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Guu Otokomae Japanese Izakaya, Vancouver (Gastown)

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Guu Izakaya. “Shouting is one of our specialty other than serving Izakaya dish”

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Guu’s empire is steadily building in Vancouver and Toronto. There are 6 establishments locally. The Gastown restaurant has been around since 2003 when a bulky 3 megapixel camera was top of the line. I guess I can say I grew up with Guu and been here numerous times when pictures were very noisy and my memory was hazy.

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Guu Otokomae. Otokomae apparently “means handsome man or true man in physically and mentally. Guu with handsome man? The concept behind its name is a better customer service with attractive contemporary tapas than “authentic” Izakaya.” Skeptical like I was? Google comes up with Processed Otokomae (Handsome Guy) Tofu – tofu that tastes of chocolate?! Eh? Whatever the case may be, Guu Otokomae won’t leave you feeling strange. They won’t even shout or yell after every dish you order.

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The venue is spacious with split levels – bar area and a dining area overlooking Water St.

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We came here to celebrate the April babies birthdays’. Three early in the month and me at the end of the month! To start things off correctly we ordered some Saporro and Matcha Sake Mojito and Sake Mojito.
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I prefer drinking beer directly from the bottle – I feel more manly. And unless my beer mug / sleeve is chilled, it probably wouldn’t be my first choice. It’s unfortunate Guu Otokomae does not carry Ashai Black. Actually not many places do and if you come across an izazkaya that does, please let me know! Oh, that lagery aroma of toffee and faint chocolate with some earthy woody hop presence…. mmmmm. But any Sapporo will hit the spot regardless.
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Matcha Sake Mojito – subtlely bitter and minty. It is refreshing. I like to pound and muddle my mint leaves as much as possible. Rum, green tea, mint, lime, maple syrup and soda
Sake Mojito – Sake, Plum wine, lime, mint leave, ramune




Small Dishes
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Taka Wasa – instant wake me up. Even those with the strongest allergies will be cleared up. Wasabi power.

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Edamae – steamed beans lightly salted

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Chicken Bang Bang-Z Salad – steamed chicken breast with greens (bean sprouts, cucumbers and tomatoes). Guu’d dressing with black sesame sauce. Refreshing with plenty of proteins and I really like the sesame touch.
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Yam Fries
Sashimi Bar

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Scallop Carpaccio – wee bit on the smaller side. There wasn’t much taste to it. I much prefer the hotate at Gyo-O with a hint of wasabi mayo.



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Salmon Sashimi

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Hamachi Sashimi


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Salmon with 7 Friends – it was interesting to see the server flip, stir, mix the ingredients together. By the end of the ordeal, it was paste-like and wasn’t very aesthetically pleasing. Taste-wise it was alright, but we much prefer the ingredients left separate for our own entertainment.
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Guu Tataki


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Maguro Tataki – black pepper and nicely seasoned. One of my favourites!

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Seafood Salad – Sashimi on a bed of spring greens


Pan Fried or Grilled
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Grill Black Cod – A miso glazed juicy and flaky fish. Always a delight
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Lamb Hamburg Steak – a hamburger patty made with lamb. We were intrigued by the presentation on a hot skillet and paper towel guarding the flying oil more than anything. Seasoned minced radish on top. Nothing outrageously spectacular unless I see fireworks. But it was still tasty… I can not knock them on that.




Deep Fried
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Chicken Karrage
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Brie Cheese – reminds me of a Saganaki. Lightly breaded brie that is crispy outside and soft inside. Be careful it is hot inside!
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Crab and Shrimp Gratin Croquette – Yum! Creamy. Soft.




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Mushroom Cheese Bibimbap – Risotto a la Nippon style in a hot stone bowl


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Kimchi Udon – like a mentaiko with kimchi. Stir fried undo with a lil spice


Have we ordered everything on the menu yet? Almost I think…


Moving down the list of Guu’s strong holds… Let’s see what unique items and atmosphere it has to offer. Stay tuned!
Guu Otokomae on Urbanspoon
375 Water Street  Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5C6
(604) 685-8682


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