Been to Open Door Policy lately, mama? One of the original Tiong Bahru stalwarts has reinvented itself with an adventurous new menu; Sassy Mama Fiana was lucky to get a taste of what’s to come!
When I’m not attending parent-teacher meetings for my toddler or changing diapers for my infant, I’m that mama who truly enjoys visiting Singapore’s hipster capital (New Yorkers eat your heart out), Tiong Bahru. It so cooly combines classic charm with cafes, restaurants and gourmet grocers sprouting in every nook and corner. Amongst the flurry of newbies, there are some old favourites, like Open Door Policy. This longtime stalwart owned by celebrity chef Ryan Clift has recently decided to take things up a notch with a revamp and even rolled out a spanking new menu. In addition to interesting concoctions (cocktails range between S$17-20 whilst mocktails are priced at S$10 each) from the bar, I sampled almost every dish on the menu!
We began with a variety of inventive starters including Warm Octopus Terrine, Guacamole Risotto, Crab Cakes, Wakame and Romaine Salad with Hamachi Sashimi, and Lamb Spring Rolls. Whilst each of these starters was delicious, the one that stood out was definitely the risotto. Unlike traditional risottos, this Latin American-influenced dish was served with a whole slow-cooked hen’s egg, crème fraiche, chilies and nacho chips. The result was a medley of interesting flavours that perfectly offset the guacamole’s spiciness. With the exception of the lamb spring rolls – a holdover staple from the previous menu – each of these starters is newly created and priced between $18 –S$22.
Our mains included the Lamb Ragout Taglierini, the Braised Beef Cheeks, the Kangaroo Fillet (that’s not one you see too often in Singapore!), the Seafood Risotto and the Roast Barramundi. My favourites were the uber-tender beef cheeks served with black truffle mashed potato, roasted mushroom and red wine, and the seafood risotto cooked with a delectably thick and creamy lobster bisque and a healthy portion of mussels, a Hokkaido scallop, and prawns. Mains are priced from $26 – $34, good value considering the unique ingredients and the masterful skill with which they’re prepared!
I was nearing a food coma after the mains but simply couldn’t resist the onslaught of desserts! In the name of research, I tried the Passion Fruit and Chocolate Tart, the Chocolate Pistachio Souffle with Crème Anglaise, Caramel Crème Brulee with Brown Sugar Ice Cream and the Eight-Spice Apple Crumble (exactly which 8 spices they are is a secret!).
In my opinion the tart was a winner as it was a smooth blend of sweet fruit and a bitter chocolate ganache, all baked to perfection and served with frozen passion fruit custard. But the true piece d’ resistance for me was the Apple Crumble. Whilst this sounds like a common dessert, the warm, crunchy browned apple tops accompanied with vanilla custard were just the best sort of comfort food.
Head Chef Daniele Sperindio ran through each course with us and passionately explained the ingredients therein. He has done a great job re-inventing the Open Door Policy menu, taking this much-loved neighbourhood to new heights as an exciting gourmet dining destination. I, for one, will definitely be back for a repeat meal soon!
Opening hours: 12pm-11pm on Monday – Friday, and 11am-11pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. Bar open till midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Open Door Policy, 19 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168650, Tel: (+65) 6221 9307, www.odpsingapore.com