What’s on the menu at Guu, a new izakaya (from the original Guu chefs)
Name: Guu Izakaya
Contact: 1314 Queen St. W., 647-351-1314, guu-izakaya.com/toronto, @GuuIzakayaTO
Owners and chefs: Masaru Ogasawara and Natsuhiko Sugimoto (Guu Vancouver)
Last fall, after a conscious uncoupling between parent organizations, the city’s Guu restaurants were rebranded as Kinka Izakaya and Kinka Sakabar—but the O.G. izakaya is back. Fans will recognize many of the sharing plates, like the restaurant’s signature kakimayo (baked oyster with mayonnaise and cheese) and karaage (fried chicken). Lesser-known dishes include nankotsu (deep fried chicken cartilage) and uma (horse carpaccio with yuzu pepper). The chef-owners have also created new menu items specifically for their Toronto audience—beef taco spring roll, anyone?
Sapporo and Asahi on tap, bottled and draught sake, plum wine and playful “Guuu’d” cocktails, like the Okinawa Iced Tea made with sake, tequila, peach liqueur, yuzu lemonade and Coke.
Tapping into its izakaya roots, the new 60-seat location is set up more like a pub than a restaurant, with a long bar, and high top and communal tables. Fun fact: guests will find complimentary mouthwash in each of the washrooms.