28 December 2012

Guu Garden (Downtown)

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Out of all the Guus, Garden was the only one I haven’t been to. Yet I’ve heard many things about it, let it be the décor or the food. The chance had come for us to check it out along with Lun, who’s also interested in checking out this place.
From the ground level, it was hard to see where it is located. Once we climbed up the stairs, it felt like a little garden in the middle of the city. The feeling was quite refreshing and unique. We were having an early dinner so it wasn’t too crowded by the time we got there. As we were quite familiar with izakaya items, ordering was made quite simple.

Oden (by item)
There were two different styles of oden to choose from:


Kanto-daki
This was the type you usually see in the restaurants - clear broth base with a bit of yellow mustard on the side. We ordered taro jelly ($1.50) and turnip ($1.50); they were pretty good.

Miso-oden
We had beef gristle ($3) and fried egg ($2) in the miso broth. The taste was quite a bit stronger than the original kanto type. It didn't taste as refreshing the kanto type.


Miso Kakuni ($6.50)
The kanuni came with egg on the side and you could mix them together for a more creamy flavour. This would go very well with a bowl of rice as the flavour was a bit saltier to eat by itself.

Karaage ($5.80)
The chicken karaage was a bit dry on the outside - probably because it didn't have a flour coating. Inside was alright but so was the dish as a whole.

Ton Toro ($6.50)
This was sliced into strips which made it easy to eat. Topped with fresh onion and citrus soy sauce. The overall taste was quite refreshing and the pork was very tender.

Gindara ($8.50)
The gindara fish was glazed with miso mayo and a bit of grated radish daikon on the side. The texture was very soft and pretty much melted in your mouth.

Deep Fried Cauliflower ($5.50)
 I was kind of hoping that this would be as good as the ones at Nuba. Although it's not the same, it's not too bad. The cauliflower was seasoned with paprika spice and there was mayo dip on the side.

BBQ Beef Short Ribs ($7.80)
The presentation was somewhat familiar – as if it’s something you would see from Guu Garlic. The short rib itself wasn’t dry but it was a bit toward the salty side.

Kimuchi Udon ($7.80)
The kimuchi udon was quite spicy (for me) and nothing out of ordinary. The udon texture was a good amount of chewiness which I liked.

Kabocha Cheesecake ($4.50)
We couldn’t really taste the pumpkin flavour but perhaps it’s not a bad thing. It was quite creamy yet not overly sweet.

Mochi Taiyaki Ice ($4.50)
The taiyaki (fish-shaped dessert with red bean filling) was very interesting and I like it quite a bit. The coating was mochi-like, making it kind of chewy and has a bit more depth than the regular flour coating. The vanilla ice cream was just what you could expect.

Since we quite enjoyed the dinner, we went back shortly after our first visit to try their lunch menu.

Business Man Bento ($15.80)
The name was kind of funny – I guess it was trying to resemble an adult bento. There were 4 pieces of aburi (fire sheared) sushi with miso soup, rice, a few pieces of sashimi, and grilled black cod. It’s quite a hearty lunch box and enjoyable.

Kids Bento ($8.50)
Despite its name, the Kids Bento is also available for adults to order. With the hamburger patty being of the items, I just could not resist from it. The bento also came with a little toy (big plus!!). Since it was intended for kids, there were no raw items by default. There were the takoyaki, hamburger, rice with thin egg skin, and breaded fried shrimp. There was a bit too much mayo for the shrimp; as for the hamburger, it was not too bad.

Rice Wine Ice Cream ($4.50)
For dessert, we went for the rice wine ice cream since it sounded interesting. In fact, I think it might have been from the Artisan Sake Maker on Granville Island. It has a nice flavour of Sake without being overwhelming.

Both the dinner and lunch experiences were pretty good. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite Guu but the décor did capture my eyes quite a bit. Given this, I would absolutely come back.

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