Serena Ogawa

Catch Dinner at Zauo

Reel in a good time with friends

Serena Ogawa
Serena Ogawa   - 4 min read

You’re in Japan and you want some fresh fish—really fresh fish. One option would be to go visit the Tsukiji outer fish market, which is fine and fun—but why not get something even fresher? At Zauo, catch your fish using in-store rods and bait at the indoor fish tanks and then have it cooked to order!

How to order

This "fishing restaurant" (to go by Zauo's more colloquial moniker) offers à la carte menu or the fishing set menu. With the fishing set menu, each person in the party receives two fishing cards (you can buy more, if needed). Each type of fish in the restaurant has a different card value; for example, sea bream was worth four cards, flounder was five cards. It’s important to do a little sharing and planning for what fish you want to eat.

The card system and cooking methods.
The card system and cooking methods.

Once you’ve chosen what you’ll be fishing for, staff will direct you to where your food-to-be awaits. Grab a fishing pole, a net, and some bait (some fish do not require bait, such as the smaller ones and sazae shellfish; you simply hook them) and get to work catching your dinner!

Catch of the Day

Once you’ve successfully landed your catch, the staff will ask you how you’d like it prepared (sashimi, fried, grilled, sautéed, boiled, etc.) and your table number. They will also ask for your name so they can announce the successful catch to the restaurant and bang on the taiko, or large drum. If fishing isn't your thing, you can also just order a fish off the menu and the staff will get it for you.

A great catch of sea bream!
A great catch of sea bream!

Now it’s back to the table to wait for your extremely fresh fish to arrive. With the fishing set, you also receive tempura, sushi, soup, and edamame, so the wait isn’t too bad. You also have the option of ordering all-you-can-drink with your set; the free-flowing drinks last for two hours and it’s well worth it (try the premium drink course for a wider selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks).

There are Zauo restaurants all across Japan, so if you’re fishing for a good time a visit will be well worth your time. And by the time your two hours are over you’ll be as happy as a clam. The "best" location to visit according to popular opinion is the Shinjuku location. But the seas are yours to sail!

A nice "kanpai" to start the meal!
A nice "kanpai" to start the meal!
Serena Ogawa

Serena Ogawa @serena.ogawa

Travel Editor for Japan Travel by day, novel-writing cat lady by night.