Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Guu Garden - love the garden theme


Guu Garden

888 Nelson Street, Vancouver (Map)

Guu Garden on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair

Guu Garden is the newest franchise to join the Guu chain of restaurants. Although they have been around for a long time, but I have only been to the one on Robson (Guu with Garlic). My first visit has left a good impression, so there was no hesitation when I decided upon the new Guu Garden for my birthday.

Guu Garden have a mix and match section for their drinks. Each item is around $2 to $5, so you can choose to be your own bartender and create your own drink. This is exactly what R decided to do, so here is his creation of Rum and Oolong tea. This to me was good at all, because I dislike rum.

First up: assorted Oden ranging from $1.50-$7/pc. This was mostly good, with my favorite being the Tofu Mochi Bag (left picture). I loved this, it was soft and flavorful and filled with a rich glutinous soup (mochi) that was just heavenly, but be careful it's quite hot on the inside. I think it's well worth the price tag of $2.
Next up is the okonomiyaki (~$6). The outside was crunchy and the inside was moist. The taste and sauce was standard. Although this was good, but it was in no way spectacular.
This was on their today special menu, and I already forgot it's name. R ordered this thinking it was cooked squid, but it's actually raw. First of all, visually it didn't not appeal to me, but in the name of science, oops I mean being a foodie, I tried the raw squid. As expected, it was not good, as it was rather slimy and gross in my opinion.
After that horrible dish, I was elated to see this delicious looking dish of ebi-mayo($7.80). The taste was equally impressive. It was lightly coated and fried to perfection. The prawns were succulent and sauce (taste like home made mayo) was excellent. I think this is the best ebi-Mayo I have tried thus far.
Another special of the day which I picked out. It's a combination of tofu, sweet potato, tuna and Chinese yam (~$7). This was rather special, because I wasn't aware that they used Chinese yam, until it came. Because Chinese yam have that distinctive mucus membrane, thus making this dish slightly sticky. Despite the sticky texture, it was good dish, there was a nice balance of flavor (citrus and soy).
The Chicken Karaage ($6.50) was also very good, the meat was tender and juicy. The coating was crispy, but not oily. The garlic mayo dipping sauce was very delicious and works well with the lightly seasoned chicken.
I think this was another special of the day that R wanted to try. It was pretty much just smoked salmon nigiri. I was not a fan of this, as the rice was rather crumbly, I think it's because they added a lot of herb and spice to it. Although it seems to be heavily spice, but I find it to be rather tasteless.

We also had a few more dishes, such as the takoyaki and oyster shots. The takoyaki was good, but I would prefer a more crispy shell. As I don't like raw oyster, I didn't try the oyster shot, but I hear it's not bad. Service was good, but sometime it's hard to get the servers attention when the restaurant is busy. We had 2 tables, and they were very nice and helped us kept a separate tab.

Overall, I liked my visit to Guu garden, as the food was indeed 'Guuuud' (mostly). Also, I really liked the design and feel of the place, it was rather modern and much brighter due to the floor to ceiling windows on 3 sides of the restaurant. Also I loved their cute and thoughtful bathroom. The only real problem was that it's hard to find, because it was located on the 2nd level of a building and the sign on the street level was rather small and hard to spot.


jer September 15, 2010 at 1:20 AM

The raw squid looks horribly unappetizing. This is a surprise seeing as Guu usually has a good knack for coming out with great creative dishes but it looks like they truly dropped the ball on that dish. Did you end up finishing it?

Jenny September 15, 2010 at 10:32 AM

I think we left 1 piece there, it was just a bit too slimy for everyone. But this might be a acquired taste just for the Japanese people???

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