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At the Japanese restaurant Zauo, opening Monday, servers help their customers record their own dinner. Using a fishing rod, patrons tempt in live fish from an at home tank, then send it to the kitchen to it is in prepared.
The principle has some pretty distinct staffing requirements: Fish attendants, together the servers are called at Zauo, were hired based on their experience, patience, and also — perhaps many importantly — your willingness come grab a slippery, slimy fish and also release the from a hook.
“There wasn’t one human who no freak out as soon as they had to touch the fish,” the restaurant’s manager, Rui Higuchi, speak The Post. He’s invested the previous month teaching his employee to fish so they can help guests struggling to make the catch.
When guest arrive at the nautical Chelsea restaurant, they first have to decision what type of fish they want. If lock in the mood because that rainbow trout, striped bass or salmon trout (a hybrid between the two), castle head to a big tank top top the soil floor the the three-story restaurant. Customers then affix bait to a small rod and cast their line. Upstairs, the fluke, flounder, rockfish, lobster, abalone or prawns, i beg your pardon anglers have the right to strategically hook, since they nothing move roughly too much.
“Upstairs is all about aim,” says bartender and also fish attendant Patrice Taylor, 26. “Down here,” she says, pointing to the substantial tank that trout and bass, “is a waiting game.”
Customers can likewise opt no to wait for a bite, however they’ll have to pay a little extra if they desire a fish attendant to do the capture for them. A striped bass, for instance, is $55 if a employee member fetches it, however $45 if the patron reels the in themselves.
But the savings come through a catch: You need to eat what friend reel in. And also that could cost you. The foot-and-a-half-long salmon trout prices a lining $110 — much more than twin the smaller sized rainbow trout ($38) and striped bass ($48) swimming in the same tank.
If you hook a salmon trout, “there is no catch and release,” Higuchi says. “You don’t desire to threaten the fish by putting it back in the tank.”
When the customer makes a catch, an attendant swoops in through a net, and also then detaches the fish indigenous the hook prior to sending it off to be ready in one of 4 ways: sashimi-style, grilled, simmered or tempura-fried. Higuchi states he commonly recommends sashimi, due to the fact that the fish is for this reason fresh.
The fishing procedure takes some skill — and also previous endure doesn’t make it lot easier, air stewardess say.
“I’ve been squid fishing in the ocean before, however I haven’t ever had to touch the fish to gain the hook out,” says fish attendant Sandy Peng, 24. “I absolutely panicked a little bit in ~ first, however after about a mainly I obtained used to it.”
Zauo has 13 places in Japan, but this is their first US outpost. Takuya Takahashi, who father opened up the initial Zauo in 1993, was current for training this previous month. He claims the hardest part of the project isn’t catching a fish — it’s maintaining morale high in the dining room.
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“The biggest component of the job is come have power to cheer on the customers,” Takahashi, president of the restaurant’s new York City branch, tells The Post. “But i don’t think that will certainly be a trouble here. New Yorkers seem to be more cheerful than customers in Japan.”
That goes for the new York staff, too. Also after catching some 100 fish during training, the attendants quiet beam through pride when they floor a big one.