Soup for one: solo eaters have a lower diet quality

Japan has perfected the art of eating alone, and you can too

Soup for one: solo eaters have a lower diet quality
A private bowl of Ichiran Ramen in Osaka . (Wikimedia)

Imagine sitting in a small booth surrounded by black curtains, the smells of meaty broth wafting through the creases. Suddenly a pair of hands reaches through the dark and places a hot bowl of pork ramen in front of you. You begin eating in silence, as the steam fills up your cubicle. You finish and leave without a word.

It’s called a “flavor-concentration booth,” and it’s not for the claustrophobic. Popularized by the Ichiran chain of restaurants in Japan, “low-interaction dining” lets customers order food (usually some form of noodles) with as little human connection as possible.

Founded in Fukuoka in 1960, Ichiran believes isolation eating helps people focus on their food. It eliminates the need for exchanging saccharine pleasantries with servers or companions. Most importantly, it helps fight the stigma of dining alone.

Japan has grappled with isolation for centuries. A small island off mainland Asia, Japan spent its Sakoku era (1639–1853) virtually walled off from the rest of civilization.

The Sakoku policy prohibited guests and nationals from entering or exiting the country, some under penalty of death.

The period led to intense cultural self-reflection, resulting in iconic modes of art we associate with Japan today, such as haiku and kabuki theater.

As the shogunate fell in the late 19th century, Japan entered its modern period, a time of political change, military power, and economic prowess. After World War II and various midcentury labor insecurities, Japanese companies offered men lifetime employment, while cultural norms encouraged homemaking for women.

All of this emphasized the nuclear family and created a “collective culture.” But as its economy declined in the 1990s in competition with new world powers, family structures also faltered. The number of single-person households is still rising to this day; the average household size shrunk from 2.82 persons in 1995 to 2.

39 in 2015.

Ichiron: the perfect meal for salarymen and singles. (Liwei/Flickr)

As people began to venture out alone, the stigma of being “without family” or “friendless” was strong. Though restaurants Ichiran now “encourage guests to dine alone and focus solely on the bowl of noodles in front of them,” they initially cashed in on the “shame” of eating solo.

Depending on the location, the diner consults a light panel indicating a free booth or cubicle, then places his order via ticket machine or paper menu. He customizes his bowl of ramen by noodle firmness and richness.

A server may bring a soft-boiled egg with salt as a palate cleanser, then close the curtains or window until the main dish is ready. The booth is usually stocked with napkins and a spigot for water. A pair of hands silently places the noodles on the table.

A screen obscures all faces; no eye contact or speech. The exchange is completely anonymous.

The concept became so popular that Ichiran grew to almost 60 restaurants today. It helped popularize other solo dining experiences, such as conveyor belt sushi and counter cafes.

If patrons are still concerned about dining alone, they can head to Tokyo’s Moomin Cafe, which seats singles across from giant, reassuring stuffed hippos.

Or they can download Dinner With My Boyfriend app for pictures of handsome men sitting across the table. An older DVD series called Oshokuji no Jikan plays videos of women eating “so you no longer have to eat alone.

” In 2014 Tokyo restaurant PiaPia banned couples on Christmas Eve as it “would cause severe emotional trauma” to people alone on Christmas.

Thankfully, Japanese society now mostly embraces individual habits and preferences, and today’s eateries reflect that.

“Tables for two or more are not the default arrangement,” wrote New York Times travel columnist Stephanie Rosenbloom in 2015.

“It’s not uncommon to sit opposite a sushi chef and talk, or to order a meal from a restaurant ticket machine and enjoy it on a stool alongside other solo diners.

” Travelers in particular find solo dining easy in city centers, where picture menus require nothing more than a finger-point.

Table for two at Moomin Cafe in Tokyo. (Tyrone/Flickr)

Americans are embracing the Ichiran model, too. The chain opened its first US location in Bushwick, Brooklyn, in October.

Here the space is split between a traditional table experience and a room of private cubicles where the only menu item is pork ramen. Critics disagree on the quality of food and novelty of experience, as they are wont.

