Dining companions are all well and good, but there are times when all you want to do is to luxuriate in the food. Maybe it’s been a rough week and conversation makes your head throb, or you’re treating yourself to the me-time you absolutely deserve. Alas, dining alone in Singapore remains something of a taboo.
But while we haven’t quite perfected the art of eating alone à la Japan, we’ve definitely got some spots where the ambience is warm, the cuisine exquisite, and eating solo is a zen experience. From Italian to izakaya, here’s our guide to the best restaurants to dine alone in Singapore. Table for one, please!
This one-starred restaurant takes food to the next level with its ‘crossroads cooking’ style, promising a transcendent experience for your tastebuds. We recommend you grab a seat at the massive marble table which runs the length of the intimate dining room. Here you can watch the chefs work their magic in the conjoining open kitchen, and chat with them if you’re feeling friendly. After the meal, head over to the bar and explore the fascinating programme of Asian festival-inspired cocktails, each crafted to transport you into another time and place. Check out our reviews of the restaurant and the bar.
Nouri is located at 72 Amoy St, Singapore 069891, p. +65 6221 4148. Open Tues-Fri 11.30am–3pm and 6pm–12am, Mon & Sat 6pm–12am. Closed Sun.
Panelled in warm shades of mahogany, this Keong Saik restaurant and wine bar is a cosy spot for savouring Italian nosh by your lonesome. Make yourself comfy at the counter and work your way through their seasonal menu of handmade pastas and cicheti (the Venetian version of tapas). Think fragrant, basil-laden pestos, spicy hand-rolled pici, and gloriously chunky meatballs. The wine list also gets pretty adventurous, so feel free to swirl a glass or three as you soak up the buzzy vibes. Check out our review here.
Bar Cicheti is located at 10 Jiak Chuan Rd, Singapore 089264, p. +65 6789 9801. Open Mon 6pm–10pm, Tues-Sat 12pm–2.30pm and 6pm–11pm. Closed Sun.
The Clifford Pier
Vast full-length windows run all along this gorgeously appointed restaurant, offering superb views of Marina Bay and letting in plenty of natural sunlight. If you’re in the mood to lounge and contemplate (or simply people-watch), The Clifford Pier is prime location. This heritage spot serves up impeccable takes on local delicacies – spice-rich Soup Kambing (S$24), Kong Bak Bao (S$23), and the like – alongside Western favourites like Lobster Roll (S$36). With a fabulous range of craft cocktails and spirits, you’ll find everything you need here for solo indulgence.
The Clifford Pier is located at The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326, p. +65 6333 8388. Open Mon-Fri 12.30pm–2.30pm and 6.30pm–10pm, Sat 11am–2pm, 3pm–5pm, 6.30pm–10pm, Sun 11am–2pm and 3.30pm–5.30pm.
JAM at Siri House
Tucked away in serene Dempsey Hill, JAM at Siri House has the relaxed feel of dining in a friend’s sumptuous home. The restaurant was designed by Thai luxury property developer Sansiri, and the result is a nonchalantly elegant space with cheery Art Deco prints and comfy mounds of cushions. Sink into a velvet armchair and luxuriate in JAM’s top-notch soul food, or perch at the counter before the open kitchen and chat with the chefs about their culinary inspirations. While you’re there, it doesn’t hurt to knock back their signature Siri House Negroni (S$15), infused with Thai red tea. Check out our review here.
JAM at SIRI HOUSE is located at Blk 8D, #01-02 Dempsey Hill, Dempsey Road,
Singapore 239672, p.+ 65 9667 0533. Open Mon 6pm–10pm, Tues-Sun 11.30am– 10pm.
This quaint sake bar takes a bit of finding, so you can be sure of some respite from rowdy bar crowds. Newly opened this July, MoboMoga is tucked behind a tiny arched panel in an unobtrusive cranny of UE Square. Inside, you’ll find a snug U-shaped bar, a modest izakaya menu, and a marvellous selection of rare tipples from all across Japan. With a smooth Kimoto sake and some sushi for company, you’re free to sink into gastronomic bliss. Oh, and we’re told they have the best Napolitan pasta in Singapore.
MoboMoga is located at 207 River Valley Road, #01-58 UE Square River Wing, Singapore 238275, p.+ 65 6219 3430. Open Mon-Sat 6pm–12am.
Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles is the world’s first Michelin-starred ramen joint, so you can be sure of some extraordinary noodles here. Eschewing artificial components or MSG, Tsuta’s umami-laden strands are served in a unique dashi broth. Its Tai Seng and Pacific Plaza outlets feature exclusively counter seats, all the better for watching the chefs ladle out fragrant, steaming bowls before your eyes.
Blue Label Pizza & Wine
Curl up in a leather booth and stuff yourself with crusty goodness at Blue Label Pizza & Wine, a pizzeria beloved for its stone-fired pies and homely ambience. Pizzas here are generally good for two, but if you love your pies, you’ll have no problem wolfing down one. There is also a hearty selection of salads and small plates, from the famous Blue Label State Fair Fries (S$25) slathered with black pepper gravy and shaved truffle, to the Kale ‘Waldorf’ Salad (S$21) tossed with goat’s cheese and grapes.
Blue Label Pizza & Wine has two outlets in Ann Siang and Orchard Road. The Ann Siang branch is located at 28 Ann Siang Rd, #B1-01, Singapore 069708, p. +65 9821 9362. Open Mon-Fri 12pm–2pm and 6pm–12am, Sat 12pm–2am. Closed Sun. The Orchard Road branch is located at 333A Orchard Rd, #03-02 Mandarin Gallery, Singapore 238897, p. +65 9785 7799. Open daily 11.30am–10pm.
A glasshouse-like space on the Marina Bay waterfront, Caffe Fernet combines exquisite views with inventive Italian fare. The restaurant-bar puts a cosmopolitan spin on classic pastas and small plates, and its drinks menu boasts over 50 Italian liqueurs including fernets, amaros, and Limoncello. In the style of Italy’s trattorias, the ambience here is lively and laidback. Make yourself at home by the window or at the breezy al fresco area, and settle in for a treat. Check out our review here.
Caffe Fernet is located at #01-05 Customs House, 70 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049323, p. +65 9178 1105. Open Mon-Thurs 12pm – 12am, Fri-Sat 12pm – 1am, Sun 11am – 5pm.
For a truly self-indulgent experience, omakase is the way to go. At cosy Joo Chiat restaurant Jimoto Dining, leave yourself in the trusty hands of head chef Takahiro Sato and enjoy a meal crafted from the finest ingredients – think quality fish flown in from Japan and sauces painstakingly made in-house. Dining solo, you can devote yourself wholly to the culinary adventure and to watching chef Takahiro’s deft action. It’s just you, the chef, and the intimate unfolding of course after course – exactly how the omakase experience should be. Check out our review here.
Jimoto Dining is located at 325 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427582, +65 6223 3397. Open Tues-Sat 6pm–11pm, Sun 6pm–10pm. Closed Mon.
Top Image: Bar Cicheti