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4
  • Food4
  • Service3.5
  • Value3.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews73

Guu with Garlic

1698 Robson St
Vancouver, BC V6G1C7
Tel: (604) 685-8678
Neighbourhood: Central
  • Cuisine: Izakaya, Japanese, Tapas
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Hours: Mon - Wed: 11:30AM - 2:30PM, Thu: 11:30AM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 12AM, Fri - Sat: 5PM - 12:30AM, Sun: 5PM - 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 73 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
If only my stomach was ....
By KushPizzaSleep of Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 6:55am [Dine in]

A gloomy November evening... searching for a place to impress a date without breaking the bank, I settled on Guu with Garlic. What a magical place, located on the corner of Robson and some unimportant street, we popped in at around 10pm on a Friday and the place was bumping. It was packed so we sat at the bar, staff were great... Now for the food....

The menu is amazing, other than barley being able to read the hand writing on the paper menu's, ordered some beer that came in a huge pitcher which was nice.

Tuna Tataki- So moist and fresh, amazing.
Ebi Mayo - Words can't describe
Beef Udon- Oh ever so tasty

This is the best restaurant in Vancouver, the quality and price point is unbeatable. Its hilarious morons pay 4 times as much at places like Tojo's.

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humph...
By Lunicus of Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 4:36pm [Dine in]

hmmm...I'm trying to figure out what to say. Maybe I'm not an Izakaya guy...so if you're a huge lover of the stuff...don't send me hate mail. Don't get me wrong. I love my Japanese food and I consider myself quite adventurous. I'll eat pretty much anything you put in front of me.

We heard great reviews of this place and decided to try it out. My girlfriend lived in Japan for a year and spun great stories of the Izakaya's she visited in Tokyo and Osaka. I was psyched.

Long wait, atmosphere was okay, service was okay, food was "m'eh". It's different, I'll give you that. Maybe my girlfriend's hype led to the disappointment...but she wasn't overly impressed either.

I probably won't go back. But everyone else seems to like it. Not sure what I'm missing. Like I said...maybe I'm not an Izakaya guy.

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I WOULDN'T miss my plane for this
By FOOD-DISCERNER of Vancouver (19 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, May 22, 2009 - 9:17pm [Dine in]

A line-up outside the restaurant started at 5.25 pm on Friday, 5 minutes before it threw its doors open at 5.40, 10 minutes later than its stated opening hours.

Already the restaurant was quickly occupied with the bigger tables reserved. The only vacancies left for 2 of us was at the service area. Boy did we regret it.

Service was relatively prompt and we placed our orders quickly. The shrill and loud hollering of orders and the raucousness generated made the whole dining experience rather intolerable and uncomfortable - that said, it is typical of this genre of dining known as the "izakaya" experience.

We ordered tuna sashimi (French style), daikon salad, calamari, bamboo shoot, udon with perilla and seaweed topping, salmon cappachio and grilled soba.

The grilled soba looked quite "frightening" to me. The skin looked strangely colored and marbled. But to be fair, some parts of the mackeral (soba) tasted not bad -- the fishy fattiness which is supposed to be good for you. Uncovering the dish itself revealed lemon slices and fine whole dill twigs that was baked together with the fish.

However, the udon was the worst. Not sure what it was, but my partner said it tasted like soap ?! The udon had a starchy coating and tasted funny, like liquid detergent was used on some utensil which was not washed properly before our udon was cooked in it.

Unlike what another reviewer said earlier, both of us commented that the remaining dishes were NOT what we would "miss our planes" for. My intelligent palate detected the use of common Japanese mayo, and if Guu with garlic means literally sprinkling dehydrated fried garlic slivers on every single dish unimaginatively, then Guu garlic is something we can do without. To me, that was disappointing as i thought a culinary experience involving garlic would ingeniously work this wonderful stinking rose into each gastronomic piece of creation.

Price-wise, both my partner and I suspect that many of the foreign "students" who frequent this joint are the ones who could live off their parents back home.

