Guu with Garlic

Guu. You know all about their izakaya empire, both in Vancouver and Toronto. Last time I was in Van, I went to the original location and was mightily impressed. This time, we decided to check out their second location, Guu with Garlic. You know it’s guu for you. It better be guu. I could guu on. Hahaha.

We went on a windy Monday night with plans to originally drop into Santouka. Unfortunately, they were temporarily closed due to a fire so weren’t even able to visit during our trip. Oh well, we literally walked two seconds further and spotted the bright, eye-catching Guu with Garlic sign. Lucky for us, there was no line but it was busy.

We were greeted with a loud welcome by the whole Guu crew and promptly seated “upstairs”, where you take off your shoes and sit on the floor. Not the most comfortable seating (leg cramps is real deal) but we lived. Service is fast and friendly – I think we had a server that was learning because our orders kept on getting repeated multiple times (server, server and then confirmation from the kitchen crew).

Daily special menu. Lots of excellent choices. We ordered from this and the original menu.

Chicken and deep fried tofu hot pot ($9.80)
Soya sauce based and a lot of grated daikon. Hot pot was full of goodies, lots of vegetables and came out piping hot. The broth was delicious. A must order it if it’s on their daily specials menu!

Diced shrimp, avocado and tomato ($5.00)The dish came with a couple pieces of fresh nacho chips and was marinated in a Thai style dressing. I don’t remember getting much Thai from the dressing but the shrimp, avocado and tomato combo was refreshing and light on the palate. Reminded me a bit like eating ceviche.

Okonomiyaki ($5.80)
Deep fried squid and cabbage pancake with tonkatsu sauce and mustard mayo. Now this is how I like my okonomiyaki cooked. Crunchy, nicely battered and the perfect bite size. Even better that it’s not doused in sauce.

Today’s ishiyaki ($9.00)
The ishiyaki (hot stone rice bowl) was excellent. Crunchy, rice bits on the bottom as it continued to cook while we ate it. Simply good eats.

Deep fried diced pork ($6.40)
The pork was marinated in a sweet and sour black vinegar. Delicious, tender pieces with a nice crunch to them. I tasted more sweetness in the sauce than sour.

Dry garlic pepper ribs ($6.40)
The garlic ribs were extremely dry. Seemed like there was barely any meat on them. Literally all bone and tasteless. This was a bust.

Yaki udon ($8.50)
Pan fried udon with chicken (we subbed out the beef), mushroom, green onion, soya sauce and butter. The udon noodles were perfectly cooked and the mushroom sauce was really tasty.

There’s a reason why Guu has six locations in Van and counting. Japanese izakaya done right. The place is bustling, prices are more than reasonable, and the ambiance is lively. Great place to grab some drinks and snack on some delicious food. Even better that they’re open till 12:00/12:30am everyday!

Guu Garlic
1698 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 685-8678

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