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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 41 - 60 of 73 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Excellent food with excellent atmosphere
By K8tie of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 2, 2008 - 5:40pm [Dine in]

This is probably one of the best tappas place that I've ever been to. The food is very well made and is at a good price. It's also very well portioned so that you can order up a lot of different variety and still be able to finish everything. It's also very authentic as all chefs and waiters/waitresses are Japanese and shout out the orders to the chefs in Japanese (in the traditional Japanese fashion). The only downside to this place is that it's very small and is always very busy, no matter what time of the day you go. But even if there is a 45 minute wait for a table, it is totally worth it.

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Good Flavours
By gourmet152 of vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - 3:50pm [Dine in]

They have pretty good flavours - not too salty, not too bland, etc. Not something that would stand out from other Japanese establishments. Their concept of dinning is not for everyone - loud and in your face with orders being shouted across the restaurant. I would not go here if I want to dine in peace, but definately give it a try if you want something different and exciting. They serve mainly small tapas portions. Two can be satisfied for around $40.

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Good izakaya
By restauranthunter of vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 1:46am [Dine in]

Decent prices for decent food. The staff are very friendly and very lively with all of them welcoming you when you enter and thanking you when you leave. The waitress shouts out your order to the cooks. One thing is that this place is very loud....but in a good way. Food portions are tapas style so it's good that you get to enjoy many different dishes. Ebi mayo, chicken karaage, and oyster motoyaki, beef carpaccio, tuna tataki are all delicious.

Expect to wait awhile as it's very busy and seating is limited. If you're not willing to wait, try the other Guu locations...Thurlow, Gastown, Richmond.

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Yummy food
By imiake of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 3:45pm [Dine in]

One of my favorite places in Downtown. Excellent food and service like always. Down side of Guu is that there is usually a 10-20 min line up and sometimes the seats aren't that great. I haven't gone to Guu for about a year due to traveling and soon as I got back I went to Guu and most of the food was still pretty good except for a couple things for example the gyu shabu salad and salmon carpacio where not as good as before which is sad because they were my favorites. Otherwise everything else was excellent and yummy... I still highly recommend this place to my friends

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more food please
By joelsta1berk of kitsilano, vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 12:20am [Dine in]

if you come hungry, you will leave hungry. perhaps if you emaciated or anorexic you may be mildy satiated. overall, tasty food, in fact, in comparison to other restaurants is much better. However, the substantial factor is quantity. the quality/quantity factor here is a serious drawback. the miniscule portions, though tasty, are far too small to justify the price. And in no way think that I am the type who likes the heaping portions at all-you-can eats. Personally, not worth it.

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Superb.
By daisuke of Richmond (9 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 5:31pm [Dine in]

Delicious, fast, friendly without any useless banter from the staff.
Your money should be spent here.

From the minute you walk in until you second you walk out it's a pleasant delicious experience rivalled only by Kingyo whom i believe they are also owners of.

The beef tataki, the grilled pork cheek, the cold beers everything is perfect in this place and consistent visit after visit after visit. No excessive talking and sucking up tactics by any of the wait staff or owners which is turn off at any place but if that's your thing, go to "HAPA". i think owner banter is on the menu.

The service is always pleasant, quick and courteous. pretty much anyone I know that has gone here has converted from any other izakaya in town which is pretty amazing since there are plenty to choose from in the city nowadays.

One of the best places in town.

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Everything Amazing except the Beef Carpaccio
By mixed90 of Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 3:16pm [Dine in]

I visited one of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver again with 3 friends to pay off a bet and once again I loved the experience, food, service and ambiance.

The only 1 drawback was the Beef Carpaccio dish. I've always thought that the beef was too chewy because of the quality and cut of the meat. I will not order this dish again however it does not take away from my experience. I would also suggest not ordering the Tuna Jerky as it is not a flavor that many would expect.

I tried the new drink 'Hot Honey Aloe'. You can order it with 1 or 2 shots of Vodka depending on what state you want to be in afterwards. It's a great drink when the weather is cold like it has been the past few weeks.

My favorite dishes in order are: Takoyaki (Octopus battered balls), Ebi-mayo (Deep fried prawns with Mayo sauce), Salmon Carpaccio, Gyusyabu Salad (Boiled Beef salad with Miso dressing and Garlic Chips), Yellow Tail Sashimi and Chili Prawn Pizza.

In terms of the bill we had ordered 14 dishes for 4 of us and 2 rounds of the Aloe drink (1 shot). The bill came to $135 and with tip we gave $160 so it worked out to $40/person.

Guu remains one of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver!!

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So much to try!
By cocktailoclock of yaletown (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 5:04pm [Dine in]

I recently went with a friend for a casual dinner. I love going to places like this because there is always cool new innovative things to try. If your the teriyaki chicken rice box kind of person, this place isnt for you. There salmon carpaccio was the best ive ever had. I would recomend it for a quiet nice evening, if you want somewhere more upbeat check out hapa. I think the food at Guu is better!! Also incredible value for money, and some interesting cocktails also appear on the menu.

