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3.5
  • Food4
  • Service3.5
  • Value3.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews68

Guu Original

838 Thurlow St
Vancouver, BC V6E1W2
Tel: (604) 685-8817
Neighbourhood: Central
  • Cuisine: Izakaya, Japanese, Tapas
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Hours: Mon - Sat: 11:30AM - 1:30PM & 5:30PM - 12:30AM, Sun: 5:30PM - 12AM
  • 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.

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 68 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Great food, Great drinks
By mama of vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 4:19pm [Dine in]

My friends and I go here quite often. This is probably the first place that comes to mind when we are planning a night out. The reason...the food is tasty and great to share and the drinks are unique - we love the jellies and ice balls they add to them. YUM!

Also love the ambiance. Not too dark, not too loud...perfect for an intimate dinner or big party with friends.

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Gone Waaaaay Downhill
By doule of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 5:59pm [Dine in]

I usually never write reviews.
I first went to Guu more than 10 years ago in 1997 when I lived in Vancouver. I had lived in Japan before for 4 yrs so I am fond of these type of food. Back then Guu was named "Raku" and the food was great!

Since then, I left Vancouver but went to GUU on Thurlow whenever I come visit Vancouver.

I don't know since when...maybe 5 years ago?
The food is terrible!!!! What happened?

Today was the 2nd lunch I had in 2009.
Karaage-don, there is no chicken meat, just more jelly than meat!
It used to be whole chicken ball, now they slice the ball into 1/2.
Rice is half the portion. Even the curry rice looks like instant curry.
Granted, that was $7 menu.

But the Asian couple next to me didn't look so impressed with their pricier lunch boxes either. Not to mention you can see the piled dishes when you stand near the register to pay the bill.

I understand if they serve high quality food in low quantity due to rise
in cost...but this is low quality + low portion.

For the Canadian folks out there, do not think this is the real "Japanese way" to serve food. This quality would go out of business in Tokyo, seriously nobody would eat this. I lived in Japan for 6 years total and speak Japanese.

If you can spend little bit more, go to Zakkushi on Roboson and Denman where they haved skewered meat.

I wasn't impressed with their dinner either.

This place has opened 3 other stores and got its success.
So mad, I had to write this review...should've gone to Mc Donald for lunch.

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Long time regulars
By peppe of Burnaby (32 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 10:48pm [Dine in]

We've been regulars for years at this location. This place gets busier every time.

Food was great, we always have the assorted Oden (broth with assortment of Japanese fish cakes, eggs, radish). Recently, they had Ahi Tuna on the special menu and I have to say it's better than some of the mainstream restaurants. It's cooked just right. The best part was, it was $8 (other restaurants charge more than $20 for the same portion).

If you don't want to wait, go right at 5:30pm when they're open for dinner.

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Yummy Yummy Yum-Yum!
By toffee_bear of Burnaby, Vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 14, 2008 - 7:39pm [Dine in]

Want to try something different? Go to Guu's! They don't really have sushi, but their fusion menu is just absolutely incredible! I can never remember what I ate there b/c I always order diff. things each time I go.... This is the kind of place where you cannot remember the dishes' names (because the talented chefs create their own dishes where you will not find in other typical Jap restaurants) but you will definitely remember the great experience!!

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Wow!
By alvinlin123 of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, September 6, 2008 - 4:33am [Dine in]

I loved this place, very much! Been there 3 times, and every time I leave with a happy face. Their food are just great! I loved the Daikon, and the baked duck breast. Beef sashimi and eel rice are also great. The atmosphere are very exciting and lively, but sometimes servers would yell beside my ear and scared me for a moment. That place always have a long line up, however you can usually get seated within 30 minute or so, but it was always worth it. It's a must go place for me whenever I have out of town friends visiting!

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Guu is Good Goo
By eatwhere of vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - 6:42pm [Dine in]

If you've never been, you need to make you're way there. The menu hasn't changed much over the dozen times I've gone but it's great for what it has.