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what's all the fuss about?
By patrick_bateman of downtown, vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 5, 2008 - 2:50am [Dine in]

Just came back from here, had high expectations, the place is always full and line-ups at peak hours. My first Izakaya experience, not too great, portions were small, food was very average, only the cod in a butter sauce actually had a unique taste, different from anything ive had before. but the rest was uninspiring. with tip for two it came to $80..... normally I'd say thats cheap but considering we were both starving after, I have the same feeling as after I had gambled away $80 at a casino.

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Such good tapas
By adorablehunnie of East Van, Vancouver (19 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, January 19, 2007 - 10:44pm [Dine in]

We waited 1 hour the first time we went (from 9 to 10pm). The second time we went, we started lining up at 5:10pm! When the doors flew open, everyone scrambled to get seats. We chose the tatami room: our own quiet 2 person corner. How awesome. At about $60+ (a bunch of tapas, large sake, and 2 drinks), we were stuffed! The amaebi is a must get! Such a great price. i'ved tried almost their whole menu. faves include: salmon carpaccio and hamachi with salt. Fave drinks: grapefruit cassis and aloe vera with/without vodka. Service at the Thurlow location is better than service at Robson.

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Japanese food: Tapas style
By hohohong of Van (16 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 6, 2006 - 9:13pm [Dine in]

This is the place where you can try various japanese food without emptying your wallet. The place always packed with youngster.

They change their special regularly so you don't get sick of it.

Careful of the waiter and waitresses as they literally shout out your order as you pick. The furniture used is old and needs to be replaced or cleaned.

As they have counter-kitchen-bar open space, expect yourself to smell like food after you're done.

Food is tasty with lots of various selections.

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Unique Dishes
By netwonk of Toronto (16 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 25, 2005 - 2:31pm [Dine in]

I was full before I knew it. I've eaten Izakaya in Vancouver often - Guu with Garlic has a knack for creating slightly unique dishes. I don't eat meat often, but they had enough fish on the menu to keep me asking for more dishes until I was full. Excellent Grilled Saba. Service is solid, no complaints at all. Lots of loud orders and greetings heard throughout the restaurant. This place is small, and quite frequently lined op out the door. I enjoy the experience...and the food. No Sapporo beer?

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Guu is amazing
By dreww_ of North Van (9 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 4:29pm [Dine in]

I love Guu. There is no other place I would recommend for izakayas than Guu. I used to be a regular at their original location on Thurlow but ever since I moved apartments I've had to find a new Guu to go to.

No change of taste between locations. I ordered the okonomiyaki with kimchi and it was delicious. Prices for food are low so it is really tempting to order more! I always have to stop myself. The sake is expensive though (duh) with the exception of the house sake. My favourite is the dassai.

No complaints. Even the service is great. People greet you as soon as you come in and are friendly at all times. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would!

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Special request handled excellent
By ryyeung of Richmond (35 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 30, 2007 - 9:32am [Dine in]

This restaurant is awesome, we went here on a very very busy fireworks Saturday night.

Food: Solid, the highlights were the tuna tataki and the raw shrimp. Every dish is something different, yet tasty. Lots of items on menu, so you never try the same things twice, unless you really like it.

Service: The best part of my dining experience. Servers are native Japanese I believe, and are very accomodating. The host, a guy about 20ish, tried to find us a table of 4. There was a nice table on the patio, but no chair...we suggested that we just take a waiting bench from the outside and lift it into the patio, and he was fine with that! Awesome.

Ambiance: You come here for loud, and that's what you get. Patio view of Robson is nice. Less yelling from the chefs and servers that from the Thurlow location though.

Overall, Guu is guud, just like what their poster says. Highly recommend.

