All I could think throughout our gluttonous meal for four was winner winner what a dinner. They describe it as modern bistro fare with a rustic twist, but all I could manage was OMNOMNOMNOMNOM (yes, that many times) in between mouthfuls of delicious almost overly flavorful food. You can bet I’ll be back again (sometime really soon) for the amazingly good grub by Ryan Clift of Tippling Club fame, and bonus points for the fact that it all came without the infamous Tippling Club price tag.
Given the fact that Open Door Policy has only been in operation for 7 days or so (we were there last weekend), it was surprisingly free of the usual teething problems faced by most F&B joints. In fact, I thought that both service and food were pretty damn spectacular, definitely better than the the majority of dining options at this particular price point.
Open Door Policy has a great menu, and greater still is the fact that everything we ordered was a hit with our table. S and I agreed that in general, the four of us combined are pretty selective when it comes to food, so when we all agree that something is good, you gotta trust us when we say it’s a real winner.
Steak tartare with truffle mayo and potato chips
Crispy chicken wings with curry, yoghurt and cucumber salad
Watercress soup with soft poached hen’s egg
Flamed tuna carpaccio with radish and yuzu salad
Grilled carrot salad with snow peas, orange walnuts and cardamom dressing
Wild mushroom risotto with truffle crumbs
Confit duck leg, puy lentils, sage and smoked bacon
Pork belly with parsnip puree, braised quinoa and celery
Lime panna cotta with coconut sago, cashew nuts and mint
White chocolate mousse with a raspberry headache
Honestly, I loved everything we ordered, and it’s a tough task to tell you what’s better than the rest. But in the event that you can’t have every item we tried here’s best effort at it:
If you like your steak tartare to not taste like mashed up raw meat, then you’re going to love the version served over at ODP. It is incredibly well seasoned and tastes a little like tomato. The crispy boneless chicken wings are so bloody addictive. Really. Truly. I think I could have had a plate all on my own. The Watercress soup was an angmoh take on the chinese version you would normally have at home, made 10x more amazing by the creamy texture and addition of a poached egg. The flamed tuna carpaccio was yummy, but I though the highlight of that dish was the radish and yuzu salad – light and bright and refreshing on the palate especially alongside the heavier soup.
ODP uses whole baby carrots (with the green tops) for the grilled carrot salad so if you like your carrots you’ll really like this dish as the subtle sweetness and natural flavours of the carrots they use really comes through very strongly. I think it takes a lot of guts and a real belief in the quality of your produce to put together such a simple dish and charge what they do for it. But I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. If you’re one for heavier flavours and a lot of seasoning you’ll want to skip this dish.
For me, the duck confit sealed the deal on the greatness of the food served at this little bistro (then again, I’m a duck confit fiend so I might be slightly biased). The succulent meat fell easily off the bone, the skin was crisp without being overly hard, and the heady flavours of duck cooked in its own fat had me in real ecstasy. The lentils and smoked bacon came together beautifully with the main dish – my only complaint? It is too small!
They are very, very generous with the truffle crumbs in the wild mushroom risotto dish. The flavours are intense, the mushrooms are in abundance, and the risotto is smooth and creamy. Definitely a winner for those of you who love rich satisfying flavours in your food. The final main for the evening was a 12-hour milk braised pork belly with quinoa and spices. Again, we were overwhelmed by the flavours and textures of this dish – the slightly sweet crisp tapioca chips went wonderfully with the savoury soft slow cooked pork.
And finally, on dessert: the lime panna cotta with coconut sago was a brilliant asian take on a traditional western dessert, though I thought the coconut was a tad overpowering. However, the white chocolate mousse with a raspberry headache did not disappoint – in fact, it did so well, S ordered a second serving after we were done with the first.
There are definite perks to being friends with H&S. For one, they’re always in the know about the latest and greatest to hit the food scene so we’re never short of new things to try when the weekend rolls around. They also QC everything (they normally try stuff out before they ask us out) so we’re guaranteed to only go to the good ones. Ordering food is a riot (but it can be kinda embarrassing) – we’ve found that it’s always easier to tell the server what we won’t be having rather than what we would like to try. And like us, they’re all about being communal so everyone gets to try everything. Dining with them is always a pleasure because they clearly love food as much (or perhaps even more) than we do.
Open Door Policy
19 Yong Siak Street
So apparently I’ll be back again this weekend. That wasn’t a long wait at all!