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not your typical Japanese restaurant
By mellowfloyd of Downtown, Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, September 8, 2006 - 10:47pm [Dine in]

As its says at their door, Guu is goooood. The Japanese tapas here are unbelievable. Besides having a set menu, they also have daily specials that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. I've been here a couple of times and each time, they haven't failed to impress. The servers are all really friendly, and they even yell out your order in Japanese from your table. The prices are decent for each dish, but keep in mind that they're tapas and are fairly small. This is a great place to eat if you've had a late lunch or you're looking to just nibble and chat with friends. Make sure you come early, as there's a always a line at the door!

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Excellent Food
By karma2323 of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, August 4, 2006 - 1:08am [Dine in]

i thought the food was amazing there..definitely not your typical japanese restaurant..we had the salmon and tuna carpaccio which was excellent..we loved the garlic chips! we even asked the waitress to give us a extra bowl of them..haha..they were so good..the seafood pancake was pretty good as well. the squid was ok..wasn't that impressed with that..it was pretty bland..it came with a garlic mayo dip..a little noisy in there and super busy. we could there at 5:30 right when it opened and when we left there was a long lineup outside..the only thing was the waitress forgot one of our orders which took a long time..but other than that..the food came pretty fast. definitely a great place to try.

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Great food on a budget
By jamesb of Downtown, Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 9:01am [Dine in]

I tried this place last night with my girlfriend. On a Monday evening at gone 9pm the place was still packed, but we only waited 5 minutes for a seat at the counter.

The atmosphere is similar to Guu on Denman but maybe even louder. Sitting at the counter is entertainment in itself, as you can watch some of the dishes being put together. Everything we saw leave the kitchen looked great, but we had to make choices :)

We plumped for the vegetables and seafood pancake, pork belly, saba grill (mackerel) and one of the specials - tar-tar chicken thighs. The pancake arrived first, and was delicious. The flavours of the pancake were subtle and worked very nicely with the tangy sauce. The pork belly was fantastic - the pork beautifully tender and coated in a sweet barbeque sauce that I couldn't get enough of. My favourite dish I think.

The mackerel was an unusual dish, combined with onions and slices of lemon to give it a bitter citrus flavour. To be honest it didn't quite do it for me, but my girlfriend liked it a lot. The last dish was the only slight disappointment - the tar-tar sauce was a little too rich and reminder me of cheese, mayo and salad cream mixed together. The pieces of chicken were cooked perfectly though.

Service was fine, but that might have been partly because we were at the counter and got most of our food handed to us by the chefs :) With a couple of portions of rice, the whole meal came to $28 for the two of us (no drinks), and we were stuffed. An absolute bargain! It's hard to fault this place when you look at the quality of the food and what it costs. Highly recommended!

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Incredible price, great food
By jer3 of Richmond (4 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 7, 2005 - 1:42pm [Dine in]

Guu with Garlic is probably one of the better izakaya's in Vancouver not just because of the price (for two people, bill came to about $38 before tips and I was stuffed!) but also the service. When we entered to find no line ups but full tables, the server asked us to sit down. We waited about 15 minutes and while waiting, the server offered us some japanese gum which made the wait a lot more enjoyable. We sat at the Sushi bar and ordered two rounds which came to about eight plates. The portions are quite hefty especially for the price. After only going twice, I'm addicted to Guu with Garlic! But, expect to wait if you plan to get a seat from 6:30-7:30

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Garlic chips!!!
By SunDawnJoy of Kerrisdale, Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 12:22am [Dine in]

This, along w/ Gyoza King's Nan Chuu in Rmd are our 2 favourite izakaya places. I like variety, so I enjoy that you can cover about 70% of the menu between just 2 people. W/O drinks, you can do very well on just over $15/person. And that's a lot of food already!

My faves: duck salad w/ the garlic chips, ebi-mayo, and just about everything on their specials menu.

My only knock: looooong wait, unless you go crazy early -- even on week nights!

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How can anyone not like this place?
By buffysummers of East Vancouver (18 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 1:26am [Dine in]

I always have great food here. I love their tuna tataki, duck salad, mashed potato fritters, yaki udon, and the list goes on. I didn't like their drinks, as they are sort of weak and tend to be sweet, but the food there is just yummy. I do wish they had more specials, as I've eaten almost all of their dishes many times over, but I'll gladly keep on eating the same thing if it's always htis tasty. I love the fact that a dinnerf or two with a big beer comes under $40. My favourite dish is their salmon on rice in broth. Mmmmm ... brings a warm glow to my heart.

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Best Guu! IT's sooo GUUUUUD!
By foody604 of vancouver (19 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, February 6, 2009 - 2:42am [Dine in]

I've been going to this place for years now...and hands down the best izakaya ever!! All of the dishes are yummy...ALL!! and their drinks yummmmmy! especially their strawberry milk. You have to try it! My two most fave dishes are the yakiudon and the chicken cartilage...mmMMm. Usually long waits during peak times, but definately worth it. Loud, but always fun...staff are upbeat and friendly. Great place to enjoy great food and cool drinks!

