“We want to educate people on what ramen truly is. It’s the soul food of Japan.”

Ramen Tatsu-ya is the long-awaited collaboration between local chefs/DJs, Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto. The two of them first met as they were busy making their marks on the Austin scene as hip-hop DJs. After following an eerily parallel timeline, honing their crafts at notable Austin establishments such as Musashino and Second Bar + Kitchen, Tatsu took a leap and moved to Los Angeles. There, he worked in one of the nation’s most respected Kaiseki/Sushi bars, the two Michelin star restaurant Urasawa.
On his return, he began working with Takuya on birthing Tatsu-ya. “I was craving good ramen after having lived in Japan and LA. I wanted to provide that same quality and authenticity in Austin, the city I call home.” says Tatsu. “We want to educate people on what ramen truly is. It’s the soul food of Japan. The process of broth-making can take an extremely long time in order to draw out the flavors from each ingredient.” A far cry from the 10-cent package ramen most of us know all too well.

OUR TEAM

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TATSU AIKAWA

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

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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

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SHION AIKAWA

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.

Staff Pick: Tsukemen with beni shoga.