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Ramen Tatsu-ya Grand Opening

Authentic Ramen restaurant celebrates Grand Opening this Saturday

By Jessi Cape, 10:43AM, Fri. Aug. 31, 2012

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Ramen Tatsu-ya Grand Opening
Ramen Tatsu-ya Grand Opening Ramen Tatsu-ya Grand Opening
photo by Jessica Leath

Local chefs and DJs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto intend to provide a “distinctly Japanese experience” in Austin and their new authentic ramen restaurant, Ramen Tatsu-ya, opens to much anticipation this week in North Central Austin (8557 Research Blvd #126, Austin, 78758).

Their notable cultural and culinary training (Musashino, Second Bar + Kitchen, and 2 Michelin star rated Urasawa in L.A.) reportedly shines through in the soulful and delicious cuisine.

Authentic ramen, intended to be slurped and eaten with chopsticks, is considered the “soul food of Japan” and Ramen Tatsu-ya appears to offer a simple but satisfying menu. The original tonkotsu broth features flavors from pork bones and comes with sliced pork belly, ajitama (marinated boiled egg), ki-kurage (wood ear mushroom), and scallions. Noodle options and a mash-up of traditional and newer ramen styles shake things up and certainly pique my interest. Rice bowls, Japanese curry, salads, and several interesting small plates (fried dumplings, edamame, yakisoba hot dog) accompany four other broth options and customizable toppings; vegetarian options are available. The local and Japanese beers and sake offered sound refreshing when paired with the broths and other fare.

A Chronicle colleague with significant ramen knowledge visited the fledgling restaurant this week and reported that the ramen was delicious. He also mentioned, several times, that days later he and his wife are still raving about the amazing sliders, described by Tatsu-ya as a “breaded, deep-fried burger on a Hawaiian roll with katsu sauce.”

The strikingly beautiful interior, designed by local firm McCray & Co, credited with Lenoir’s interior design, seats 38 guests among communal tables, bar seating, and 3 tops. A bevy of local artists and craftsmen joined efforts to create an inviting space with a mix of contemporary and traditional Japanese design: wood and rope accents, a black, white, and red motif, painted murals and a geometric flower crest, and unique furniture created using a combination of restorations and original creations.

This Saturday September 1st marks the Grand Opening (open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday 5pm-10pm), and reports from this week’s soft opening indicate this authentic Japanese culinary project has all the makings of a giant success. I plan to slurp some ramen as soon as possible.

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