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Zauo Restaurant: Putting A Spin On Freshly Caught


Credit: Japan Info

Zauo, a restaurant in Japan is bringing a new and literal meaning to “fresh catch”. Think you’ve got the talent it takes? Read on to find out all about this creative idea.

Rather than order a truckload of fish to be delivered each day, the restaurant has come up with a better way to give customers the freshest food. Fish tanks have been installed inside Zauo, right in the middle of the dining room. Guests can walk up to the tanks and pick out exactly what they want for their meal.

And they do all the work themselves.

Once seated, patrons are handed a fishing rod with which to catch their own dinner. The restaurant is ingeniously designed as a boat, and the theme gives the feel that one is truly at sea.

Once a fish (or other edible sea creature) has been caught, guests decide how they would like it cooked. The cooking staff takes care of the rest. Restaurant-goers can choose between grilled, tempura-fried, and sushi-grade as options of preparation.

Noriki Takahashi, the founder of Zauo, and his sons, Kazuhisa and Takuya, have thirteen restaurant locations throughout Japan. Takahashi is quick to note, however, that the restaurant is much more than a “themed chain”. He and his family take great pride in welcoming hundreds of people each month. The establishment is a popular family spot with three generations sitting at tables many times!

Unfortunately some people have criticized the restaurant for what they believe is “making light of animals’ deaths”. Kazuhisa, who defends his families’ creation, describes his philosophical approach to the business when talking with Eater New York:

“We totally understand there’s a debate going on, but we’d like people to understand we’re not doing this just as entertainment. We do want people to have a good time, but there’s a message and we want to send that you’re eating a life.

You’re killing a fish and eating it, and in Japan we pray before every meal and say, ‘Thank you for the lives you have given.’ That’s the message behind this restaurant.”


With such great success in Japan, the Takahashis want to bring the concept to NYC. There are still some roadblocks, however. Takuya explains,

“Half the people we met said it’s a really interesting concept, and the other half said it’s impossible.

That made me want to bring it more.”

It’s honestly surprising that entrepreneurs in NYC didn’t quickly snatch up this idea. With all the city has going on, this restaurant would fit in like a glove and attract hoards of customers. Here’s to hoping Zauo sees the States soon.

Click here to see another interesting restaurant idea that’s hitting London.

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