Head to Solo BBQ 'Misono' for Some Awesome Wagyu
The word 'barbeque' typically brings images of a gathering of friends or family enjoying a meal around a grill. However, in Japan, where eating alone is quite common for busy office workers, a type of barbeque called 'hitori yakiniku' (solo BBQ) was invented to allow even solo diners to enjoy a barbeque dinner. 'Misono' is a solo BBQ restaurant located just one minute away from Ikebukuro Station (one of the major stations on the Yamanote Line). Instead of tables, the tiny restaurant consists of a single counter lined with small grills at each seat.
The restaurant may be small, but the quality of the meat served is as good as at a high-end yakiniku restaurant and definitely won't disappoint. If you're alone or with a small group and looking for an awesome (and very Japanese) barbeque experience, Misono is definitely worth checking out!
A5 Wagyu at this Price??
Misono specializes in Kuroge Wagyu, which the owner sources in large pieces from a local meat provider. He then takes out the hunk of meat and slices it for the customer upon ordering. You can look at all the various cuts of meat inside the case and decide what you want to order based on what looks good, or you can ask for an expert recommendation. The owner knows the ins and outs of every cut of meat and can tell you the characteristics of each.
This time, we decided to order the '11-Variety Selected Kuroge Wagyu Plate' for ¥3,200.
'11-Variety Selected Kuroge Wagyu Plate' ¥3,200
Each piece of the '11-Variety Selected Kuroge Wagyu Plate' comes to about ¥300 (11 pieces @ 3,200 yen), which is actually quite inexpensive, considering the cost of A5 wagyu. This price is possible because the owner of Misono gets his beef at wholesale price and breaks it down himself. There are few places in the world where you can enjoy such a variety of cuts of premium wagyu for such a reasonable price!
The beef is delicious and goes perfectly with a draught beer or other cold drink. The owner of Misono is particular about the alcohol he serves, and always has something interesting on the menu.
The Pros of Solo BBQ
Japanese BBQ usually involves sharing the meat with other people at the table. Since you're often cooking the meat for someone else, it's polite to pass the best, most perfectly-grilled bites of meat to someone else. When you're doing solo BBQ, however, it's all for you! Grill each piece exactly how you like it (be it rare or well-done) and don't worry about anything other than the delicious flavor of the wagyu.
Solo BBQ is also a great option if you're alone (obviously) as it's easy to walk in and sit at the counter. Sometimes the other customers might even try to make conversation which can lead to a surprisingly fun meal!
Give Solo BBQ a try!
The reasons to check out Solo BBQ Misono are many: reasonable prices, high-quality A5 wagyu, the ability to try many different cuts of meat, etc.
The store is located very close to Ikebukuro station, and is open from 3 pm all the way until 2 am! On Saturdays, the store opens at 11 am, meaning you can even head there for a yakiniku lunch. It's a great place whether you're looking for a meal or just to grab a couple of drinks while trying out high-end wagyu. Check it out next time you're in Ikebukuro!