Everyone wants their fish to be super fresh when they order it at a restaurant, but one restaurant in Japan has taken this to the extreme! Welcome to the world of ざうお (Zauo)!
Zauo is a fishing restaurant that has locations all across Japan (including Tokyo and Osaka). The restaurants are designed to look like fishing boats, and the tables are surrounded by water. These pools of water are filled with lots of live, swimming fish! They also have some smaller pools with more expensive fish, crabs etc.
So, how does it all work? First, you purchase some bait (100-200 Yen) and pick up a free fishing rod. Second, find yourself a spot at the edge of one the pools. Third, start fishing! There are around 3 different fish you can catch in the main pools, and some of them require different bait. So, be sure to tell the staff which fish you want to go after before you start. And, make sure you have a net nearby! If you catch one, you’ll need to gather it in the net as soon as possible, before it swims away! If you don’t want to fish for your food, then you can just order off the menu. But, if you catch a fish yourself, it’s actually cheaper than off the menu! For example, ordering a Red Snapper will set you back 3,360 Yen; whereas, if you catch it yourself, it’s only 2,499Yen – a considerable discount!
So, you did it! You caught yourself a fish! Now what? Well, call over a staff member and hand over your prize catch. Now, you get to choose how you would like your fish prepared. You have four options to choose from; Sashimi (raw), Grilled or Boiled, Tempura (deep fried), and Sushi (for an extra cost). If, like me, you really can’t decide, you can even have the fish prepared half and half! Half one method, and half another.
If you are finding it difficult to catch a fish, you can always ask a staff member for help. But, there is a time limit! At a certain point in the evening, the fishing has to stop, so that the restaurant can close on time. If it reaches this point and you still haven’t caught a fish, the staff will come over and, very politely, ask you to stop and just order from the menu!