Had another belated Hatched Day treat recently and my friend and I opted to check out Open Door Policy (ODP), located in the hipster enclave of Tiong Bahru (Yong Siak Street, to be precise), which serves contemporary European cuisine.
Having walked from Tiong Bahru Plaza onto Yong Siak Street, we almost missed the restaurant as our attention was instead caught by a notebook vending machine at the nearby Books Actually. Thanks to ODP being a PoGo Pokestop, we realised we had bypass it and quickly retrace our steps back down the lane.
The restaurant has a greenhouse feel thanks to the real herbs and garnishes planted in wooden shelves with cute signages along the wall, against which dining tables face through the entire length of the premises. It also has an open kitchen concept where you can also sit at and see the five chefs in action, with a small bar area next to it near the entrance.
It was only when I asked for their range of beer did we realised that the menu at ODP is now “100% gluten-free and dairy-free”. Which was no problem with us actually and I got to try my first gluten-free beer ever. They only have two beer choices so I went for the lager – Green’s Dry Hopped Lager pours golden with a little head and has a fruity, citrus and hoppy taste. “Naturally gluten & wheat free”, it’s not a bad taste but it’s definitely not what you would call a “manly beer”. The wine list is understandably more extensive and there’s a decent selection of cocktails and mocktails as well.
The ODP menu comprises starters, mains, sides and desserts and is not jam-packed with items to choose from. Which sometimes is better so you don’t have to wreck your brain trying to figure out what to eat. For the appetisier, we decided to go for the Endive Gratin ($22, pictured above) which is premium smoked ham with red apples and veal jus. It was an artistically well-presented dish and certainly unique in both style and taste.
For mains, my pal chose the Pan Seared Crispy Quail ($34) with turnips and chickepeas casserole and banana shallot. The quail meat was well-seasoned and tasty and we love the chickpeas. Just found the taste of the turnips different from the one we are used to and also, we couldn’t detect any banana flavour from the banana shallot. Maybe they meant banana-shaped shallots? (We were too hungry to ask…)
I opted for the Braised Veal Ossobuco ($32) with carrot risotto and smoked parika. Must confess that the carrot risotto took a while to get used to – the texture was fine but the carroty flavour… well, you can truly feel the “healthiness” of it all. No complaints about the veal which was tender and succulent, down to the bone marrow.
Our food choices didn’t exactly wow us but all in all, a nice experience at a place with good ambience. Damage came up to about $70 per person.
Open Door Policy is at 19 Yong Siak Street.