We have been to Guu twice this summer and both times we were delighted to find an exceptional variety of cheap and creative Japanese small plates to share. I happen to love dim sum but it is really not acceptable as a dinner option, so Guu is a great substitute when I want the bustling, shared, Asian food experience. Plus, just like dim sum, you can get your dining pals to be a bit more adventurous than usual given that many items are just $4-$6.
They also make their own Guud Ale, which has a mild caramel flavour and a smooth finish – plenty of personality but unlikely to conflict with the diversity of your order.
Some of the items we tried included: octopus balls with bonito flakes, duck salad with mushrooms, beef tendon soup, fried octopus with ancho mayo, and chilli sweetbreads.
This beef tendon soup looks unappetizing, I know! But I promise you that it is melt in your mouth tender, and the broth has the purest beef flavour we have ever tasted. That big gob of yellow stuff is Japanese mustard, which you can add for a spicy kick as you see fit. It’s kind of like having miso soup as a starter – it’s only $2, give it a try!
These sweetbreads are tasty, and they definitely convinced me to keep trying intestines, but I cannot tell a lie; after a few bites, I knew I was eating something that has a prior life involving poop.
In Spain and Portugal, plates of small whole fried fish are quite popular, and we ate a lot of them on our honeymoon so we wanted to try these fried silver fish. I would describe them as fish and chips in a single bite. Mr. ST said they reminded him of pork rinds. You know when you learn things about your partner’s life before you that just don’t fit with the person you know? Pork rinds are among the skeletons in Mr. ST’s closet.
We also tried a tofu and kimchi hot pot and the most incredible egg dish that was like a vegetarian scotch egg. Where the hard boiled egg would normally be surrounded by sausage meat, this one had mashed pumpkin, coated in panko bread crumbs. I was getting deliriously full by this point in the night, so unfortunately I have no photographic evidence.
Bring a date, or bring a crowd, and be ready to have fun with your food. Guu is noisy, casual and doesn’t take itself too seriously, something we could all stand to try once in a while!