Open Door Policy Hot
ODP (Open Door Policy) is the latest bistro concept developed in Singapore focusing on great food, gourmet coffee & unique wines with an institution like ambience found in the quaint little neighborhood of Yong Siak St, hidden in Tiong Bahru.
User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 5 user(s)
Might not be the best place for a nice comfortable brunch.
I had gone down to Open Door Policy on a Saturday weekend for brunch with a friend, and prior to that we had made a reservation. But it turned out that there was a 1.5hour 'time limit' that we had to adhere to, which showed that the seats there were in demand. I was quite okay with this time limitation, and eventually they did not kick us out or anything, but nevertheless it was quite 'stressful' because I ended up 15 minutes late and became quite conscious of the time. Not ideal especially when it was supposed to be a relaxing brunch outing.
Upon entering, one would definitely notice the glass roof, which was beautiful and enhanced the place's rustic charm greatly. Unfortunately, we were seated right under the glass roof and it became really glaring as the afternoon sun was up. It got quite uncomfortable and we requested to change seats and were re-seated to the table ledge facing the open concept kitchen, which was another highlight of this place.
The food made up for everything though. I had the "House Made Beans on Toast with Chorizo and Parsley" while my friend had the "Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs on Toasted Ciabatta with Spinach and Fresh Herbs", but I did not try his dish as I am not much of a fish eater. I loved the smoky taste from the chorizo, and the toast was not very soggy from the beans, so it definitely earned a thumbs up from me in terms of taste. Portion-wise its quite small, but this is coming from a big eater like me.
I might reconsider going to OPD again soon to try the remaining brunch items, but do note that the place is not very accessible via public transport that's why we got lost. Parking lots seems quite scarce in nearby areas on weekends, so be prepared!
Good, but a little overpriced
Open Door Policy (ODR) is wonderfully quaint - its antic old steel tables and open kitchen exudes a modern chic atmosphere. Subtler elements like a glass sky roof give ODR a very rustic yet classy appearance.
A pricier alternative to co-owned 40 Hands, the cafe opposite ODR, this cafe was a little too expensive for my liking. For example, a typical brunch menu item like the Eggs Benedict, costs $21. The meal in overall was great and immaculately presented - the ODR breakfast burger in particular - but unlike the food, the hefty price tag was difficult to swallow.
All in all, ODR is still a great place if you don't mind paying a little extra for the ambience. I treat this review as an overall comparison of the Tiong Bahru area, which is saturated with similar cafes eg. 40 Hands, Flock, PS Cafe. My two cents is you head across the road to 40 Hands for brunch as a cheaper and equally good alternative.
Vibrant ambience but average food
I think the main draw to ODP is the ambience and the open kitchen where you can see chefs do their magic. It's quite an odd match in the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, but you can see many yuppy-like cafes/bistro in this area popping up.
Parsley crusted mussels with ratatouille - Pretty ok, but lacking in parsly to balance ratatouille.
48 hour braised beef cheeks - Tender but left with a beefy gamey aftertaste.
Roast chicken with polenta - Rubbery texture. Do not recommend.
Apple crumble - The best thing I had there. Very good apple crumble.
Fine Dining With A Good Show
Open Door Policy, developed by the Spa Esprit Group, has certainly managed to draw in the crowds daily with their rustic chic ambience, beautifully presented and great tasting dishes, and casual and friendly service.
Ambience at Open Door Policy exudes a casual chic vibe, but the classy dinnerware give away its fine dining status. And while the floor space at Open Door Policy is limited, they've managed to comfortably space out their rustic, wooden-looking furniture well. The glass-walled show kitchen concept is fantastic, and its great to be able to watch your food being prepared by the counter. However, ambient noise levels do tend to get quite loud during peak periods.
Service staff at Open Door Policy are friendly and polite, and do show initiative. For example, offering bag hooks, or asking for feedback on food. Staff are able to handle crowds well, being able to still offer attentive service despite being busy with a full house.
Open Door Policy features a menu produced by acclaimed chef Mr. Ryan Clift, putting a modern twist on rustic European comfort food. Food is arranged and presented thoughtfully. And while each dish is simple and uncomplicated, the freshness of the ingredients shines through. Drinks are also a specialty here, with cocktails, wines and coffee being the most popular. Be prepared that all this comes at a price, as dining at Open Door Policy is more expensive than other cafes, befitting of a fine dining status.
The Latte is excellent, as it's from the award-winning 40 Hands cafe nearby, which is also managed by the Spa Esprit Group.
The Smoked Salmon And Scrambled Eggs On Toasted Ciabatta Bread With Spinach And Fresh Herbs is only available on their weekend brunch menu. The eggs were light and fluffy, and the spinach was fresh and still slightly crisp despite cooking. However, while the toasted ciabatta bread was fresh, crisp and tasty, it began to soften throughout the meal, due to the dampness of the eggs and spinach on top.
The ODP Pancakes With Grand Marnier And Orange is only available on their weekend brunch menu. While fluffy, I felt the pancakes were too thick, which made the dish very filling. The sauce of grand marnier and orange lent a fruity, light taste to the dish.
Having a show kitchen is a great idea, as it provides dining entertainment as well. Watching the chefs prepare the orders is both appetizing, as well as interesting. From my experience here, it seems The ODP Burger, as well as the ODP Panckes, are very popular items.
Great starters, Great service
Tucked away in Yong Siak St, this is more like a restaurant compared to the other prevalent casual cozy cafes around the vicinity. Judging from the outside, no one can tell that ODP was a restaurant serving food priced on the high side. My friend and I had actually mistaken it for a cafe. Upon entering, we saw many Caucasians and people mostly in their late twenties or early thirties. This place closes quite early on weekdays and so do double check their operating hours before popping by.
My friend and i shared the duck for starters($15-20) and wagyu beef for main($25-35) as we weren't very hungry at that point in time. The duck was excellent and the beef was sumptuous. The place was unpretentious and the service was excellent. The staffs were very attentive even though the place was almost full when we were there.
We were seated on high chairs facing the glass panel which allowed us to scruntinize the chefs who were busy preparing food. The chefs do not talk much amongst themselves which is good and food handling/hygiene was definitely A-star. The place we sat at had very strong air-conditioning and it's great for someone like myself who perspires easily.
I will definitely return again when my wallet is fat and when some pampering needs to be done!