Ardent fans of the ’90s TV show Friends might recollect an episode where Rachel decides to start giving herself some alone time while dining out. The plot involves the hilarious paranoia that men have about women who eat alone. Although I laughed along like any other fan, it was definitely one episode where I wondered what the deal really was. What is really so bad about eating at a restaurant by yourself?
As someone who immensely enjoys my own company to that of ‘acquiantances’. (By the way, am I the only person that has trouble spelling this word, every time?? Even my phone’s autocorrect gets confused these days thanks to the many times I’ve misspelt it.) Anyhow, the same trait involves going to restaurants alone as well.
Now, I am not going to admit this isn’t hazard free. For one, there is the endless cacophony of happy faces, general frolic and chattering that you seem to notice ONLY when you’re alone. Thank God for technology, for I am now equipped to fight the same with WhatsApp and Anybooks. But of course, as someone who has ventured into this zone one too many times, one thing I know for certain is – the major problem for me is actually the eating part. My borderly-anorexic self gets fooled by acute hunger into ordering too much food, and not having someone to share makes me look like a pampered brat who has no concerns about the starving children of wherever. Or worse still, a sense of adventure floats in out of nowhere, and before I know it, I’m locking eyes with a weird looking Indo-European pasta or a noodle variety that says anything but Chinese.
Varying portion sizes are of course another culprit. You order a serving of fried rice, and they bring either a spoonful or enough food to feed a state. There is honestly no single-person sized serving in this world for all I know, resulting in me leaving the place either hungry or guilty. Never satisfied. Add to that the reminder from my expense tracking app that I’ve used up 130% of my monthly budget as the credit card balance dips to an all-time low, and I’m nearly tearing up right there.
WHICH is why yesterday’s lunch made me glow in the way pregnancy does (if that is actually a thing.) I was alone, had all the time in the world and better still, had a healthy appetite – not hungry enough to order everything on the menu, but not willing to stop with a piece of celery either. And best of all, the prices didn’t make me want to run when I still could.
No adventures this time. I ordered a sweet corn soup and grilled fish. The former, I virtually grew up swimming in, and the latter I had tasted multiple times when I visited the restaurant with friends. I decided to hold off ordering dessert till after the meal, just in case my tummy protested. (It didn’t)
The food – the soup, the fish and the caramel custard – was nothing short of glorious, the waiters were courteous and sweet, the bill didn’t give me a heart attack and I for once left a restaurant basking in culinary bliss and proud of my choices in life.
I mean, just look at these pictures. Aren’t you drooling a little yourself?
P.S. If ever you visit Pondicherry, India, do not forget to dine at Debussy Restaurant for lovely budget food and drinks!
P.P.S. They didn’t pay me to write this, just in case you’re wondering.
P.P.P.S No, seriously, this is all me.
P.P.P.P.S It’s starting to seem a little desperate isn’t it. Maybe I should um.. yeah. Bye.