After trying the original Guu on Robson and Thurlow, I’ve been craving Japanese izakaya ever since. So when a good friend of mine was leaving for exchange, I suggested we have a farewell dinner at Guu gardens. I’ve heard good things about Guu garden from many friends. From its unique menu to its relatively quiet and spacious dining room, it was a recipe for success. We were also pleasantly surprised when they accepted our reservation for 10 on a Saturday night with no problem at all.
Guu garden is located near the intersection of Nelson and robson, but the restaurant is impossible to spot from the street. It took a while for CL and me to find the restaurant, which was hidden on the second floor balcony of the office building where gyukaku and relish is located.
Since we arrived late, we ordered quickly after skimming through the menu. This Guu is focused on oden but we weren’t really in the mood that. Instead, we ordered a few favorites of ours starting with the ebi mayo. The prawns were perfectly cooked, exhibiting the desired crunchy texture and sweet flavor. I like the ebi mayo here better because the mayo is served as a pile in the middle of the plate instead of being slathered on top of the prawns.
The next dish to arrive was the tuna tataki. I wanted to order beef tataki but unfortunately this Guu didn’t have it. The tuba tataki was served with shaved onions, garlic chips and ponzu sauce on the side for dipping. This dish was solid but didn’t possess any WOW factor. The portion was quite small but the flavors were all there.
The last dish to arrive was the obligatory filler dish, yaki udon. The udon was mildly seasoned and cooked well, being chewy and not mushy at all. The portion was again extremely small and there was next to no beef.
As you can see, portion size is definitely an issue with the food at Guu garden although the flavours were all there. I know izakaya style food isnt suppose to be like that, but the food at Guu original on thurlow was much bigger in portions compared to Guu garden. Another problem I encountered was the availability of menu items. CL and I ordered 2 more items on top of the 3 we had but were told that those items were sold out after we placed our order. How a restaurant can run out of so many regular menu items half way through dinner service is beyond me. So my final verdict is stick with Guu originals on Robson and Thurlow if space is not an issue and, make a reservation at Guu garlic if you have a big group.