As we near the end of summer, I can’t help but get excited about the cooler weather and the ability to enjoy some of my favorite dishes without sweating like a hog! At the top of the list is Ramen EVERYTHING. Don’t get me wrong, there was a spicy chilled ramen that won me over (I’ll get into that later), but the boiling hot, burn your mouth broths of the traditional just hold the number one spot. There are plenty of places that I can go get my fix, but for me, I tend to want bold flavor and to be able to get a good bowl on each visit. That’s why Ramen Tatsu-Ya is a top pick and stays on my brain!
This Austin based ramen shop has won the city over since they opened up last year. Even though the long lines snaking down the street have gone our love for their food is still strong. It’s that kind of effect on people that made Executive Sous Chef Kevin Kobayashi a fan. As the story goes…
“Back in 2014, Kevin Kobayashi was a cook in the army, stationed in Fort Hood. As a Hilo, Hawaii native, he’d been craving good ramen something fierce. One night, he stumbled upon the Munchies Chefs Night Out: Ramen Tatsu-Ya video and knew he had to visit the shop. Soon after, he made the hour and a half drive south to Austin to give Ramen Tatsu-Ya a try. Kevin fell in love with what he tasted and what he saw and quickly made a weekly ritual out of going to get his ramen fix. Weeks turned into months and Kevin became a friend of the shop until, eventually, he became a part of the Ramen Tatsu-Ya crew, as a line cook. When it was time to open up shop here in Houston, Kevin left the 512 to start a new life in the 713 as executive sous chef.”
Not only is it a great story, but it translates to why the team here takes so much pride in the food and making sure the guests have a wonderful experience.
Do yourself a favor and if you haven’t tried them get there and if you have then you are likely already a fan! Here are a few of my suggestions:
Spicy Chilled Ramen (Ol’ Skool Noodles, Pirikara Ground Pork, Cucumber, Chili Oil, Summer Tomato, Citrus Soy Dressing, Karashi Mustard, Ajitama) – This bowl blew me away. Usually, I’m not a big fan of chilled ramen but this combination of flavors and textures all worked together nicely. I’m not sure this one will be on the menu into the fall and winter season, so I’d suggest getting there soon.
Karaage (Japanese Triple Fried Chicken) – Juicy on the inside and the perfect crispiness on the outside, which is exactly how fried chicken should be made! It was suggested that I pair it with Underwood The Bubbles, a sparkling Chardonnay, that complimented it nicely.
Tonkotsu Original (Pork Bone Broth, Chashu, Ajitama, Woodear Mushroom, Scallion) – “OMG broth” is what they should call their pork bone broth. I recently read that it’s the Holy Grail of noodle soup broths and I completely agree.
Did I list any of your favorites? If not sound off and let me know what I need to add in my rotation.
~Felice “Swanky Girl” Sloan