My first dinner in Vancouver was at Guu with Garlic. I researched Chowhound for the best place for Izakaya and it boiled down to Guu. Unbeknown through my research is that there are almost one Guu in every neighborhood in VAN, including one in Richmond where I was staying.
Tuna TatakiMy aunt recommended shopping on Robson street because of the boutiques and nightlife. We started our afternoon on Georgia Street with national chains like Apple and H&M. We stopped at a food court and snacked on Indian Butter Chicken Poutine fries and then worked our way down to Robson street. After a long warm day of walking downtown Vancouver we dined at Guu. We purposely dined later around 9pm because I heard the wait is long during peak hours.
Tako WasabiI was right, around 9pm we got immediate seating and poured over the menu. The staff was yelling out orders in Japanese, cheering customers to do sake bombs, and saluting their beer glasses. The atmosphere was energetic, loud with a tangible buzz of alcohol. A couple next to us, (who looked like they were on their 3rd date) the guy told us they like to come here and eat everything fried, the girl slightly blushed in embarrassment before nodding in agreement.
Fried Chicken GristleEverything we ordered was superb. The kimchi udon with salty cod roe as a sauce had so many textures and depths of flavor - chubby fat noodles, spiciness, saltiness with a picked up aromatic from the green onions.
Kimchi udon with salty cod roeThe fried dishes were light and not greasy especially the tender legs of the squid. I can see why people plow through pitchers of beer with fried dishes.
Fried SquidBeing in Vancouver the seafood is expectational. The sashimi sampler would be three times the price in San Francisco and half as fresh. The thick slices of fish and the wild sockeye salmon is so sweet it wasn't even necessary to add soy sauce with the natural flavors shining through. We regret not getting another plate.
Baked OysterGuu with Garlic was a wonderful way to began our trip in Vancouver. Also, unbeknown I would be returning the next night. The next night we met up with our cousin (let's call him Tone Dog) who lives in VAN and it turns out his girlfriend (let's call her Kimbo) is Guu's number fan. They frequently come to Guu to eat and drink late night. So after a few shots of Crown Royal (when in Canada do as the Canadians do) and a quick visit to Sip on Granville Street we ended the night at Guu with Garlic to do sake bombs.
Grilled Pork Cheeks
Grilled miso codKimbo orders us some of her favorite dishes which was the grilled pork cheek and grilled black cod. A little background of Kimbo: she is a food gourmand eating around town and world. She filled us in on the best places in VAN and her recommendations. While I was eating the black cod she enthusiastically said how amazing the combination of crunchy aromatics and flavors are in that simple dish.
I agree Kimbo. I agree.
Guu is back on the list for my visit in Summer. I can hardly wait.
Vancouver at night