Fishing Restaurant ZAUO

武藤 英次

Live fish is fresher than fresh fish! Chef at ZauoTenjin Branch told the secret of buying.


There are so many fish swimming in Zauo’s water tank at any time.

Do you know how they are being brought to Zauo?

This issue features a direct interview with Chef at Zauo Tenjin branch.

---Sorry for interrupting your job. Firstly, may I have your name?

Hello! I am Shota Nakahiro, Chef at Zauo Tenjin branch.

Today, I will reveal the secret about Zauo’s live fish buying system.

Then, let’s watch together how “live fish” which is fresher than “fresh fish” can be transported from the ocean to our restaurant!


ざうお天神店料理長・中廣 章太(なかひろ しょうた)さん。 入社13年、ホール担当から料理人に。「プロのサービスマン」としての接客を意識してきた経験を活かし、厨房にいながらも料理とサービスの両面でお客様に喜んでいただく事を心がけています。座右の銘は「挫折禁止」。

Mr. Shota Nakahiro, Chef at Zauo Tenjin branch

On his 13th year at the company, he shifted his career from hall staff to cook.

Making use of his experience having served the customer with pride as “professional service staff”, he is aiming to entertain the customer with both sides of food and service. His motto is “Breakdown is prohibited”.

---What is the meaning of “Live Fish”?

“Fresh Fish” means the fish not so many hours after having been caught, however it is not alive anymore. “Live Fish” means literary living fish swimming in the restaurant’s water tank like it did in the ocean. Don’t you wonder how such an amount of live fish could be brought to Zauo? Even at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, every fish is already dead and packed in ice in foam polystyrene, right?

-- I see. Certainly, the fish going to auction has an image of dead fish.


The fish caught by fishermen are carefully transferred to the restaurant by “Live Fish Car”.


It seems to be a matter of course, but fishermen catch the fish in the ocean. The fish hung in the net are moved into the water tank in the fishing boat while it is still alive. Then, as soon as returning to the fishing port, the fish are sorted out based on its species and size.

---- We can easily imagine the fishing scene by fishermen, however our concern is how they can transport the live fish to the restaurant.

I agree. In order to transport the live fish to the restaurant, a special truck exclusively for the live fish transportation with special equipment is needed.  This special truck is named “Live Fish Car”.

“Live Fish Car” cannot allow them to change the water while transporting. Therefore, it is also equipped with the filtering device to keep the clear ocean water, while maintaining the oxygen. Because fish cannot make a temperature adjustment like human beings and they are also weak to the water temperature change, a driver can always check the water temperature from the driver’s seat.

---Wow, that’s amazing! If we could use such a special car, it must be easy to transfer the fish.

However, it is not so easy actually. Fish are so delicate and weak to stress. While they go on rampage and increase the emulsion inside because of the stress, the fine fish taste is getting lost. A driver of Live Fish Car has a mission to drive smoothly as if a VIP would be riding in a limousine. Of course, sudden breaking or sharp turn of the steering wheel is not allowed. Incidentally, the inside tank of Live Fish Car seems to be dark covered by the wall, however it is bright with lighting. This is also another countermeasure to prevent the fish rampage caused by darkness.

---Is that so? I was so impressed that they are transporting the fish with such detailed care.

Important transported fish are welcomed with thoroughgoing preparations.

The fish transported with detailed care as mentioned above is moved into the restaurant’s water tank. If the fish feels the stress here, every effort so far would be gone. So, restaurant staff has to pull themselves together. Our hope is to welcome the live fish while they are still alive in vigor.


--- I can imagine a tense atmosphere of the staff. By the way, every fish in the water tank looks so vigorous. Sorry about my private matter, but I am taking an effort even for breeding goldfish.

Due to the specified difficulty, it is actually not so easy to keep the fish lively. In purpose of maintaining lively fish until the time when some customer can catch them, we are taking care of the fish in making thoroughgoing provisions. So that fish can lively swim, we are keeping the ocean water in the restaurant’s water tank clean by circulating with bio-filtering system, while adding the ocean water on a regular basis.

The temperature of ocean water is also monitored to maintain 18continuously by using a special device. As the big temperature change between Live Fish Car and restaurant’s water tank causes the stress for the fish and there would be possibility of killing fish in the worst case, we are taking special care in terms of the water temperature of the restaurant’s water tank.

--The water tank seems to be secured safely. By the way, my water tank for gold fish is instantly getting dirty. Why can you maintain the clean water tank in the restaurant?

We remove the dirt every day, while cleaning a filter every week and checking a filter medium once every three months. Additionally, water quality check is being conducted on a regular basis. That’s because we hope fish also could be lively like our staff! 


--- I understand. Thanks to the considerable care by your staff, fish can enjoy their vigor as if they were in the ocean. I could catch a glimpse of the secret of Zauo. Thank you for your valuable time today.

Like above, so many staff are continuously making efforts hard behind the scenes so that “live fish” could be maintained as “living fish”. If you could recall this topic when you watch the fish in Zauo, you might have a bit different scope.



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