Guu Izakaya [Defunct]

Located at 398 Church St in Toronto

Guu Izakaya is one of the first izakayas to gain attention and prominence in the Toronto food scene.  When it arrived in late 2009 — with its flagship restaurant located in Vancouver, Canada — many Torontonian foodies were extremely excited about its launch and anticipated a visit to this bustling restaurant.  Since then, Toronto has exploded with many other copycat izakayas (not a bad thing!  Many of them are quite delicious too).
Izakayas are popular in Japan where people gather after work to have a drink and a bite to eat.  The restaurant operates in a tapa-style where small dishes of snacks can be ordered in a round to share among friends.

Their main menu hasn’t changed since it opened in 2009, but they have a supplementary menu on the side to host new and refreshing dishes

In other words, because you can order so many small dishes and varieties of food all at once, izakayas are one of my favorite places to dine!  Come on, you can literally have 10 dishes of different varieties of food in one sitting.  What’s not to like?  The best idea is to come with three or four people so that you can really take in all the different delicious tapas.

The servers at Guu are SO incredibly nice.  The atmosphere in Guu is the best I’ve seen; lots of enthusiastic and friendly cheering whenever someone arrives and leaves.  There’s no other izakaya in Toronto that is this good at promoting a restaurant culture (while I was waiting in line outside, I could hear the team practicing and hyping themselves up before the guests arrived).

I ordered the Takowasabi (a recent favourite of mine) and loved it!  I loved how it was a bit spicy from the wasabi and also crunchy from the cucumber cubes that were in it.

Takowasabi. $3.80
marinated octopus with wasabi stem

I was a bit skeptical about the mango and berry sauce that accompanied the deep fried brie pieces since I figured sweet and salty isn’t a great combination.  However, I was surprised at how well it all melded together.  The deep fried batter was thick enough to keep all the creamy and gooey brie cheese inside.  It was so good!

Brie Cheese. $6.80
deep fried brie cheese with mango and berry sauce

The sashimi salad was a big bowl of crunchy and fresh greens with various pieces of seasoned fish and raw octopus.  It was fairly good and very filling!

Sashimi Salad. $7.80
the day’s assorted sashimi on greens

Other dishes I’ve ordered in the past on my first visit here in July 2010 include the following tapas.  Everything was quite good!  I remember that my friend Pat wasn’t a fan of the beef tongue though, haha. : )  I loved the baked oysters!

Kakimayo. $7.50
baked B.C. oyster with mushrooms, spinach & garlic mayo, topped with cheese

Takoyaki. $5
deep fried octopus balls with tonkatsu sauce & karashi mayo

Okonomiyaki. $6.80
deep fried Japanese pancake with squid, tonkatsu sauce & karashi mayo

Kurage. $5
marinated jellyfish

Gyu Tongue. $6.80
thinly sliced angus beef tongue steak on sizzling plate with scallion

Salmon Tataki. $6.80
seared B.C. salmon sashimi with ponzu, wasabi mayo & garlic chips

I definitely wouldn’t mind another visit here again soon.  Not only is the food good and authentically Japanese, but the spirit and service are excellent!  It’s almost contagious to be in such a energetic and happy environment.  Next time, I’d like to try their udon and items from their daily special menu!

Guu Izakaya on Urbanspoon

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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8 Responses to Guu Izakaya [Defunct]

  1. wow…I love to try the Brie cheese out and baked oysters! what I love the most about Japanese cuisine is that it includes so much seafood ❤ Japanese food is truly so much richer than just sushi 😛 Thanks for your informative post!!! 😀

  2. Holly Edejer says:

    This place is so close to campus and I still haven’t gone! Those oysters look amazeeee.

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