Guu is located on Church Street between Gerrard and Carlton. They just opened up a new location on Bloor a few months ago, I think.
I’d heard of this place from a few different sources, all of them singing praises, except for the part where the wait times can range anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. Yeah, apparently it’s worth the wait, but I’m not the kind of person that’s willing to wait that long to eat dinner.
That being said, this place was unlike any other restaurant I’ve ever been to, because I’m not the classiest person ever. It seems like the place that trendy 20-35 year olds would go to, because it is a very fun place, well decorated, with a great theme. The place itself, from the outside was made of an unpolished granite with wooden accents. The wood, well done as it was, was able to avoid looking cheap and rustic. There was a giant wooden door, easily over 10 ft high, and when you enter, every worker there (probably over 20 people) turned to greet you in Japanese. Exuberant hellos and smiles. That’s just a warning for first time visitors because I was definitely caught off-guard.
Luckily, our wait was less than 5 minutes because we were meeting some of my cousins and friends there, a total group of 7 people.
This place specialized (or rather, only really served) Japanese Tapas. Small Japanese dishes, meant to be shared. I didn’t get to take a lot of pictures, because my phone was dying and the place really didn’t look like a place that I should be taking pictures at. Also, because I was with people that I didn’t really know too well. I digress. These little plates, deceiving as they are, pack so much flavour and food into them, by the end, we were rather full. Or I was at least. But we did order 26 plates in total, plus a pitcher of Sapporo.
Some of the dishes that stood out were the Unagi (freshwater eel) on rice, beef udon, tuna thingy, black cod, bacon wrapped mushroom. They even had amaebi (sweet shrimp) which isn’t available at a lot of places. Oh and the avocado with shrimp and salty stuff. Man, there were so many dishes that I don’t even remember them all. They were mostly very good though, and even the ones that weren’t good, weren’t bad at all.
Everything was very well presented, the food was amazing. The menu and their brand identity were great. Very illustrative and expressive brush strokes that identify with the Japanese culture. However, some didn’t like it because it was a bit difficult to read, albeit not that much. But then again, these were the same people that preferred Comic Sans.
In the end, our total came up to about $200 + $20 tip, so about $30 a person. Well worth it. Great atmosphere, great food, great company.