Guu serves homestyle Japanese food in a loud and electric atmostphere. Food is served from an open kitchen and the dishes are generally tapa sized. There are three other locations in Vancouver.
I have had great experience at the two Guu restaurants downtown -- one on Robson and one on Thurlow, so I thought I would try this one at Aberdeen. BIG mistake. The food is at best mediocre, yet prices are not cheap. I did not enjoy the dinner at all, as every item I ordered was disappointing. Don't go there.
...but not great. I still think the Thurlow location is the best. This particular one seems to have a more substantial sushi menu and less of the izakaya stuff.
Ambience is very Guu, but it is a bit different since it's (relatively) such a large and airy location.
Service was nice, but it's not the usual Japanese girls running around, so it's not the same as the other locations.
The food was pretty good, but nothing special if you've been to the Guu downtown. I would say if you're in Richmond and need an izakaya hit, here's a dependable place to go. But if you've the time, you could do better heading down to Thurlow (which I think is better than the Garlic location on Robson).
Finally got around to trying this location a little over 2 weeks ago. We were able to make a reservation in spite of their initial response stating that they don't take any between 6-9 or was that 10. That was a good thing since we wouldn't have gotten a table for 5 so easily otherwise.
Food: From mediocre to... something missing. Noticeably inferior to what I'd get from their d/t locations but still better than most Richmond izakaya's. The sushi selection reminds me a little of what used to be offered by Sushikan (my favourite chef gave up & returned to Japan!). The bluefin toro is pretty good still (same supplier, maybe?) while the cut is different. Though I was told one of the Sushikan chefs stayed behind, I can almost swear it must have been one of the ones making the cooked foods at the back b4, as it definitely wasn't any of the 2 working the sushi bar during my visits. What is awfully odd was the beef ribs... those are distinctly Chinese in flavour as well as the Ebi Mayo... that's an odd take on it, baked like a casserole.
Something is either missing or just not quite izakaya-trendy about the decor. Maybe it's brighter than usual & perhaps a proper designer wasn't hired to do the job, I'm not quite sure what it is--just not very Japanese in feeling though all of the male staff in the open kitchen & running the floor & perhaps doing the dishes, seem to be all Japanese guys. The only 2 female in the house were the spill over pair of Chinese girls from the Sushikan days. I'm glad they got hired on by the new owners as they do their jobs well enough though they provided warmer service previously, perhaps, it's because now it's a busy place, while previously, it often hosted less than a handful of occupied tables.
Will I return? I suppose I would if I was in Richmond & wanted izakaya since so far the other spots are mostly lacking.
Food: It was alright, but it was nothing special...ordered a variety of items. My favourite ones were the udon and the salted squid appetizer. We saw two large plates of tempura already prepared by the counter. Apparently they don't make it on the spot. Considering the prices they are charging, I find this appalling.
Service: We had to call the waiter twice to have our cups filled.
Value: I know this is a tapas place and the dishes are supposed to be small. However, I wish they would at least reflect the quality of the dishes. Put more sashimi in your 'sashimi salad'!!!
Ambiance: We were hoping to get the private room (we were a table of 6). We didn't. We were seated on BENCHES. Now, perhaps they add to the authenticity of the 'japanese tapas' place, but they were VERY comfortable. The width of the bench was only about 5 inches long. Painful to sit on for more than an hour (maybe they do this to tell you to leave quicker so they can accomodate more customers?)
The Robson location (Guu with Garlic) is SO much better than this one. Don't go to this one, it doesn't even compare!
Having dined at the DT location, and several other izakayas, Guu in Aberdeen was a pretty familiar experience.
We waited for about 20 minutes for our table and were seated by the window by a most pleasant server.
grilled oysters wrapped in bacon
grilled pork cheeks
bibimba (korean rice dish in a stone bowl)
karubi (korean short ribs)
misomaya (grilled black cod w/miso mayonaise)
grilled beef tongue
I didn't care for the yakiudon, I found it wetter and saltier than I like.
The salad was also a bit salty (combination of the crisped bacon and the soy in the salad dressing).
But the beef tongue, the misomayo, karubi, oysters, porkcheeks, and bibimba were all excellent.
The kitchen seemed a little bit disorganized (we received half our dishes in the first 20 minutes, then our other half slowly trickled out over the next 40 minutes)
I don't know what it is but the restaurant doesn't seem the same like the ones on Robson and Thurlow. I guess it's in in a mall but even with the yelling back and forth, it seems a bit fake to me. The kitchen items were very good but it seems that the selection is more limited. The sushi was not very good and I wonder why they even try that as that is not their strong point. I rather them have kitchen items only. Good pork cheeks, black cod, beef tongue.
