Tiki Tatsu-ya brings tropical paradise, good food to Austin


Madalaine Mayes / Hilltop Views

Bar and restaurant Tiki Tatsu-ya opened this October. Tiki Tatsu-ya is part of the same family of restaurants as Austin-favorite, Ramen Tatsu-ya.

Tiki Tatsu-ya is built in the heart of Austin behind Ramen Tatsu-ya. Co-founder of Ramen Tatsu-ya, Tatsu Aikawa, who has undertaken some of the formational work needed to create the brand-new immersive two-story tropical paradise, calls it “Disneyland.”

The decor is an extremely impressive mix of Japanese and Hawaiian cultures. Every table provides an opportunity to break free from the stressors of a hard day’s work. Diners without reservations are invited to wait in a simply decorated bench area to the left of the entrance in front of a sign that reads “Aikawa.”

Tiki Tatsu-ya is decorated to create an ambience that reminds customers of tropical Hawaii. ( Madalaine Mayes / Hilltop Views)

The menu offers a variety of delicious main courses that appeal to a wide range of customers. I ordered Selection of BBQ Beef Skewers, Mochiko Wings, Yokozuna Ribs, Crab Lagoon, Taro Tots and House Pickles. They were all extremely beautiful. The crab lagoon included blue crab, rangoon cheese, everything wonton chips and pineapple chili jam. It was presented inside a bowl in the core of the wooden lazy susan surrounded by three savory beef skewers; on the outer bowls sat the wonton chips, pineapple chili jam, yokozuna ribs, mochiko wings, taro tots and house pickles. 

Everything I ate was fresh out of the kitchen and delicious. The restaurant also offered a marvelous drink menu, including a drink that serves 6 called “Travel the Seven Seas.” The concoction consists of Japanese whisky, rum, Chartreuse, guava, lemon, pineapple and pomegranate, formally known as the “Skeleton Cruise.” The drinks are expensive but surely worth sampling.

The service was of the highest quality. It seemed to me that the waiters were very engaged and  interested in entertaining their customers. All the servers seemed very warm and thoughtful. They came around to check on my experience and seemed to be authentically occupied with me.

I highly recommend this restaurant. The Japanese and Hawaiian infused cuisine is sensational, the atmosphere is extraordinary and the restaurant is a well deserved break from a hard day’s work.

Rating: 4 goats of 5