“Me-Time” is a form of self-care that everyone could benefit from, especially during these times. Self-care can come in many forms, but it’s defined as the practice of taking an active role to preserve, protect, or improve one’s mental health and happiness. It can be a moment of reflection or a meditative moment, allowing you to feel relaxed and calm. It can also feel empowering and boost self-confidence as well as one’s overall emotional well-being. Me-time can be relished in many ways such as going for hikes, getting a massage, or pampering yourself at home. We find that the simplest way to enjoy 1-on-1 time quality time with one’s self is through individual dining. We’ve come up with a list of places where you can do a little soul searching while eating solo.

A table for one is very common in Japan and is increasingly considered the norm. Many Japanese restaurants are designed to make solo diners feel comfortable. Purposefully simplistic menus and bar seating oftentimes are catered for people looking to enjoy their meal on their own. 

The Japanese zen-garden of Shiawase, a newly opened robatayaki restaurant in Harbour City, is ready to greet all Japanese food lovers. Watch as the calming ambience soon evolves into a gastronomic journey filled with aromatic grilled skewers and an unparalleled Japanese affair. Not to be missed is one of the nine dipping sauces, the coriander miso sauce, recommended by Chef Ryan, to go with his signature seafood dishes.

Taking the never-fading fame all the way from Tsukiji Inner Market of Tokyo to Hong Kong, Umai SushiKan is as close as any solo-diner can get, to that level of freshness the market itself could offer. The restaurant serves up fresh renditions of daily catches, including seafood shipped daily from Tsukiji and of course, tuna from Nagazaki, until we can experience the thrill of tuna auctions in person again.

Ramen shops are a great option for ramen-iscing in one’s thoughts. Harbour City is home to many famous ramen brands originating in Japan including Tsuta, Ebisoba Ichigen, and Menya Itto. For the fanatics, Tsuta is the world’s first-ever Michelin-starred ramen restaurant in 2015. Originating in Tokyo, Tsuta’s award-winning Shoyu broth is made with a combination of whole chickens, a variety of seafood, and three different types of soy sauce, all simmered together for a minimum of nine hours. To finish, Tsuta adds a dollop of truffle sauce at the last second.

Savor Ebisoba Ichigen’s shrimply delicious and fragrant shrimp broth which is prepared fresh every day by simmering sweet shrimp heads for hours. Be present and appreciate the amount of dedication that goes into preparing ramen while staring off into Harbour City’s incredible skyline with a calm mind.

Reward yourself with a solo brunch this Saturday, for all the hard work of the week. If cafe-hopping is right up your alley, pin Espresso Alchemy and La Famillie.

Put your phone on silent so you’re not disturbed as you savor Espresso Alchemy’s quality brew and meticulously put-together menus. Go the guilt-free route with an Avocado on Toast with Salad, or – go big with the French Toast with Fresh Berries and Ice Cream with Homemade Salted Caramel. While you’re there, swap your weekday grab-and-go caffeine fix for the signature Pour Over as the wafting aroma calms your senses completely.

Renowned for its handmade chiffon cakes, La Famillie’s concept store at Ocean Centre is the perfect spot to while away your relaxing afternoon. Pair your favorite chiffon cake or bavarois with one of their latest beverage options. A steamy Café Brulee is of course heart-warming, yet the Café Earl Grey would stun your foodgram too!

When hunger strikes, it takes more than a slice of cake to fill that growling tummy. The sinfully tempting Cheese Flooded Kimchi Burger by Kinabaji would hit just the right spot. The spicy kick and crunch from homemade kimchi is perfectly balanced out by the gooey cheese. The best part of enjoying a burger by yourself? Absolutely no one is judging you from across the table, no matter how messy things get!

If you’re looking to unwind, take a quick “getaway” to Barcelona and enjoy some of Reserva Iberica’s all-day tapas and renowned 100% Jamon Iberico de Bellota. Tapas are a great way to try more menu items without feeling overindulgent or glutinous. Taste of a little bit of everything while sipping on Reserva Ibérica’s Sangria! Choose from Galician-style octopus, jamón breadsticks, longanizas (smoked sausage coils), jamón & manchego bocadillo, and more.

Solo dining can be your time to temporarily escape from reality and process thoughts. Remember to be present, mindful, and appreciate the moments you have to yourself.

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