Restaurant Review: Open Door Policy at 19 Yong Siak Street Singapore

Had been meaning to check out the latest kid on the block at the rejuvenated Tiong Bahru estate, Open Door Policy, for quite a while now. So imagine my excitement when Linda suggested we meet there for dinner and a catch up session! She made a reservation at 7pm on Thursday but heard over the phone that there is a 2-hour limit to dinner, but we had postponed to meet at 7.30pm. However it still means we gotta scoot by 9pm, according to the person who took the reservation.

Well now, that's not very nice. We were quite bewildered by this rule they have, ironically at a place named Open Door Policy. What happens if we stay past 9pm? We will be asked to leave? What if there is a slow eater among us? It's also not as if there was a queue of people waiting to take over from 9pm for a 2nd round, so..

That strange rule aside, the place itself was actually really nicely decorated. Using a shop house space, they lined the tables on the inner portion along the wall, but at the front of the restaurant is a bar where people can also have drinks at.

Diners get a view of the open concept kitchen with see-through glass. Quite similar to sushi bars, but here they are cooking up a storm. Heard that the head chef is caucasian but I see none there that night, so we are not sure whether that is true or not.

The menu was enclosed in an retro styled workbook. I like how they mix in some old furnitures (e.g. school desks and chairs) amidst the bricked wall and scuffed paint wooden floors.

As you can see, their food is Western but with a heavy leaning towards french cuisine. Pretty interesting things they have on it too.

We ordered 2 starters and 1 main to share among the both of us. First there is the halloumi cheese with olives, white anchovies and crusty bread ($19). I don't see any bread inside (but perhaps it was served with another appetizer), but there were some cherry tomatoes. I've never heard of this cheese before to be honest, but Linda told me its quite a good cheese that is not too strong. Since I am an avid lover of cheese of all types (including the blue smelly ones), I was intrigued and we ordered it. The cheese is very firm -- and the taste itself is not too cheesy, almost like a tofu kind of texture. Very interesting and apparently a great accompaniment during BBQs. The white anchovies gave the dish its very saltish flavor, while the olive oil and herb dressing gave it some depth.

Next my third most favorite raw meat in the world (after Salmon and Swordfish sashimi) -- the beef tartare! The steak tartare with truffle mayo and potato chips ($19) was really quite well-done for something made in Singapore. Most people are turned off by the raw-ness of the beef, but when done well it is really enjoyable. Chewy, cold, and the truffle mayo 'marinate' making it hard to stop at one scoop. Goes well with the chips. One of the recommended items to try out at ODP too on HGW.

Lastly the 48 hour cooked braised beef cheek with mochi potatoes, carrot puree and snow pea tendrils ($29).
The portion was not very big for something that costs $29 (Bistro du vin has it for better value) but it was also quite palatable though also quite salty. The meat was soft and infused with the gravy, while there was this weird looking sausage thing in beige color at the background of the meat (you can't see here) that we suspect is either the mochi potatoes in mashed format or the snow pea tendrils.

Overall, I might be blogging about this place only because it is new, shiny and has quite a fair bit of hype surrounding it. However I don't think the food managed to rise above average, plus they charge a pretty penny for it probably for its decor, location and concept. We did not stay for desserts too since there's no créme brulée or soufflé (my 2 favorite french desserts). Other items on the menu might entice me to go back one day to try but it will not be on the top of my list.

Open Door Policy
19 Yong Siak Street, Singapore
Tel: +65 62219307
Opening Hours: Mon–Sun: 12pm–4pm, 6.30pm–11pm,
Wed: 6.30pm–11pm (Closed on Tue)
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