Showing posts with label Izakaya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Izakaya. Show all posts
Guu Izakaya is an izakaya located on Church St in downtown Toronto. It is highly recommended that you don't come here if (a) you have a massive migraine or (2) you're hungover. Why? Cause it's extremely lively and loud inside as the staff constantly shouts out welcomes and goodbyes to their guests.


I made a reservation for five people on a Saturday two weeks ago at 5 pm. Note that the only time available that you can reserve on both Fridays and Saturdays is 5 pm. The seating limit is 2 hours and they hold your reservation for only 15 minutes after your reserved time.

The food menu and drinks menu.

We were given the menus and the server took our drink orders. For those who are drinkers; they have a pretty decent selection of alcoholic drinks.


We decided to make it simple and ordered from the party menu; ended up getting five of the [B] course (which was $35 per person) ($35 x 5). This menu is great as it offers the top ten popular items from Guu and is ideal for sharing.



One of my favorite starters at Japanese establishments is the edamame (boiled soy bean). The ones here tasted pretty good with the right amount of saltiness.



The sashimi salad (assorted sashimi & greens) was really delicious. The fresh greens surprisingly went well with the sashimi and was a refreshing starter. Additionally, the sashimi that was used had a nice texture to it (not mushy or super soft).




The mauro tataki (seared BC tuna sashimi) was dressed in ponzu sauce, and sliced decently thin.



The first time that I tried takoyaki was in an izakaya in Tokyo; it had an interesting taste. Takoyaki (deep fried octopus balls) is a battered cover ball filled with diced octopus, and then deep-fried. The takoyaki at Guu tasted very similar to the ones that I had in Tokyo so it brought about memories of my trip. The dish was well-presented and topped off with flakes and shavings of bonita.


Another favorite of mine was the ebimayo (deep fried prawn). The lightly battered prawns were of a decent size, and drizzled in a sweet mayo sauce.


The dish came with five pieces of gindara (grilled black cod) for the each of us (second dish not pictured). However, some pieces were a lot smaller than the others. The buttery black cod was grilled nicely, and marinated in a sweet glaze. I believe that if you order this dish on its own; it's one of the pricier items on the menu.


I wasn't a particular fan of the kaki mayo (baked BC oyster topped with cheese) as it was a lot more cheesy than I would have liked. However, the others did like the odd combination of mushrooms, spinach and cheese mixed in with their baked oysters.



The lightly battered karaage (deep fried chicken) was a hit at our table as we quickly devoured them one by one. The deep fried chicken was very crispy on the outside, yet succulent on the inside. It tasted even better when dipped into the accompanied buttery mayo.


Honestly, the two bowls of kinoko bibimbap (rice, mushroom & cheese in sizzling bowl) didn't look that appetizing at first. However, the combination of rice, mushroom & cheese actually tasted pretty good.



The last item of the night was ice-cream. We were given the choice of black sesame, green tea or coconut ... naturally I chose green tea as I always do at Japanese establishments.

Overall, I had a great night as the food was delicious and the company that I was with was wonderful. The only slight hiccup was that one of the servers kept on reminding my friend (who was sitting on the outside) of how much time we have left, and she did this roughly 5 times. That was about once every half an hour. Although she politely reminded him; we thought that it was unnecessary as we were aware of the 2 hour limit and were going to be done on time. Other than the constant reminders, she was friendly and efficient as were the rest of the staff.

The total damage for the night (not including tip yet).


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.5/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4.5/5
Price: $$ || Online Menu
 
Address: 398 Church St, Toronto, ON, M5B 2A2

Guu Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Guu Izakaya

by on Saturday, February 22, 2014
Guu Izakaya is an izakaya located on Church St in downtown Toronto. It is highly recommended that you don't come here if (a) you have a...
Sat, Dec 14, 2013 (Day #5)

I-Land Patio

I-Land Patio is an 660 square meters large patio area within the vicinity of the Shinjuku I-Land Tower. There are a variety of restaurants and shops at I-Land Patio, so it's a great place to relax if you're ever in Shinjuku. For those who enjoy eating outdoors; there is an open courtyard area with chairs and tables available.


Address: 6-5-1, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Open Hours: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

The L.O.V.E Sculpture

The LOVE sculpture is an iconic sculpture based on a pop art image by artist, Robert Indiana. There are countless versions of the sculpture worldwide, and luckily there was one in Tokyo. It is located right outside of the Shinjuku I-LAND Tower in Nishi-Shinjuku, and it's definitely not hard to miss.


Welcome to Akihabara


After finishing up taking photos of the LOVE sculpture; it was time to head to Akihabara. Akihabara is a district that is well known for their otaku culture (anime and manga), and a central shopping area for the latest electronics. It was unbelievable as to how many shops there were that was devoted to anime and manga.

Lunchtime @ Chimney

Date: Saturday, December 14, 2013    
Meal: Lunch
Location in Japan: Akihabara, Tokyo

Before exploring Akihabara and all of its glory; it was time for lunch. We randomly picked Chimney; an  izakaya that was along the route to Gundam Cafe.


The izakaya is located in a small alley a few steps away from the JR Akihabara Station, and it's right next to a 7-11.

