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Mii Bee restaurant has no menu. Every meal is created from a fresh selection of the best ingredients sourced from the local markets in Beppu, Japan.

Mii Bee restaurant has no menu. Every meal is created from a fresh selection of the best ingredients sourced from the local markets in Beppu, Japan. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

Mii Bee restaurant has no menu because every meal is created that day from a fresh selection of the best ingredients sourced from the local markets in Beppu, Japan.

This small eatery in Oita prefecture Kyushu island – owned and operated by chef Yoshinori Ito – offers guests an intimate culinary experience they won’t soon forget.

Mii Bee restaurant in Oita prefecture, Japan, offers guests an intimate culinary experience they won’t soon forget.

Mii Bee restaurant in Oita prefecture, Japan, offers guests an intimate culinary experience they won’t soon forget. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

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

To dine here is by reservation only. Chef Ito will take note of your food allergies and food preferences, but no guarantees are made. He’ll plan your meal based on availability and the time you plan to arrive.

To dine at Mii Bee in the coastal city of Beppu, Japan, is by reservation only. The chef will take note of your food allergies and preferences, but no guarantees are made.

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

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

Dinner will cost about $62 per person, not including beverages. I highly recommend the sake flight. The chef will pair the best sake for each dish you’re served. Each pour averaged about $5 and covered cold and hot.

Chef Yoshinori Ito pours a glass of sake during an intimate meal at Mii Bee, his small eatery in Beppu, Japan.

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

My dinner consisted of 10 small plates finished with a chilled-persimmon-in-sake dessert. The highlights include yellow-tail sashimi with sesame seeds and soy sauce, Hong Kong grouper sashimi, seared wagyu and fugu liver.

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

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

Mii Bee restaurant has no menu. Every meal is created from a fresh selection of the best ingredients sourced from the local markets in Beppu, Japan.

Mii Bee restaurant has no menu. Every meal is created from a fresh selection of the best ingredients sourced from the local markets in Beppu, Japan. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

Chef Yoshinori Ito sears a slice of wagyu during an intimate meal at Mii Bee, his small eatery in Beppu, Japan.

Chef Yoshinori Ito sears a slice of wagyu during an intimate meal at Mii Bee, his small eatery in Beppu, Japan. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

MII BEE

Location: 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 accommodate almost any hour of the day

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

Dress: Casual

Information: 080-6452-5515; waltz4yossy@gmail.com

author picture
Jonathan Snyder is a reporter at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. Most of his career was spent as an aerial 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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