For local culture in HK, dim sum represents a shared meal. Whether with family, friends or colleagues, it’s a meal you sit down to share with others. It’s quite common for people to get together on the weekend over dim sum to dim sum some more but in my time here I’ve discovered it’s a lonely life trying to eat dim sum for one. For starters, you stick out immediately as a solo rider and feel guilty when ordering so many plates knowing you can’t possibly eat it all but want a taste of each. On the other hand if you only order one or two dishes, you might have better portion control but you never feel fully satisfied because let’s face it, you wanted one of everything.
For some single ladies (and men) anywhere it can be daunting to eat out alone. In a city like Hong Kong it’s 10 fold if you’re not used to it. There is the hustle and bustle of deciding what to eat, deciding how busy you want the place to be, do you need a quiet dinner alone or to be somewhere surrounded by noise? There is the hassle of finding somewhere within budget and picking somewhere to go where we won’t look like idiots. I’m used to being in my own company and quite happy to sit down at a restaurant and chow down a burger alone but, I understand for people having not done it, you can be conscious of standing out like a sore thumb.
If I've learnt anything in HK as I've eaten my way across the city it’s that dim sum is not a meal for a single gal (CANNOT) but there are endless possibilities of places to eat alone, from nice restaurants to cheap and cheerful holes in the wall. Some places even offer discounts to singles because they apparently feel sorry for us not having someone to share a meal with. Of the 100s of restaurants I could recommend, I've compiled a list of my Top 5 Single Gal Places of Eat in HK*
1. Little Bao
If you haven't heard me rave about LB then we mustn't be real friends. I could eat here just about every night if I had the budget. The owner May Chow (@littlebaomay) recently got named Best Female Chef 2017 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 and since then the lines have been up the street to snag a spot here. But alas, as a single diner it’s easy to slip in ahead of the crowd a find a spare stool.
Address: 66 Staunton St, Central
Price: $90-300 hkd
Wait for Single Seat: 10 min max
2. Chom Chom
Like Little Bao, Chom Chom works for singles because of the bar seating. Grab a seat up at the kitchen bar and enjoy some fresh vietnamese and a cocktail if your heart desires.
Address: 58 Peel St, Central
Wait for Single Seat: 10 mins
Again with the bar seating but I’ve discovered these are generally the best for solo diners with some atmosphere. Thai but not your regular hoo ha, Chachawan is great for a drink and some dinner any night of the week.
Address: 206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
Wait for Single Seat: No time at all.
4. Pho Bar Central
Pho Bar is good for those winter nights when you’re needing some soul soothing hot soup and noodles. The chicken wings are also a hit!
Address: 24 Li Yuen St W, Central
Wait for Single Seat: No wait time
5. ‘Special Noodle Shop’
This is a bit of a cop out but I refuse to give the address to my favourite noodle restaurant because I don’t want to turn up one day when everyone has discovered it and have to wait in line. The noodles are to die for - spicy, long flat noodle with dumplings that make you go out with a biang!
Address: Not giving it!
Wait for Single Seat: No time currently
*Don’t hold me accountable if your wait time is slightly longer. You know I don't have the power to guarantee anything!