While most eateries are designed to encourage social gatherings, dining alone can have its perks too. Here are our picks of places for those who value minimal eye contact with strangers and quality me time at mealtime!
This casual dining chain specialises in traditional tendon – short for tempura donburi. Each bowl of tender Japanese rice is topped with an abundance of tempura battered delights, ranging from ebi (prawns) to enoki (mushrooms), and drizzled with sweet tendon sauce. From Asakusa, Tokyo, the birthplace of tendon, Akimitsu was founded by Chef Akimitsu Tanihara, fifth-generation tendon specialist and eight-time Japan Donburi Awards gold medallist. With its Singapore outlets offering cosy seating options and individual booths, lone diners can savour his award-winning dishes in peace.
SAFRA members & Servicemen enjoy 10% off the a la carte menu; more info at safra.sg/promotions/akimitsu
#B1-22 AMK Hub, #02-28 Changi City Point, #04-65 Plaza Singapura, #01-54/55/56 VivoCity and #03-09 Westgate; more info at facebook.com/akimitsu.sg
Taking inspiration from classic coffeeshops of yesteryear, Heavenly Wang offers a nostalgic venue with the traditional kopi, toast and soft-boiled eggs set. But if you’re feeling more peckish, there is a wide range of halal dishes and bakes on the menu. All-time favourites range from Mee Rebus, Mee Siam and Nasi Lemak Kukus to Open Toasties with Luncheon Meat and Volcano Buns with Chilli Crab. With its heritage vibes and old-school biscuit displays, lingering over your beverage is a pleasure. We particularly like the small tables and chairs that make it easy to enjoy a meal alone too.
SAFRA members enjoy 10% off a la carte orders & 5% bonus value for WANG loyalty card top-up; more info at safra.sg/amenities-offerings/heavenly-wang
#01-05 SAFRA Mt Faber and #03-04 SAFRA Punggol; more info at heavenlywang.com
You’ve probably seen the colourful fruit tarts – remember Fruit Paradise? – on display at the entrance of Kagurazaka Saryo and figured it was a dessert cafe. Well, you might be surprised to know that it also serves a wide range of healthy meals and desserts made with authentic Uji Matcha. Originating from Kagurazaka, Tokyo, better known as “Little Kyoto”, it’s famous for Cha-nabe, where your choice of Japanese rice or udon comes with various broths and toppings. Elevate your quiet time in the comfy setting with a Matcha Latte and the must-try Matcha Frozen S’mores.
SAFRA members & Servicemen enjoy 10% off the a la carte menu; more info at safra.sg/promotions/KagurazakaSaryo
#01-59 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk; more info at facebook.com/kagurazakasaryo
Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar
Located on the ground floor of Tanglin Post Office building, a stone’s throw from the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Nassim Hill offers solo diners privacy thanks to its dimly lit setting. Bistro by day and bar by night, it serves hearty brunch favourites, such as Skillet Eggs and Warm Salmon Nicoise Salad, from 8am to 3.30pm daily. Past that time, the menu expands to include heartier meals such as Duroc Pork Chop and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. It also boasts Singapore’s longest happy hours from 9am to 9pm, with one-for-one pints to kick back with all day long!
SAFRA members & Servicemen enjoy 10% off regular-priced food and drinks; more info at safra.sg/promotions/NassimHillBakery
#01-03 Tanglin Post Office Building, 56 Tanglin Road; more info at nassimhill.com.sg
When one mentions dim sum restaurants, you picture large tables of multi-generational families yakking away over stacks of bamboo baskets served by middle-aged Chinese waiters shouting orders above the din. TungLok Teahouse is a different kettle of fish altogether. Slide into a quiet booth seat and order a variety of handmade, steamed-to-order delights via a tablet. Highlights include Teahouse Signature Rice Roll ‘Cheong Fun’ and Steamed Chrysanthemum Lotus Paste Bun. The best part? Your meal is delivered via the conveyor belt, sushi-style, the first Chinese restaurant to adopt this!
#01-73 Square 2, 10 Sinaran Drive; Tel: 6893 1123
Another dining concept that usually requires a larger group is DIY yakiniku, which involves barbecuing various meats on a grill built into the table. Yakiniku Like, however, caters to solo diners with electric smokeless grills and affordable meal sets for individuals. The single diner-friendly chain from Japan offers this tasty tip: place some freshly grilled Karubi on steamed rice, then top it off with oodles of LIKE Cheesy Curry – we approve! Bigger appetites can go for the LIKE Quattro Set that delivers Karubi, Prime Rosu, Pork Belly and Chicken Thigh in one meal. What’s not to like?
#B1-21 AMK Hub, #05-35 Clementi Mall, #04-06 Compass One, #01-40 Junction 8, #B1-28 PLQ Mall, #02-60 VivoCity
Want more dining articles like this, and other lifestyle content right in your inbox? Download the new SAFRA mobile app and opt in for the eNSman Newsletter – you don’t need to be a SAFRA member to subscribe – and never miss another story!