Hong Kong and Beijing Solo Dining
I will be traveling solo in Hong Kong and Beijing in early May. Any restaurants that people would recommend especially for solo diners? So many places I want to try, but not sure how solo friendly the more upscale restaurants will be?
Dadong in Beijing is fine to eat at alone (at least I did it)Now that I think of it they did give me a table for four people though...oh well it doesnt matter ... in fact I ate at most places in Beijing alone and the ones I wasnt alone at I would have beeen fine if I was alone
What style of food? In HK many lunch spots do have communal tables for the solo diner, but serving sizes are intended to share so it limits the options unless you eat a lot or don't mind a bit of waste. In traditional Chinese places, especially higher end, it gets trickier, you will be looked after but again portion size is an issue. Obviously western style, or other Asian cuisines are more flexible.
I totally agree with our fellow chowhounder PhilD. An indication of the style and if Chinese, the regional cuisine, would help us tremendously with our recommendations.
FYI, I have no problem dining alone in high-end places in HK especially western ones like L'Atelier Robouchon....though being single would limit the number of dishes one can try in a Chinese restaurant. If you like Japanese, an Omakase meal at the 2* Ryugin atop of ICC would be most enjoyable!
HK's Bo Innovation, which does modern-Chinese, is solo-friendly :-)
In Beijing, I once dined alone at Quanjude Kaoyadian's original outlet in Qianmen - they cater to lone diners wanting to try Peking duck, as small portions are available.
Thanks for the responses so far!
What I'm interested in is finding authentic Asian cuisine that I wouldn't be able to get (or to get as well) here -- so, I don't need Joel Robouchon, which I can get here. I want dim sum, soup dumplings, seafood, am thrilled to read that Bo Innovation is solo friendly, would love to hear of other similar high-end unique HK/Beijing places where I can reserve and dine without having to shirk into a corner. And, of course, I speak only English so that limits me as well aside from random guessing!
For lunches, I'm quite happy to do things on the fly, but for several dinners I would love to plan destination restaurants. Cost really isn't a factor. I just want to be in a place where I'm not a COMPLETE fish out of water by dining alone and enjoying it!
I hope you find what you're looking for.
I am travelling to Beijing in a few weeks for the first time and will be visiting the following restaurants.
I always dine solo, and confirm Charles's statement that eating Japanese omakase (fine dining set meal) is always ok solo as the portion control is individual. I don't think the Chinese have an equivalent in their native cuisine (although the fancy 'foreign' restaurants have degustation menus which are the same idea).
For Chinese food, I'm afraid I am going to waste a heck of a lot of food, but the Beijing restaurants look to be a *lot* cheaper than those in Japan, so it probably won't end up more expensive.
If you take my advice, forget about your scruples, get all the things you want to try, even if you only eat a little bit of each of them. The owners will usually just be happy to have you spending the amount a full table would have done, rather than wasting that space, especially in a very busy location.
To those who actually know about Chinese restaurants (unlike me) is there a sensible equivalent to Omakase in Chinese? I.e. "Give me your best meal" with encouragement to quality?
At bianyifang there is a rib dish that is surprisingly good. I thought the duck they served was on the small side to the point that I asked the chinese person I was with to ask the waitress (AWFUL service) if they had actually brought the whole duck.
The food on the other hand was very good. I would definitely go back. The other dish i had was some kind of lotus root stir fry which was delicious.