So for Father's Day we decided to take my b/f's dad to Guu in Aberdeen to give it a try. We had been raving about Guu to his dad and since he doesnt eat raw stuff we thought Guu would be great b/c they've got so much tapas that are "cooked".
We went in for lunch and were seated promptly. Took a look a the menu and were shocked at what we saw b/c the menu was completely different. Totally not what we expected. So needless to say we left. We told the waitress and she was fine w/ it. She said they have a diff't menu fr the Guus downtown...
So if you're going to Guu in Aberdeen expecting to eat some of your Guu downtown favourites...be forewarned...only the name is the same!
Food: Great edamame, spinach salad, deep-fried prawns and sashimi. Wasn't too hungry that day so couldn't eat too much but will definitely return to try some of the other dishes. I didn't think it had as much flair as Guu with Garlic (where the food makes your knees buckle) but quite good nonetheless.
Service: No wait which was amazing on a Sat night and we were seated promptly. Servers were friendly and attentive and chefs behind the counter provided some entertainment as well.
Ambiance: Not as cozy as the Robson location, with a little more room to move which is good but it also doesn't feel as intimate. Still nice nonetheless.
Will return to try other dishes.
First time to Guu. People say it's good so decided to try the Richmond location since it's close to where I live. Wasn't busy but friend and I got seated at bar. At least two tables were open but had to specifically ask for a table. Ordered two bento boxes. Went to use washroom but it was outside of the restaurant. Got lost on the way back through the labrynth. Ended up coming back to the front entrance. My friend's bento box finally arrived after 30 min wait. My bento box arrived after another 10 min wait. Food was terrible. My chicken tasted like it was microwaved and left out in the open for hours. Salad was very watery. Roll was falling apart. My friend's prawn tempura was cold and soggy instead of hot and crispy. Portions were tiny. Still felt hungry afterwards.
My friend told me the downtown location was the total opposite and actually quite good. I will never go back to this location.
Or something like that greets you as you walk in.
Being the only Caucasians in the restaurant(and the whole mall for that matter) we felt like steaks at a vegetarian picnic.
But we were greeted warmly and sincerley,and took a seat at the bar.
We ordered from the daily special menu,and regular mieny,and were extremely pleased.
good portions,great presentation,and very flavorful.
The tuna sashimi comes with different dipping sauces,the karrage were crisp and not greasy.
The favorites were the Ebi mayo,and the diced chicken.
bill came to 90.00 with tip for the two of us,but we were stuffed and happy.
I have been to the Guus in downtown before and the food there were very tasty, cooked just right, and not bad of a presentation. And, when I heard that Guu opened in Richmond, I thought I should give it a shot and see if it stands up to the other Guu's standards. I was a little disappointed to find that the taste is a little bland compared to the other Guus. Maybe I should try another time in here to see if it was just that day that I went in January 2009
I went with a bunch of co-workers to do a birthday celebration thing, so we made reservations for our group because since we had so many people, we had to make sure they could accomodate.
Right off the bat, the "reserved" section smelled of the washroom that was situated on the other side of the door. I understand that because they share the washroom with Northern Dynasty next door, it's probably not their responsibility to clean the washrooms so they don't SMELL of it inside the restaurant...I'm surprised they didn't smell it themselves considering how close the kitchen was to that area. That was a HUUUGE turn off. So we requested changing tables. After some discussion, we got moved to the room in the back. This was OK, except it took 10 minutes at least, for any type of service. Getting us the menus, getting us the teas, taking the orders, helping accomodate allergies (which added up to half an hour just to get food orders in). After taking our orders, it took a horrendous amount of time to MAKE our food. We all must have waited an hour plus for food, and half of our party received food much earlier than the other half.
I ordered Chirashi and they managed to take more than an hour to make that!!
Then my co-worker who was the last to get her order actually received the WRONG order, which we had to send back and correct. So...more waiting.
Despite our dissatisfaction, there was no effort to appease us by giving us a discount or waiving any of the meals despite all their mistakes.
I used to really like this Guu because this was the only location with the sushi and the Crazy Salmon, but this experience has really put me off. I have no idea if I'll be back again.
I'm used to frequenting the other Guu's in town and was hoping this location would be just as good. After visiting on 3 separate occasions, I know I won't come here unless the other locations are full & I absolutely want to have Guu.
