Catch of the Day: Fish For Your Dinner at Zauo Restaurant in Tokyo
One of the best family-friendly activities in Tokyo is fishing for your own meal at Zauo Restaurant – and best of all, most tourists don’t know about it. It’s a perfectly fun event for a hot or rainy day, and can be enjoyed any day of the year for lunch or dinner. This restaurant chain has multiple locations in Tokyo and is by far not the only restaurant where you catch your own meal, but we found this experience to be absolutely delightful.
If you want to fish for your sashimi, just mentally prepare yourself for a few awkward moments and translation struggles. Once you accept the fact that you might be the only person unfamiliar with the process, the easier it’ll be for you. And so what if you accidentally order the wrong thing!
Zauo and most other eat-what-you-catch places require a reservation. Once you get that squared away, show up and patiently read all the signage. Zauo, for example, has multiple fishing ponds and inside each pond, there are multiple fishing options. Consequently, if it’s tempura-battered fish you’re interested in eating for lunch, you’ll want to be at a certain pond using a certain rod and certain bait, trying to catch a certain fish. Phew! If it’s sashimi you want, then you’d be using a completely different setup somewhere else in the restaurant. For us, we chose a couple of different types of rods/bait and had the staff tell us where/how to catch something. Then we handed off to our kiddos and let them go for glory.
Online reviews of some fishing restaurants suggest that it’s hard to catch fish, but we didn’t have that trouble. Our kids were able to hook exactly the type of fish they wanted to catch. The fish are priced by the type and size so be wary if your kid just wants to catch the ultra-expensive big one. Larger fish, of course, can be prepared as whatever you want. Small fish can only be prepared a certain way. Shrimp, for example, really can only be tempura-fried whereas red snapper can be split into several serving types – maybe half as sashimi and half as pan-sauteed.
The menu at fishing restaurants also contains a variety of side dishes. You can even order fish off the menu, but the price is higher than if you caught the fish yourself.
The staff members at Zauo were extraordinarily helpful despite our language barrier. They helped us figure out what we wanted and made sure we had a fun time. And wow it’s fun! Each of our three children hooked the fish of their choice within about twenty minutes, got it into a net, then into the hands of the chef. Our littlest had his first sashimi this way, while our middle kiddo had his fish baked whole, eyeballs and all. The oldest kiddo opted for fish nuggets. After each kid caught a fish, the staff helped take photos and allowed our kids to celebrate with a drum ceremony.
If you go fishing for a meal in Japan, wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet. If you have trouble baiting your hook, a staff member would gladly help you. And of course, go with an open mind. This is truly a unique experience anyone can enjoy!
@dutchdutchgoose From hook to table! 🎣🍽️ Experience the thrill of fishing for your dinner at Zauo in Meguro. Catch, cook, and savor every moment in this one-of-a-kind Tokyo dining adventure. 🇯🇵 #ZauoMeguro #TokyoDining #CatchAndCook #SeafoodLovers #TokyoFoodie #UniqueExperience #tokyowithkids ♬ So Much Happiness – Lux-Inspira