Monday, September 24, 2012

Vancouver: Guu Izakaya

With its geographic location on the West coast of North America, Vancouver is one of the most diverse cities that come to mind. This lends itself well to being rich in culinary delights. With the large population of Japanese, izakaya establishments are commonplace. There are a few major players in Vancouver, and some have multiple locations with slightly different personalities: Guu, Hapa, Zakkushi, and Kingyo. As you can imagine, it was not easy narrowing it down to just one, so we went to the Original Guu on Thurlow since it was withing walking distance of our hotel.

We left for an early dinner and took a detour to take in the surroundings of our area. An izakaya is a Japanese pub serving tapas style food. Not only is it about the food, but it's also about the lively, loud atmosphere. You can only imagine our surprised when we saw a dozen or so other people already waiting to enter fifteen minutes prior to the restaurant's opening time!

Once opening time had arrived, people were efficiently seated and servers began arriving at tables to take orders and yell them to the chefs! It is a bit intimidating at first, especially since English was not a strong suit for the staff, so you're left to your own devices.

Thankfully, our ordering skills did not disappoint! Our dishes arrived piping hot and fresh. They were beautifully prepared and tasted as good as they looked.
croquettes

Saba shio: grilled mackeral with salt

kim chi fried rice

tontoro: grilled pork cheek with yuzu ponzu 

Yaki udon

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