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Creative and Good Value
By LoneStar of Southlands, Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 6:35pm [Dine in]

There were several reviews about this eatery but most all in my opinion are outdated. My recent visit was a pleasant surprise and we need to take notice. Most of the locals would agree Robson scenary are made out of hundreds of restaurants. There are fierce competition among many and Jap food outlets try hard to outdone each other and it shows. Guu has not been around that long but they hold their ground well and there is a good reason. They don't have a huge menu but whatever they offer was well presented and very tasty. The significant difference are the reasonable $$$ that other has failed to match. One can pay premium for the same items just a few stalls down the street and it doesn't taste any better. The menu are very innovative and aim to please all people. If you like tuna or beef tataki then you are in a right place. The sushimi are just as good as anyone except they are so much cheaper in comparison to the robson standard. Try the ishiyaki (hot pot rice) and this is to die for. The only shortcoming and like many shops around there, this restaurant is small and wait time can be atrocious. A wrong place to go if you are seeking a romantic dinner. Otherwise a funky place to be in. BTW the service are exceptional and I cannot say enough of our server and she is awesome. Of course parking is the pain and this is the price we all have to pay if we choose to dine downtown anywhere

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good place to hang out good food
By alwaystip of West Vancouver BC (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 11:45am [Dine in]

I have been to this place twice now and have left pretty happy customer. The only thing that irks me is the tight seating arrangement, but I can't complain too much because its their style and adds to the experience. They always greet you at the door loudly which is their custom. The servers are always anxious to help and very sincere it seems.

The food is standard japanese cook dishes which are tasty but small portion. They are well made and I havent had a bad serving in my two visits there yet.

Sometimes its busy so you have to wait for a table, but its a great place to meet up with your friends before a movie or something

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I love this place
By nething4me of kerrisdale, vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 30, 2011 - 11:03am [Dine in]

I go to this restaurant usually on the weekends. It is always busy, but the wait is worth it. The cooks are super nice. They always greet me and sometimes they even give me free food. I love that. They are more concerned that the guest is happy than anything else. It is loud here, but it is part of the atmosphere. I love pretty much everything they put out. The one thing I love is that they come up with new drinks and dishes, they are asian infusion but still Japanese. I would deffinately refer this place to young couples who want to go out, have some drinks and Japanese tapas, and just have a good time.

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Loud and energetic
By mangoguava of downtown (8 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 14, 2009 - 2:51am [Dine in]

I like the look of the restaurant, the servers are full of energy and funny. It’s a good place to come with a big group and have drinks and share plates. The food is solid, although it’s not my favourite izakaya where food is concerned, but I have no complaints. I think the atmosphere is what sets it apart, you can just come in here and have fun, talk and laugh, and enjoy interesting dishes.

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yummy food mixed with great atmosphere
By leigh of Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 4:02pm [Dine in]

my wife and I have been to this location several times. Most of the time, we arrive at 6pm so it's not as busy and you can find street parking easily. This place is loud and has a lively atmosphere. They have seating on the outside too, but the one time we sat outside, it was a tad cold. Try to get reservations if you go because there could be long wait times.

The food is solid and they have a good selection for their menu. The value is decent for the quality of food you are getting. The staff are nice and they do a great job clearing the dishes and taking orders without screwing up.

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Overrated
By ijlee of Surrey (4 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 16, 2009 - 10:02pm [Dine in]

I've always wanted to try Guu w/ Garlic, but hated the wait. Luckily, I was in the area just 10 mins before it opens. I went in with high expectations for food.

The service was prompt. We have no problem communicating with waitresses. We ordered grilled beef tongue, chorizo and bacon potato gratin, potato croquette, snow crab with 3 dipping sauce. We waited 20 min for our first dish and 40 mins for our second dish. But that was okay because we were chatting.

I find the gratin to be on the salty side. And it tastes very very oily, almost too rich. It made my stomach really uncomfortable the whole night. Beef tongue was done right with a hint of charcoal (which I loved). There were proabably 20 pieces, each 0.5cm think. The portion was very disappointing. Potato croquette was just average. The snow crab....3 legs and 1/5 of the crab itself, cost me 12. The sauce wasn't even that special ( mayo with masago, soy sauce with real wasabi, lemon juice). Crab meat tastes bland. The crab dish is definitely overpriced.

