May 4, 2014

An inside look at Ramen Tatsu-YaThe restaurant famous for its unique take on Ramen is quickly becoming an iconic establishment in Austin. It was recently a part of the anticipated Austin Food & Wine Festival where the establishment was praised for its many delicious dishes including their spin on the classic bacon and eggs. They use soy-marinate eggs filled with housemade bacon for an exhilarating culinary experience. Since Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s opening back in 2012, they have earned both local and national praise, even landing itself on Bon Appetit’s list of 50 Best New Restaurants.

Co-owner: Tatsu Aikawa
Despite this co-owner’s success with unique ramen dishes, he doesn’t have any formal training when it comes to the dish. In fact, instead of attending Austin culinary arts school, he started out washing dishes, slowly working his way up from there. He also worked on the side as a hip-hop DJ, proving to be a dedicated man of many talents. Aikawa actually met the restaurant’s other co-owner, Takuya Matsumoto, while working as a hip-hop DJ. Before forming Ramen Tatsu-Ya, both chefs worked in the kitchen at Mushashino and Second Bar +Kitchen, helping to develop their culinary skills. Aikawa enjoyed ramen so much, but didn’t know of any places in Austin that served the dish, so he decided to open one himself. That’s when he turned to Takuya for help. Who knew that there was such a demand for a simple dish popular among college students?

Culinary influences
He began to create ramen simply from memory, working to recreate a Southern-style dish by experimenting with different flavors and tastes. If you ask Aikawa’s mother where his culinary talents came from, however, she points to herself. She always whipped up homemade meals for him and his brother, cooking everything from udon noodles to fresh bread. When she would make ramen, she always made it clear that the boys had to eat it right away, otherwise the ramen would be no good. Aikawa certainly took this advice to heart, because if he can’t find a customer when their ramen is ready, he dumps it out and starts over, offering only the best to his patrons.

The key to unique flavors
According to both co-owners, the key to their delicious food is tasting items every day. This allows them to adjust certain flavors to really get the taste on-point to what they’re looking for. The establishment also strives for quality, using high quality ingredients to produce consistently delicious meals day after day.