Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vancouver: The Original Guu on Thurlow

Last time I came to Vancouver, I didn't get to check out any of the Guu family of restaurants, so this time, made sure that was a stop.

There's several Guu in Vancouver, but each location is somewhat unique.  We decided to go to the original, an izakaya, and where it all started.  Why izakaya?  There's plenty in LA!  Well, I like visiting izakayas in different cities if I can because izakayas are generally much more casual, menu reflects local ingredients, menu changes often, and it's just a good way to relax with friends after traveling.  Beer + food!

838 Thurlow Street 
West End, Downtown
Vancouver, BC V6E 1W2 

Outside.  Of course, being an izakaya, it's not a big place and it was packed!  It's located near a popular street (Robson) so it is located at a good spot in terms of location.  Ended up waiting over an hour since we had a large group (Alice's friends).

Open style kitchen.  Place wasn't that big so we were separated into two tables.

Menu.  Ordered half the menu for three haha.

Specials that night.  Ordered a good amount from this menu too haha.

sapporo draft
Of course, gotta get beer at an izakaya.

kabocha croquette
First up, Kabocha Croquette!  Sorta like a Japanese version of the Scottish Egg.

mashed pumpklin squash with boiled egg croquette
Mashed pumpkin squash with boiled egg croquette.

Kakuni.  One of the softest and tastiest pork belly I've ever had.  Sorry for the bad picture but I was really excited when this came hahah.  Who can resist that shiny looking pork belly.

salmon yukke
Salmon Yukke.  Yukke means tartar but it is pretty much a soy marinated poke.  British Columbia salmon!  They also give you a quail egg on the side to mix it in for that tartar element.

salmon yukke with shrimp cracker
Salmon on the shrimp cracker.

gyoza egg rol
One of the specials, Gyoza Eggrolls.  Instead of stuffing gyoza fillings into dumpling skins, they used egg roll skins.

gyoza filling
Tastes just like gyoza, except muuuuch crunchier.

Takoyaki.  Octopus ball.

Karubi.  Japanese version of the Korean kalbi.  On the sweeter side.

salmon neck
Grilled Smoked Salmon Neck from the special menu.  Fish collar is one of my favorite part of the fish.  A bit tough from the smoking but it is packed with flavor.

gyu tan
Gyu Tan.  Grilled beef tongue.  I'm... still not a fan haha.

Kaarage!  Fried chicken!

Tontoro.  Grilled pork jowl.  Don't know where they get their pork but it's awesome.

Love the texture of this cut of pork.  Fatty but with some tendon for that bite.

shrimp wonton dan dan noodles
Shrimp Wonton Dan Dan Noodles.  It was sorta funny cause when we ordered it, the waitress was like "Very spicy!!" and kept on insisting that only order if we can eat spicy foods.  Calvin, Alice, and I ate it like it is nothing haha.  The peanut sauce part of it probably lessened the spiciness.  A few of the other staff stopped by and asked if it was spicy too.  Pretty legit for Japanese dan dan noodles!

shrimp wonton
The shrimp wontons.  There's even some preserved mustard green!  Impressed.

Was it worth the long wait?  Yes.  I get why Vancouver loves Guu.  It's a izakaya with tasty food, and the atmosphere is exactly how an izakaya should be: loud, busy, and a little smoky!  Next time, Guu Garlic for sure!


Linh N. said...

Oh gotta bookmark this when I go to Vancouver! Interesting menu also haha

S.O.F.A.T. Blog said...

That's the one Amanda took me to... good place!