Go­ing solo

The best restau­rants for din­ing alone

Time Out Kuala Lumpur - - Contents -

The Mar­ket at Ise­tan The Ja­pan Store

The gor­geous Ise­tan The Ja­pan Store in Lot 10 is break­ing new grounds in the lo­cal shop­ping scene with its re­fresh­ing take on store de­sign, prod­uct se­lec­tion and food courts. Lo­cated on the lower ground floor, The Mar­ket fea­tures mul­ti­ple food zones, each spe­cial­is­ing in a dif­fer­ent type of Ja­panese food, such as tem­pura, soba, sushi and sashimi, yakiniku, and chazuke (a Ja­panese dish where you pour hot green tea or dashi over rice topped with condi­ments).

The best part is, the space is mostly counter seat­ing where you get to watch the chefs pre­pare your food, much like how you’d dine in Tokyo, which is per­fect for solo din­ers. The point is not to linger; you can al­ways move on to the dessert bar (run by Tsu­jiri) or get a Hi­tachino Nest beer at the Ja­panese craft beer bar – both lo­cated on the same floor as well.

Lot 10, 50 Jalan Sul­tan Is­mail, KL (03 2141 7777/ the­japanstore.mi­s­tore.jp/my). Daily, 11am-9pm.


The best thing about Ekka­mai’s counter seats is that they’re lo­cated at the far end of the restau­rant, so you don’t have to sit amid a sea of Thai green curry lovers. Ekka­mai’s à la carte op­tions are elab­o­rate, fea­tur­ing pad Thai with tamarind sauce, duck and ly­chee curry, and the fit-for-one spicy tom yum. The en­ergy es­ca­lates to a high dur­ing lunchtime thanks to af­ford­able set lunches – the bustling at­mos­phere will eas­ily help you for­get you’re alone.

8 Jalan Batai, Bukit Da­mansara, KL (03 2095 2772/ekka­mai.com.my). Mon-Sat, 11.30am-1.30am; Sun, 11.30am-12mid­night.

Mikey’s Orig­i­nal New York Pizza

Piz­zas are com­mu­nal food, but at Mikey’s, you can dine on pizza all by yourself with­out look­ing like a glut­ton. Here, piz­zas are avail­able by the slice as well, and they are huge slices at that – it’s New York-style pizza af­ter all. Se­lec­tions in­clude BBQ Chicken, Meat­ball, Clas­sic New York, Mama’s Wild Mush­room (veg­e­tar­ian), and of course the 9-1-1 Pizza, dubbed the spici­est in Asia as it’s com­pletely cov­ered with cili padi. Oth­er­wise, go for the pas­tas, he­roes (the New York term for ‘sub’), waf­fle fries or the bone­less buf­falo chicken, and fin­ish your meal with an A&W Root Beer Float.

Var­i­ous out­lets in­clud­ing Bangsar, Mid Val­ley Mega­mall and Pub­lika (mikeyspizza.com.my).


You don’t have to sub­sist on bento boxes if you’re din­ing alone (there’s ab­so­lutely no shame in eat­ing a curry katsu don all by yourself). Sushi bars are prac­ti­cally made for solo din­ers but to treat yourself even bet­ter, we def­i­nitely sug­gest a meal at the revered Oribe. The open kitchen con­cept with counter seat­ing af­fords you the per­fect view of Chef Ori and his crew at work, sculpt­ing ni­giri like minia­ture gems. For a less drawn-out Ja­panese af­fair, opt for the quick Seto lunch menu which con­sists of an ap­pe­tiser, steamed egg cus­tard, eight pieces of sushi, a sushi roll, miso soup and dessert.

Ground floor, Block C-1, Vi­pod Res­i­dences, 6 Jalan Kia Peng, KL (03 2181 4099/oribe-sushi. com.my). Mon-Sat, lunch, 12noon-3pm; din­ner, 6-11pm.

Kom­pas­sion II

Like most Asian cuisines, Thai food is best en­joyed in a group. But you can very well eat out by yourself at Kom­pas­sion II, the pork-free sis­ter out­let of pop­u­lar Thai fu­sion restau­rant Kom­pas­sion. At this ca­sual TTDI off­shoot, you get to choose from a menu of 20 in­di­vid­ual meals, fea­tur­ing a good mix of clas­sic Thai dishes and the restau­rant’s spe­cial­ties – plus they each come with a side salad and a drink. Choices in­clude tom yum chicken with rice; green curry laksa; fried bela­can mee hoon with crispy fish fil­let; lin­guine pad Thai with prawns; lemon­grass chicken Thai salad; and more. If you’re feel­ing in­de­ci­sive, you can’t go wrong with the gen­er­ously por­tioned Kom­pas­sion II Nasi Cam­pur Spe­cial, which gets you a se­lec­tion of the restau­rant’s best dishes – so re­ally, you’re not miss­ing out, even when eat­ing alone.

15 Lorong Datuk Su­laiman 7, TTDI (03 7731 7016/fb.com/Kom­pas­sionII.Ta­manTun). Tue-Sun, 11.30am-2.30pm; 6-10.30pm.


Din­ing at a com­mu­nal bar with an open kitchen could also war­rant an in­ti­mate ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence, as demon­strated at Co­quo. The most cov­eted seat in the restau­rant is the tenseater counter area, where Chef Toni Valero turns din­ner into theatre. Din­ing alone al­lows you to be fully im­mersed in the food prepa­ra­tion process with­out any dis­trac­tion – the dish of ibérico pork tartare with char­coal may­on­naise and sweet sour yolk is a per­for­mance in its own as smoke bil­lows from the cloche upon re­moval. Co­quo’s som­me­lier Gus­tavo Ar­riaga will ex­pand your wine knowl­edge should you ask.

D1-G4-6, Pub­lika, 1 Jalan Du­ta­mas 1, So­laris Du­ta­mas, KL (03 6211 2822/co­quokl.com). Tue-Sun, 6pm-12mid­night.

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