a huge Negitoro fan)
  • Misomayo - grilled black cod with miso and mayo - very tasty
  • Ebimayo - deep fried shrimp mixed with mayonnaise on potato & spicy cod roe "gratin" - this was probably my favourite hot dish
  • Hanpen - puffed fish cake - I really enjoyed these but my friends were a bit discouraged by the texture of the fish. 
  • Karaage - deep fried chicken with original tartar sauce - this one is a MUST - it was delicious!
  • Fried rice - very tasty - seasoned with kimchi
Another advantage of dining at GUU is that their prices are very reasonable. This allows your party to try various dishes per visit in order to slowly determine what your favourites ones are.

I would highly recommend going to one of the many GUU restaurants if you are on the hunt for a fun and relaxed atmosphere along with some yummy Japanese tapas.

Still need more info? Follow GUU on Twitter :)

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