Rising Star Chef Tatsu Aikawa of Kemuri Tatsu-Ya - Biography

Austin, TX

November 2017

Tatsu Aikawa brought ramen culture and izakaya-style dining to Austin. But because he’s Tokyo-born and Texas-bred, his food, rooted in Japanese traditions, evokes the spirit and smoke of the state that raised him.

Aikawa spent most of his upbringing in restaurants, specifically Japanese eateries. The dish pit became his domain, and he rose from that paid-under-the-table-position to line cook. When an apprenticeship with Michelin-star Sushi Chef Hiroyuki Urasawa brought him to Los Angeles, Aikawa was inspired to perfect recipes for his own ramen-ya.
Aikawa returned to Austin to manifest his vision with Takuya “Tako” Matsumoto and his younger brother, Shion Aikawa. In a city where ramen culture was essentially nonexistent, Ramen Tatsu-ya became the city’s first-ever brick-and-mortar noodle operation. Aikawa’s second venture introduced izakaya—with a smoker out front for Texas character. Opened in 2017, Kemuri Tatsu-ya earned instant acclaim, including a spot on Bon App├ętit’s “Hot 10” list. Aikawa has aspirations for more ramen shops, as well as an intimate omakase counter, where he will continue to playfully combine Japanese soul with Texas heart.