EENMAAL x Glacéau Smart Water, London

3.10.2015

"A table for one please", it seems like an obscured idea dining alone in a restaurant. Personally I don't understand why it is a taboo, going into a hotel you will see many business attires dining solo not by choice but out of necessity. I always wonder, why can't there be a restaurant that caters for solo diners without the judgement?

Eenmaal in Amsterdam is the world's first solo-dining restaurant which offers tables for one. A concept from Marina Van Goor, with an aim of temporarily disconnecting the society and reconnecting with our mindfulness. Suggesting that solo dining experience should be a time for meditation or reflection, spend time to enjoy ourselves. It was a concept that I misunderstood at first, but either way I can for once dine on my own without the strange looks.


Exterior

Interior

Chef

Solo Diners

In partnership with Glacéau Smart Water, Eenmaal was bought to London for a 2 days pop-up experience. It was relatively simple the idea, you arrive on your own, eat on your own and temporarily disconnect yourself to your thoughts or whatever.  On arrival of the mysterious venue, the room is decorated with white furnitures and blue accent provided by the LED lightings. Square tables positioned at random cleverly such that no diners are facing each other or be in their space. What is immediately noticeable is the silence, the lack of chatter and interaction. When looking around, most seemed to be playing with their phones (including me) or reading a book.

Table for one, please

Menu

Glacéau Smart Water

Amuse Bouche - Cauliflower with mustard

Fresh homemade ricotta, served with rye bread, caramelised whey and beetroot

Gravlax served with dill, pickled radishes and matcha salt

The food offering was good. Two choice of elegantly presented dishes from a set menu. The drinks list was limited to Glacéau Smart Water, the only water that is vapour distilled. My starter of fresh homemade ricotta, served with rye bread, caramelised whey and beetroot was light and refreshing, not overly cold either just the right temperature. My main was very interesting, I opted for the Gravlax served with dill, pickled radishes and matcha salt. Interesting flavour combination, first for matcha salt - salty matcha powder with a hint of bitterness aftertaste. Not too sure it went with the salmon, equally I could have eaten the salmon on its own.

It's ideal when you want your peace and quiet without the disturbance, but during my visit there was conversations that spontaneously ignited (it felt like they knew each other beforehand). Perhaps the perceived public desire to retreat and be alone isn't as strong as they believe. Similarly in Japan, there's a solo-dining restaurant that offers large stuffed animals for company. Personally, I would want to talk but once in a while I do want to be alone just for a bit to reconnect myself.

EENMAAL
7 Grape Street, Covent Garden WC2H 8DW 
Facebook: popupeenmaal

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