You would have noticed that hawker centres, food courts and many restaurants have implemented measures for social distancing.

Crosses are marked out on tables and seats so that diners can keep a distance from one another; and customers are recommended to keep a metre apart during queuing (though I don’t really see this happening yet even though there are marked indicators on the floor.)

This is also time to show our local F&B some support.

If you are well and still need to dine out, including barbecue and hotpot, here are 10 food places in Singapore suitable for solo dining for offering individual bowls and portions, and spacious enough to sit relatively apart.

Yakiniku Like
10 Paya Lebar Rd #B1-28 Paya Lebar Quarter Singapore 409057
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Last Order 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)

This is a “fast-food style” yakiniku restaurant that offers INDIVIDUAL and SMOKELESS grills, so you can enjoy this novel dining experience in comfort.

Don’t have to feel awkward when eating barbecue alone anymore. Plus, you get your own, personal grill so there is no pressure in terms of meat cooking or sharing.

I am the sort who do not mind dining alone, so this works perfect – it is just you and the meats to enjoy some me-dining time.

Even if you come in a pair, you can opt for the shared grill.

One thing you would notice would be the inexpensive pricing. Prices start from $7.80 Nett for a set inclusive of meat, rice, soup and a choice of kimchi or salad. (No additional GST or service charge).

For beef lovers, the value-for-money set to get is the Karubi Set with beef short plate priced at $8.80 Nett for 100g ($12.80 for 200g, $16.80 for 300g). Yakiniku Like (Paya Lebar Quarter)

Gangsta Ramen
1, #02-10 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Singapore 082001
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 8:30pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 2:30pm (Sat), Closed Sun

Much has been talked about Gangsta Ramen being the first ramen eatery in Singapore to offer private booth seats – probably inspired by Ichiran Ramen.

Gangsta Ramen offers quite affordable bowls, with the Original Ramen priced at $10.

Other choices include Signature Ramen with Cheese ($12), Black Truffle Ramen ($16), Spicy Ramen ($12), and Miso Ramen ($12).

The broth here was on the lighter side (still salty) but lacking in the tonkotsu rich-creaminess one would expect. Gangsta Ramen (Tanjong Pagar Plaza)

The Dark Gallery – Great World
Great World #01-117/118, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Singapore 237994
Tel: +65 6235 4582
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)

If you are the sort that could have desserts for a full meal, the highlight of the Salon is the Dessert Dégustation Set ($39), a 3-course menu that showcases an interplay of gourmet dark chocolate textures.

This set comes with a dessert for first course (but of course) and I had a light ‘Choco-misu’.

For the mid-course, you can select from either The Chocolate Soufflé, made with 66% dark chocolate and baked a la minute, or The French Toast.

The Chocolate Soufflé (also available for ala carte order at $18) was intense but not too sweet in flavour.

With a light and custardy texture, the individual-serving chocolate soufflé is the perfect dessert to wind down the afternoon.

Complete the ‘dessert meal’ with a Omakase Dessert Box, their interpretation of the flavours and colours of the finest chocolates and ingredients, into a balanced palette of mini desserts.

The set also comes with a beverage of your choice (any below $9). The Dark Gallery (Great World)

&JOY Dining Hall – Great World
1 Kim Seng Promenade, #B1-132 Great World, Singapore 237994
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)

&JOY Dining Hall has also opened at the revamped Great World, though with slightly different food offerings – RAMEN KIOU, ROMAN.TEI, Pittarino, Kuriya Japanese Market, Ichiban Express, and Gokoku Japanese Bakery.

If you have been to Osaka, you may have come across ROMAN.TEI, known for its savoury cuts of quality beef with special sauces at reasonable pricing.

It is a concept by direct meat specialist and wholesaler – Okayama Food Service Co. Ltd. Similar to its stores in Japan, prices of the beef boxes are kept below $20 nett.

The Double Beef Zen ($17.90) comes highly recommended. This is for those who love your luxurious combo dish of beef steak and beef slices over fluffy rice, in which you can savour tender medium rare steak slices alongside beef broiled in a savoury broth.

The rice is served with a “golden ratio” in a Jyu box, accompanied with a side salad, condiments and extra soup. &Joy Dining Hall

Kogane Yama
Bugis Junction #02-50, 200 Victoria Street, Singapore 188021
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Last order 9:30pm (Sun – Thurs),
11am – 11pm Last Order 10:30pm (Fri – Sat)

Kogane Yama known for its Tempura Donburi aka Tendon, has actually a number of other Japanese rice bowls at both its Bugis Junction (#02-50) and Jem (#01-15) outlets.

The Aburi Salmon Mentai Don ($11.90) will appeal to those who love more flavours such as the spiciness of cod roe, along with that creamy mouth-feel.

What you get include cubed salmon pieces which would be ‘aburi-ed’ (flame seared), added with torched mentaiko-mayonnaise sauce, added with tobiko, cucumber and tamago.

