A familiar flavor of Austin has made its way into Round Rock with the expansion of Ramen Tatsu-Ya, a collaboration between chefs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto.

The gist

The Round Rock location of Ramen Tatsu-Ya held a grand opening June 2, bringing with it a menu known to many in the Austin area. With six locations in Austin and Houston, the ramen restaurant finds company with other Austin names in the Rock Creek Plaza shopping center, including Amy's Ice Creams and Kerbey Lane Cafe.

This familiarity with local names in the area is something that owner Tatsu Aikawa said he found appealing when looking for a home for his next restaurant location.

"Round Rock has its own identity, like the population and city just kind of all grew together," Aikawa said. "I just thought it was a great opportunity."

What's on the menu

Aikawa said some of his favorite items on the menu include the Mi-So-Hot, a Tonkotsu style ramen made with spicy pork bone broth, miso blend, goma pork, ajitama egg, napa cabbage, bean sprout, corn and sesame seeds; and Ol' Skool, a ramen that is less common to find in U.S. ramen shops made with chicken shoyu broth, chashu pork, ajitama egg, menma, scallion, white onion, nori and pepper.

At the Round Rock location, much of the menu is the same, with some specialty drinks offered only at this location. These are a lemongrass cucumber lemonade and strawberry lemongrass lemonade, along with a sake Guavarito and zero proof slushie called the Lemon Chill per brand manager Tony Perez.

What's special about it?

Aikawa said his goal for customers' experience of Ramen Tatsu-Ya is to be both new and nostalgic, playing into the idea of ramen as Japanese soul food.

"I think it's that feeling you get—the nourishment feeling and umami. I think it's nostalgic and reminiscent, even though maybe they never had it," Aikawa said. "You can taste that it's a heartwarming soul food for everybody. I think It's pretty universal."