Best Japanese Restaurant For Omakase Sushi In Calgary
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I’m not gonna lie – Kev and I had long given up on finding good sushi in Calgary. In this land-locked city, seafood often comes with a hefty price tag and is usually not fresh. When we received the invitation to an omakase sushi dinner at Goro+Gun, we had our doubt. However, throughout the evening, Chef Tomo Mitsumo surprised us with an extravagant tasting experience featuring the freshest and tastiest seafood. Coupled with sake pairing, it was a dinner that we will not forget!
Pre-Dinner Sake Flight
What would be more suitable for serving with sushi than sake? To complement the well-crafted meal, General Manager Amane Kanai brought out a flight of sake for tasting! Before our actual omakase sushi dinner, he gave us a short Sake 101 lesson.
First and foremost, what is sake?
Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made out of fermented rice. To make sake, sake brewers (toji) combine 4 main ingredients: rice, water, mold spores (koji) and yeast. After ~one month of fermentation, water is normally added to dilute the alcohol content to 15%. Then, sake is bottled and “aged” for about 6 months before release.
How many different grades of sake are there?
You can enjoy sake in 4 different grades, determined by the brewing method and rice polishing rate (i.e. how much of the rice grain is milled away before used in sake production). Each grade yields a unique flavour profile, but in general, the more the rice is milled, the more smooth, elegant and refined the sake.
- Junmai: pure rice sake with no distilled alcohol added. It is usually full-bodied and slightly acidic. Best served at room temperature or hot. Pairs well with ramen!
- Honjozo: brewed with rice that is milled to at least 70% of its original size. A small amount of alcohol is added at the final stages of production. Lighter and more fragrant than Junmai Sake. Best served warm or at room temperature.
- Ginjo: brewed with rice that is milled to at least 60%. Light and delicate, often with aromas of floral and fruity notes and a softer finish. Best served chilled or at room temperature.
- Daiginjo: the best of the best! Rice must be milled to at least 50%. Extra care is taken in the production process. It gives a complex, clean and fragrant taste. Best served chilled or at room temperature.
What did we try?
Like wine, sake can taste so differently brand by brand, grade by grade! At the dinner, we tried 4 different sakes:
- Kaiun Honjozo: This sake had a refreshing, rice-prominent flavour, ended in a bright, crisp finishing.
- Yoshi No Gawa Gokujo Ginjo: This fragrant sake initially filled the palate with tones of apricot and peach. Then, led to a light and dry palate with mild green apple and hints of licorice!
- Tamanohikari Gold Omachi Daiginjo: We were impressed by its well-rounded, silky texture. A slight hint of fruitiness unfolded with each sip.
- Mio Sparkling Sake: We were obsessed with this sparkling sake! Especially with its sweet aroma and fruity flavour. It is as dangerous as icewine!
12-Course Omakase Sushi Dinner
Omakase? What’s that?
People often misinterpret omakase as a tasting menu. By saying “omakase,” you are literally saying “I’ll leave it up to you” and entrusting yourself to the sushi chef. You’re giving the chef the creative freedom to present a memorable tasting sushi experience based on the freshest ingredients available.
In Calgary, Goro+Gun is the best Japanese restaurant for an unforgettable omakase meal! With the talented Chef Mitsuno in-house (he used to work in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Osaka for 7 years!!), you’re guaranteed the finest culinary creations.
How was our omakase sushi experience?
Our tasting at Goro+Gun reflected the freshest meat and best quality fish selections possible. From the scrumptious hotate (scallop) to melt-in-your-mouth buttery aburi toro (seared tuna belly) to ultra-tender wagyu beef, the exceptional quality blew our mind!
[bctt tweet=”Up for a 12-course omakase sushi experience? Try this place and you’ll not regret!” username=”fortwoplz”]
I bet you have never had salmon with roasted tomato before. Neither had we, but this unexpected combination created a surprisingly delightful taste! The unique combinations of ingredients, toppings, and sauces Chef Mitsuno chose surprised our tastebuds—each bite was a celebration for our palate!
The 12-course omakase sushi starts at $50 per person and $65 with a flight of three sakes. At the end of the meal, you can expect a mouthwatering Japanese dessert to wrap up the feast.
Are you up for an authentic omakase sushi meal? Then reserve a seat at Goro+Gun! With Chef Mitsuno’s skills and experience, it is no doubt the best Japanese restaurant in Calgary for this experience.
Disclaimer: This post is written in partnership with Goro+Gun. As always, all opinions on For Two, Please are my own and I only recommend services that I 100% stand behind.
This is an experience I would love to have. Both my husband and I love sushi but we have never experienced a 12 course menu selected by a chef. Also interesting is the sake parings. I would like to Tate more than the traditional sake to see if there are other varieties I like. What a fun experience. Will need to see if there is one similar to this where I live.
Wish I’d known about Goro+Gun when I visited Calgary this summer! My sister and I are always on the hunt for new sushi restaurants and I’d definitely give this place a try given it has sushi with unique twists. Ah well, maybe when I visit Alberta again.
Degustation menus are always so much fun – I love the journey the Chefs’ take you on. You totally had me at Pre-Dinner Sake Flight – omg this is totally my scene. I am a total lover of Japanese food so a 12-course sushi dinner is right up my alley. The preparation of every sushi item looks interesting and so intriguing. I totally would love to experience this one day.
Sushi is like my kryptonite, and I can’t get enough. I also live in a land-locked area and have been super wary about sushi around town. But don’t you feel a sense of accomplishment when you finally find a decent place that has fresh sushi? I’ll have to look around to see if I can find an Omakase place around Salt Lake City. The unagi, brie, and tomato combination sounds interesting!
