Yang’s Kitchen Sushi Bar ★★★

Price: Adults – $14.99 for lunch and $21.99 for dinner. Children (9 or under) and Seniors (65 or over) are reduced.

Surprised I haven’t reviewed this restaurant before. I have eaten at Yang’s a few times in the past but just remembered to review them after a recent visit with my family.

For those of you who don’t know Yang’s, they’re an all you can eat (ACYE) sushi restaurant, offering service for lunch and dinner. The lunch and dinner menu are the same except with dinner you can order items from the sashimi, sushi bar and kitchen list. I prefer dinner too, even if it’s just for the extra food I can order. Keep in mind service during weeknight/weekends is slower and more hectic. So if you plan to eat then, I strongly suggest making reservations!! Otherwise, you’ll be stuck waiting over half an hour for a table. Also, except for dessert..order in one go to maximize your time. They might have a 2 hour seating time limit.

In terms of food, they are okay. I love salmon so I ordered dishes like their salmon rose sushi, spicy salmon rolls, salmon maki and sushi. All of which were fine. I would also recommend their unagi (eel) rolls, green dragon rolls, steak dishes (meat’s sliced up) and maybe fried rice if you are in the mood. Stay away from the bland cucumber sushi and overly salty miso soup though.

Yang’s a pretty popular place in Markham so I know it will have a variety of responses but I’m actually surprised at the amount of negative reviews (ie.Avoid Yang’s Kitchen Forum Post). I haven’t really experienced anything so terrible with the service as mentioned in the post but I do somewhat agree with the service complaints (whether that is because they don’t understand English or not). There have been many a time where I had to repeatedly wave my hand or just physically go up and ask for service or extra napkins/cutlery. I don’t really mind it much, its sometimes frustrating but I kind of almost expect it.

Maybe its just the Asian in me but I have more patience when it comes to Asian restaurants. I set a different pair of standards for them, not sure if this is because it is a habit from childhood, being a stereotypical Asian or both. Haha. I mean, all Asian restaurants have to do is provide the standard complementary tea, clean utensils (I wipe them again), serve food at the correct temperature within 30 minutes and I am good. 🙂

Dress code: Casual, good for friends and family. Possibly for socializing with co-workers if you are in the area.

Website: N/A
Location: 4261 Regional Rd 7, Markham, ON L3R 9W6
Telephone: (905) 944-0818
Hours: N/A – Please call ahead.

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GUU SakaBar ★★★★1/2

Price: Over $20, $6-8 per dish

Similar to GUU Izakaya review, GUU SakaBar has a more limited menu but basically is the same. They have Tatami mats, which is something different so I would visit just to see what its like.

I introduced a friend to this restaurant and now she’s a fellow GUU fan! Definitely foodie goodness! I suggest trying the GUU cocktail drinks such as Cherry Blossom (very sweet) and possibly Three Samurai (I see a lot of people having that recently).

Website: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/
Menu: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/sakabar/menu/
Location: 559 Bloor Street W, Toronto, ON, M5S 1Y6
Phone: (647) 343-1101
Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 5pm – 11:30pm
Friday to Saturday:  5pm – 12:30am
Sunday:  5pm – 11:30pm

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GUU Izakaya Toronto ★★★★★

Price: Over $20, $6-8 per dish

GUU = DELICIOUSNESS!! They are so popular that there is a slang for when you want to eat there. GUU-ING! As in “lets go GUU-ing!” Haha. Now, you either hate or love eating here. The reason being: its always packed, they don’t take reservations, line-ups are akin to clubs, its always loud and dish portions are small compared to what you are use to in North America.

To navigate your way through this and get the best “GUU-ing” experience possible..here are a few tips I would suggest following:

1) Keep your group small, the less people you have the easier it will be to seat you.
2) Go when they open, its easier to get in. Otherwise, you could be stuck waiting 20 mins+ for a table.
3) Order in one go. If possible, check the menu before going and know what you want. Its always packed so food takes a while to get to you. Keep in mind there is a 2 hour max seating time.

It’s really easy to rack up a bill but I suggest trying their Takoyaki – deep fried octopus balls ($5.00), Enoki Hotate Bacon – enoki mushrooms and scallop wrapped in bacon ($6.00), Yakiudon Noodles – pan fried udon noodles w/ beef and veggies ($7.80), Buta Kimchi Bibimbap – rice, spicy ground pork, kimchi, egg in a hot stone pot ($8.80) and for dessert Banana Tempura – fried banana w/ coconut ice cream ($6.00).

Great for casual dinner with friends and family, possibly dates if you don’t mind the noise. Note: If it is your first time, dont worry if you hear all the staff yelling when you come in or leave..they are just greeting and saying goodbye in Japanese. I previously visited with a friend once and she was startled by this.

Note: There is a new GUU location in Toronto, called GUU SakaBar. Their menu is a little bit more limited but still worth a visit because they have tatami mats.

Website: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/
Menu: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/under/menu/TorontoFoodMenu.pdf
Location: 398 Church Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2A2
Phone: (416) 977-0999
Hours:
Monday to Friday: 5pm – 11:30pm
Saturday & Sunday:  4pm – 11:30pm

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