Is it just us, or we all blinked and ramen was a big deal.
We got to try the cutest Montrose ramen spot, Ramen Tatsu-Ya, that’ll be your new happy hour/cool weather day hang. I know, cold days are far away, but we’ve got 10 reasons for you to put on a sweater, crank the A/C and pretend for a second so you can enjoy this new Japanese comfort food trend.
It’s brand spanking new.
Ramen Tatsu-Ya only opened late February, but it already has a cult following — maybe because there are already two shops in Austin, or maybe because they make a really good first impression. Or both.
The place smells new (I know, weird), but there’s so many wood features, you can smell the fresh cedar. It really adds to the ambiance. Also, I like that it feels very casual, but has a cool trendy vibe to it.
Drinks are on point.
There’s drink service with great beer options, sake and even cocktails as tempting as Kimchilada to a Bae-zilla (right). Plus, the sake comes overflowing into a box (customary and symbolizes welcome/hospitality). This kind of surprised me… I wasn’t expecting such amazing drink options, but amazing they were!
You can customize your ramen, but with guidance.
I got the Tonkotsu Sho-Yu (No. 2), which is pork bone broth, soy sauce blend, chashu, ajitama, menma, scallion, nori, pepper, but I also added brussel sprouts, per a recommendation. SO GOOD. DO THAT! One bummer is there is only one ramen with a veggie-based broth, but you can add it whatever you want. It comes with soy and mushroom broth, tofu, brussels sprouts, corn, menma, woodear mushroom, greens. We also tried the Tsukemen, which was cool and different! Rather than a watery broth, there’s a condensed pork bone dipping broth, that you dip a thicker noodle in and slurp!
PSA: The bombs are the bomb. There are five bombs to chose from that can customize your flavor.
CORN BOMB butter, honey – This one didn’t do much to mine, but it was creamy and good!
SPICY BOMB red pepper paste – Loved the kick this added.
FIRE IN A BOWL thai chili and habanero paste – Didn’t dare to try.
CHILI BOMB * five chili blend – Another one with a kick!
YUZU KOSHO BOMB Japanese citrus, serrano, jalapeno, garlic – Loved the garlic in this one.
There’s more than just ramen.
I loved my ramen and I’m going to let you finish, but the Munchie Katsu Slider (panko beef patty, Hawaiian roll, katsu sauce) was the best thing I ate all day. Seriously, the beef was fall apart, and literally anything in a hawaiian roll is delish for me. The gyoza potstickers were really good too. The spicy edamame was good, but I prefer typical sea salt.
OH YEAH, THERE’S DESERT! They are both super small: Yuzupioca (Japanese citrus tapioca, strawberry, basil, pink peppercorn crumble) and the Gotcha Matcha (matcha pudding, kukoto crunch, blackberries). I think I prefered the Gotcha Matcha, but both are so good.
You order at the counter, but you can also be assisted at the table.
I’m a fan of counter ordering because it forces me to decide up front (also, I’m usually starving, so this speeds up the process). But, should you need anything, there are plenty of people to help you!
Ramen will run you $9.50-$13, and it’ll fill you up! Eat it all because the noodles will get soggy and gross if you don’t. (Well, probably not gross, but less good.) The small bites are just $3-$6ish, and the desserts are about $5.
There’s a happy hour.
Even more affordable: Sake is just $2 and specialty drinks are $3. I believe food is regular price, but the small plates are basically happy hour anyways!
There’s a photo op.
The little kitty outside could not be ignored.
Chop to it.
This is a personal thing, but there was not a fork in sight at Ramen Tatsu-Ya. There were spoons and chopsticks at each table, but no forks. Makes me feel authentic.
It’s just plain delicious.
If you’re not hungry after reading this, you’re a monster.