Feeling too lazy to make breakfast, I decided to head over to the Japanese-operated Guu Richmond in Aberdeen Center and have an early lunch instead. I was intrigued by the Creative Gunkan on their menu, and seeing how they were each $3 a piece, I dished out some extra cash so that I would be able to try as many of them as possible. My fillers would be the $6.80 Okonomiyaki and the one of the special rolls. It was the perfect plan.
Little did I know that I was looking at the dinner menu rather than the lunch menu. Oh, the horror. My dreams of having creative gunkan, okonomiyaki, and a special roll were all crushed in one fell swoop. Instead, I was presented with their lunch menu, where everything was organized into meals and diners would just choose their favourite one.
(Lunch Menu - click to enlarge)
Filled with apprehension, I asked two different waitresses whether it would be possible for me to order a few smaller items in addition to a lunch box. Just as I had feared, both of them told me that I would have to come back for dinner to try their wide variety of appetizers and creative dishes. My vision of myself enjoying delicious okonomiyaki quickly became no more than a shattered mirage, and I began mulling over the lunch menu while fighting back tears...
Due to the reduced number of options, it did not take me long to decide on the Irodori Box (meaning "bright colours"), which came with BBQ Eel on Rice, Teriyaki Chicken, Curry Croquette, a Mini Macaroni, Salmon Sashimi, Tuna Sashimi, Hotategai Sashimi (I assume they ran out of sweet shrimp), a California Roll (two pieces), Tamago, Stewed Vegetables and Miso Soup. The bright sight of so many goodies neatly placed in a lunch box put me back in high spirits.
Miso Soup - A-
The Miso Soup was served at a hot temperature with seaweed, green onion, and tofu. It had a pleasant, well-balanced flavour.
Stewed Vegetables - B+
The Stewed Vegetables consisted of radish, carrot, and potato stewed in an oden-style dashi broth. I enjoyed how this dish was light and moist, and it would be excellent if there was slightly more of the broth.
Salmon Sashimi - A
Hotategai Sashimi - A
Tuna Sashimi - B-
California Roll - B-
Tamago - B
The Salmon Sashimi was especially delicious with its soft texture and smooth sheen. I would have missed out on it if I had ordered from the dinner menu! The Hotategai Sashimi had a slight briny flavour like amaebi and was delightfully soft and pillowy. The Tuna Sashimi was not as fresh as the salmon. The California Roll did not look like it would be any good due to the huge amount of rice, but it tasted surprisingly decent since the imitation crab meat was so rich in flavour. If the rice had not been mushy in places, it would have received an A-. The Tamago was slightly sweet, and most of it had a soft, fluffy texture.
BBQ Eel on Rice - B
The unagi on the BBQ Eel on Rice was soft but would have fared better with more teriyaki sauce. The steamed rice was decent and went well with the unagi.
Mini Macaroni - B-
Curry Croquette - A-
Teriyaki Chicken - B+
The Mini Macaroni was quite unremarkable aside from its curious pink colour, and I found it a little dry. However, the Curry Croquette was decent with its crispy panko batter and the addition of Worcestershire sauce in just the right amount. It had a rich curry flavour and was not hard. The Teriyaki Chicken, although a tad dry, was tender and well seasoned.
The restaurant was rather empty (which I think is largely due to my early timing), so the service was adequate. Most of the items in the Irodori Box were well-executed, and I found the Irodori Box quite filling. There was no way I could finish another lunch box, so I finished my meal with only a $13.60 bill (including tax), which is the lowest out of all my sushi adventures so far. I suppose that is the bright side of ordering from the lunch menu.