They didn't have an English menu available but their menu consisted of beautiful colored photographs of the food items. I love how Japan displays their food menus; with photographs of every item, and also using fake plastic food at the front (which I will explain in another post).



I ordered the yakitori platter (¥819) which came with five skewers of grilled meat. I absolutely loved each skewer as the meat was tender, and flavorful. My personal favorite was probably the grilled chicken and sausage.


The soup base for the Japanese hot pot (¥680) was pretty, but there were a lot more veggies than seafood in the pot.



 We were both curious about this fish head dish (¥714 x 2 = ¥1428) so we decided to order two (one for the both of us). The sashimi pieces were different but I found the head to be quite hard to eat.


The chicken udon (¥580) was a decent dish but nothing too spectacular. Instead of alcohol, we decided to order two cups of coke (¥600).

The total cost for lunch was ¥4107 for the both of us.

Desserts @ Gundam Cafe

Originally, I wanted to have lunch at Gundam Cafe, but the menu didn't really appeal to me. Therefore, we decided to go to the Gundam Cafe for some desserts after lunch.

Exploring Akihabara

It was already getting dark in Akihabara when we decided to go exploring the district. However, the district is extremely bright due to the illuminating lights from all of the shops and buildings.

UDX Building of Akihabara Crossfield.
Gashapon machines are everywhere in Japan; prices vary between 100-500 yen.
I spent about an hour exploring K-Books and the other stores in the same building. The fourth floor was entirely dedicated to selling gashapon toys and figures. The toys here were a lot more expensive than what you'd find in the machines though as the higher-priced items were 800-1500 yen each (popular/collectible items).

Don Quijote

Don Quijote is a huge discount store in Japan and there are multiple locations in various cities. They offer a wide selection of Japanese products such as food, kitchen and cleaning supplies, costumes, figures, candies, cosmetics, health care and so much more. The Akihabara branch has 8 floors in total, and you can literally spend hours shopping there.



Quick snack @ Home Cafe (Maid Cafe)

Located on the 5th floor of Don Quijote is the @ Home Cafe; a popular maid cafe. Unfortunately, photography was strictly prohibited inside so I couldn't take any pictures of the interior. It was definitely an interesting experience having the maids addressing me as "mistress". However, like a majority of novelty and themed restaurants; people usually come to these places for their atmosphere and ambiance, and not the food. I opted for the @Home Cafe Special Omelet Rice (¥1,1000). I thought that my omelet was pretty overcooked but I did like the cute heart drawings with the ketchup on my egg.


Dinnertime @ Tsubame KITCHEN Marunouchi

Date: Saturday, December 14, 2013    
Meal: Dinner  
Location in Japan: Akihabara, Tokyo

 We decided to head back to our hotel after Akihabara. However, we were still hungry so we decided to look for a quick bite to eat. We definitely ate a lot more meals than we would in Toronto. Anyways, our last food adventure of the day was at Tsubame KITCHEN Marunouchi in Marunouchi Oazo.



Tsubame KITCHEN Marunouchi specializes in German sausages.


I ordered the grilled sausage (¥890) and a side order of bread (¥210). Had I known that the portion of this dish consists of nothing more than one piece of sausage; I'd probably gotten another dish. However, the sausage was definitely delicious and full of flavor.


My boyfriend ordered  the homemade vienner sausages & eisbein (¥1100).

After dinner, we decided to call it a night and headed back to our hotel.
Don Don Izakaya is located in the downtown core, and is steps away from St. Patrick subway station. The establishment is located upstairs, and whenever anyone arrives, they would be greeted with a loud drum roll. The atmosphere was relatively loud with chatter and overall just a lively one. 

Additionally, the seating arrangements are typical like other tapas/izakaya establishments; bar-side or communal tables. My friends and I only ordered four dishes, as they were there to basically drink (and we were also going to KBBQ after so we were saving room in our stomachs for that). 


We started out with the seafood udon ($7.60) which I really enjoyed. The texture of the udon was very chewy and the sauce wasn't bland at all. Additionally, there was a decent amount of seafood in the dish so that was good 


I wasn't too keen on trying the black croquette ($7.00) out at first as it didn't look that appetizing. However, I did try a piece of it and thought that it was a very interesting dish. The outer layer was crispy and inside contained a soft mixture of potato and cod.


The smokey hay salmon ($11.90) was fresh sashmi that is seared with hay fire to provide a smoky flavor. It tasted okay with the a slice of garlic, and salt, but was definitely not worth the price.


 Lastly, we got the tako wasabi ($3.50) which was basically raw octopus and wasabi. The portion was a lot smaller than we anticipated and it was nothing special.

One of the great things about Don Don Izakaya would be their extensive drink selection (alcoholic beverages/various sake choices). We ordered a lot more alcohol than food, that's for sure.

We only ordered four dishes so I can't really make a sound judgement on the quality of the food. I did like 2/4 of the dishes that we ordered, and thought that the service was friendly and quick. I'd probably come back here another time to try more dishes out.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 3/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.5/5
Price: $$

Address: 130 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, M5G 1C3

Don Don Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Don Don Izakaya

by on Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Don Don Izakaya is located in the downtown core, and is steps away from St. Patrick subway station. The establishment is located upstairs, ...