Nov 16, 2021 - Food and Drink

A tropical paradise tucked in Austin's Tiki Tatsu-ya

A photo of a drink in a pineapple

The aku aku drink at Tiki Tatsua-ya. Photo: Nicole Cobler/Axios

Nicole recently enjoyed dinner and drinks at Tiki Tatsu-ya, the long-awaited tiki bar that opened its doors on South Lamar in October.

She was blown away by the island decor, the brain child of duo Tatsu and Shion Aikawa. (It's worth reading this Eater Austin story about how the owners have tackled the tiki genre and concerns around cultural appropriation and misuse of Polynesian mythological imagery.)

  • From the moment you walk through the doors and step into the cave-like dining room, you're transported to a tropical sanctuary with rock walls and fishing nets. The centerpiece is a two-story Shisa Dragon rock fountain.
  • Nicole sat in a cozy booth near the main bar, bathed in red and blue lights and boasting a world-class selection of rum.

Hang on to the expansive cocktail menu during your dining experience. Its thick, cardboard pages open on both sides, revealing additional drink options.

A photo of a plate of food.
The pu pu platter. Photo: Nicole Cobler/Axios.

🍍 Nicole and her beloved shared the aku aku, a refreshing cocktail with mint, mixed fruits, rum and brandy. It's served in a pineapple on top of dry ice. So mysterious!

For food: The pu pu platter offers an array of the menu in shareable bites: Barbecue beef skewers, mochiko wings, yokozuna ribs, crab lagoon, taro tots and house pickles.

👀 The tots come with a tasty fermented coconut ranch. Plus, the mochiko wings have a kick and are grilled to perfection. Nicole recommends repurposing the ranch and dipping your wings too.

🍣 If you want to take it easy on the fried food, try the lomi lomi tataki for a bright combination of flavors featuring salmon with tomato, pesto, onions, sea beans and a hint of mint. The slingin' shrimp musubi also offers tempura shrimp and rice wrapped in nori, garnished with shiso and honey umeboshi.


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