Haute pot

Ramen Tatsu-Ya spills details behind mysterious new North Austin concept

Ramen Tatsu-Ya spills details behind mysterious North Austin concept

Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto
Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto are dipping their toes into Burnet Road with a new shabu-shabu concept. Photo by Kristen Kaiser

Ever since DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya appeared on a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission mixed beverage permit in April 2018, learning the meaning behind the name meant has become one of Austin’s favorite guessing games. Would the concept be devoted to tsukemen — or dipping — ramen? Or were Ramen Tatsu-Ya owners Takuya Matsumoto and Tatsu Aikawa offering a nod to their hip-hop DJ roots by quoting 21 Savage?

Thanks to a pair of now-deleted social media posts in October, locals eventually figured out that the mysterious concept would be serving shabu-shabu, but Matsumoto and Aikawa still kept their lips sealed — that is until May 7 when the chefs finally revealed the first tantalizing details.

According to a release, the restaurant at 7301 Burnet Rd., Ste. 101 will put a new spin on hot pot dining when it opens in June. Custom carts will be presented tableside, allowing customers to mix and match a variety of proteins, vegetables, broths, and sauces.

“Shabu-shabu. It’s the sound your food makes when being stirred and cooked through boiling broth,” explained Aikawa via release. “We started obsessing with broth when we opened Ramen Tatsu-Ya, then became obsessed with meats at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya. It’s a very natural progression for us.”

Keeping with the spirit of innovation found in all of the Tatsu-Ya restaurants, the chefs have created unique menu items such as meatballs, pot pockets (stuffed tofu skins), wontons, and house udon. And a full bar stocked with sake, wine, whiskey, and beer will add to the fun (and perhaps facilitate a few messes).

As with their other restaurants, Aikawa and Matsumoto again drafted McCray & Co. to design the space. The release promises a refined space with handwoven bamboo baskets, custom tile from Era Ceramics and Clay Imports, lighting from A & K Woodworking, and wall graphics from Japanese artist ESOW.

DipDipDip will be the sixth Tatsu-Ya concept in Austin, including the recently opened patio bar Domo Alley-Gato. One more spot, Tiki Tatsu-Ya, is on the way in the former home of Backbeat at 1300 S. Lamar Blvd. It was originally promised to debut by the end of 2018, but there have been no further updates. True to form, the team is keeping Austin guessing.