Enjoy an unforgettable dining experience in Japan’s Oita Prefecture

The Mii Bee Restaurant does not have a menu. Each meal is created from a fresh selection of the finest ingredients sourced from local markets in Beppu, Japan. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

Mii Bee Restaurant does not have a menu as each meal is created that day from a fresh selection of the finest ingredients sourced from local markets in Beppu, Japan.

This small restaurant in Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, owned and operated by Chef Yoshinori Ito, offers diners an intimate dining experience they won’t soon forget.

Mii Bee Restaurant in Oita Prefecture, Japan offers its customers an intimate dining experience they won't soon forget.
Mii Bee Restaurant in Oita Prefecture, Japan offers its customers an intimate dining experience they won’t soon forget. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

When I say the place is small, it only has five seats at the counter and a Japanese chabudai table for a small group. Interesting decor fills the walls and classic American blues fills the air.

Dining here is by reservation only. Chef Ito will take note of your food allergies and food preferences, but no guarantees are given. He will plan your meal according to availability and the time you expect to arrive.

Dining at Mii Bee in the coastal town of Beppu, Japan is by reservation only.  The chef will take note of your food allergies and preferences, but no guarantees are given.
Dining at Mii Bee in the coastal town of Beppu, Japan is by reservation only. The chef will take note of your food allergies and preferences, but no guarantees are given. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

Chef Ito brings 25 years of experience cooking in Tokyo, Kyoto and Naples, Italy. While it serves Japanese-style cuisine, locals would say its culinary creations are far from traditional.

Dinner will cost around $62 per person, not including drinks. Highly recommend the sake flight. The chef will associate the best sake with each dish that will be served to you. Each pour averaged about $5 and was covered in cold and hot.

Chef Yoshinori Ito pours a glass of sake during an intimate meal at Mii Bee, his small restaurant in Beppu, Japan.
Chef Yoshinori Ito pours a glass of sake during an intimate meal at Mii Bee, his small restaurant in Beppu, Japan. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

My dinner consisted of 10 small plates finished off with a chilled sake persimmon dessert. Highlights include yellowtail sashimi with sesame seeds and soy sauce, Hong Kong grouper sashimi, pan-fried wagyu and fugu liver.

Every meal is different but expect the same exceptional quality as I experienced.

One dish I highly recommend is fugu liver, which can only be served by a licensed chef in Ōita Prefecture. Because the liver of fugu, or puffer fish, contains the highest concentration of deadly toxin the fish is known for, serving it elsewhere in Japan is illegal.

The Mii Bee Restaurant does not have a menu.  Each meal is created from a fresh selection of the finest ingredients sourced from local markets in Beppu, Japan.
The Mii Bee Restaurant does not have a menu. Each meal is created from a fresh selection of the finest ingredients sourced from local markets in Beppu, Japan. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)
Chef Yoshinori Ito grabs a slice of wagyu during an intimate meal at Mii Bee, his small restaurant in Beppu, Japan.
Chef Yoshinori Ito grabs a slice of wagyu during an intimate meal at Mii Bee, his small restaurant in Beppu, Japan. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

IBD BEE

Site: 8-6 Ekimae Honmachi, Beppu, Oita 874-0934

Directions: A 5-minute walk from Beppu Station in Oita Prefecture, Japan.

Hours: By reservation only, will host almost all hours of the day

Prices: About $62 per person; sake about $5 per pour

Dress: Casual

Information: 080-6452-5515; [email protected]

author's picture

Jonathan Snyder

Jonathan Snyder is a reporter at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. Most of his career was spent as an air combat photojournalist with the 3rd Combat Camera Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He is also a Syracuse Military Photojournalism Program and Eddie Adams Workshop alumnus.



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