“We want to educate people on what ramen truly is. It’s the soul food of Japan.”
EXECUTIVE CHEF / OWNER
Tokyo-born Austin-bred, Tatsu spent most of his upbringing in restaurants. At a young age, he took a job as a dishwasher and continued on this path working his way from line cook, sushi chef to executive chef. In 2011, he made a trek to LA to immerse himself in Japanese cuisine at the michelin rated kaiseki, Urasawa in Beverly Hills. In LA, Tatsu was able to reconnect with his Japanese roots by eating his way through the myriad of local ramen shops. This inspired him to perfect an original broth recipe, which spawned dreams of his own ramen-ya. In the spring of 2012, Tatsu returned to Austin to manifest his vision with the help of his good friend and cohort, Takuya Matsumoto and brother, Shion Aikawa. (He’s also a founding member of the acclaimed local DJ crew Table Manners!)
Staff Pick: Miso-hot with extra chashu + ajitama
TAKUYA “TAKO” MATSUMOTO
EXECUTIVE CHEF / CO-OWNER
Austin-born and bred as a first generation Japanese-American, Tako is the coolest dude you’ll ever meet. He’s received accolades for his visual art, spent several years as a hip-hop DJ and worked as an electronics engineering technician. His career as a chef took shape in high school where he enrolled in a culinary class and began working in kitchens. In 2004, Tako graduated from Le Cordon Bleu. Following graduation, he gained experience in various positions including line cook, sushi chef and executive chef. After receiving a phone call from Tatsu in the spring of 2012, the pair embarked on a new journey together in creating Austin’s first brick-and-mortar ramen shop.
Staff Pick: Tonkotsu Shoyu with extra chashu + spicy bomb
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
As Tatsu’s brother, Shion experienced a similar upbringing in Tokyo, Japan filled with diverse culture and an innate appreciation for hard work. Following a move to the states, he found himself playing in punk bands, getting buff on the high school weightlifting team, and experimenting with his hair color. A gust of wind took him to San Francisco where he attended USF and graduated with a BA in business. With a restless appetite and wanderlust spirt, Shion packed his bags and travelled the world. His journey led him to several continents, from China to Japan to France, during which he gained a profound appreciation for photography, food, and culture. After 7 nomadic years, Shion returned to Austin to assist with the opening of Ramen Tatsu-ya.