Guu Kobachi: No Regular Menu, but great concept!

Diana Chan July 16, 2011 Four Beakers, Izakaya, Japanese, Robson Street/West End

@floyvr organized an impromptu EatUp with @wongers, @kcclaveria@alexglee and @crazyut . Since I am a Guu fanatic, I really really wanted to see their “No Regular Menu” concept. We arrived quite early since the @GuuIzakaya account told us to show up early. Since all openings are not perfect, there were a bit behind on opening at 5:30pm. We just chilled outside till we got in at 6pm.

Guu Kobachi is located at the old Toratatsu near Denman and Robson. They serve up fresh sheets, so the menu will change quite often depending on what ingredients are in season.


The interior is quite small and has the same layout as the old restaurant. It is very simple and wooden. The staff are energetic like the other Guu locations. They don’t have a lot of seating, so going at 7pm with a large group will not be best for you. They won’t be taking reservations till August, but they do have a large table that seats a lot of people if you wanted to have a b-day party dinner here. Just something to note in the future.

This is the setting you will get. They even have the chopstick thing that you see at Chinese restaurant.

Marinated Red Tuna Sashimi ($6.80) was the first dish that arrived at our table and we thought it has the cutest presentation ever! @crazyut enjoyed it and said the tuna had a good flavour and was very fresh.

Marinated Red Tuna Marinated ($6.80) is similar to the one above, but it is marinated to soy sauce or ponzu sauce. We found it was not too bad, but the sauce realy over powered the delicate texture of the tuna.

The first kobashi dish to arrive was the Miso Kakuni ($3.80).  It is a slowly stewed pork belly pieces with quail egg in miso and soy sauce soup. This was an amazing dish! The pork belly was very tender and just full of flavour. They are in small pieces, so you will not feel guilty consuming so much fat. ** Must get dish**

Long Green Pepper ($3.80). It is boiled long green pepper marinated in a sweet sesame sauce, topped with bonito flakes. It is like a gomae but with green peppers.  The peppers were not spicy at all.

 Marinated Eggplant ($3.80). It has rectangular chopped cubes of eggplant with peppers, chili oil and bonito flakes. I liked eggplants, so I liked the pairing of the spicy chili oil and egg plant. I know some people at the table were not keen about eggplant.

Cold Tomato Curry ($3.80). Yes, this is a tomato! I didn’t get a lot of curry taste, it just tasted like a cold salted tomato.

Whole Onion ($3.80). Yes strange right? A whole onion.  The onion was stewed in chicken stock and I really enjoyed the taste.  Since it has been cooking for a long time, there is no sharp stinging taste.


Vege Chips ($3.80). These are assorted vegetable deep fried. Imagine super healthy chips. There were green peppers, potato skins, lotus roots, and other unidentifiable vegetables. Pretty unique dish and it would go great with beer.

Pork Ginger Spring Roll ($3.80). It has pan-fried pork ginger and cabbage inside. You can really taste the ginger in the pork filling. I didn’t really love this dish, but it was alright.

Chicken Gizzard ($3.80). This is chicken gizzard marinated in cili oil. This is an digestive organ of chickens. I’ve never had gizzard before and it had a very strange texture. When you bite into it, it is tough and hard.

Sweet and sour pork ($3.80). One of THE BEST I have ever had in my life! Very minimal breading so you can really taste the texture of the meat with the amazing sauce. ** Highly recommended**

Rolled Chinese Cabbage ($3.80). It is a stewed meat mixture wrapped in nappa cabbage in a tomatoey fish broth. This was a very unique dish and the meat they used for the dish was pretty good quality.

Marinated Conchi ($3.80). This is the meat from conch shells. It is marinated in garlic soy sauce. We found as we kept chewing on the conch that, it was quite salty. Very interesting to try.

Saba in Curry Sauce ($3.80). This is saba (mackerel) in a a curry sauce with potatoes. The saba tasted really good especially with the combination with the curry.

Beef tenderloin Tataki ($8.90). This is mid-well broiled beef tenderloin tataki style. SO GOOD! THis is the most tender beef I have ever had! ** Highly Recommended** 

Kara-age-regular ($6.00). Its a  simple japanese deep-fried chicken. It has no bones and comes with a side of mayo for dipping. Meat was very moist and had a light coating.

Squid ink calamari ($6.80) was quite different! It’s purple/black! We found that the deep fried calamari with squid ink just tasted like normal calamari. If you really focus on the taste of it, it has a very subtle taste, but it hard to pick up the flavour.

Ebi Mayo’s sister ($6.00) has ebi mayo coated in shredded potato batter. They add a whole new level to crunchiness! I really liked it since it looks like a sea urchin, but hidden inside is a very tasty piece of shrimp! **highly recommended**

Oyster Chazuke ($6.80). This has seared oyster on rice in fish broth soup. The oyster flavour is quite prominent and infused nicely with the fish broth. If you are an oyster lover, you will enjoy this dish.

Sockeye Salmon Carpaccio ($6.80). Was very good!! You can really taste the freshness of their salmon and their light sauces allow for the fresh taste to really since throught! ** highly recommended**

This came near the end of our meal. I think the chef gave it to us because we waiting outside for them to open. I think this was the Assorted Vege Salad ($4.80). It has long strands of carrots, radish, bonito flakes, greens in a ponzu sauce (i think). The stands of the radish were very very long!! It’s like those times when you are trying to split a bowl of noodles but it’s difficult because its just so long.

This isn’t a regular salad. It still has a good refreshing taste and it’s quite large.

Sapporo (Pint-$5.50). This is definitely needed every time you go to Guu!

Overall, we all had a great time and then menu items are quite unique compared to the other Guu chains. Since it just opened, they do have a few issues such as leaky pipes and missing orders. Do give the waitress patience as well since their english is not very good. They are trying their best, but none of us got mad or anything. Do check your bill before you pay because sometimes they might get an order wrong or something hasn’t arrived yet.

I am sure in a few weeks they will improve on a few of their flaws. For an opening day, it went pretty well and the place was packed. We racked up quite a bill of $130, but we did order a lot! It was well worth it.

Words of Wisdom:

  • Recommended: Miso Kakuni, Sweet + Sour Pork, Beef tenderloin Tataki, Ebi Mayo Sister, and Sockeye Salmon Carpaccio
  • Well priced items
  • Good atmosphere
  • Free parking after 6 at rear ( best not to drive, very limited parking)
  • Best to get off Burrard and take the bus down Robson
  • Super busy at peak hours
We Rate Guu Kobashi:


735 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC


Twitter: @GuuIzakaya

Guu Kobachi on Urbanspoon

About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.

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