Eater critic Robert Sietsema calls the cubes “tiny ramen prisons” that serve “a very plain bowl of noodles.”

But hip diners are lining up by the hundreds. We all know it’s for the Instagram — even though signs inside each cubicle ask patrons to silence phones because “Flavor Concentration is in progress.” But that’s the difference between today’s American low-interaction dining and its Japanese variant: It’s more about turning distractions off than shutting people out.

Today’s solo eating has evolved from shameful necessity to reflective efficiency, where everyone is rushing to calm down, enjoy a savory meal — and then tell everyone about it on social media.

“,”author”:”Stephanie Buck”,”date_published”:”2016-11-04T22:16:12.527Z”,”lead_image_url”:”https://miro.medium.com/max/1200/1*xxWou1YCKWqmNLa3Usz0kQ.jpeg”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”https://timeline.com/japan-eating-alone-56c5fafe89ee”,”domain”:”timeline.com”,”excerpt”:”Don’t talk to me. I’m eating.”,”word_count”:828,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}

Source: https://timeline.com/japan-eating-alone-56c5fafe89ee

11 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic

Soup for one: solo eaters have a lower diet quality

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

Those are famous words from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, often called the father of Western medicine.

He actually used to prescribe garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions.

Modern science has recently confirmed many of these beneficial health effects.

Here are 11 health benefits of garlic that are supported by human research.

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Garlic is a plant in the Allium (onion) family.

It is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. Each segment of a garlic bulb is called a clove. There are about 10–20 cloves in a single bulb, give or take.

Garlic grows in many parts of the world and is a popular ingredient in cooking due to its strong smell and delicious taste.

However, throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its health and medicinal properties (1).

Its use was well documented by many major civilizations, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese (2).

Scientists now know that most of its health benefits are caused by sulfur compounds formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed.

Perhaps the most famous of those is known as allicin. However, allicin is an unstable compound that is only briefly present in fresh garlic after it’s been cut or crushed (3).

Other compounds that may play a role in garlic’s health benefits include diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine (4).

The sulfur compounds from garlic enter the body from the digestive tract and travel all over the body, where it exerts its potent biological effects.

Summary Garlic is a plant in the onion family that’s grown for its distinctive taste and health benefits. It contains sulfur compounds, which are believed to bring some of the health benefits.

Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.

One clove (3 grams) of raw garlic contains (5):

  • Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 1% of the DV
  • Selenium: 1% of the DV
  • Fiber: 0.06 grams
  • Decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1

This comes with 4.5 calories, 0.2 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbs.

Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything you need.

Summary Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.

Garlic supplements are known to boost the function of the immune system.

One large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo (6).

The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in the placebo group to just 1.5 days in the garlic group.

Another study found that a high dose of aged garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) reduced the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61% (7).

However, one review concluded that the evidence is insufficient and more research is needed (8).

Despite the lack of strong evidence, adding garlic to your diet may be worth trying if you often get colds.

Summary Garlic supplements help prevent and reduce the severity of common illnesses the flu and common cold.

Cardiovascular diseases heart attacks and strokes are the world's biggest killers.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most important drivers of these diseases.

Human studies have found garlic supplements to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure (9, 10, 11).

In one study, 600–1,500 mg of aged garlic extract was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24-week period (12).

Supplement doses must be fairly high to have the desired effects. The amount needed is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day.

Summary High doses of garlic appear to improve blood pressure for those with known high blood pressure (hypertension). In some instances, supplements may be as effective as regular medications.

Garlic can lower total and LDL cholesterol.

For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplements appear to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10–15% (13, 14, 15).

Looking at LDL (the “bad”) and HDL (the “good”) cholesterol specifically, garlic appears to lower LDL but has no reliable effect on HDL (9, 10, 16, 17, 18).

High triglyceride levels are another known risk factor for heart disease, but garlic seems to have no significant effects on triglyceride levels (13, 15).

Summary Garlic supplements seem to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol. HDL cholesterol and triglycerides do not seem to be affected.

Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process.

Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body's protective mechanisms against oxidative damage (19).

High doses of garlic supplements have been shown to increase antioxidant enzymes in humans, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure (7, 9, 20).

The combined effects on reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the antioxidant properties, may reduce the risk of common brain diseases Alzheimer's disease and dementia (21, 22).

Summary Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The potential effects of garlic on longevity are basically impossible to prove in humans.

But given the beneficial effects on important risk factors blood pressure, it makes sense that garlic could help you live longer.

The fact that it can fight infectious disease is also an important factor, because these are common causes of death, especially in the elderly or people with dysfunctional immune systems.

Summary Garlic has known beneficial effects on common causes of chronic disease, so it makes sense that it could also help you live longer.

Garlic was one of the earliest “performance enhancing” substances.

It was traditionally used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of laborers.

Most notably, it was given to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece (1).

Rodent studies have shown that garlic helps with exercise performance, but very few human studies have been done.

People with heart disease who took garlic oil for 6 weeks had a 12% reduction in peak heart rate and better exercise capacity (23).

However, a study on nine competitive cyclists found no performance benefits (24).

Other studies suggest that exercise-induced fatigue may be reduced with garlic (2).

Summary Garlic may improve physical performance in lab animals and people with heart disease. Benefits in healthy people are not yet conclusive.

At high doses, the sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity.

A four-week study in employees of a car battery plant (excessive exposure to lead) found that garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by 19%. It also reduced many clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure (25).

Three doses of garlic each day even outperformed the drug D-penicillamine in reducing symptoms.

Summary Garlic was shown to significantly reduce lead toxicity and related symptoms in one study.

No human studies have measured the effects of garlic on bone loss.

However, rodent studies have shown that it can minimize bone loss by increasing estrogen in females (26, 27, 28, 29).

One study in menopausal women found that a daily dose of dry garlic extract (equal to 2 grams of raw garlic) significantly decreased a marker of estrogen deficiency (30).

This suggests that this supplement may have beneficial effects on bone health in women.

Foods garlic and onions may also have beneficial effects on osteoarthritis (31).

Summary Garlic appears to have some benefits for bone health by increasing estrogen levels in females, but more human studies are needed.

The last one is not a health benefit, but is still important.

Garlic is very easy (and delicious) to include in your current diet.

It complements most savory dishes, particularly soups and sauces. The strong taste of garlic can also add a punch to otherwise bland recipes.

Garlic comes in several forms, from whole cloves and smooth pastes to powders and supplements garlic extract and garlic oil.

However, keep in mind that there are some downsides to garlic, such as bad breath. There are also some people who are allergic to it.

If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications, talk to your doctor before increasing your garlic intake.

A common way to use garlic is to press a few cloves of fresh garlic with a garlic press, then mix it with extra virgin olive oil and a bit of salt.

This a healthy and super satisfying dressing.

Summary Garlic is delicious and easy to add to your diet. You can use it in savory dishes, soups, sauces, dressings and more.

For thousands of years, garlic was believed to have medicinal properties.

Science has now confirmed it.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic

23 Tips to Ease Meal Prep

Soup for one: solo eaters have a lower diet quality

Meal planning and prepping are wonderful skills to have in your personal health and wellness tool kit.

A well-thought-out meal plan can help you improve your diet quality or reach a specific health goal while saving you time and money along the way (1).

Here are 23 simple tips for developing a successful meal planning habit.

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If you have never created a meal plan or are getting back into it after a long hiatus, it may feel a bit daunting.

Developing a meal planning habit is no different than making any other positive change in your life. Starting small and slowly building confidence is a great way to make sure your new habit is sustainable.

Begin by planning out just a few meals or snacks for the week ahead. Eventually, you’ll figure out which planning strategies work best, and you can slowly build upon your plan by adding in more meals as you see fit.

Whether you’re preparing meals for a week, month, or just a few days, it’s important to make sure each food group is represented in your plan.

