Guu is guuu’d. Nothing says it better than their moto found on every chopsticks, and as the 6th instalment to the family, Guu KOBACHI does not disappoint.
Aside from all the hype, I love Guu. Maybe not all the time, but most of the time. The energy and excitement pouring out through the service and décor just brings me back to Japan, and all those nights where I had one too many. Food might not always be up to par, but everything else makes up for it.
Like all Guu, and most izakaya restaurants in Vancouver, the whole place is decked out in wood furnishings and sake bottles, with hanging banners and decorations. With every Guu, there is a theme, and with this one there is no exception. The word “kobachi”, which is what this is called, actually means snacks or appetizers, as a play off that almost everything on the menu is for $3.80.
Their sake is sold at 1/2Ls poured out of an 1.8 bottle, so it’s easy to loose track and gives you more opportunities to try different ones. I ordered a 1/2L of their Kazeyo Mizuyo Hitoyo, I’ve tried it before, and for that grade it was not bad. Midway through we noticed a different table drinking something else and decided to try that out. Dento, being the same grade but for $5 less was a much better choice, it tasted smoother and sweeter in comparison.
Saba Ponzu; pickled mackerel with onion, ginger, sesame
We couldn’t decided on what to eat first, so asked our server what his favourite dish was. I love saba, if it’s made right, so I was so happy when he suggested that. I was hesitant to order it at first because it listed ginger in the ingredients, but the dish itself did not taste gingery at all. We both loved it so much we ended up ordering at least two more before the night was over.
Beef Tongue; pan fried and sliced with lots of green onion
They got me on the green onions, and for $7.80 they give quite a fair amount. I don’t mind thick-cut beef tongue, but KOBACHI’s felt a bit too over cooked, resulting in excessive chewing.
Salmon & Avocado; “gomaae” with sesame sauce Tuna & Avocado; marinated in garlic soy sauce
I liked the tuna over the salmon, it came with a side of seaweed to wrap unlike the salmon. I thought that was unnecessary since the dish held up by itself nicely, but still enjoyed it as a snack on its own. The salmon, however, would have been better if it was Atlantic instead of sockeye, it would have been more fatty and creamier, making the dish more rounded.
Steamed Clams; in garlic butter
I don’t remember the pricing, but it was cheap for clams, even if they were on the skinny side. Nothing to complain here but the fact I found sand in a few of mine.
Spicy Chicken Gizzard, chili oil marinated with peanuts
For those that don’t know what sunagimo are, you’re not trying enough exotic foods. The gizzard is a useless body part for us humans, but in animals, it’s one of the best drinking dishes in izakayas. There isn’t much taste to it, just really crunchy and chewy texture. KOBACHI’s gizzard just tasted like oil and spices, nothing else. Wasn’t one of my favourites.
Pickles; Japanese style 3 kinds assorted pickles
Another staple of izakayas, or any drinking places at that, pickles. They open up the appetite and are such good and healthy munchies. I really enjoyed their tsukemonos, especially after knowing that the one in the background, that I thought were onions, were actually daikon.
Bang Bang Chicken Salad
This item was on their specials menu, so I barely remember the name, but what I did remember was that it was bland.
We easily drank over 4Ls that night, with at least 1L belonging to the staff. Overall, great experience, will be coming back soon!