Located in the back corner next to Dinesty Dumpling House is the Aberdeen Center location of Guu. For it’s tucked away location in the mall it’s extremely popular with people looking for something different form the mall food court. They serve lunch 7 days a week and are open for late night eats as well with a separate mall entrance. This location is more sushi focused with all the standard favorites as well as some special house rolls, a wide variety of donburi and of course the crazy drinks that Guu is known for. Since Melissa doesn’t live to far away she joined me for lunch and to share a couple of dishes.
The Ebi Mayo is something that I order at every Guu and Izakaya in general. Similar in presentation to Guu Garden with the mayo on the bottom and slice of lemon. The shrimp was nice and plump with a good snap to them and the mayo was flavored nicely but the tempura coating texture wasn’t crispy and ended up being spongy.
Next up with our shared dishes was the Tuna Tataki with Ponzu sauce, shaved radish and garlic chips. Flavor wise this was great when you got a bite of everything but the tuna on its own was bland and I felt the tuna was hidden away under a mound of radish.
When I was checking out the menu online and saw the Guu had ramen at this location I knew I had to try it. The Cha Shu Shiho Ramen with Pan Fried Bacon Rice and Chicken Karaage was the Wednesday lunch special but now I see that they have changed things with donburi bowls since this visit. With the 2 side dishes this was just the right amount of food for lunch and perfect for the cold day. The chicken karaage was cooked perfectly with a nice crisp light batter outside and juicy meat inside. Digging into the fried rice I was instantly hit with the flavor of the bacon that perfumed the dish, the rice had a nice slight chew to it and things were seasoned nicely. The ramen had half of a hard-boiled egg, wood ear mushrooms, nori and a large piece of pork front and center. The broth was creamy in mouth feel and not overly salty, the noodles were cooked perfectly with a nice toothsome texture but I would have loved a slightly larger amount of them. The slice of pork was generous and the ratio of fat to meat was good but I would have loved to have the skin crispy as this was kind of limp.
Now this was something that I have never encountered before in any Japanese restaurant. Melissa ordered the Tempura, Sashimi and Sushi Lunch Box and when it was delivered I was slightly shocked. Everything looked alight in the box except one thing and it was a biggie, the tempura was extremely pale, the batter was almost pancake like and was extremely soggy. Before trying the tempura Melissa devoured the sushi and sashimi but when she tried one of the skewers with daikon it was practically raw. I tried a green bean and picking it up showed off its limp character (the little blue pill could have helped) and biting into it confirmed the undercooked fears. Needless to say the box was sent back with all the tempura and rice intact, I’m blaming this completely on the kitchen and not Guu in general or the quality of the ingredients.
Overall flavors of things were alright and I really liked my ramen lunch set but the tempura was a complete failure, I happily gave Melissa half of my side dishes as well as stopping next door at Dinesty for some emergency soup dumplings and treats. I would come back for another visit because I know the overall chain is good and dishes are usually on point 99% of the time-I guess we were the 1% today