The healthiest meal plan emphasizes whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, high-quality protein, and healthy fats, while limiting sources of refined grains, added sugars, and excess salt (2).

As you scour through your favorite recipes, think about each of these food groups. If any of them are missing, make a point to fill in the gaps.

Good organization is a key component to any successful meal plan.

An organized kitchen, pantry, and refrigerator make everything from menu creation, grocery shopping, and meal prep a breeze, as you’ll know exactly what you have on hand and where your tools and ingredients are.

There’s no right or wrong way to organize your meal prep spaces. Just make sure it’s a system that works for you.

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Food storage containers are one of the most essential meal prep tools.

If you’re currently working with a cupboard full of mismatched containers with missing lids, you may find the meal prep process very frustrating. It’s well worth your time and money to invest in high-quality containers.

Before you make a purchase, consider each container’s intended use. If you’ll be freezing, microwaving, or cleaning them with a dishwasher, make sure you choose containers that are safe for doing so.

Glass containers are eco-friendly and microwave safe. They’re widely available in stores and online.

It’s also handy to have a variety of sizes for different types of foods.

Maintaining a baseline stock of pantry staples is a great way to streamline your meal prep process and simplify menu creation.

Here are a few examples of healthy and versatile foods to keep in your pantry:

  • Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, oats, bulgur, whole-wheat pasta, polenta
  • Legumes: canned or dried black beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lentils
  • Canned goods: low-sodium broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, artichokes, olives, corn, fruit (no added sugar), tuna, salmon, chicken
  • Oils: olive, avocado, coconut
  • Baking essentials: baking powder, baking soda, flour, cornstarch
  • Other: Almond butter, peanut butter, potatoes, mixed nuts, dried fruit

By keeping some of these basic essentials on hand, you only need to worry about picking up fresh items in your weekly grocery haul. This can help reduce stress and improve the efficiency of your meal planning efforts.

Herbs and spices can make the difference between a meal that’s amazing and one that’s just alright. For most people, a meal plan that’s consistently comprised of delicious dishes just might be enough to make the meal planning habit stick.

In addition to being exceptional flavor-enhancers, herbs and spices are loaded with plant compounds that provide a variety of health benefits, such as reduced cellular damage and inflammation (3).

If you don’t already have a solid stash of dried herbs and spices, just pick up 2–3 jars of your favorites each time you go grocery shopping and slowly build a collection.

Before you sit down to make your meal plan, take an inventory of what you already have on hand.

Peruse all of your food storage areas, including your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator, and make a note of any specific foods you want or need to use up.

Doing this helps you move through the food you already have, reduces waste, and prevents you from unnecessarily buying the same things over and over again.

The best way to integrate a meal planning routine into your lifestyle is to make it a priority. It can help to regularly carve out a block of time that is solely dedicated to planning.

For some people, crafting a meal plan can take as little as 10–15 minutes per week. If your plan also includes preparing some food items ahead of time or pre-portioning meals and snacks, you may need a few hours.

Regardless of your specific strategy, the key to success is making time and staying consistent.

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Avoid the unnecessary frustration of trying to remember recipes by saving them in a designated location that you can easily reference anytime.

This could be in a digital format on your computer, tablet, or cell phone, or a physical location in your house.

Keeping a space set aside for your recipes saves time and helps reduce any potential stress associated with meal planning.

It can be challenging to always feel inspired to craft a brand-new menu each week — but you don’t have to do it alone.

If you’re responsible for meal planning and preparation for an entire household, don’t be afraid to ask members of your family for input.

If you’re primarily cooking for yourself, talk to your friends about what they’re cooking or use online resources, such as social media or food blogs, for inspiration.

It can be frustrating to forget a recipe that you or your family really enjoyed.

Or worse — forgetting how much you disd a recipe, only to make it again and have to suffer through it a second time.

Avoid these culinary predicaments by keeping an ongoing record of your favorite and least favorite meals.

It’s also helpful to keep notes of any edits you made or would to make to a particular recipe, so you can quickly begin taking your culinary skills from amateur to expert.

