Last week, Plato Putas were reunited in Toronto and there was only one way to celebrate. Food, of course! We met up with three other friends and headed over to the brand-spanking new Guu Izakaya, the first-ever Toronto location. Guu is a Japanese pub chain that’s popular in Vancouver thanks to a menu filled with tapas-style dishes meant to be shared with your dining companions.

Since there were five of us and we waited over an hour for a table, our stomachs demanded we order the hell out of the menu, which is exactly what we did. Here’s a step-by-step (in no particular order) of each dish we ravenously consumed. Up first, Cheesy Bibimbop.

Kinoko Cheese Bibimbap ($8.30): A stone bowl heaping with rice, garlic sauteed assorted mushrooms, cheddar cheese and a seaweed sauce. Mix and overturn all the ingredients to create a stringy, crispy spoonful.

Marguro Tataki (located in back, $6.80): Lightly seared tender B.C. albacore tuna sashimi drizzled with ponzu sauce and garlic chips. One of the putas’ favourite.
Karaage ($5.80): Five crispy, deep-fried soy sauce marinated juicy, plump pieces of chicken served with a flavourful garlic mayo for dipping purposes.

Daikon Salad ($5.80): Julienned white daikon mixed with miniature scallops and a spicy cod roe mayo and all resting on a bed of greens.

Gomaae ($3.80): A colorful mound of boiled spinach covered with a sweet flavored black sesame sauce.

Aburi Salmon ($6.80): Lightly seared Atlantic salmon sashimi drizzled with a ponzu sauce and wasabi mayo.

Kakimayo ($6.80): This dish is an aquired taste which neither Double P fancied. Two enormous grilled oysters mixed with spinach, mushrooms and garlic mayo with a cheese topping.

Yakiudon ($7.80): This was a very decent-sized dish. A large plate piled with delicious pan-fried udon noodle and topped with beef, vegetables and sesame seeds. Definitely a crowd favorite.

Kimchi Udon (7.50): Similar in size to the dish above, this plate contains boiled udon noodles with a spicy cod roe. The entire thing is topped with kimchi.

Salmon Natto Yukke ($8.30): An array of chopped ingredients which include salmon sashimi, natto, shibazuke, takuan, wonton chips, garlic chips, green onion and one raw egg. The server mixes the ingredients together, then you grab a nori seaweed square, fill it with a spoonful and pop in your mouth. We felt as though this had a similar slimy texture to cooked okra.

And lastly dessert! Banana Tempura ($5.80): Six fresh deep-fried tempura battered banana pieces.

Eating at Guu was quite the experience. First off, we advise you arrive for dinner either at 5:30 pm or 9 pm. Anywhere in between you can expect to wait up to 90 minutes for a table. Secondly, be prepared for the loud, debaucherous atmosphere. The friendly staffers believe in yelling orders and greetings and the restaurant is packed with hungry eaters tipsy on comically, over-sized mugs of beer. Vancouver expats have long waited for their beloved Guu to arrive to Toronto and the time has finally come my friends!

Guu Izakaya / 398 Church Street
416 977 0999 / Hours: Daily 5pm-12am