It was a cold October night when May, Dennis, Rick, Sandra and others decided we should hit up Kingyo Izakaya for their ridiculous deal for $5 pitchers. Unfortunately, they were stupidly busy as it seemed everyone had the same idea, so Dennis suggested we go to Guu Garden.
Excellent, my first Guu visit.. ever!! It may seem a bit ridiculous, I’m Asian, I live in Vancouver, I write a food blog, but I’ve never been to a single Guu. Ever.
Yes, there have been times I’ve tried to go to Guu Garlic and Guu Aberdeen, but both were thwarted by lineups and a desire for food now, not food later. No problem here, we were seated immediately and the first matter was acquiring some drinks.
I started off with a Russell Brewing Guuud! Ale [650ml 6.0% abv] ($8.5), and eventually moved onto a MEGA Sapporo ($9) to join the others. The Guuud! Ale was closer to an IPA than an Ale and wasn’t quite so “easy” to drink for some reason.
Jeff and Caitlin came along as well, and since I had come straight from work, I was antsy to eat some real food and have some post work beers. Jeff & Caitlin ordered these, and I don’t recall eating either of them..so let’s just look at the pictures.
焼きうどん YAKI UDON – Pan fried udon noodles w/ beef, mushrooms, green onion and garlic, topped w/ sesame & dried seaweed. ($7.8)
マグロのタタキ TUNA TATAKI – Lightly seared tuna sashimi on sliced onions, dressed w/ ponzu sauce, toped w/ scallion and garlic chips. ($6.5)
I had to order the カボチャコロッケ KABOCHA KOROKKE – Boiled egg inside a deep-fried pumpkin ball dressed w/aurora sauce. ($4) as I’ve seen numerous pictures and descriptions of this intriguing fried ball of squash and egg.
The sauce is “aurora sauce”..which I have no idea what that truly means, but it tasted like Thousand Island sauce…without the relish bits. Eating it was a bit of an adventure, first starting off with the tangy mayo taste then a slight soggy crunch, then the mush of the kobacha, and then finally hard boiled egg. I would order this again..to share as one’s a bit too much for myself.
Another dish that is considered one of the classics of Guu and many izakaya’s in Vancouver is the 彼の海老マヨ HIS EBI MAYO – Deep-fried prawns served w/ chili-mayo w/ a hint of cilantro. ($7.8). Almost any variation of this is good, so long as the pranws are big, juicy, and the batter isn’t too thick and heavy.
The 鳥カラアゲガーリックマヨ KARAAGE – Deep-fried chicken thigh served w/ garlic mayo. ($5.8) tasted very much like Ebisu’s version, searingly hot boneless and juicy.
When the server came around for last call, I asked for these shooters – R-19 オイスターシーザー OYSTER CAESAR – 2 pieces of fresh oyster in miso and tomato caesar served in a shot glass. ($4) thinking it’d be something similar to the oyster shooters seen at Kimura Sushi. Um..sort of.
I then finished the meal by nursing off my MEGA Sapporo with some 鳥ナンコツのカラアゲ NANKOTSU – Deep-fried chicken knee served w/ salt and pepper. ($4) to munch on. Cartilage! Every piece of the animal must be used for consumption so as not to waste, ya never know, something might taste good. I wonder who thought it’d be a good idea to do this way back when…
I believe it is this singular meal that has opened my eyes (and mouth..?) as I no longer regard izakaya’s as some type of unachievable unattainable and expensive restaurant. Of course, they will be if you are dining singularly or in a pair, but in a group with good friends, it’s easy to cater to many different types of tastes.