They always seem busy. Try right at opening. They take reservations too. Nice fusion food and seems to be a good value for the money and out of the ordinary. Not much Sashima, at least at Guu Garlic, but then I'm not a sashimi fan.

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Yummy but loud and stuffy!
By bling of Vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, May 7, 2008 - 10:45pm [Dine in]

Food: The tapa sized dishes are great for me and the food is fresh and good. Their beer is actually great too and I usually don't enjoy drinking beer!

Service: The waitresses and waiters are very attentive. They yell their orders to the cooks and the cooks yell back in Japanese. I think that is what makes this dining experience extraordinary.

Ambiance: Very, very small restaurant that doesn't seem to have any windows open for fresh air.

*** The restaurant is busy during the evenings through night time. I recommend this restaurant to everyone wanting to try something new.

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Guu awesome.
By lovesong of richmond, vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, December 29, 2007 - 6:56am [Dine in]

Despite the fact that we had to wait 15 mins even with reservations, my friends and I were pretty pleased with the food. The cooked salmon was great and lots of different sashimi. Its quite affordable indeed. Everytime the employees would yell welcoming or saying good bye, I guess its pretty warm but then it cuts out the romantic part. Anyhow, good food, good restaurant. Defintely worth a try and I'll be back.

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Great energy - fun time
By burvan of Burnaby (30 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 6, 2007 - 10:43am [Dine in]

When we normally walk by this location and it is always full with a lineup. last night we were lucky and there were 2 seats at the counter and we had a great time watching 4 chefs turn out dish after dish . the service was quick and efficient and lots of noise as orders and greetings are all in Japanese and really adds to the uptempo nature of the room . As to the food we started with the Spot Prawn Sashimi which was nicely presented and very fresh and delicious . Next up Mussels in garlic which had a wonderful broth and the mussels were generous and large ( also very fresh) The 3rd shared dish were grilled beef short rib that had been marinated in a delightful teriyaki sauce . We finished with Japanese fried Udon noodles . With 2 large Asahi beers the bill cam to $48.00 which is terrific value for both the quality of the food but also for the fun entertainment the young enthusiastic staff brings to the operation .We will be back

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YUMMY!!!
By lovely of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, February 1, 2007 - 4:02pm [Dine in]

Guu, is reasonably priced for very yummy and different style of japanese food that we are accustomed to. It's a great place in gastown to relax have drinks with your friends and have really great food for cheap. I really like the japanese pancakes, the chicken karrage, and the spinach salad. And, yes they don't speak perfect english, but really are you going to complain? it's part of the ambience :)

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the best japanese tapas place!
By gir of vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 4:00pm [Dine in]

I've been coming here with friends for a while now and it's one of our favorite places!

Food: Pretty good. Since the entrees are tapas size, it's always a sharing experience. There have been times when we've ordered the mackarel or some kind of fish and it's been undercooked. Otherwise the other stuff on the menu have been quite amazing.

Service: Prompt. And everyone in the staff always have to shout out greetings and the menu.

Ambiance: You have to get here when it's not so busy, otherwise seating arrangements can be hard if you're with 2 other people or more. It can be cramped.

Overall: I always come out with a full tummy and a smiling face.

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Good solid lunch
By CoolDiner of North Vancouver, BC (25 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 11:34pm [Dine in]

Popped in for lunch a few days ago - have heard so much about the place, so thought I would check it out. On the whole - not bad. Had the grilled salmon lunch special - and for $10.00 - a pretty good deal, though the taste, and food overall, was nothing out of the ordinary. Good standard fare - in other words, I got what I paid for and wasn't disappointed. Would I go back. Well, I am in no rush, but if I happen to be in the neighbourhood during lunch, then yes.

