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.