Friday, August 02, 2013

REVIEW | Guu Sakabar - Japenese Izakaya experience without going to Japan!

Mondays are always the worst day of the week for me. It’s so hard to wake up in the morning after having relaxed for two days on the weekend. To beat the Monday blues, we decided to head over to Guu Sakabar after work for some catching up.

Guu originated in Vancouver and then opened up two locations in Toronto, both being super successful. We headed over to Guu Sakabar, which is on Bloor St. West while their other location Guu Izakaya is on Church.

I prefer the Bloor St. location to the Church St. location because it seems more spacious. I may be more inclined to visit the Church location in the winter though because they have a heated patio!

When you first walk in you'll be welcomed enthusiastically by all the employees.  You'll definitely feel the Japanese hospitality.  The Church St. location is usually pretty busy but they've started taking reservations so it's much easier in terms of planning your night out.

The first thing we ordered was the Nama lemon drink ($6). It’s a DIY kind of drink because you have to squeeze the lemon juice yourself.  The good thing about that is you can control how sour your drink gets! 
Monica working hard to make her drink! 

Monday and Tuesdays are wing nights at Guu. You can get ½ lbs. ($5.50), 1 lbs. ($10) and 2 lbs. ($18.50). You also get to choose from the chunky salsa, spinach garlic mayo and black sesame sauce for your wings! We decided to share the ½ lb with the black sesame sauce. Note that when you order at least a lb, which gives you around 10 pieces of wings, you get all three sauces.

The wings tasted so good! They were fried well and not too oily! Next time I’ll try the spinach garlic mayo sauce instead because the black sesame sauce was a bit watery and strong for my liking.

We also ordered the Takowasabi ($3.80). It’s basically raw octopus in a wasabi dressing. I’m not a fan of wasabi so I was reluctant to try it. Monica convinced me that you could hardly taste the wasabi… definitely not the case! It’s a great appetizer to start with if you like wasabi but for those of us who are more acute to spice levels, the wasabi taste is definitely very strong.

Next on our list was the Okonomiyaki ($6.80). When I was travelling in Japan, okonomiyaki was a staple in every city but each city tweaked their recipe a bit to make it their own. I haven’t had it since travelling in Japan so I was pretty excited. Guu’s okonomiyaki definitely lived up to my expectations and reminded me of Japan. It was a very generous portion and definitely good to share with a group.  The taste was just as I remembered. 

Last but not least, we had to mix in some fusion flavour to our meal so we decided to order the Carbonara udon ($8.8)0. If you’ve only had carbonara sauce with Italian pasta, you really need to try this udon! There’s something about the texture and thickness of the Japanese noodle that makes this dish so appetizing! The ratio of sauce to noodle was perfect and it wasn’t too creamy and heavy like most carbonara sauces. 

Even though we didn’t order a lot of food, it kept us very full (almost to the point where we couldn’t finish all the food.) I would suggest coming here with a bigger group of people because it’s much easier to share dishes that way and try more things because they definitely have an abundant amount of choices on their menu! 

Guu Sakabar on Urbanspoon
Guu Sakabar on Foodio54

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