Just returning from Taiwan where top-notch Japanese noodle houses are overly abundant, I currently have very low desire to try ramen in the western land. Especially after having tried most of the Japanese ramen restaurants in Calgary (including Muku, Shiki Menya, Shijiki) and discovered none of them were up to the standard, I have lost confidence in finding one that is truly authentic.
The only one that we haven’t yet visited was Goro + Gun. Well, sort of. Last summer, at the Taste of Calgary event, we sampled their food, but nothing really caught my eye. Kev persuaded me to give them another chance, maybe I would find something outstanding from their menu.
The Japanese noodle bar was located on the second floor of the Scotia Center on Stephen Avenue. With distinctive hardwood furnishings and modern art graphics, the restaurant presented its customers with modern interpretation of traditional Japanese noodle house.
The restaurant was spacious, giving us a choice to sit at the bar, on the communal table, at the sushi bar, or at a sofa booth. We seated comfortably right in front of the open kitchen, watching the chef preparing our food.
Instead of ramen, Kev opted for ramen burger ($10). Wagyu beef (with unagi sauce, kimchi and garlic mayo), sandwiched between fried noodle “bun”, surprisingly the flavors did not blend together… The noodle tasted bland, worst of all it wasn’t a single bit crispy. Burger boring and dry. You thought it would be bursting with flavors, but quite the contrary, the mismatched flavors was a huge disappointment.
Having salmon/red turn/scallop wrapped with prawn, avocado, cucumber and sushi rice, the rainbow roll ($15) was equally disappointing. The rice fell apart even before we touched it, as you could see in the photo below. It was just an average-tasting roll with fresh raw seafood. Making it even worse was the medicine-tasting sauce…
I ordered the tonkatsu ramen ($12). The mild and bland prok broth was awkwardly gingery. If you did it right, the broth should have thicker and creamer consistency , but at this place, the broth was watery. On the plus side, the noodles was thin and springy and the pork tender and fatty! Only if the broth was richer, the ramen would have been perfect.
Our friends had seared salmon roll ($16) and cold ramen ($12), which according to them were fairly ordinary. Especially for the cold ramen, it is something you could easily put together yourself as long as you have cucumbers, tomatoes, seaweed, sesame vinaigrette, smoked eggs and cold noodles. No skills required.
Will I recommend this place? No, not for people with sophisticated palate. You’d be better off saving the money and spending somewhere else.