We took a long vacation in the Pacific Northwest for Amy and Eugene's wedding over July 4th weekend. Along the way, we spent a day in Vancouver and I must say that Vancouver lives up to all of it's unbelievable Asian Food Hype.
Guu Japanese Restaurant
Unfortunately we only had one day in Vancouver and the weather was miserable for July. However, I did get recommendations from 2 friends native to the VC area and when their restaurant lists match up, you know you should try their recommendations!
We didn't get reso's in advance so the restaurant recommended us to show when Guu opens at 5:30pm. After a couple of hours shopping on Burrand street, we headed over to the restaurant. At 5:20pm there was alerady several people waiting... By 5:36pm when they finally let us in, there was a group of 18 people anxiously waiting and hovering for seats. The place is pretty small and within minutes, every table and bar stool was full. Unbelievable!!
The servers are all dressed in Japanese Kawaii and were very fashion forward. They all cheer when you walk in and are seated to create a very up beat and fast paced environment. Ernie and I sat along the bar and ordered a nice variety of small plates from their wooden flip-card menu. The seating is all old distressed wood and mismatched stools on a black and white tiled floor.
Steamed Fresh Mussles with garlic butter & saki: holy cow. these were soooo fresh and served in the tastiest garlic soup. Ernie even used an empty mussle shell to drink the soup. Here is a picture of one enormous mussle!
Sashimi Salad with plum dressing and wasabi mayo: This was more traditional as slices of sashimi on a bed of greens with a light drizzle of dressing. The fish was literally melt in your mouth fresh. It must be nice to live on a coast with access to all this seafood!
Maguro Steak: Ahi yellow tuna with garlic, soysauce and sake. While not our favorite small plate of the evening, this was still quite good. A quick seared steak of ahi tuna.
Karubi: grilled short rib with sweet garlic sauce. Everything is better with garlic! This wasn't fall-off-the-bone tender but I still ate off every last piece of meat on the bones. It was so flavorful that the taste lingered on your palate wella fter the rib was consumed.
Cha-han: Kim Chi fried rice. Kim Chi is korean styled pickled cabbage. This dish was kim chi and white rice pan fried so it's a little sticky, a little crispy and a whole lotta ricey goodness. It's a good base to compliment all of the small plates of meat and other flavors.
Korokke: Mashed potato, onion, grownd pork "croquette" with tonkatsu sauce. These fried little balls are crispy on the outside and soft mashed potato on the inside. Full with flavor, these could make a fantastic late night snack! I doubt this was the healthiest food item on the menu, but it was definitely delicious.
Our overall dining experience was quite enjoyable. Though we sat at a bartop and could see the other patrons directly across from us through the fresh cut flowers, we still had a nice private dinner. The upbeat atmosphere and energy made the evening fly by - which could have also been attributed to the extraordinarly fast service and delicious food. I would highly recommend any passerby to get some reservations and plop your tired tourist butt down on those wooden chairs for a delicious meal!
Can't wait to GUU again...