Going to the grocery store without a shopping list is a good way to waste time and end up buying a lot of things you don’t need.

Having a list helps you stay focused and fight the temptation to buy food you don’t have a plan to use just because it’s on sale.

Depending on where you live, some larger grocery chains offer the option of shopping online and either picking up your groceries at a designated time or having them delivered.

You may be charged a fee for these services, but they can be a great tool for saving time and avoiding the long lines and distracting promotions you’re ly to encounter at the store.

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Don’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry, as doing so can increase the risk of impulse buys that you’re ly to regret later.

If you feel a little twinge of hunger before you’re heading to the store, don’t hesitate to have a snack first, even if it’s outside of your typical meal and snack routine.

Take advantage of the bulk section of your local supermarket as a way to save money, buy only the amount you need, and reduce unnecessary packaging waste.

This part of the store is a great place to shop for pantry staples rice, cereal, quinoa, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and beans.

Bring your own containers so you don’t have to use any plastic bags to carry your bulk items home.

If you don’t want to spend time cooking every day of the week, plan to make enough to have leftovers.

Making a few extra servings of whatever you’re cooking for dinner is a great way to have lunch for tomorrow without any extra effort.

If you’re not a fan of leftovers, think about how you can repurpose them so they don’t feel leftovers.

For example, if you roast a whole chicken with root vegetables for dinner, shred the leftover chicken and use it for tacos, soup, or as a salad topping for lunch the next day.

Batch cooking is when you prepare large quantities of individual foods for the purpose of using them in different ways throughout the week. This method is especially useful if you don’t have much time to spend cooking during the week.

Try cooking a big batch of quinoa or rice and roasting a large tray of vegetables, tofu, or meat at the start of the week to use for salads, stir-fries, scrambles, or grain bowls.

You could also make a batch of chicken, tuna, or chickpea salad to use in sandwiches, eat with crackers, or add to salads.

Cooking certain foods or meals in large batches and freezing them for later is a great way to save time, reduce waste, and stretch your food budget — all at the same time.

You can use this method for simple staples broth, fresh bread, and tomato sauce, or for entire meals, such as lasagna, soup, enchiladas, and breakfast burritos.

Pre-portioning your meals into individual containers is an excellent meal prep strategy, especially if you’re trying to consume a specific amount of food.

This method is popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts who closely track their intake of calories and nutrients. It’s also a great method for promoting weight loss or even just getting ahead when you’re short on time.

To take advantage of this method, prepare a large meal that contains at least 4–6 servings. Portion each serving into an individual container and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. When you’re ready, simply reheat and eat.

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If your goal is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, try washing and preparing them as soon as you get home from the farmer’s market or grocery store.

If you open your refrigerator to find a freshly prepared fruit salad or carrot and celery sticks ready for snacking, you’re more ly to reach for those items when you’re hungry.

Anticipating your hunger and setting yourself up with healthy and convenient choices makes it easier to avoid reaching for the bag of potato chips or cookies just because they’re quick and easy.

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the need to cut corners.

If you’re not great at chopping vegetables or don’t have time to batch cook and pre-portion your meals, there are ly some healthy, prepared options at your local grocery store.

Pre-cut fruits and vegetables or prepared meals are usually more expensive, but if the convenience factor is what it takes to reduce stress in your life or get you to eat more vegetables, it may be well worth it.

Remember, not everyone’s meal planning and preparation processes look the same. Having the wisdom to know when you need to scale back and improve efficiency can help you stick to your goals long term.

Slow and pressure cookers can be lifesavers for meal prep, especially if you don’t have time to stand over a stove.

These tools allow for more freedom and hands-off cooking, so you can meal prep while simultaneously finishing other chores or running errands.

It’s easy to get stuck in a dieting rut and eat the same foods day after day.

At best, your meals can quickly become boring and lead to a loss of culinary inspiration. At worst, the lack of variation could contribute to nutrient deficiencies (4).

To avoid this, make it a point to try cooking new foods or meals at regular intervals.

