- The Entrée:
- The Side/Drinks
- The Atmosphere:
Guu Sakabar & Izakaya is a place that’s known for good Japanese food and drinks. And if that’s not enough, it’s also known for it’s great atmosphere with it’s loud but still very welcoming “Hello” as you walk in. Guu Sakabar & Izakaya have now been in Toronto for a couple of years and have still maintained its reputation as one of the best Japanese Izakaya’s in the city. What’s Izakaya you might ask? It’s a drinking establishment that also serves food to compliment the drinks the customers will be enjoying. Think of it as a bar/pub with good food, Japanese style. Now don’t be fooled, just because Izakaya’s are a little more focused on the drinks, the food dishes are normally quite delish.
559 Bloor Street W
Toronto, ON M5S 1Y6
Our team got the chance to drop in and enjoy a nice team dinner over at Guu Sakabar a few months back. We decided to all try out their 10-course tasting menu. Something that we were all looking forward to after an extended period of busyness. So what was on the menu for tonight? Here’s what we had on our tasting menu:
We kicked off our team dinner with Guu’s very own original Guuu’d Sake which we highly recommend. A very smooth chilled sake that’s sure to please any diner. We were definitely in for a treat when the Guu’s manager Ippei came by to welcome us personally. On behalf of the team, many thanks for the hospitality, thanks for the complimentary Sake and thanks for making us feel like family.
And like any good family meal, one must make sure you eat your veggies. Guu made a delish Gomaae, a Spinach and Sesame dish and a Kaisou which is a nice seaweed and tofu salad. The Gomaae is a richer flavour one of the two with the Sesame sauce. The Kaisou is a nice and light refreshing salad. So no matter if you’re a fan of asian-styled veggies or a more traditional type of salad, Guu’s got you covered.
We were treated to Takowasabi which is served with roasted Seaweed chips/wafers. Simply wrap the fresh octopus and you get a nice mini burrito to snack on. The takowasabi stroke a good mixture of spiciness with the freshness of the octopus creating a nicely balanced appetizer. We were also quickly served Maguro Tataki which is seared albacore tuna sashimi right after. We liked squeezing the lemon slice on top of the tuna adding a little acidity to the sashimi pieces.
Next in line for the tasting menu, was Guu’s infamous deep fried chicken, Karaage. The soy sauce marinated chicken was lightly seasoned and deep fried with care. They came out juicy and crispy. We also liked squeezing the lemon slice ontop of the chicken… maybe we are a little lemon juice crazy?? We would also recommend coming to Guu for happy hour and pairing these with Sapporo beer. For oyster lovers, we tried the Kakimayo which is a baked oyster with mushroom, spinach, garlic mayo and topped with cheese. It was a very rich dish, which most of the team enjoyed. For me personally, maybe a little too rich.
Continuing with the seafood theme a little, we were served Gindara which is a grilled miso black cod. The black cod was grilled with saikyo miso and white wine sauce. It was delicious and loved the flakiness of the fish. And what’s a Japaneses meal without sushi/maki right? That’s where Guu’s Oshizushi, pressed cured mackerel sushi came in. Everyone’s eyes lit up when it came onto the table. The blow-torched sushi hit a really nice balance of flavour and freshiness. These were all devoured by the team pretty quickly. However, being a Canadian, would have loved to try it with salmon on top.
Now last but not least, this was the one thing we were ALL waiting for. The highlight of our night. This was something we were very very fortunate to have the chef’s over at Guu customize for our tasting menu, the HIREKATSU RICE BURGER (pork tenderloin cutlet rice burger). We know that Guu doesn’t normally serve this on their menu, so we really wanted to try it out. The typical beef patty was substituted for a deep fried pork tenderloin cutlet topped with cabbage and pink mayo (which I’m not going to lie, it threw me off). And instead of a regular bun, a rice bun took it’s place and had a little soy sauce added in for flavour. The consensus from the team? It was a good dish. Our only negative feedback was we wished the rice patty was a little harder as the the burger broke with each bite. But we were really glad we got the chance to try this dish. We ended the night with a nice macha cheese cake topped with some whipped cream.
Overall, we all really liked Guu. I would even say, Guu’s probably The Urban Craze’s favourite Izakaya in Toronto. We would highly recommend this place for anyone who would like a spot to grab a few drinks or wants to have a great 10-course tasting menu for just $35. We were treated to a wide variety of taste and flavours. But more than just the food (which is pretty awesome), they take care of you. The service was super friendly. Like any family dinner, Guu didn’t just made sure you ate your veggies, cause let’s be serious here… eat your veggies. They truly give you an atmosphere and vibe that’s hard to beat. That loud welcome, don’t be afraid of it, it’s like a family welcome. Loud, warm and fuzzy.. oh wait, maybe that’s the sake. Kampai Guu, we’ll be back. =)
The Damage: $35/person. Total for team, 197.75 after tax.