You thought you had a long weekend? Try 12 hour work days, on my feet, in the kitchen, cooking props, setting up props, batting eyelashes, changing costumes, going “10-1” ha (for all y’all film friends), and cooking up love and laughs. So, without giving away too much, I have been filming the first “season” of Abbey’s Kitchen, and it was an “action” packed weekend (that is, we nailed 8 episodes in three days). I have got to give it to the real Food Network hosts out there and all of the incredible people working for them- it’s a hell of a lot of work to put together even one short show, but it’s also incredibly fun. I’m sure it would be even more fun if I didn’t have to be the one to worry about the bookings, props, prop resets/re-cooks/re-bakes, costumes, venues, rentals etc. Oh, and I guess getting paid would be kinda nice too, but honestly, in light of how much fun my rockstar team and I had, I’d say that’s the cherry on top.
Well, I was exhausted after we wrapped on Monday afternoon, and there was no way I was going to pick up groceries and make dinner. So, we went out for a much needed stroll down to Guu for an quick dinner before a movie night out.
If you have never been to Guu- I’m not going to ruin the surprise, but just tell you that the atmosphere is rather “welcoming”. Service was very friendly and efficient. We had:
Tsukemono: Pickled radish and cucumber
These weren’t very good. They tasted like they were “off”, and lacked that desired crunch.
Karubi: Grilled miso marinated beef short ribs
These weren’t great either. The beef was really tough (tasted like jerky), and despite being marinated in miso, they were really lacking in flavour.
Kakuni Pie: Pork belly pastry with sweet soy sauce
This was delicious, probably the best dish of the night. The pork was succulent and tender, the pastry was buttery and tender, and the sauce had a really nice balance of salty and sweet. My only issue was that it was really hard to maneuver with chopsticks without putting it all in my mouth or trying to just rip it apart. Not so classy.
Chili Mame Bibimbap: Rice, chili beans, lettuce and salsa in sizzling stone bowl
This was a good dish, but not great. I actually liked the lettuce after it had been lightly fried, and the rice got a nice caramelized flavour, but I thought it could have used more of the chili or salsa- it just needed more flavour and seasoning in general.
Carbonara Udon: creamy udon noodles with bacon, onion and half boiled egg
I loved this dish (though not as much as I love the original). The sauce was super rich and creamy, but the little hit of nori was a nice aromatic touch. I wasn’t a big fan of the onions in there, though, as they were raw and the texture was a bit stringy and off putting against the noodles.
Brie Cheese: deep fried brie cheese with mango and blueberry sauce
I was excited about this, but I wasn’t thrilled by the result. While I liked the mango and blueberry sauces, I found the cheese to be a bit too skunky, and really messy to eat. If the portion is going to explode and melt into a bodily-fluid-looking-substance on your plate when you cut into them- it’s probably best to make them a single bite. I may have enjoyed it more if I was able to escape that visual.
So at this point we had to boogie to make our movie on time, so we didn’t have time for dessert (I got some ice cream later in the night), but I was pretty satisfied after all that. So for all of the above, some Perrier and a bottle of Sake, the bill came to about $90 including tax and tip- pretty reasonable and a good casual meal.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.