Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Feb 16, 2012 08:18 AM

Has anyone tried the ramen at Guu?

Had dinner there the other day and noticed the posters for Guu Ramen nights on Mon-Tues-Wed. Can't really tell much from the picture, obviously, so wondering if anyone has tried it. How does it compare to say, Kenzo, which isn't the cat's meow, but is at least decent enough to satisfy a craving.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I go once a week for it since they've been serving it. They're ironing out a recipe so the broth changes from time to time. My favorite has been the spicy Tonkotsu but they've been doing a Tonkotsu Gyokai for the most part which is mixed pork and fish. I believe they also add chicken into the mix as well. The chashu is great and gets better everytime I return. Quantity wise, you're not getting as much as Kenzo but it's miles ahead of Kenzo in terms of chashu and broth. It's the best bowl in the city right now in my opinion but that said they are still experimenting and will probably keep improving as time passes.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

      Thanks. Good to know. The poster I saw was at the Church St. location.

      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

        Have you had the wednesday-only ramen at Koyoi? Is the Guu ramen better than theirs? I recently moved to this town, and I'm in desperate need of good ramen.

        ALSO, the rumor is that Santoka is coming to downtown Toronto soon. Can't wait...

        1. re: yogirice

          Yes, Santouka among a couple others are coming to town. I can't wait for that.

          Yeah, I've had the Ramen at Koyoi on Wednesdays. Guu's is actually similar as far as fat content goes (except for the last time I had it at Guu. It was insanely fatty to the point that my lips where caked with collagen after I finished) however Guu's is a Tonkotsu Gyokai broth and I am not sure what Koyoi's is exactly. Tasted sort of like a Tonkotsu with...maybe not a full on Kogashi miso broth but an attempt at a Kogashi miso topping to it.

          So yeah, after all of that I would say maybe not better but different.

          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

            I've gotta try Guu's too. I liked Koyoi's homemade tasting soup, I think it's a mix of torigara and tonkotsu, maybe? Although, I prefer tonkotsu with thinner straight noodle in general. They do hanjyuku tamago well too:)

            "a couple others"... Other than Santouka, I've heard Momofuku is looking into it as well. Do you know any other shops?? I want Toronto to be Ramen Gekisenku like NY has become.

            1. re: yogirice

              Hahahaha, yeah me too. We need Hide Chan to make an appearance here.

              Yeah, it's been awhile since I've had the Ramen at Koyoi so I don't remember a lot about it. I do remember the egg being pretty good...was it marinated in something? Like maybe a bit of Sake and Mirin? I can't remember...

              I do know a couple other shops going into it but I can't say right now. They'll be welcome additions to the small Ramen community here in Toronto. I can say that it's not Ippudo unfortunately.

              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                Wow, this is really exciting. Ippudo is not really my type of ramen shop so that's ok (especially the one in NY, too hip, too expensive, too much hype).
                Thanks for the info I can look forward to!

                1. re: yogirice

                  I hear you about Ippudo. I still think between them and possibly Tsujita and maybe even Hide Chan serve the best bowls in North America.

                  Toronto's food renaissance period continues.

                2. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                  Thank you so much for heads up about Koyoi, had the Tonkotsu last night and it's the best bowl in the city right now for me. Tried Guu last week and it was no longer a Tonkotsu broth but a hybrid fish/chicken/mushroom broth that was much lighter.

                  Im a tonkotsu fiend so was a bit disappointed, still a very tasty bowl though.

                  Koyoi's egg on this particular day left a bit to be desired, it wasnt that beautiful half soft boiled texture but more of a full hard boil. Still, that super silky collagen rich broth was bomb!

                  1. re: themiguel

                    Nice! Glad you liked it. Koyoi has a great Sake selection as well. Haven't been in a bit, maybe I should revisit.

                    I have been liking Guu's new style of Ramen although I am still pretty sure it's a half portion. Gotta get a BBQ pork bowl with it.

                    Too bad about the egg!

                    1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                      Guu's new soup sounds great. I love the fish mix broth when it's done well. I should go check it out!

                      BTW, I drove up to Niwatei last week... tried Tonkotsu and my friend's shoyu. It was quite a disappointment to be honest. I was expecting something better from chow reviews, but I have to rank it as same as Kenzo... Maybe it used to be better?

