Want to eat fresh fish? The chain restaurant Zauo will really serve the freshest to your table. The challenge is, you have to catch it yourself first! That’s not all: you can actually catch a shark or an eel if you’re lucky.
We made a reservation a few days early since we were travelling in a big group. The manager was kind enough to inform us that there would be a complimentary bus to pick us up at Yokohama station.
Once you enter the restaurant, you will see a boat filled with dining tables located right in the center of the restaurant. There is a pool of water surrounding the dining area which contains snapper, mackerel, shark, eel and even lobster. Don’t get disheartened if you are an inexperienced fisherman: you will fish like a pro, with or without bait!
Our group was led to the dining tables onboard the boat. I got the chance to sit on the starboard side (right side of the boat in land-lubbers' lingo) near the water where I could observe the fish swimming around. The staff brought us our fishing gear and an amazing appetizer. After feasting on the appetizer, it was time to get to it! I got my pole and waited for my fish. Some people in my group got their fish as soon their bait hit the water. Others like me who didn’t use bait took a little bit longer. Once I caught my fish, it was a struggle to get it up higher so my friend could catch it with a net, since it was flipping and flopping, but we did it! Once it was in the net, the staff came around and did a little cheer while the manager played the taiko drum. After the cheer, the staff asked me how I wanted my fish prepared: as sashimi, grilled, simmered or fried. As a group, we got the chance to select one of each method of preparation.
We wrapped up the meal with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries. With our stomachs filled, we were about to take the bus back to Yokohama station for the trip back home. But as we reached the door, the manager had a nice surprise for us: he had the bus driver take us all the way home!