April 10, 2011

Guu Izakaya Take III

With the recent opening of Guu Sakabar, we reasoned that people would flock to that new location instead. Turns out, our logic was flawed. The izakaya was just as busy as ever (and bustling with chaotic energy)! What ensued was one of the longest wait that I've ever endured for a meal - 2 whole hours in the cold outside! We were told that the wait was only going to be an hour, which I was fine with. But in the end, because they kept seating parties of 2 and we were a party of 3, the wait time doubled. In fact, after realizing that there were other parties of 3 waiting impatiently as well, I had to gently prompt the poor guy who was seating people to "concentrate on fitting in parties of 3's".
This was the first time that I got seated at the bar side. Too bad I drove that day, so I couldn't drink at all.
The daily menu specials. Unfortunately, there weren't that many overly interesting items to order. They ran out of the toro carpaccio that we wanted to try. Incidentally, toro (fatty tuna belly) is my favourite sashimi!
Gyu carpaccio: lightly seared marbled beef sashimi with wasabi mayo. I appreciate that the flavours were kept very clean and light, with a touch of creaminess from the mayo. However, I couldn't chew through the rare beef. The wasabi also didn't have a very strong presence.
I'm a big fan of uni (sea urchin), so I obviously enjoyed this very much. I loved that subtle hint of sweetness and the creamy texture of the sashimi. My friends thought otherwise, though.
Kabocha korokke was something that I've had before: deep fried kabocha pumpkin croquette with a boiled egg inside. My pumpkin-obsessed friend has never had it before, so of course, she couldn't resist ordering this.
 I would've loved this even more if the egg inside was only half-cooked. Surely, a runny egg yolk would take this creamy concoction to a whole new level!
Kinoko cheese bibimbap with garlic sautéed mushrooms, cheese and seaweed sauce. Hands down, one of my favourites of the night! Of course, I've had this before, but I just can't get over how the cheese elevates the bibimbap to a whole new level of deliciousness! For any rice items served in a hot pot, I usually wait for the rice to form a crunchy crust in the bottom, which I absolutely adore. However, this proved too irresistible and we gobbled everything right up before any crust had a chance to form.
Kaki Furai: Deep fried oyster with three kinds of sauce. I wished the oyster could've been bigger. Predictably, I enjoyed the pink tartar sauce the most and I was not really a big fan of the tonkatsu sauce pairing. I don't think I'll be ordering this again, for it really paled in comparison to the fried oyster that I had at Tonkichi in Hong Kong. Just thinking about that meal makes me hungry...
Kakimayo was another re-order item. In fact, I've had this twice already! But tonight, it was particularly fantastic: grilled oysters with spinach, garlic mayo and cheese on the top. Perhaps the  long wait altered my perception of certain dishes.
Honestly, I don't know how I can ever order unagi rice at another restaurant after sampling Guu's unagi doria: BBQ water eel on mixed mushroom, rice, and topped with cheese. Lesson of the day: add cheese to anything and it'll taste better, even if it doesn't make sense at all! That cheesy crust on top of the rice and eel was just so unbelievably tasty and so perfect with BBQ flavour! Once I took a bite, it was like a sudden revelation inside my head duh! cheese + jap food makes perfect sense! Maybe I should start encouraging my mom to add cheese to her Chinese cooking...
Enoki hotate bacon: Enoki mushroom and scallop wrapped in bacon with soy sauce and mustard mayo. The liberal use of mayo everywhere seems to be a recurring theme in Guu's food, but no complaints from me about that! This was another tasty treat. The meat had a lot of bold flavours, which was a nice contrast to the lightness of the soy sauce.
Calpico and orange cheesecake was, in truth, a little strange for me, because I don't like the use of orange in desserts very much (I only like eating the fruit as it is). Still, it was a satisfying two-bite dessert, since we shared the tiny cheesecake between the three of us.
In the end, I couldn't decide whether the two hour wait was worth it. I generally love to eat, but it's not often that I truly feel inspired by the food, and I certainly felt that genuine excitement at various points of my meal. On the other hand, I feel like I should be doing something more productive with my life than to wait two hours for dinner. Food, in the end, is still just food. Next time, I shall wisely avoid weekend crowds at all costs.
Guu Izakaya on Urbanspoon


  1. The picture of the cheesecake is SO beautiful!

    Totally reliving what we ate =D

  2. btw, love the last picture ;) (very random)

  3. Marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will eventually come back in the foreseeable future



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