Forget all that you think you know about ramen. Here’s the truth: Ramen isn’t just those wavy noodles stuffed in a Styrofoam cup that you can buy for thirty cents at the nearest convenience store. Real ramen, and especially this ramen, will blow your f****** mind, put it back together and then blow it again.
One Austin restaurant that serves this deliciousness is Ramen Tatsu-ya. Located right off of Research Boulevard in a strip of Asian restaurants, Ramen Tatsu-Ya has a constant line of customers wrapped around the building. Yes, the line may seem rather impossible and never ending, and watching the people slurping their soup from inside may be one of the most painful things ever, but the wait only makes it that much better. Once you are finally allowed to step inside, the first whiff alone will let you know you’re about to eat some damn good ramen.
When we finally got our noodle-y goodness, the “Tonkotsu Original”, we dove right into our steaming bowls. Filled with pork broth, one soft boiled egg poached in soy sauce, woodear mushrooms, pork belly, green onions and corn I added myself, this bowl was life-changing. The pork broth was incredible and slightly creamy– which was different– but so good. The noodles were perfectly cooked and I inhaled each spoonful like there was no tomorrow. I felt like a ravenous child who didn’t know how to eat properly because all my common food-eating mannerisms disappeared during my hustle to keep the goodness going.
The pork belly was delicately spiraled and so tender that I tore off bites using my chopsticks. And that soft-boiled egg… dayum. Poaching it in soy sauce made it perfectly salty, and yet the yolk was slightly sweet which made it even better. The corn bomb, which is a definite must, added another element of richness to the broth since the corn was held together by butter, as it should be. The woodear mushrooms were a great touch and went along with the other components of the ramen perfectly.
Before I knew it, my noodles were gone and all that was left to do was polish off the broth, which I did gladly. I don’t know if I have ever eaten so fast in my life. After we left I realized that the entire front half of my body was covered in broth splatters from trying to pull the noodles out and slurping them up. I couldn’t help myself. This ramen is something everyone needs to go experience and go crazy over.
Location: 8557 Research Boulevard #126, Austin TX 78758
Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Friday: 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-10pm; Saturday- Sunday: 12:00pm-3:00pm, 5:00pm-10:00pm