If you always choose brown rice, try swapping it for quinoa or barley. If you always eat broccoli, substitute cauliflower, asparagus, or romanesco for a change.

You can also consider letting the seasons change your menu for you. Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season helps you vary your diet and save money at the same time.

You’re more ly to stick to your new meal planning habit if it’s something you enjoy doing. Instead of thinking of it as something you have to do, try to mentally reframe it as a form of self-care.

If you’re the household chef, consider making meal prep a family affair. Have your family help you chop vegetables or batch cook some soup for the week ahead, so these activities become quality time spent together instead of just another chore.

If you prefer to meal prep solo, throw on your favorite music, a podcast, or an audiobook while you do it. Before long, it may be something you look forward to.

Meal planning and preparation is a great way to make healthier food choices and save time and money.

Though it may seem overwhelming at first, there are a variety of strategies you can employ to develop a sustainable meal planning habit that works for your unique lifestyle.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/meal-prep-tips

13 Superb Places to Dine Alone in London

Soup for one: solo eaters have a lower diet quality

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London is a busy place, and it can be so uncommon a feeling to be without company that it can be a pretty daunting prospect, especially when dining.

But just as making plans is difficult, so is getting into many of the city’s best restaurants with large groups. It’s time to shake off the shackles of being sociable and embrace some quality solo meals.

Show some self-love slurping up a ramen, find the perfect table for one, or meet the salt beef sandwich dreams are made of all by yourself. If Kanye can…

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

One of the most hotly anticipated openings of 2018, Sabor has more than earned its stripes. Ex-Barrafina executive head chef, Nieves Barragan Mohacho, is serving up a revolving greatest hits of Spanish delights on the daily-changing menu.

The Heddon Street site is spacious, with an asador churning out suckling pigs to make hog roasts blush, but a solo seat at the dining counter, or just a beer or vermouth, and croquetas plus a plate of excellent jamon Iberico de bellota in the bar is hard to beat.

As the branded towels and tote bags would suggest, the steamed buns at Bao have built a cult following. A quick bite relative of Xu, speedy service and table turning is the backbone of the business. But Bao is rooted in real quality.

The Soho shop’s fried chicken bao may be the star of the show, but there’s a confident, innovative supporting cast to explore. The oft-Instagrammed blood cake with cured egg yolk, and the guinea fowl chi shiang rice both shine bright.

 

A seat at Ben Chapman’s bar top delivers all the theatre and flavour a lone diner could ever long for.

Mesmerisingly prepped and flame-cooked over a primordial charcoal range, the s of stir fried squid, turbot jungle curry or pork laap make perfect not-sharing plates.

The (keenly priced) menu may be in constant motion, but thankfully the glass noodles with Tamworth belly and brown crab aren’t going anywhere.

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For those looking for a more explorative solo dining journey, Jugemu offers a step beyond the ordinary.

The tiny, transportive hideaway — spattered with scraps of paper, on which the day’s specials are scrawled in Japanese — is run by Yuya Kikuchi, who rustles up an array of sashimi, onigiri, tempura and more for eager diners. The best approach here is to wander in for lunch, let Yuya take control and learn something new.

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Xu is here to prove that solo dining isn’t a compromise — it’s an event.

There’s no denying it; a table for one here is a serious treat, but with two of the sage-green banquette spots dedicated to individuals, it’s clear that such extravagance is actively welcomed.

Nestle down with the dark, crisp cuttlefish toasts et al., safe in the knowledge that there’ll be no squabbling over the last dumpling.

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A hidden gem no longer, Roti King is a real winner. The Euston-based basement diner’s roti canai must be among the best meals that £5 can buy.

The art of roti making has been truly mastered here, making the bread far more than just a vehicle for its accompanying curry.

Great food at an almost unbelievable price results in a constant queue but individuals will make their way down the steps much faster. Go alone, and have the daal. 

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Whether it’s for an eye-opening omelette or a late night petit pot au chocolat, this rejuvenated Soho stalwart welcomes parties and stragglers a into its warm embrace. Live jazz, French classics and a rag-tag band from theatre land keep Boheme buzzing from 8am opening to 3am close. Perfect for a spot of people watching or, alternatively, a candle-lit solo bistro blowout.

