Full Disclosure: I attended a complimentary preview tasting at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya. All opinions are my own.
The team behind the renowned Ramen Tatsu-Ya\’s is bringing Kemuri Tatsu-Ya to east Austin. The fresh new concept is an izakaya with true Texas flare or shall we say flair? Izakayas are a place of gathering to enjoy drinks and communal dining in a casual environment making Kemuri Tatsu-Ya a welcoming neighborhood meeting place. Although the remodel transformed the space, there are intentional tidbits of evidence of the of the former Live Oak BBQ restaurant such as the forequarters door to delicious smoked (kemuri translates to smoke) ingredients. The warm handsome decor sets a unique mood with dark woods, lounge cushioned booths, low glowing lights and a playful mishmash of izakaya lantern signs & various Texas themed relics. Both the dining room and sprawling patio feels comfortable and inviting.
|Okinawma Old Fashioned at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya – photo credit @AustinFoodStylist|
|Kurosawa Sake at Kemuri|
During our dining experience we were greeted with Kursawa Saké and later tried the Grapefruit Sour, and the Okinawa Old Fashioned. The Grapefruit Sour is a refreshingly simple cocktail of barley shochu, grapefruit and Topo Chico. This drink comes with a juicer and bottle of Topo Chico to make the drink to your liking. The Okinawa Old Fashioned is a smokey blend of Rye whiskey, Scotch, Okinawa black molasses and bitters. Kursawa Saké is a palatable Junmai Kimoto with notes of grape, peach pepper and agave which pair beautifully with food.
|Sunomono at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya|
We started off our meal with a Cucumber Sunomono with a nori vinaigrette, chili oil and smoked octopus. This simple yet thoughtfully put together dish has a wonderful blend of flavors.
|Hot Pocketz at Kemuri Tatsu_Ya|
The Hot Pochetz is a delightful pocket of goudaness! This small plate is a doughy pocket filled with mouthwatering brisket and gouda cheese.
|Guaca-Poke at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya|
The Guaca-Poke was my favorite dish! Their delightful poke has tender sushi-grade tuna, fresh wasabi, creamy avocado, red onion topped with Kaiware sprouts. Not pictured is Kemuri Tatsu-Ya\’s fun take on takoyaki. They nestle 3 takoyaki balls into a small serving skillet with hearty Texas Chili, topped with melted cheddar cheese, onion and signature smoked jalapeño.
|BBQ Boat at Kemuri|
The BBQ Boat with tender brisket, rich caramelized eel and smokey pork loin showcases how talented the Kemuri Tatsu-Ya team is and that they know there way around a BBQ pit. It is easy to make BBQ but it is not as easy to make good BBQ. I guarantee that Texas BBQ connoisseurs will be delighted with the BBQ meat offerings at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya.
|Kushiyaki at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya|
The Yakitori and Kushiyaki offerings are vast with chicken hearts, head on prawn, pork belly and more. While I did not partake in the yakitori it is one of my favorite non-sushi Japanese dishes and I will be back again soon to give theirs a try. We did however enjoy a few of the savory Kushiyaki to include the decadent Kurobuta Pork Belly, Shrooms & Bacon and the rich Bacon Potato Goat Chz.
|Ochazuke at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya|
For a lighter option I recommend the Ochazuke with perfectly cooked rice, flavorful cubes of smoked salmon finished with a pour over of green tea & dashi. The clean flavors allow each ingredient shine through.
|TX Butter Tsukemen at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya|
The big Texas star of the show is without doubt their famous ramen. The \”TX Butter\” Tsukemen are perfectly portioned bowls of thick noodles and intoxicating mix of kotteri dipping broth with brisket, ajitama, scallion, lime, hierbas de Tejas and smoked jalapeño.
|Roasted Banana Pudding at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya|
You will indeed want to save room for the grand finale, dessert of course. The kitchen is currently serving up a delectable Roasted Banana Pudding with kokuto crunch and miso caramel.
Kemuri Tatsu-Ya is a welcomed addition to east Austin providing a progressive dining experience in a casual environment. It is the perfect place for date night, family outing, catch up with old friends and meet new friends. Kemuri Tatsu-Yas does not take reservations and dine in only, in other words first come first serve and enjoy the cuisine while it can be enjoyed at its freshest.