Singapore: Open Door Policy

15 Mar

Open Door Policy is yet another one of the cool cat eateries that have opened in Singapore, and considers itself a “modern bistro with a rustic twist”. Its location in the now gentrified neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru, along Yong Siak Street (near 40 Hands, Strangelets, Books Actually, Nana & Bird, Social Haus, The Orange Thimble, etc.), surely also contributes to its rustic and cool factor. With a unique contemporary menu (with Asian and Mediterranean touches) conceptualised by The Tippling Club’s Ryan Clift, and coffee by 40 Hands, it sounds too good to not give it a try.

Loving the exposed brick look and the show kitchen (with glass, no smells)

High chairs overlooking the kitchen

Bar counter

Extremely rustic tables and chairs


From the small cocktail menu, we tried the peach bellini (rose sparkling wine, peach sorbet) ($18). Hmm, I didn’t see any peach sorbet though.

For the starters, the flamed tuna carpaccio with radish and yuzu salad ($19) was refreshing and not bad, I liked that they aburi-ed the tuna to give it a smokey flavour. More yuzu sauce please!

The halloumi cheese with olives, white anchovies and crusty bread ($19) was a definite winner. I’ve never had halloumi cheese (at least not as a main ingredient in a dish) and was struck by how well it tasted with the bread, tomatoes, olives and anchovies. My only complaint was that there was not enough of the delicious crusty bread to go around, as the cheese, olives and anchovies were all quite salty.

For our mains, the 48 hour cooked braised beef cheek with mochi potatoes, carrot puree and snow pea tendrils ($29) looked and tasted absolutely delicious. The cheeks were very tender but the velvety mochi potatoes were really something. I’ve never tasted potatoes of that texture before.

Next to the beef cheeks, unfortunately the roast pork belly with black chorizo cassoulet ($29) was a little bland, even though the texture was good. I think it needs more sauce/seasoning. And there wasn’t a nice crackling to give the dish that oomph. The cous cous and the sweet potato chips were nice though!

We were really stuffed by now, but for dessert, the white chocolate mousse with a raspberry headache ($14) was both a tangy and sweet end to the meal. The white chocolate mouse is almost frozen so it’s a bit like a mochi ice cream without the mochi skin. Brainfreeze!

As some of the dishes we ate were part of a festive set (however prices I’ve included are a la carte prices), it came with wine pairing and all the wines we sampled were good! If you’re a teetotaller, there’s always good coffee. There were quite a few other dishes on the menu that I would love to try, including the beef tartare with truffle mayo, roasted salmon with panzanella salad and wild mushroom risotto, so a return visit is in order. Props to Ryan Clift and team for creating this unique eating place in Singapore. Reservations are absolutely necessary.

Price: $$$
Location: 19 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168650
Tel: +65 6221 9307

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