Service is a bit lacking. The first 2 times I came, we sat at a table along the wall. Even though bar seating & the kitchen are just ten feet away, it was hard to get someone to take away our empty dishes or refill our tea. Flagging down a server was even harder on our last visit when we were seated in the party room. Staff are friendly enough though. Once the restaurant is packed, the delivery of food is very slow-coming.
Food quality hasn't always been consistent. Some dishes like the gomaae and the ebi mayo were disappointing. Beware that what is called ebi mayo at other Guu locations is NOT the same here! You need to read the descriptions. The unagi cha and octopus ball were good, but the chips served with the yuke were slightly under-fried.
Ambiance is good... you get the loud "iraishimase" (sp?) greeting, though it's not as enthusiastic as the ones you get at other locations. Dark wood furnishings, quite clean since it's newer.
Decent, not great. Recommend the other locations.
Having been to the Guu in Gastown and on Thurlow, we tried the Guu in Aberdeen. They maintain their standards of good food and nice atmosphere with this one too. The portions aren't dish and prices decent so you can try a lot of different dishes. This Guu seems to specialize in seafood but I thought the sushi was the weakest part of their menu. The sushi rice doesn't taste good at all and their Seafood Salad was sparse and not very fresh. Other than that, their cooked dishes were good. The Kakuni was soft & juicy. My wife liked Kalbi ribs and the Oden. We've come here for lunch a couple of times and for $10 you can get a full meal for lunch. It's not that busy at lunch time but their menu is limited so if you want the full menu without waiting for a table, I recommend going for an early dinner.
I admit it is a nice place to eat in. We ordered a lot of dishes which totalled $60 for 3 people. The portions were quite small and we were not full (or even close) when we were done. It's a good place to chill with a bunch of friends while munching on a bit of snack though. I saw a couple that actually went to the restaurant next to Guu because they were not full at all. The Guu in downtown was amazing, which makes me wonder why this place was so disappointing. Service was excellent and the ambience was very nice.
I probably have not been to place where I have seen the staff work so hard. They really make quite an effort which adds to the atmosphere. Food is very good and different from the usual cuisine. Portions are small though so dont if you are really hungry. They know my first name at all the buffets so I am a little biased.
I met my boyfriend here two times. He suggested it to eat here and it was ok. Not like downtown like everyone is saying, but it is the best in Richmond for Izakaya. I tried thier dinner and their lunch and the lunch is very limited but ok.
It will have time to improve. I am writing this late because I went here last month, so maybe now it is better.
The title basically sums up my experience. On a work day (Friday), my coworkers and I went there for lunch. We waited about 45 minutes after we ordered before the food started arriving. But that's not all, the food arrived one order at a time over a span of 20 minutes. By the time that the 3rd person got their food, the first person had finished eating. The last order arrived about a hour after we ordered. Needless to say, we were really really late going back to work.
My friend and I ordered the salmon tataki, takoyaki, beef sashimi, and oden.
Salmon Tataki: The salmon was seared beforehand.It did not taste special.
Takoyaki: One of the better ones that I have tasted, I thought it was weird that there was yellow mustard and not mayo, but I liked it.
Beef Sashimi: it was sliced too thick and i prefer the traditional sauce rather than the tomato/mustard sauce that they use.
The fish at the sushi bar did not look fresh and it was also not neatly arranged. Quite unappetizing.
The $2 coke was poured in the smallest, most narrow glass I have ever seen in my life. I think they could have been a bit more generous about that.
I will not go back again.
My husband & I always enjoy checking out their daily specials, as the sushi & sashimi are consistently fresh & tasty. They prepare & present each dish with great care & attention for detail. For instance, they serve top notch Gari (pickle ginger on the side) - one of the best I have had for a long time. The Kanpachi sashimi we tried the other day tasted better than the ones we had in Japan!
In addition, their standard items are appetizing. Chicken Karaage, one of my husband's favorite dishes, is always cooked perfectly. Seafood Bibimba is one of a kind, not only spicy & flavourful, but also entertaining. When we ordered Ahi Tuna Steak, we did not expect to see a chunk of Tuna, instead of the usual Izakaya style thin slices. It was unique, and we recommended to the customer beside us. He loved it, too!
We strongly believe great customer service is key to a great dining experience. Guu has never failed us. Their energy & enthusiasm ensures we always leave happier than when we arrive. Contrary to some previous reviewers, we find they serve a better portion than downtown Guus, as the bills always come up slightly lower. With great sushi, fun nibbles & local draft beer, we have nothing to complain about. No hassle parking, no long wait - this Guu has been our favourite these days.