When traveling, I love to experience things that are unique to that destination. For that reason, the unique concept behind the restaurant Kemuri Tatsu-ya in Austin, Texas made it a must try for dinner. Not only is it considered one of the top restaurants in Austin, but Kemuri Tatsu-ya also fuses two different cuisines: Japanese izakaya and Texas BBQ. Co-owners and chefs Tatsu Aikawaand Takuya Matsumoto wanted a restaurant that combined their Japanese heritage with their Texas upbringings.
From the outside, Kemuri Tatsu-ya looked like a divey Texas roadhouse where travelers would swing by for a beer. Fortunately, my boyfriend and I made reservations online weeks before our trip because those who didn’t had to wait two hours for a table.
The restaurant was spacious and had both indoor and outdoor seating. The mood was lively with music, conversations, and sounds of clinking glasses. On the walls were objects that typically decorate Texas roadhouses like license plates, deer antlers, and state flags, but there was also some Japanese flair. It didn’t look kitschy as the founders of Kemuri Tatsu-ya were able to put together the two cultures seamlessly. We were seated out in the back patio on a communal table shared with another couple.
Exploring the menu, we expected a lot of mix matched fusion dishes. There was options like brisket ramen and chili cheese takoyaki. However, there was also traditional izakaya staples like skewers and sashimi. Kemuri Tatsu-ya also had a really fun cocktail menu with a bunch of cocktails that utilized shochu and Japanese whisky. We ordered the Texas Ramen, Guaca Poke, tuna carpaccio and the special uni and brisket collabo. For drinks, I got the Match Pain Killer cocktail that combined matcha and tequila and came in a cute cat cup.
The food was delicious and introduced a combinations of flavors we haven’t experienced before. The ramen felt like the usual ramen, but was much smokier due to to the BBQ brisket. The tuna carpaccio was fresh and light. The Guaca Poke was just simple poke tune with rice crackers, but it was enjoyable. The most impressive dish though was the uni on brisket. Both elements had bold tastes and combining them really awoken the palette. Both the brisket and uni melted in our mouths like hot butter in a pan. If you’re in Austin and are looking for a one of kind dining experience, definitely check out Kemuri Tatsu-ya.
Looking for an amazing bar for post dinner cocktails? Check out Here Nor There.
Address: 2713 E 2nd St, Austin, TX 78702
Hours of Operation: Wed- Sat 6 PM-10PM (Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays)
Parking: Street parking
- Definitely make reservations online because you’ll most likely have to wait while if you’re walking up
- I love sitting in the outdoor patio area in the back because it felt very festive and it was nice to eat outside under
- The wait staff are really on top of things and nice. You probably will have a lot questions about the fusion dishes, but they can can walk you through and make recommendations based on what you’re looking to taste.
- Great place for groups because some dishes are small so you would want to order a few and some are made for sharing
- Someone was celebrating their birthday when we were there and everyone in the patio area got a free shot (it was a super light, sweet drink) for the occasion!