The part I enjoyed was also those crispy bits of tempura crumbs added, which made a good-contrast with the velvetiness of the other toppings. Kogane Yama (Bugis Junction)

Menya Kokoro
Plaza Singapura #B2-53 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 11am – 3:30pm, 5pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Thurs, Sun), 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Last order half hour before closing

You can choose to have Mazesoba and Ramen from any Menya Kokoro’s 3 outlets at Suntec City (Eat At Seven), 100AM Mall, and its newest outlet at Plaza Singapura.

If you are a first-timer to Menya Kokoro, I would say go for this classic Tokyo Maze-soba or the Zenbu Maze-soba.

In the heart of this winning dish is Menya Kokoro’s signature secret-recipe minced meat sauce.

Prepared using Japanese techniques through a 4-hour slow cooking process, it has deep flavours that well complement the maze-soba ingredients.

Once tossed, these ingredients – ramen, ground Saba fish, nori, poached egg, green onion, garlic, and chives – deliver a fusion of flavours enhanced by the minced meat sauce. Menya Kokoro (Plaza Singapura)

Tamoya Udon
Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road #06-11/12, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9.30pm (Mon – Sun)

One of Singapore’s favourite udon shops Tamoya Udon, has opened a brand-new outlet at Plaza Singapura Level 6, offering an exclusive Truffle Tonkotsu Udon.

For those of you who miss Tamoya’s Beef Sukiyaki Udon ($12.80) and Pork Sukiyaki Udon ($11.80), both are making a hot comeback on the mainstay menu.

The Beef Sukiyaki Udon included accompaniments of Chinese cabbage, carrots, green onions, shiitake mushroom, and enoki mushroom.

There are 3 ways to enjoy sukiyaki udon: dip the chewy udon into the oozy egg mixture; immerse the udon in the soup for one minute to get a softer texture; or mix an egg with the soup and udon to enjoy them together.

However, as the Sukiyaki broth is generally very rich, I would recommend taking small sips of the soup paired with the tender beef slices, rather than drinking it in whole spoonful would make it more enjoyable. Tamoya Udon (Plaza Singapura)

Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap – Holland Village
17A Lor Liput Singapore 277731
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)

Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap is a popular eatery offering authentic street-style Thai fare and a less-commonly seen Thai version of Teochew dish Kway Chap.

The comforting warmth of this light, peppery broth is reminiscent of bak kut teh but milder, complemented with silky smooth kway uniquely curled up on the edges.

Accompanying the rice noodle sheets are assorted meats like chewy chunks of Thai fish sausage with balanced sweetness and savoury, and well-cleaned pig offal with no gamey taste at all.

This huge bowl also contains pieces of lean meat and topped with crisp-fried pork belly making it extra filling.

All these for $5 is a really good deal. Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap (Holland Village)

Taikoo Lane Hotpot 太古里火锅
Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Rd, B1-16, Singapore 059413
Tel: +65 6970 0966
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)

At Taikoo Lane Hotpot, diners can have a choice of either individual pots for a more customized experience, or a larger pot if you come in a group.

You can also find quicker lunch specials here from $9.90 onwards.

A premium mala broth for spice fans is the brand-new Chengdu Green Pepper Broth. If you are bored of the usual mala and want to try something different, this would be a refreshing change.

Inspired by the Fish with Green Peppercorn Soup, a best-seller from Chengdu Restaurant, the broth takes two Sichuan-specialty ingredients (peppercorn oil and green peppercorns) and makes them the soup’s bedrock of flavour.

The peppercorns imported from the Sichuan province, are fried over low heat with small chilies, minced garlic and fermented soy bean sauce.

The potent mixture is added to superior soup stock which is boiled for hours. Taikoo Lane Hotpot (Chinatown Point)

Paradise Hotpot
CompassOne Mall #03-05, 1 Sengkang Square, Singapore 545078
Tel: +65 6386 4838
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm (Mon – Fri), 10:30am – 10:00pm (Sat – Sun)

Are you a fan of Beauty In The Pot?

You should like Paradise Hotpot as well, which is a Hong Kong style steamboat concept that offers each diner an individual hotpot with choice of a desired broth.

There are 14 different soup bases to choose from, such as Authentic Pork Bone, Century Egg with Coriander, Tomato with Sweet Corn, Teochew Style, Spicy Szechuan, Chicken with Wild Mushrooms, Thick Beef Bone, Tom Yum, Kelp and Bonito to Korean Kimchi Soup.

That’s plenty of choices.

Prices are considered wallet-friendly, starting from $3.50 for a Teochew Style Soup Base, $4.00 for Authentic Pork Bone Soup Base ($4.00) to $9.80 for Chicken with Wild Mushroom Soup Base.

Ingredients are sold ala carte rather than in a set, with the Chef Recommendations including Hand-made Jumbo Pork Ball ($5.50), Fried Beancurd Skin ($5.00), Cheese Chicken Balls ($5.00), Premium Beef Short Rib ($13.80), Sliced Wagyu Ribeye ($19.80), Sliced Kurobuta Pork ($10.80), to Mushroom Combination ($12.80). Paradise Hotpot (Compass Point)

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