Ramen Tatsu-ya Opening Second Location – Here’s Everything You Need To Know

January 12, 2015

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Ramen Tatsuya

Photo credit: McCray & Co.

The critically acclaimed Ramen Tatsu­ya will launch its 2nd location in the buzzing South Lamar district on Sunday, January 25. After months of planning and building out their new space at 1234 South Lamar Blvd., the nationally recognized ramen slingers are finally ready to serve their dedicated fans and newcomers south of the river.


Ramen Tatsu-ya Opening Second Location – Here’s Everything You Need To Know


Ramen Tatsuya 2Ramen Tatsu-ya

Photo credit: Ramen Tatsuya

1234 South Lamar Blvd.

An ever increasing demand called for a bigger and more centralized location. Neighbors include Uchi, Alamo Drafthouse, and Odd Duck.

“We are continually stunned and grateful for the support we’ve received in such a short time. Through trial and error and listening to customer feedback, we feel we are ready for growth. Our goal is to provide the same quality to diners who have been making the trek north as well as introduce authentic Japanese ramen to newcomers” says Tatsu.


Ramen Tatsuya

Photo credit: Ramen Tatsuya

Ramen Tatsuya Owners Met as Hiphop DJ’s

Ramen Tatsu­ya was started by chef Tatsu Aikawa in collaboration with chef Takuya Matsumoto and younger brother Shion Aikawa in the Fall of 2012. The duo first met over 10 years ago as hip­hop DJ’s and they remained friends as their lives followed a similar path as sushi chefs. After spending some time at the Michelin rated kaiseki, Urasawa, in Los Angeles, Tatsu decided to return to Austin in the pursuit of introducing authentic Japanese ramen to the South. With the help of friends and family Ramen Tatsu­ya became a reality and soon after opening, the shop quickly became a local sensation with a growing fanbase of ramen­hungry patrons and an outpouring of media support. With national praise, including Bon Appetit’s top 50 best restaurants and Vice Munchies, the humble shop with no marquee became a cult hit.


Japanese Ramen

Photo credit: Ramen Tatsuya

Second location will feature true stars

The opening dinner menu will feature Ramen Tatsu­ya’s true stars including Tonkotsu Original, Tonkotsu Sho­yu, Miso­not/Miso­hot and Tsukemen. Tonkotsu is defined by a rich and creamy pork bone broth, a style originating from Hakata in the Kyushu region of southern Japan. The noodles are thin and consist of wheat and alkaline to balance with the thickness of the broth.



Photo credit: Ramen Tatsuya

The broth takes days to make

The process of broth­making takes days to release umami­rich flavors and textures, a far cry from the 10­cent package ramen most of us know from our college years.



Photo credit: Ramen Tatsuya

Tatsu & Tako slurped 80 bowls of Ramen in Japan

During a recent research trip to Japan in the spring of 2014, chef/owners Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya “Tako” Matsumoto, slurped their way through 80 bowls of ramen starting from Tokyo, where shoyu reigns, all the way south to the Kyushu region where tonkotsu hails. Through further exploration of these regions and flavors, the chefs strived to ensure the authenticity of their own work in translating a rich ramen tradition back to Austin, TX.


Ramen Tatsuya 3

Photo credit: Ramen Tatsuya

Austin creative Chris McCray designed the interior

Amidst their trek, the duo met with their interior designer Chris McCray of McCray & Co. With big appetites and open minds, the team acquired new ideas and inspiration as well as physical pieces to include in the South Lamar shop. The interior will feature a minimalistic Japanese­-themed decor, with the same touches as the original location such as a black/red/white palette with wood accents. An increase of seating will be split between banquettes, counter­stools with a view to the open kitchen and communal tables all designed and custom built by Chris McCray and Litmus Industries. Features will also include state ­of­ the­ art lighting by Ketra, and a large ­scale dragon mural which was inspired by Aikawa’s ancestor the 19th century painter, Kano Hogai, and reinterpreted by local artist Briks. The large exterior wall will also showcase street­ art inspired wheat pasted posters by Ryan Cross and Tatsu Aikawa.



Photo credit: Ramen Tatsuya

New beverage program includes handcrafted sake cocktails

The recent trip to Japan further demonstrated to chefs Aikawa and Matsumoto a shared focus on regional and seasonal flavors and local sourcing which will be conveyed through menu offerings. A new beverage program will include local and Japanese draft beers, handcrafted sake cocktails, and regional sake which will be served in cypress wood boxes in traditionall masu style. Alongside the new drink program, there are plans for seasonal menu changes focusing on local ingredients for small plates.



Photo credit: Ramen Tatsuya

Look out for 2 more new locations

The South Austin expansion was announced last spring. Before that revelation, Aikawa told Eater in 2013 that he’d like to open up to four new locations.



Ramen Tatsuya


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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