Monday, 22 August 2011

Review: Guu SakaBar pt. I

Being a weekday night, we decided to head to Guu SakaBar (559 Bloor St W). It turns out that I've walked past this location multiple times but with the very small sign, I had completely missed it. Although it was a Monday, we still had to wait 30 minutes to be seated but it was well worth it. Upon arrival we were loudly and enthusiastically greeted by the staff before being directed to a table in the tatami floor seating area. The atmosphere is very busy, vibrant and loud which makes it a fun experience but a little bit more difficult to have a good conversation. Regardless, we got the night started with 4 great dishes:
Gyu Carpaccio: lightly seared beef sashimi (not pictured)
The gyu carpaccio arrived as thinly sliced pieces of beef lying in a plate of ponzu sauce with mayo drizzled on top. Although that may not sound the most appetizing, I found the beef to have a great texture and flavour. It was the first dish we got and I wanted another round of immediately after - it was a very promising start to our meal.
Takoyaki: deep fried octopus balls (picture 4)
This was only my second time trying takoyaki but it was much better than my previous experience. These bite sized balls had a crispy exterior with a soft gooey interior that contained the right amount of chewy octopus pieces. Most importantly, the flavour of the takoyaki was not overpowered by or secondary to the sauce/mayo.
Brie Cheese (picture 5-6)
With the Canadian National Exhibition in town, there has been a lot of talk of deep fried foods from deep fried cola to deep fried oreos to deep fried PB&J sandwiches. So when I saw deep fried brie cheese on the menu, I had my doubts about how it would turn out. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The pairing of the savory cheese with the sweet mango and blueberry sauces elevated this from being a gimmicky novelty to something I see myself ordering again in the future. It turned out be a rather delightful albeit gooey snack.
Saba: mackerel (picture 7)
I am not a big fan of mackerel but this was fantastic. It came with lemon, onions, and garlic chips. There were a few garlic chips on the gyu carpaccio but I actually tried some with this dish and loved the flavour and crunch they added. The mackerel was very light (both in terms of flavour and texture) with a definite hint of dill and grilled to perfection.


  1. Wow, this place looks awesome. The interior is so beautiful!

    Deep fried cola? does that work?

  2. @pink horrorshow

    Yeah, it's a lovely place with such a boisterous and fun environment to boot.

    Ah, fairs always tend to deep fry pretty much everything. As far as I know, the deep fried cola is made using the cola syrup (maybe frozen first) covered in batter. It doesn't sound very good and all my colleagues thought it tasted very unusual but I never tried it myself.