This was what I proudly said to my server when I arrived at Bar Boulud London on a Thursday night. ‘Table for one?‘. Heck, make that dining for one – a concept that would be totally shunned by yours truly years ago. But something that I’m comfortable with doing now. Yikes, could this be a function of aging?
The Man was in London for a work trip, I tagged along but couldn’t join him for his work dinner. So it was either going to be room service or suck it in and enjoy dining in one of the celebrity restaurants at the hotel that we were staying in.
Dining alone? Would you do it? As mentioned earlier, it was something I never dreamed I could do. ‘It was a ‘loser’ kind of thing to do.’ or ‘I’d rather dine at home alone than be seen dining in a restaurant on my own!’, the younger version of me would say. The ‘mean girl’ version of me could also say ‘Look! That person is pathetic to dine on her own!’
The concept of dining alone became comfortable only when I moved to Tokyo. The city was vibrant and I noticed that many girls actually dined on their own. I took baby steps, first, dining in a fast-food joint on my own, then having coffee on my own in a crowded cafe and lastly dining on my own in a nice little restaurant. I was warming up to this concept and could enjoy a leisurely lunch by myself in this city without inviting stares.
It was a Thursday evening and Bar Boulud was crowded so I was half-expecting a counter seat. Instead, I was shown to a table situated rather centrally in the room. Suddenly, I felt a little conscious. ‘Could I really do this?’ My server asked again, ‘Are you sure you are dining alone?’ ‘Yes.’ and affirmed further with a nod. ‘I’ll bring you a paper’, she smiled and cleared the remaining cutlery off the table. Well, I guess she probably felt sorry for me.
But you know what? Dinner on my own here in Bar Boulud didn’t turn out all too bad. I had the paper; I had my iPad (as a back-up; I had my iPhone; I had my camera – I had things that could clearly be my ‘companion’ for a simple meal. So, I surveyed the menu, picked out a starter and a main for myself. Then moved on to the wine list and selected 2 glasses of wine – a white and a red – for the meal. The Cevelas Lyonnais en Brioche as a starter was really yummy. It was a Lyonnais pork sausage with pistachios and truffle stuffed and baked in a brioche. I kinda wished that I had someone to share this with for it felt a little too big for me as a starter.
For the mains, was feeling a little greedy and since Bar Boulud is pretty much famous for its burgers, I went with the Piggie burger with BBQ pulled pork, green chili mayonnaise served on a cheddar bun. Server recommended that I add on sides with the burger, so I chose the fries to accompany the dish. Was pretty pleased with my choice for the burger along with the pulled pork, it was simply amazing. The green chili mayonnaise was special too but not too overpowering.
So, there.. my dinner for one on a solo night out about vibrant London. Didn’t turned out all too bad and people-watching from my side of the table made it a fun and interesting evening for me as well.