Eat: Guu Izakaya


Based in Vancouver, Guu was pretty much the first to show up to the izakaya scene in Toronto. When they opened their first location, it would garner upwards of two hours wait for a table and they didn’t take reservations. I developed plenty of good memories at Guu; I remember the first time I went to Guu, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of yelling going on– irasshaimase, domo arigatou and other honorific greetings in Japanese. It’s part of the izakaya experience. At the time, it was expensive especially on the university student budget; the food are meant to share and the drinks, there were tons of it.


Now, former locations of Guu have been turned to KINKA IZAKAYAs due to a breakup in business partnership, we weren’t sure whether Guu would be back but lo’ and behold, they reopened in the cusp of the Parkdale neighbourhood. It’s much smaller and while there’s still a bit of the greetings when you enter and leave, it’s tame. Not quite the same experience.

IMG_3960.jpgTakowasabi ($5) – marinated octopus with wasabi. If you have a stuffy nose or sinus problems, this is your friend. Comes with sheets of nori to scoop the takowasabi on top.

IMG_3962.jpgSashimi Salad ($9.50) – assorted sashimi on greens. More greens than sashimi, but tons of textures going on. Do mix it well as the gingery dressing tends to settle in the bottom.

IMG_3966.jpgGindara ($14) – grilled miso marinated black cod. Must. Get. So flaky and melt in your mouth.


Saba Sushi ($12) – seared pressed mackerel sushi. This was the daily special menu, which may or may not be available during your visit.

IMG_3970.jpgGyuyukke ($9) – beef tartare with spicy soy sauce and topped with an egg yolk. This was also on the daily special menu. It would have been nice to have some nori or some toast to eat with.

img_3973Tontoro ($8) – grilled pork cheek cha shu.

IMG_3975.jpgKimuchi Udon ($9.50) – boiled udon noodle with spicy cod roe and kimchi. This was one of the dishes I fell in love with on my first Guu visit.

IMG_3976.jpgAnnin Tofu ($4.50) – almond pudding.

I’m slightly conflicted, I’m glad Guu is back and the food just as good as I remembered it to be (except for the salad, skip that). However, I’m just missing the loud shouting. It’s not quite the same.

Guu Izakaya
1314 Queen St. W.
Toronto, ON
M6K 1L4


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