Messy, loud, and tongue-meltingly hot, ramen is a rival to egg mayo sandwiches in the unsociability stakes.

The tonkotsu at this Covent Garden Japanese import is worth getting involved with, though — hand-pulled ramen noodles (recommended hard), chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, seaweed and a balanced broth that’s good to the bottom of the bowl mark this ramen out as the real deal. Add pickled mustard greens and slurp away.

Covent Garden gets a taste of the Mediterranean and north African coast at this counter-top destination in Neal’s Yard. There’s an almost clockwork quality to watching the chefs chop, stir, taste, fry, and flame on the open range.

Getting in alone shouldn’t be too tricky and it’s well worth a short wait for the glistening naan and some of the city’s tastiest beets.

Anything that the date syrup touches gets a green light, but the pata negra neck is a bliss-making must.

10. Stockwell Continental

From the gastropub giants behind Anchor and Hope, Canton Arms, and others, comes Stockwell Continental, bringing more than just a slice of Italy to South Lambeth Road.

Antipasti include moreish chickpea fritters and a rotating roster of arancini that are ideal sharers, but more importantly a joy to scoff alone.

Pizzas are fired from the yellow submarine- oven with a soft thin base blistered to charred, brittle crusts balancing considered toppings. Tough day? The Sangiovese on tap will see to that.

The beloved Soho branch of this Japanese noodle den is yet another feather in the area’s solo dining cap, but more recently it’s the opening of Koya City in the Bloomberg Arcade that’s been causing a stir.

A beacon of calm amid the mayhem of the City, there is a clean, modest tranquillity that transcends the stripped back wooden bar top and soothing soups. Mindfulness is dunking cold udon noodles into a pork and miso broth.

Crunching crispy fried prawn heads may be less zen, but it’s no less rewarding.

Pasta or friends? For a seat at Padella, the question becomes somewhat less hypothetical. Consistently mammoth lunchtime queues favour the opportunistic solo diner in pursuit of handmade ribbons or ravioli.

From the team behind Trullo, this Borough Market marvel serves up simple plates of joy at regular-friendly prices: gnocchi with sage and nutmeg butter is £4, the much-photographed pici cacio e pepe is £6.50.

That’s company enough for anyone.

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13. My Neighbours the Dumplings

One answer for a companionless diner could be to spark up a conversation at the destination, and a communal table does at least offer an opportunity — especially if there are dumplings to bond over. The pot stickers and har gau at My Neighbours are the sort of thing one might exclaim about to no-one in particular, and the turnip cake is a winner with or without the sausage and shrimp.

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One of the most hotly anticipated openings of 2018, Sabor has more than earned its stripes. Ex-Barrafina executive head chef, Nieves Barragan Mohacho, is serving up a revolving greatest hits of Spanish delights on the daily-changing menu.

The Heddon Street site is spacious, with an asador churning out suckling pigs to make hog roasts blush, but a solo seat at the dining counter, or just a beer or vermouth, and croquetas plus a plate of excellent jamon Iberico de bellota in the bar is hard to beat.

As the branded towels and tote bags would suggest, the steamed buns at Bao have built a cult following. A quick bite relative of Xu, speedy service and table turning is the backbone of the business. But Bao is rooted in real quality.

The Soho shop’s fried chicken bao may be the star of the show, but there’s a confident, innovative supporting cast to explore. The oft-Instagrammed blood cake with cured egg yolk, and the guinea fowl chi shiang rice both shine bright.

 

A seat at Ben Chapman’s bar top delivers all the theatre and flavour a lone diner could ever long for.

Mesmerisingly prepped and flame-cooked over a primordial charcoal range, the s of stir fried squid, turbot jungle curry or pork laap make perfect not-sharing plates.

The (keenly priced) menu may be in constant motion, but thankfully the glass noodles with Tamworth belly and brown crab aren’t going anywhere.

