Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Guu Garlic

Zeffirelli's, CinCin and Bacchus were my choices for dinner since we passed on Gusto di Quattro because I did not want to leave Downtown. But in the end, I chose Guu because I wanted a fast meal and was tired. This was also a great time to take advantage of being open minded because I was hungry and am not a big tapas fan. By the way, we were seated in the corner beside the couple outside and our area had no lighting above us. It was awkward because we could not see what we were eating, I guess call it a "Dark Table" experience? The table was also sticky so I was using the hot towel provided to scrub to it down. However, I forgot it was a communal table so I was shaking the whole thing while the couple next to us were eating! Whoops, thankfully they were very friendly.

The last time I came here was in high school and the restaurant looks pretty much the same. There is a mini "upstairs" section where people sit on the floor, bar seats, tables in the centre and patio seats. From what I remember, the staff is usually friendly and service has never been an issue.

Walking in, we were greeted with loud shouts from the staff but waited ten minutes for someone to speak with us. When a waiter approached us, he helped the group behind us despite mentioning we arrived first. To be fair, the waiter was rushing around and tuned everything out. He also told the group of three to follow him but walked too fast and disappeared so the group stayed behind us. Fortunately, a waitress came over and seated us first because there was no space for the group of three.

After settling down, we waited more than fifteen minutes for drinks and had no side plates or chopsticks. We did ask a few times but the staff kept forgetting. When the second dish arrived, BF did not want to wait anymore and went up to grab chopsticks himself but could not find any napkins.

The selection included daikon, an egg, squid rolled with fish cake, thick deep fried bean curd, fish cake and stewed beef. The soup base has a light broth flavour and tastes more rich compared to Guu Richmond's. However, the karashi mustard is dried up and does not even spread. There was no point adding the mustard because it could not even be used.

TONTORO, "Grilled pork cheek with yuzu ponzu sauce" ($6.20).
The pork has a nice char flavour and the meat tastes bouncy. But in spite of that, the pork could have tasted a bit more tender and lacks that nice chewiness. As for the sauce, there is a light sweet soy flavour.

HOTATE BUTTER, "grilled soy garlic butter scallop on fresh onion with bonito flake and garlic chips" ($8.80).
The scallops are lightly seared and tastes tender, but lack that nice scallop flavour. Nevertheless, there is a light sweet soy which pairs well with fried garlic. The bonito flakes also provide a bit of that extra flavour but we could have used some more pepper on the scallops.

KOBOCHA CROQUETTE, "Mashed pumpkin squash with boiled egg croquette" ($4.00).
Guu's croquette is one of my favourite dishes and the price is not expensive. The exterior has a crisp batter and the mashed squash tastes creamy as well as slightly sweet.

KAKUNI, "Stewed pork belly with daikon and egg" ($6.40).
The fatty portion of the pork belly naturally tastes tender but the lean meat is fairy dry, although not too chewy. There is also a light sweet soy flavour and the daikon tastes soft but not mushy. As for the egg, it could have been cooked for a touch longer because the hardening is very weak which made the egg pop easily. Also similar to the oden, the mustard is dried up and could not be used.

MAGURO STEAK, "Ahi tuna sashimi steak marinated in garlic soy sauce and sake" ($10.80).
Contemplating between the tuna tataki or maguro steak, we went for the latter because I was hoping it would taste better than Guu Richmond's. Although unfortunately, this is the worst dish of the night. The tuna is overcooked and the crust is extremely stiff as well as dry. There is also a salty soy flavour and that is it.

However, some portions half way through are less cooked but it was just not appealing. The tuna steak resembled eating a stiff brick of compacted and drained canned tuna. There is also no nice seared flavour and is just plain salty.

The highlight of the dinner is the salmon belly. The salmon is well seasoned and tastes moist.

TOTAL: $58.05 = TIP $6.95 = $65.00.

Guu is a good option for those who want to drink and grab snacks. Some of the food is very mediocre while others are alright and there are better Guu locations. As for our experience, overall it was not good because we were seated in an area with no lights and honestly could not see what we were eating. I am surprised pointing randomly and taking a photo with my crappy camera even worked. The staff was also forgetful compared to other Guu locations and the basic table setting was not provided until after asking at least three times (and having to get our own chopsticks!).

- Open late night
- Prices are not too high

- Maguro steak (1/5)
- Why serve dried up mustard?
- There are better tapas restaurants 
- Our seating area had no light (literally)
- Service is lacking (perhaps because of where we were seated)

- Guu Richmond post [here]
- Guu Garden post [here]
- Recommend dishes: Croquette and salmon belly (3.5/5)

Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5

Guu Garlic on Urbanspoon

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