Ramen has quickly climbed the list of Austinite's obligatory obsessions, along with BBQ and breakfast tacos. Now, with the opening of previously mentioned The Dojo, there's one more spot to obsess over, but it may not be the ramen that keeps customers coming back. Austin's first proper izakaya launched its soft opening over the weekend to mostly positive reviews. The Dojo, catering to a late-night crowd until 3 a.m. weekends and 2 a.m. weekdays, offers izakaya small plates and, for better or worse, even serves teppanyaki, along with a drink list of infused sakes, a standard imported Japanese beer list and "The Spicy Dojo Drop" (a glorified sake bomb).
While ramen is on the menu, the consensus of a handful of early online reviews favor the Karaage (Japanese fried chicken) above all.
Blogger Patrick Lu reports the Ramen "noodles seemed inconsistent among everyone at my table," and the "egg was undercooked and had mushy whites in the center." Yelp reviews confirmed that the ramen broth was "not too stand out like others."
However, those same Yelpers "love their chicken karaage," which was "crispy and perfectly seasoned and beautifully presented." Other favorites included the Seapaccio with snapper, fried potato croquette and Yaki Tsukune (chicken meat balls).
The Dojo team admitted that it's still working out timing and kinks. According to its Facebook page, "We've been learning a lot and having fun!"