For some reason, there is a notion that dining out with yourself as company is the equivalent of “pathetic”. Especially if you’re a woman. You can just visualize every head in the restaurant turning in your direction as soon as they hear the words “A table for one, please.” (on a side note: you can say that using your very best Darth Vader voice and wait for their reaction :D) *Eye Roll* Then it will certainly be followed by various pitying/patronizing looks and mutterings. What? Is this the high school cafeteria? Do you also expect the requisite jock to manhandle you (if you’re a guy) or the random snickering coming from the “popular” table (if you’re a girl). Please! Let’s grow up a bit and realize that the world does not revolve around you. And that unless you are Jennifer Aniston, nobody cares that you are single and dining out alone!
I usually dine out with one of my gay friends or my cousin (because I’m practically oozing pathetic from every pore and can’t find a decent guy to save my life. *snicker*). Said gay friend recently acquired a boyfriend (I’m happy for them by the way. But I don’t fancy being the proverbial third wheel), so it’s definitely a no-go in that direction. My cousin and I only see each other every other weekend. Does this mean I have to sit in my room, staring at the walls the entire day, because I don’t have anyone to go out with?? Didn’t think so. Besides, I’m a fan of dining out. I consider it a “treat” after long hours of working my ass off.
I’ve been dining out by myself for quite sometime. And believe me, it does have benefits. One of which is you can really savor the food without having to make conversation. No discussions about the menu and no worries whether the food you are getting makes you appear like a glutton; thereby busting your chances of getting a second date (so yeah, go ahead, demolish that entire serving of Nabemono, with Gyoza or Takoyaki on the side; then order a large platter of Kani Salad or Sashimi. Have a beer afterwards.) Another is that you can do anything you damn well please (as long as it does not involve yelling “It’s a trap!” at your fellow diners) 😀 I usually bring a book to read or take notes on the quality of the food or service I’m getting. Or surreptitiously watch and contemplate the rest of humanity from my table (for this purpose I mostly request a seat near the window.)
Japanese restaurants are the best option, in my opinion, for “quirky-alone” diners like myself. Because they have the option of dining at the counter (bar) where you can also watch the chef prepare your food. That or mind your own business. I would definitely recommend Little Tokyo (a cluster of authentic Japanese restaurants along Pasong Tamo, Makati). Great service and no-frills dining. No mutterings and judging stares so far. 😛
Lastly, so what if they are in fact judging you for dining out by yourself? Are they the ones paying the bill?? The answer is no. So there is absolutely no reason to be bothered, at all.
I’ll try Chelsea at Serendra this weekend. A little too upscale for my taste. But I could have imaginary conversations with Hannibal Lecter. 🙂