Tag Archives: Japanese Food

GUU Izakaya – Toronto, Canada

Primary Window Speckled Wall
(Above photo Guu Church Street © Renée S. Suen’s )

GUU Izakaya Restaurant

(1) 416 977-0999
398 Church St
Toronto, ON M5B 2A2, Canada

(1) 416 343-1101
59 Bloor Street
Toronto, ON MM5S 1Y6, Canada


5:00 pm – 11:30pm    Daily
11:30 am – 2:00pm    Monday – Friday


First off, we had more fun at GUU then we have had at any restaurant in quite a while.  From when you enter awash in the smells of a faraway home and the initial cheer of ‘irasshaimase!!!’  (a Japanese honorary welcome)  shouted from every direction by all the staff, as well as many patrons, giving one a surprise birthday party feeling – one knows they are in a ‘good place!’  We, along with all the other diners, laughed, smiled, oohed, ahhed and generally giggled for an entire meal.  The food being absolutely delicious-  and the booze flowing freely – certainly added to the festive atmosphere!

GUU has 2 locations in Toronto and 6 locations in Vancouver where the tradition began.  We visited both of the two locations in Toronto and although the Bloor street location has beautiful low siting room, the Church street location became our favorite with its hyped-up energetic atmosphere.


Main Dining Room, Bar and Open Kitchen(Above photo Guu Church Street © Renée S. Suen’s )

The two restaurants were design by the architecture & interiors firm Dialogue 38 ;  the façade consists of gray slate tiles with scattered 10cm square windows filtering enough light to the interior, and at the same time serving as peepholes to to the passing pedestrian who is able to peer into the informal communal tables that fill the space under hanging lightbulbs.  On the far side a bar is exposed to a lively kitchen where the cooks call out loud every ready dish out for the waitstaff.  We found this the best place to sit as you can choose your plates by whatever tempts your pallet as the dishes pass by.

GUU is a lively fun destination serving in the Izakaya style, which refers to type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves comfort food – and trust us  during the evil Toronto winter – it is just the comfort you are craving!

The menu ranges from classic Japanese dishes, like Gomaae (blanched spinach with sesame sauce), to fusion tapas, like the tempura brie with mango and blueberry sauce – which is as obscene and decadent as it sounds! – and Takenoko & Atsuage Oden, a slow cooked hotpot with bamboo shoots and deep-fried tofu.

Guu_-011Salmon Tataki Seared salmon with ponzu, wasabi mayonnaise and fried garlic


Guu_-016Saba Oshisushi, blow torched Mackarel pressed sushi


GuuAbove photo Guu Church Street © Jeff Karpala

Guu_-009Shimp Tempura
Guu_-007Kakimayo, Baked oyster with mushrooms, spinach and garlic mayonnaise topped with cheese


Kinoko Bimbimbap hot stone bowl of rice with mushrooms, cheese , seaweed sauce and topped with a raw egg yolk that is mixed with all the above and it gets cooked with the bowls heat


Deep fried squid okonomayaki, a Japanese pancake with tonkatsu sauce and karashi mayonnaise, also topped with bonito flakes



Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made by placing a small piece of octopus in the center of a ball of flour-based batter; this is then cooked in a special takoyaki pan and served wth tonkatsu sauce, karashi mayonnaise and usually topped with bonito flakes.






Until Next Time Friends !!!!

Robotaya – New York, NY

Robotaya � New York, NY


Japanese Restaurant & Grill
(1) 212 979 9674
231 East 9th St.
(Btw 2nd – 3rd Av)
New York, NY 10003



12:00m – 2:25pm    Wednesday – Friday
12:00m – 2:50pm    Friday &   Saturday
6:00pm – 10:45pm        Sunday – Thursday
6:00pm – 11:45pm       Friday & Saturday

In the growing section of Little Tokyo, Manhattan’s ninth street between 2nd & 3rd avenues, we find the NY sister to the original Robataya  in Roppongi, Tokyo.  Robatayas are descended from traditional beach restaurants where fishermen grilled their catch over an open fire and served directly to their customers via their oars.  (“ro” means hearth, or fireplace).  It’s origin leads back to the city of Sendai in the northeast of Japan, and today Robata chefs still use a wooden paddle to pass food to customers.

As you enter New York’s Robotaya, you are presented with an enormous counter, spread with the abundance of land and sea.  Ingredients are beautifully displayed, cleaned and mouth wateringly ready.  You simply point at whichever you wish and the chef descends at lighting speed from his elevated platform, set high as to give them more flexibility to access the spread before them.   As you are being served, your meal is announced loudly in  best Japanese tradition, echoed by the rest of the staff as the chef  passes you your lovely dish directly by on the long paddle.

All of the food is exquisite in its quality and taste, and as you have so much to choose from, there is something for everyone.  A stand-out is the potent matcha soup  with floating chestnuts and mochi,


Robotaya � New York, NY
Uni Kobu Yaki grilled sea urchin with salted kombu
Robotaya � New York, NYNasu Grilled Eggplant
Robotaya � New York, NY  ---Kawari Yakko Chilled Tofu with shoga ginger andpickles in clear soup
Robotaya � New York, NYCustard

Robotaya � New York, NY

Robotaya � New York, NY
Grilled Enoki

Robotaya � New York, NY