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A fun place to eat with friends
By VcrFoodie of Coal Habour (21 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 7, 2009 - 2:51pm [Dine in]

I'm not really a big fan of small plates or tapas - I don't like going home hungry after tasting 5 or 6 dishes - but the food here is very good and the more people you are with the more you get to try different things. I've been to this place 3 times and my top favourite is the kimichi udon - it's mild, with what I think might be some sort of subtle fish sauce. I could eat three of these plates on my own. The deep fried chicken breast (karage) is crisp but not greasy and the haave some awesome fish dishes. The place is noisy but that's part of the charm.

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Best Japanese Tapas in Vancouver!
By mixed90 of Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 4:13pm [Dine in]

I am a huge fan of Guu on Robson. I love everything about it from the authentic Japanese servers yelling the order to the sushi bar to the tiny sized restaurant with hewn picnic benches seated close together. The food is reasonably priced with garlic chips generously sprinkled over everything. My favorite dishes would have to be the Octopus and batter balls and Yaki Udon noodles. The Beef Sashimi has gone down a little bit because the slices are too thick therefore become much more chewy. Great place that is as authentic as it gets.

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use to be better
By foodjunkiex of vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 9:53pm [Dine in]

I have been a regular at this place for quite a long time. Their food i swear has gone from outstanding to solid. Portion size went down as well. service is still outstanding and the servers are always friendly and full of energy. its on the pricey side, it usually cost me around 40-50 per meal here (having a few tapas adds up).

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Very cozy japanese isakaya place
By blaw of Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 5:05pm [Dine in]

This is always a very crowded restaurant and they wont take reservation unless you are going after 10pm. So you have to be patient to wait outside, which normally will take at least half an hour. All the servers are so nice. Food is good but not too many options thou. Not recommend for big party ^.^

The bacon asparagus roll and panfried bacon mushroom roll are so good. But the best part is the fried udon! Dont miss it. We didnt order any drink and the bill surprised us as it is only $24 per person that we are so full without any space left for dessert. And there is still full of people waiting when we left at 10pm.

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Fun times, okay food
By criacow of Mt. Pleasant, Vancouver (19 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, February 15, 2008 - 12:02pm [Dine in]

The ambiance of this place is amazing. It feels a lot like the sort of places you'd find in Tokyo; loud, happening, exciting. You're greeted at the door, everything's good, the chefs will comment on your food choices and help you find other ones.

I came here with a friend one day after work, and we tried a bunch of different menu items. I wasn't super-impressed by anything; it was all pretty good, but nothing fantastic. Same for the drinks we tried.

But the service is friendly, the ambiance is excellent, and I'd totally go back.

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stay away from BBQ beef
By fussyeater of Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, December 8, 2006 - 5:33pm [Dine in]

have only tried the BBQ beef here, which I cannot recommend. The cuts weren't the best, and I found the sauce too salty. Servers were very polite, though. Service was on the slow side, perhaps because it was the height of the lunch rush.

Will have to come back to try the other menu items.

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Good food but kinda dirty
By serendipityfood of Downtown (19 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 25, 2006 - 1:04pm [Dine in]

Went with a couple of friends and the place was busy. After hearing good things about the place, we decided to wait.
Once we got seated, we ordered and the food came pretty quickly. Service was decent. Food is very good - different from all the regular sushi restaurants.
But I wish it was cleaner.
The table was sticky and the washrooms smelly. Maybe they were busy and didn't have time to clean the washrooms. I don't know about you but a dirty washroom will make all the good food in my stomach turn!

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Share the food
By lowawa of Kitsilano, Vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 1:28am [Dine in]

Guu is all about sharing the food. Most of the dishes comes in small porportions around (4-6) pieces which allows everyone to get a little. My favorite dishes are the croquettes and the fish chin (i forgot the name, but it is located on the menu's right column middle section). Never forget to check out the special menu! Best way to go is to pair the food with japanese beer! The overall service is attentive and polite but the degree depends on their busyness. Ambiance is great, noisy, energetic. Great place to hang out with friends.

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