DipDipDip Tatsu-ya might just be the hottest restaurant in Austin this summer. One, hot pot is hot, duh. Two, if you don’t jump on a reservation right when they open, you’re eating at 5 p.m., 9 p.m., or not at all. I’m sure you’re not surprised that the restaurant lives up to the hype!
This restaurant opened in June 2019 and will be perfect for dining in the fall. Read on for all the details!
(If you like being surprised during a meal, you might want to skim this post. This post gives a lot of details, which is perfect for those who like to game plan their meal!)
What is Shabu-Shabu?
Shabu-shabu is the name for Japanese hot pot. Hot pot is also a style of eating in Chinese cultures. In Swiss and North American culture, it’s known as fondue. The set-up has a giant boiling pot of broth in the middle of the table with dishes of raw meats and vegetables set up around the pot.
Typical dishes include thinly sliced pieces of beef and pork, meatballs, mushrooms, bok choy, cabbage, and noodles. Everyone takes turns throwing items in and each person has a slotted spoon or ladle to fish things out to eat as they’re cooked.
As you can imagine, it’s an interactive meal that’s easy to set up. It’s great for group gatherings and especially popular in the winter.
The restaurant is in a strip mall, but it’s got cool food neighbors and they’ve dressed up the outside to catch your eye. If you arrive early, they have an outside waiting area to enjoy a drink before your table is ready.
Inside the restaurant is dark and intimate. The table dividers set you apart from other guests and each seat has its own setup. While each seat can feel a bit tight with all the different plates in front of you, the restaurant design is thoughtful and impeccable. I loved all the custom wood details by A&K Woodworking & Design, from the lighting fixtures to the table tiers. The swivel, backless stool as seats were not my favorite, but they were comfortable enough during dinner and the purse cubby underneath is handy.
Don’t be scared if you’ve never done hot pot before! Your server is happy to walk you through the process and there are cheat sheets at the table to guide you.
You get your own pot, so first, you’ll get to choose your broth flavor.
- Tonkatsu – 50-hour pork bone broth (like the ramen broth)
- Miso Smokey – This is a very spicy and smokey broth
- Kombu Dashi – This is a traditional Japanese broth
- Tonyu Nabe – This is a unique, rich broth
You can get extra spice in your broth. The first time I did this, it was the perfect amount of spice but the second time was a little spicy for me. If you don’t order the extra spice, there is spice on the table you can add.
You’ll get a bowl of Koshihikari rice, citrus ponzu sauce, and sesame gomadare dip at each seat.
Eating the Omakase at DipDipDip Tatsu-ya
The first time I went to DipDipDip, Will and I went straight to the omakase. Omakase is a chef’s choice tasting with a set number of dishes. They have three different sizes: house, tatsu-ya, and baller. Will had the baller with miso smokey broth and I did tatsu-ya with tonkotsu broth and added spice.
All three omakases include a box of veggies to start.
Here I’ve noted the specialties in each omakase:
- House ($45): Top sirloin, no gyu maki or noodles
- Tatsu-ya ($65): Texas Wagyu, pork belly instead of pork loin, extra dumpling, noodles
- Baller ($95): Keep Austin Dipping Dip (cheese!), A5 Wagyu, Ribeye, buns
I admit – I don’t have a refined palette for beef, so I didn’t taste a strong difference from the A5 Wagyu and Texas Wagyu. They were both flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. A5 Wagyu is known as the finest beef from Japan, and when you order it here, they’ll give you a card telling you all about the cow. The card even has a nose print!
Not noted on the menu and a spoiler alert here, the Tatsu-ya and Baller omakases come with dessert. We got a honeydew granita, which was light and refreshing.
The Tatsu-ya Omakase was too much food for me! I would have been more comfortable giving more of my pieces to Will and splitting the noodles. Will thought the Baller was the right amount of food for him and his extra order of curry noodles almost set him over.
The second time I went to DipDipDip was with two of my girlfriends. We went the easy route by doing the House Omakase. If you want an intro to shabu-shabu, this is a great option to try a bunch of things. It’s also a great option for the price point if you want to try a chef’s tasting. It was the perfect amount of food, though I liked the type of meat in the Tatsu-ya Omakase more.
Dining A La Carte at DipDipDip Tatsu-ya
For more sophisticated palettes, you may know exactly what type of meat and cut you want to try. Each order of meat comes with about 4-5 slices of meat. Here are my recommendations for dining a la carte:
- Beef – Texas Wagyu sirloin (I preferred the beef to the pork)
- Meatballs – You’ll get five in an order and they’re tasty. I liked the beef and chicken.
- Truffle Sukiyaki Dip – Dipping sauce with a poached egg. It’s AMAZING (pictured below)
- Keep Austin Dipping Dip – If you like queso and spice, you’ll LOVE this.
- Gyu Maki – Find this on the specials cart, it’s foie gras wrapped in beef
- Noodles – Also on the specials cart, these come in their own sauce
Bonus Dessert – DipDipDip Ice Cream
You come here for the shabu-shabu, so I haven’t seen the dessert menu, but they also opened a new ice cream shop next door – DipDipDip Ice Cream. They’ve got a creative menu of picture-worthy creations. They’re open 12 – 9 pm, so you might have to make your ice cream an appetizer if you have a late reservation.
Details for Your Visit
You’ve got me smitten, DipDipDip Tatsu-ya!
- Ambiance: Comfortable, intimate, dark
- Attire: Casual
- Noise Level: Average
- Reservation: Necessary, opens 30 days in advance
- Groups: Yes, a maximum of six people
- Outdoor Seating: No, only pre-dinner drinks
- Parking: Big, free parking lot
7301 Burnet Rd #101, Austin, TX 78757
Dinner: 5 – 10 pm Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday; 5 – 11 pm Friday and Saturday
Have you tried shabu-shabu? What’s your favorite thing to eat?