Monday, December 16, 2013

Guu Garden


I have mentioned in my previous posts on Suika and Guu Richmond that I am not a tapas fan. Many of my friends know this and claim the only Guu location that I will enjoy is Guu Garden. After finishing up some shopping downtown, I decided to finally make a visit here, after years of hearing this is the only location that I would enjoy. Guu Garden is located on the second floor and above Gyu Kaku. On a weekend evening, the restaurant was pretty slow with only a few people sitting at the bar and three to four seated tables. Out of every Guu location that I have been to, Guu Garden's interior has the most spacious as well as comfortable seating arrangements.


YUKKE STYLE TUNA TARTAR WITH HALF BOILED EGG, KIMCHI BIBIMBAP, ASSORTED ODEN, TAKO UNI WASABI, BEEF RIBEYE TATAKI, DRUNKEN GARLIC BUTTER MUSSELS, AND TONTORO SEA SALT GRILLED PORK CHEEK WITH YUZU PONZU.



BEEF RIBEYE TATAKI WITH UME DRESSING AND SHISO WHIPPING DRESSING ($12.00).
The beef tataki tastes chewy, not flavourful and the steak does not have the nice bright red colour, assuming it is a good steak and fresh. For the dressings, there is not much taste and does not make a difference to the dish, other than for the presentation. The presentation looks appealing with diced orange and red pepper, onion, a few strands of watercress and spring mix on the side. 


DRUNKEN GARLIC BUTTER MUSSELS ($8.80).
The mussels are mid sized and not too small but tastes slightly overcooked. Also, the mussels do not taste dry and has a clear broth taste with garlic, but no hint of sake. The order comes with eight mussels and may be considered somewhat overpriced. Kamei Baru's mussels are a lot tastier.

ASSORTED ODEN, MISO WITH EGG, DAIKON, TARO JELLY, CHIKUWA, FLUFFY FISH CAKE AND MOCHI IN TOFU BAG ($6.80). The soup has a clear beef bone and chicken broth taste, without tasting salty. Everything in the oden tastes like what it is. The only memorable item would be the mochi in tofu bag because 1. it looks cute, 2. thin deep fried tofu skin is always tasty, and 3. the mochi tastes soft and chewy.

TONTORO SEA SALT GRILLED PORK CHEEK WITH YUZU PONZU ($6.80). The grilled pork cheek tastes flavourful, tender and has a nice slight chewiness with a light zesty ponzu sauce taste. The pork cheek is one of the only few dishes that we enjoyed. This was definitely one of those "save the last bite at the very end so it seems like everything tasted good".

KIMCHI BIBIMBAP, PAN FRIED PORK AND KIMCHI ON RICE WITH EGG IN A HOT STONE BOWL ($9.80). Although the kimchi bibimbap has a nice meaty taste with tender slices of pork, there is no taste of kimchi (which does not really matter to me). The bibimbap tastes a lot better and more flavourful compared to Guu Richmond's. I also like that the waitress asked if we wanted her to mix this for us and of course I said no, so I could take a photo.

TAKO UNI WASABI, WASABI MARINATED OCTOPUS AND SEA URCHIN SERVED WITH FIVE PIECES OF SEAWEED ($4.80). The dish has a strong wasabi taste but the texture is overly mushy and slimy. The diced tako tastes too chewy and there is one small piece of uni, however, the wasabi marinade tastes overwhelming and the taste of uni is not present. This was really unappetizing and unpleasant, we could not eat it.

YUKKE STYLE TUNA TARTAR WITH HALF BOILED EGG ($7.80).
The tuna tartar tastes overly sweet from the overwhelming sauces. Also, the texture of the tartar is overly mushy and gooey, partly because of the poached egg. However, if the diced pieces of tuna were less mushy to begin with, the texture after mixing may have been less gooey and taste more appealing, or maybe a quail egg should have been used instead. This may be a bad comparison but the tartar at most restaurants in Japan tastes a lot better, tastier and has a soft firm paste texture. The tartar is also already prepared for diners on a chip or piece of seaweed, so customers only need to pick up a piece and eat.

POSITIVES
- Friendly and attentive staff (one of the Guu locations with better service, however, I do have to mention that the restaurant was pretty empty)
- Spacious and comfortable seating arrangements compared to other Guu locations 

NEGATIVES
- Most dishes taste below average

LITTLE THINGS
- Meter parking $1.00/24 minutes
- Restaurant seems catered towards non-Japanese but most of the clientele are international Japanese students
- Wanted to order the pumpkin croquette but the waitress mentioned this location does not serve it. My friend ordered it here a couple of weeks ago and it may be only available occasionally?
- Not my favourite location, IMO the worst food wise 
- Other tapas restaurants I have visited are Suika, Richmond Guu and Kamei Baru. I would rather visit Kamei Baru

Food: 2/5
Service: 3.5/5

Guu Garden on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

  1. i think Guu gastown is the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems like it so far! It's also the most popular for my friends

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