Gagana Ramen Calgary Japanese Restaurant Review
With colder weather always comes a craving from time-to-time for a good bowl of hot soup. If you’re a huge pho and ramen lover like I am, then you probably also like to try new places when time permits.
With some time to spare, we decided to check out Gagana Ramen located near Deerfoot Mall in the northeast. It was a bit of a drive (only 15 minutes or so) but was worth the trip. Also see our list of Best Calgary Ramen Restaurants.
One cool thing we learned is that it’s owned by the same people who run Gagana Ramen in Japan. In other words, we were excited to see what it was like dining at this restaurant because of its close connection to the land of the rising sun.
In Japan, ramen restaurants are everywhere and usually only have 3 or 4 different dishes (according to our server). We felt that in Calgary where there’s restaurants with 5 to 10 different ramen to choose from that Gagana’s menu was a bit limited with only 3 wet and 2 dry ramens. However, the delicious taste made up for it!
- Atmosphere – 7.0/10.0
- Service – 8.0/10.0
- Food – 9.0/10.0
- Cost – 8.0/10.0
- Overall – 7.75/10.0
*10 rated as best
Atmosphere & Service
Gagana Ramen is found on a street that connects the Deerfoot Mall area with McKnight Boulevard on the east side of Deerfoot Trail. It’s an atypical location, as is the aged building it operates out of.
Thankfully the taste and quality of food at restaurants isn’t based on the atmosphere. Despite its old age, the interior was clean and well kept. Inside you’ll find a dozen or so tables with tons of space between which is great for private conversations across a good bowl of ramen.
Our server was helpful in explaining questions we had about the menu and also pointed out the recently added bento options. She also was quick to fill up our H2O and offer more hot water for our green tea press.
She mentioned that originally Gagana had less menu options but the owners were attempting to adapt to the variety that most ramen restaurants in Calgary have and be competitive in that aspect of the business so they added bento and a few other options. Interesting!
Tonkotsu Ramen – $13.00 – Japanese broth base noodles served with two pieces of pork char siu, green onions, corn, leeks, cabbage, bamboo shoots, seaweed slices and red chili
One thing we immediately noticed about Gagana’s tonkotsu ramen that differed from other places was the temperature of the dish. The soup wasn’t too hot to eat right away, but lukewarm which made it easy to indulge full throttle as soon as it’s served. The broth of the tonkotsu was very flavourful. It was sweet while also having a tinge of spice and brought together the other ingredients of the dish seamlessly.
The egg noodles were quite obviously hand made (and delicious) and the char siu slices were a generous size. I liked the bamboo shoots also; they weren’t hard and crunchy like at other ramen spots but softer and very tasty. They were also a darker brown colour compared to the lighter beige you see at other places. There was a good amount of lightly cooked cabbage in the soup as well which added a nice change of texture.
Overall, I would have to say that this tonkotsu was one of my favourites I’ve had in Calgary. All the flavours and textures were on point and I would recommend travelling off the beaten path to try this authentic Japanese ramen restaurant to any of my loved ones.
- Address – #101 – 5421 11th Street NE, Calgary, AB
- Phone Number – 403-452-3826
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