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For those looking for a more explorative solo dining journey, Jugemu offers a step beyond the ordinary.

The tiny, transportive hideaway — spattered with scraps of paper, on which the day’s specials are scrawled in Japanese — is run by Yuya Kikuchi, who rustles up an array of sashimi, onigiri, tempura and more for eager diners. The best approach here is to wander in for lunch, let Yuya take control and learn something new.

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Xu is here to prove that solo dining isn’t a compromise — it’s an event.

There’s no denying it; a table for one here is a serious treat, but with two of the sage-green banquette spots dedicated to individuals, it’s clear that such extravagance is actively welcomed.

Nestle down with the dark, crisp cuttlefish toasts et al., safe in the knowledge that there’ll be no squabbling over the last dumpling.

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A hidden gem no longer, Roti King is a real winner. The Euston-based basement diner’s roti canai must be among the best meals that £5 can buy.

The art of roti making has been truly mastered here, making the bread far more than just a vehicle for its accompanying curry.

Great food at an almost unbelievable price results in a constant queue but individuals will make their way down the steps much faster. Go alone, and have the daal. 

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Whether it’s for an eye-opening omelette or a late night petit pot au chocolat, this rejuvenated Soho stalwart welcomes parties and stragglers a into its warm embrace. Live jazz, French classics and a rag-tag band from theatre land keep Boheme buzzing from 8am opening to 3am close. Perfect for a spot of people watching or, alternatively, a candle-lit solo bistro blowout.

Messy, loud, and tongue-meltingly hot, ramen is a rival to egg mayo sandwiches in the unsociability stakes.

The tonkotsu at this Covent Garden Japanese import is worth getting involved with, though — hand-pulled ramen noodles (recommended hard), chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, seaweed and a balanced broth that’s good to the bottom of the bowl mark this ramen out as the real deal. Add pickled mustard greens and slurp away.

Covent Garden gets a taste of the Mediterranean and north African coast at this counter-top destination in Neal’s Yard. There’s an almost clockwork quality to watching the chefs chop, stir, taste, fry, and flame on the open range.

Getting in alone shouldn’t be too tricky and it’s well worth a short wait for the glistening naan and some of the city’s tastiest beets.

Anything that the date syrup touches gets a green light, but the pata negra neck is a bliss-making must.

From the gastropub giants behind Anchor and Hope, Canton Arms, and others, comes Stockwell Continental, bringing more than just a slice of Italy to South Lambeth Road.

Antipasti include moreish chickpea fritters and a rotating roster of arancini that are ideal sharers, but more importantly a joy to scoff alone.

Pizzas are fired from the yellow submarine- oven with a soft thin base blistered to charred, brittle crusts balancing considered toppings. Tough day? The Sangiovese on tap will see to that.

The beloved Soho branch of this Japanese noodle den is yet another feather in the area’s solo dining cap, but more recently it’s the opening of Koya City in the Bloomberg Arcade that’s been causing a stir.

A beacon of calm amid the mayhem of the City, there is a clean, modest tranquillity that transcends the stripped back wooden bar top and soothing soups. Mindfulness is dunking cold udon noodles into a pork and miso broth.

Crunching crispy fried prawn heads may be less zen, but it’s no less rewarding.

Pasta or friends? For a seat at Padella, the question becomes somewhat less hypothetical. Consistently mammoth lunchtime queues favour the opportunistic solo diner in pursuit of handmade ribbons or ravioli.

From the team behind Trullo, this Borough Market marvel serves up simple plates of joy at regular-friendly prices: gnocchi with sage and nutmeg butter is £4, the much-photographed pici cacio e pepe is £6.50.

That’s company enough for anyone.

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One answer for a companionless diner could be to spark up a conversation at the destination, and a communal table does at least offer an opportunity — especially if there are dumplings to bond over. The pot stickers and har gau at My Neighbours are the sort of thing one might exclaim about to no-one in particular, and the turnip cake is a winner with or without the sausage and shrimp.

Source: https://london.eater.com/maps/solo-dining-london-restaurants

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