Thanks for such an informative article! I am suddenly craving sushi! I visit Calgary quite often, so I will definitely have to try this place out next time I am around! The photos are making me drooooool.
I am huge on Japanese food and absolutely love sushi. It’s really nice how they have tasters for the Saki, but more than that the food looks stunning and original unlike the commercialized Sushi that is often made. Love ho fresh the food looks and now i’m super hungry.
This is interesting. Finding the specialty food of one region in another region is totally painful! Being an Indian, some food from my country which require the tropical sunny climate for its preparations, really cannot be found in colder countries. So I can totally relate to your excitement on finding good seafood in a land locked country!
Sorry this is isn’t true from my viewpoint. From someone that has been there multiple times.
Have you never been to Roku or Zipang? Goro is decent at what they do but in no category would I rate them best at anything.
Sorry, your experience didn’t turn out as good. I have been to Goro+Gun years back once and didn’t like their hot dishes and their normal sushi rolls. But our recent omakase meal was different, maybe because it was chef tomo who actually made it. Hope you would give this a try. I have been to Roku and Zipang – Roku has some good unique rolls (but not traditional), Zipang is a bit pricey for the quality and size. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Yuuuum, this looks so good! I love the idea of learning all about sake first. Such an interesting way to delve into the culture while you enjoy the delicious food.
This sounds like an amazing experience, I love sushi and sake so definitely something I’d love to try. The sake flight to start would be awesome. Thanks for the sake lesson too, I never knew they had 4 different grades. Thanks for sharing.
Oh yum, I love a good Sushi restaurant. Pity I’ve just relocated from Canada otherwise I definitely would have checked this place out.
Thanks, that was a lesson for me in Sake. I did know that it was made by fermenting rice but I did not know that it takes many months to do that or there are so many different kinds of Sake based on their alcohol content.
Regarding Sushi, being a vegetarian means not having much of the options.
Wow you are making me so hungry and the sushi looks so good! I’m a sushi lover and I can’t resist those thick and fresh sashi .. so good!
That’s really great to know you are able to find great japanese sushi ? in calgary! I had no idea they managed to bring the cuisine to this land locked city. I love omakass as it is always full of surprises and they always provide the best most fresh dishes. @ knucx.journeying
Wow, how much do I love the look of this? I’ve had a lot of sushi in my time, but this looks gorgeous. I can’t believe I’ve never tried sake before, I’d love to do something like a Sake Flight one day so I can try it for myself.
Oh my~ 12 courses of sushi, I cannot imagine! Everything you featured here looks so good. Having recently tried sushi and actually liked it, I’d be game for trying this and then some.
I’m getting hungry looking at this! Love all the fresh sushi of course and the sake flight– that’s definitely something I’ve never seen anywhere else. I definitely learned quite a bit about sakes through this post — thanks for sharing 🙂
I learned something new – never knew the meaning of “omakase”! I dig the concept. I do love sushi though I’m not too fond of sake. I did, however, appreciate the breakdown of the different kinds of sake. Very interesting.
Sushi is one of my favorite foods but I must say after reading your post, I feel I have a lot to know about Japanese cuisine. A 12-course meal like this sounds utterly luxurious and at that price, its worth the experience.
your post make me wanna dine sushi right now!
I like how you share certain Japanese terms that may be used during our visit as well.
Want to try the different sakes as well and check what could be best for me.
Your photos were also very flattering!!!
I can imagine that Calgary and sushi pairing is somewhat odd. After all, Calgary’s nickname is Cowtown. Judging by your mouthwatering description, you found a culinary gem. I wonder why Chef Mitsuno chose to come to Calgary after working in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Osaka? In any case, it is an undeniable gain for Calgary.
I am not a sushi eater but I must say that it is one of the most good-looking foods ever. I think it is just the Japanese aesthetics and this shines through this entire restaurant. From the dishes to the bottles of sake, everything looks exquisite.
Omakase sushi looks like a true Japanese experience in Calgary. I was not aware of the different grades of Sake, I’ll pay more attention next time. The quality of the food sounds very high and it looks delicious in your photos!
Wow! Kust going through this article and looking at the pictures developed an instant craving for a Sushi in me! It must be delicious and so delicately you have placed it together in this blog. Loved it!
Thanks for the excellent review and story of your experience at Goro+Gun. It seems like this would be the perfect restaurant for a date night with my husband when I am next in Calgary. 65$ a person for 12 courses plus sake flights is a steal! I am definitely up for this and it seems like it’d be fun to let the chef decide. It’s almost like a mini adventure!
This sounds fantastic! I would love to sample different sushis and sakes. I think doing it with an instructor/guide makes such a difference. You know what subtleties to look for.
I haven’t tried sushi in a long while. After a terrible experience I had with my second taste of sushi. I would prepare my mind for another tryout. The rice wine seems like a must try for me! I envy the nice time you had!
Those sushi looks divine! Omakase is always the best but expensive way of enjoying Japanese food.
My sake experience is limited to the tasting bar at Epcot, but I like the cold ones! I haven’t really tried a lot of sushi but these pieces look so intricate. What a great date night!
I’m not a big drinker but I actually really like sake. I prefer the cold ones over the hot ones though. I’d love to learn more about sake and taste some different kinds.
Yeah, hot sake is pretty blech. I don’t understand the appeal at all. Cold sake all the way!
Love Goro + Gun. Especially how they greet you when you go in.
Wow, reading your post has made me hungry, since it’s almost dinner time here in my country. Anyway, truly this beanery is the best Japanese Restaurant with the tastiest and luscious seafood. I love that the Chef have surprised you, not just your stomach, but also your taste buds. Thank you so much for sharing this.
I used to think that there was a severe lack of good Japanese cuisine in Calgary, but much to my surprise, I was wrong. Calgary has a lot of Japanese goodness at its disposal.