                      1. re: yogirice

                        I only ever went once and found it to be a bit better than Kenzo only because they served it piping hot when I went, compared to Kenzo who at the time had served me a couple lukewarm bowls of Ramen. Both places to me are pretty bland and tasteless.

                        I don't even really take Kenzo seriously as a ramen ya. Most of their bowls have nothing to do with what they claim to be (i.e. Sapporo Miso Ramen) and they spelled Ramen wrong in Kata Kana on their signage. All that and the fact that their bowls really aren't the punch in the face of taste and complexity that Ramen should be.

                        Their Gyoza is great though.

                        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                          Agree. Gyoza was huge and good. Kenzo and Ajisen shouldn't really call themselves ramen-ya.

                          It's not a ramen shop, but Shiso Tree next to Niwatei serves nostalgic Japanese style pasta. I'd rather go there if I wanna eat after J-town shopping. Mentaiko pasta is my favorite.

                          1. re: yogirice

                            Yeah, I haven't been to Shiso Tree yet. It's been on my list of places to try for forever but I rarely ever get up to J Town.

        2. Also, something to add is that the broth is quite "Kotteri" which is rich and thick compared to other places in Toronto. Nothing like Jiro in Tokyo and they're not hucking abura into it but it's probably still going to take a strip out of you if you finish all of the broth.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

            I have to try this!! Is it at saka bar or at the church street locale?

            1. re: themiguel

              I get it at Saka bar, and don't know if they have it at Church street.

              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                Never even knew about this..I will check it out

                1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                  they do have it at the church street location.

                  1. re: .alias

                    Makes sense.

                    Ramen seems to finally be making a long awaited push in Toronto with Guu serving it at both locations and even Yours Truly and Lucien offering their own renditions.

                    Can't wait to see who else pops up with a bowl of their own.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Was at the Bloor St. location for Ramen tonight. Super thick broth today. Way thicker than usual.

                They have Katsuo No Tataki right now which is great and rarer than other fish because of the likelihood of parasites in the flesh.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                  I had the chuch st ramen last week. I prefer thicker and chewier noodles but I can't complain because it was still very tasty. I could have eaten two (or three).

                  1. re: szw

                    Yeah, the portion size needs work. I could also do with a Hanjuku Tamago to go along with it as well. The noodles aren't anything to write home about themselves. I like a thick, yellow, eggy, kansui laden, crinkle cut Sapporo style noodle but that may be asking too much of the shops here.

                    1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                      I've been to both location to try out their ramen.

                      Church St: The broth is SUPER thick with a layer of oil on top. It was very filling. But it came with panchetta instead of chasiu which was a bit dissappointing. The broth was very heavy though and it fills you right up. No tamago the day I went. The noodles tasted like imported ones and has a very strong alkaline taste to it.

                      Sakabar: I swear to myself not to step into that place again but I did for the ramen. I still wouldn't return as I have weak ears. That place is way too loud for me to handle :P Onto the ramen, it is a mixed broth and I would have to say it COULD be quite good had they not add so much salt into it. It was too salty for me. The so-called chasiu I had there was just slices of pork cheeks. I wonder if they have proper chasiu on the other days? But it was waaaay too salty for me. Could it be an off-day?

                      May be I should try out Koyoi and see how good it is :)

                      1. re: tyatt

                        To me, the noodles (i've only had it once) just seemed like chinese supermarket lo-mein.

                        Am I wrong?

                        1. re: tyatt

                          I'm debating whether Guu is worth a try, cause I totally agree with you on their "irassyaimase----!!!!!!!" noise. Can't take it.

                          Koyoi's homey ramen might become my go-to for now, until Santouka arrives. What I really want is Totto Ramen NY to come up here!!

                          I'm curious how you'll like Koyoi. Looking forward to the report :)

                          1. re: tyatt

                            Yeah, Sakabar is salty somedays and less salty others. I've never had Tamago in their Ramen, ever unfortunately. They are sort of experimenting and would appreciate feedback if you have any when you're done your bowl. I feel like as a result of the experimentation the bowls can be a bit inconsistent.

                            They do have proper Chasiu some days and pork cheeks other days. I think part of the saltiness comes from the chasiu that they add or at least it contributes to it at times.