When we got our bill, we found 2 extra dishes that we didn't order. They were sashimis. My frd doens't eat raw meat. It took them another 20 min to take care of that.

We didn't order any drinks because we had to drive that night. The food was at best average. What's with all the hype???

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Best of all the Guu's
By Mila2201 of Downtown, Vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, December 19, 2008 - 1:18pm [Dine in]

I really do think that this is the best yet least known of all the Guu restaurants. So this will work out in your favor as you can avoid the long lineups.
The food is great, i have never had a dish here that i didn't like. I was disappointed that they took the Mexican Harumaki off of the menu.
Their cocktails are unique and delicious (a little overpriced however for the small glass that you get).
9.5 times out of 10 i have had really great service and friendly waiters/waitresses. The only time i had a rude one here was on the phone when i tried to make a reservation ~ but i don't think he is working there anymore.
The ambiance is nice and relaxed ~ i would recommend this place to anyone who just wants to go somewhere nice for a drink and snack or even to go out on a date for a nice meal ~
Really great place ~ i don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Izakaya~ oh ya~
By daynight of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 9, 2008 - 9:49pm [Dine in]

Go here seldomly but loving every single visit.
Remember the first visit.... Was lost becuase of the confusing atmosphere of the place haha~
But, loving the energy in this place now!! JUST LOVE IT!
I haven't found an izakaya that is as good as Guu or is better.
I'm pretty sure love of Van people agree to this opinion. Even writing this commnet makes me want to go here again...
Well, what can i say..? I simply love this place.. love their food, love their atmoshpere! so much ENERGY!..

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One of my favourites!
By brunchlover of Kitsilano, Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 12:19am [Dine in]

I love the dishes here - they are so unique and a true delight to my taste buds. Some of my favourite dishes: the deep fried pumpkin ball. I know it sounds a little strange...but it is a sensation to the taste buds...next...I enjoy the pork with white steamed bun (very popular dish in shanghai cuisine). And of course the salmon sashimi/tataki with garlic chips sprinkled on top and ponzu sauce.

About $35 for two people and you leave full, satisfied and looking forward to the next time you go back. It's always packed though...so getting a table is not easy.

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Worth the wait!
By dineoutexpert of Surrey (2 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 11:33am [Dine in]

The long line ups is the only reason I didn't try the place sooner, but after all, it was worth the wait!
To start off, I love the Oden, especially the tamago and daikon it's cook to the right softness & flavor. The Okonomi-Yaki was my fav too, bring back the memory of eating this on the street of Tokyo years ago. Ebi-Mayo and Soba-Grill are excellent too, if you are a seafood fan! Beef-Carpaccio and Tuna-Tataki goes perfect with a bottle of cold sake in the hot summer days! Not to mention the professional chef preparing our food right in front of my eyes! It was wonderful!

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Yum!
By FoodFiend of Downtown, Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:32pm [Dine in]

In terms of food Guu takes the crown hands down! If I'm seriously craving some tapas I think no further than Guu! The atmosphere, well I can tell why a lot of the japanese crowd enjoy it so much! It probably feels like home, but it's not my style, way too noisy, from the other customers, and the servers, and the chefs. Crazy screaming everywhere! The drinks are original and refreshing! The snow crab is amazing also bonita sashimi is tasty! The beef sashimi I had last time was a bit on the cold side but maybe I'm just finicky. They have a daily special sheet on a loose leaf paper, most if not all those dishes are a must-try! The seats start to hurt your behind if your there for too long and the seats up top are pretty uncomfortable if your not used to the traditional way of how the Japanese sit (legs tucked under your bum) Japanese female servers there are very cheerful and it's sort of contagious! Great place to stop in for dinner further down Robson!

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