Thursday, May 07, 2015

Checked off my bucket list: Fine Dining alone

Gorging on a quick peanut butter sandwich while you're alone at home watching Game of Thrones is not a bad deal. Then why are there myths galore about fine dining alone? Dining has always been such a communal activity since childhood that eating alone by corollary is assumed to be out of compulsion than choice. I remember a prep school friend who always used to sit alone to eat. The buzz word was that he was a loner. Remember "Geet" from Jab we met. Just like that assuming that he was troubled, I could never let a person to be in peace all by himself. I was stunned and later laughed my heart out when I found out that he was least interested in sharing his "Mutton Keema" and "Green Pulao"  with classmates whose lunch sucked big time !  Well for all the dictum of sharing and caring, I completely empathize relishing the experience of dining alone.

Yesterday I had a dinner date with myself at the United Coffee House in New Delhi. That's where I came up with 3 reasons you shouldn't miss out on this experience.

1. Ordering was never as much fun before- First, you can take as much time as you want to scan through the menu pages without the pressure of deciding on a dish soon. Second, you don't have to sacrifice choice no.1 for choice no. 2 or 3 for a popular vote. Spoil yourself and order the weirdest sounding dish ever, who cares. Third, add those extra specifications on how your dish needs to be cooked. If you have traveled a lot and know your cuisine well, this is the perfect time to shed your modesty.

2. Silence is the ultimate honor to a great experience- That's something we have witnessed in dining with family as well. The person who enjoys food the most speaks the least and his silence is the ultimate compliment the cook looks out for. You can salivate remembering the Chicken and Mushroom Risotto served with a glass of Chardonnay and climax remembering the Tiramisu only when your mind is parallely not processing any conversations or scrambling for words to fill in those awkward silences. And there isn't a better time to let go of yourself with A Capella music, in contrast to the restlessness in Connaught Place right across the door.

3. It's the ultimate validation of you enjoying your own company- There are the initial hiccups of awkwardness while taking a seat alone in a place like this but once you stop dwelling over the pity that you think are invoking from the crowd leering at you, this time for yourself is a luxury that you deserve. It's no different from traveling alone. Coming to terms with enjoying being with yourself doesn't make you an anti-social or self-obsessed. The more you appreciate space for yourself and consequently others, the closer you will find yourself to people.

So while there is a different charm altogether in repeating stories with your friends and family over dinner during which the world around ceases to exist, dining alone makes you search for your place in this world. Get started and experience both, for the story of life to completely unfold.


  1. I read 4 articles. The one on fine dining alone, 498A, My choice, the one on Mausa and Vipasna. Really enjoyed reading them. Will read the rest soon. Keep them coming.


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