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Great Japanese Pub Food!
By Actorboy of Richmond (12 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 3:41pm [Dine in]

This place has turned me into a regular. My g/f and I have been going to Guu every 2 weeks for about 3 months now and enjoying it more and more. We usually bring different friends with us each time and are slowly turning them all into a Guu army. The atmosphere is that of a Japanese pub. Loud in an entertaining way, enjoyable, great food, friendly service and oh my the drinks! I highly recommend the Aloe Vera and shochu it's to die for. This place reminds me of Japan and if you're stuck thinking that japanese food is only sushi, chicken teriyaki, miso soup and rice then try being a little adventurous and try out this izakaya. The place is small and always busy but it's a great thing because if it were any bigger it would lose its great feel and as for lining up, it's totally worth the wait. So if you're in the mood for peace and quiet with a boring ambiance do not visit Guu, everyone who wants to play with their adventurous side, we will probably see you there!

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Interesting dishes, but service can be a tough one
By genux of Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 1:56am [Dine in]

I came on a Friday night, and as expected, the place was packed and with a long wait list. Even if you're by yourself or in a small group (2-3 people), expect to wait. The menus change frequently, so leaving a one-time review for "food" is a bit unfair. Sampled different dishes, and one thing I have to say is they're definitely different -- a lot of creative style and effort goes into each dish, which is a good thing.

The more traditional dishes (e.g. karaage) will leave you unimpressed, since they're ... traditional. The serving size is small, which allows you to order more dishes to try more things. Price is pretty reasonable.

The one thing that can sour the experience with Guu is directly proportional to the crowd you're dealing with. As friendly as their servers are, there's no helping it if they're overworked and have to deal with a full house. If you happen to be placed in corner tables or hard-to-see places, order a lot and hope that your food is delivered right away (or at least all of them in bulk). You won't want to be flagging the waiters down frequently...

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Good food but eveything too salty
By serendipityfood of Downtown (19 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 6:46pm [Dine in]

Recently visited Guu with Garlic with my wife and had a much better experience than the Guu on Thurlow. The food was much better, the place much cleaner. We had the Japanese hotpot which was nice but wish there was more soup. The rest of the food was really tasty and fresh - we had the beef tartare, ebi mayo, oyster baked with cheese, grilled mackarel (very good)!, ahi tuna special, ahi tuna with rice....but by the middle of the meal - we got really thirsty. One compalint would be the food may be too heavy on the sauces or too much MSG. Will we be back? Yes, will give it one more try but will request the cooks to cut down on the sauces.

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Great food, Great service, Great time!!
By hungry_guy of Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, April 21, 2007 - 12:07am [Dine in]

My gf and I came here just before opening and there was already a few groups of people waiting at the door (a good sign).

The restaurant itself isn't very large so it filled up very quick. We sat ourselves at the bar as most of the tables were already reserved or were too large for us to occupy.

We were greated very warmly and my gf was impressed at all of the showmanship of the staff (they would all yell out greetings and farewells when people came in or went out).

We ordered a pitcher of beer, edamame, duck salad, butter seared scallops, beef sashimi and an udon with seaweed. The edamame is always good with beer and the scallops were flavourful. They were a good portion as they were 3 large scallops sliced into coin-like pieces. The best dishes we had were the sashimi and the duck salad. Everything was fresh and tasty. The best part of sitting at the bar was the view. From our vantage-point we saw right through into the kitchen. It was interesting to see how well they all worked together in the tight quarters of the kitchen.

The service was excellent and always around when anything was needed. They were so polite and genuinely nice that it was very impressive. Great place. Definitely recommended.

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An Outstanding 4* overall.
By winnie_epooh of West End, Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 3, 2007 - 12:53am [Dine in]

When people raved about this restaurant, they were NOT exaggerating.

We went there for dinner tonight. Arrived there at 1745 and the only seats available were at the 'bar'. (Note: they do take reservations). At 1815, a line had already formed.

We haven't been to the other Guu locations, so we have nothing to compare with, but as far as service is concerned, we thought they were efficient, friendly and always available, be it for water refills, ordering more food etc..... In fact, the servers were asking how we were doing, and very often, with our mouths filled, we just had to show 'thumbs up'.

Ambiance wise, it reminded us of our visit to Japan. I guess Japanese restaurants can get quite rowdy. If you are expecting to go to a quiet place, this isn't quite the place. But it's all part of the Japanese Izakaya experience, wouldn't you say? Want a quiet place, then go else where.

Based on the quality of food, their pricing is very reasonable. We have visited other tapas-style restaurants serving less exciting food at higher prices. We had 8 dishes, 1 cocktail, 1 dessert and the bill came to CAD61 excluding tips, and boy were we stuffed.

Had we more room, we would have loveddddddddd to try out more food. Needless to say, we look forward to the next visit.
Since we live just down the street from this Guu location, we hope that visit will be soon :)

I can't rave enough about this place. You just got to take my word and try it out. You won't regret it......

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