There are plentiful bowls of ramen making use of barbecued meats. There’s Texas Torisho with sliced brisket in a smoked chicken broth; the Nibo Nibo with roast beef in an anchovy broth with avocado; the B&S Tsukemen, a chilled dipping ramen with cold chili-grapefruit sauce, chicken; and the Spicy Tonton Mazemen, a brothless pork belly dish with crispy ramen and tortilla chips. The restaurant’s pitmaster is Joshua Carbajal, who worked at other Tatsu-ya restaurants.
Non-ramen dishes include candied/smoked pecans with shrimp, a bean dip with white miso cheddar sauce, pimento cheese made with 10-year-aged cheddar cheese and wasabi, and smoked beef tallow gyoza. The dessert is a banana ice cream sandwich made with black sesame seed cookies. Drinks-wise, there’s an array of sakes, Central Texas beers, single white and single red wines, and amari. Cocktails include the Carmesi Sour with tequila, stool, carrots, beets, and cocoa bitters; the Melo-Byrd with sotol, umeshu, aperitivo, yaupon tea, and plum salt; and the Shiro Shiro Colada, made with rum, nigiri sake, and a smoked beef tallow ingredient.
This new Tatsu-ya restaurant took over the space that had belonged to the longtime iconic New Texan Austin restaurant Contigo. The 10-year-old restaurant closed in December 2021 because co-owners Ben Edgerton, chef Andrew Wiseheart, and Dana Curley felt that it was “time for us to let Contigo rest.” Wiseheart actually approached Tatsu-ya chef and owner Tatsu Aikawa about taking over the space.
Much like BBQ Ramen’s predecessor, there are indoor and outdoor seating areas. There are a lot of decor elements done up in the Tatsu-ya style, like decorative ropes and wooden utensil holders/table numbers.
BBQ Ramen Tatsu-ya’s hours are from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and then from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Tatsu-ya umbrella includes Ramen Tatsu-ya (with many locations across Austin and also in Houston), similarly themed Japanese-Texas izakaya Kemuri Tatsu-ya, Japanese patio bar Domo Alley-Gato Tatsu-ya, hot-pot restaurant and ice cream spot DipDipDip Tatsu-ya, and tiki bar Tiki Tatsu-ya.
Update, 4:59 p.m.: This article, originally published at 11:53 a.m., has been updated to reflect that the restaurant isn’t serving sausages or the Red Tsukemen at this time.