Open Door Policy

Open Door Policy - Tiong Bahru (5)

ODP (Open Door Policy) is a bistro concept located on Yong Siak St, hidden in the up-and-coming enclave of Tiong Bahru. The menu is written Tippling Club’s Chef Ryan Clift who has put together a modern bistro fare with a rustic twist.

The Tiong Bahru area used to be…. well for most part of it, still is…. a mature estate. In between old school coffee shops (usually non air-conditioned hawker shops) that sell Teochew porridge and shops that sell daily necessities (i.e. provision shops), it’s amazing to find indie coffee houses and book stores like Forty Hands and Books Actually and Western bistro concepts like this. You could say, this area has somewhat been gentrified in recent months.

To be honest, it’s hard not to see why; it’s minutes away from the nearest Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stop, a 10 minute drive to the main shopping street, Orchard Road and it has this unique old world charm hardly found in other parts of Singapore.

For my overseas readers, here’s a small lift from the ever-so-trusty Wikipedia,

Built in the 1930s, Tiong Bahru Estate is one of the oldest housing estates in Singapore. It was the first project undertaken by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), a government body administered by the British colonial authority, to provide for mass public housing in Singapore. The estate consists of about 30 apartment blocks with a total of over 900 units. The apartment blocks are made up of two to five-storey flats and the units are assorted three to five-room apartments.
– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiong_Bahru_Estate Last Accessed 23rd March 2012

There is emphasis on simple, comfort bistro-style food here at ODP; Nothing pretentious or fanciful – Just how I like my food.

Open Door Policy - Tiong Bahru (4)

Flamed tuna carpaccio with radish and yuzu salad (S$19++)

When we first got to the restaurant, orders of this salad seemed to be flying out of the kitchen  – and thus the decision for our appetizer was made for us.

It was a wise choice, I must add. The salad turned out to be rather refreshing and the tuna was very fresh – Then again, I would have expected nothing less from an establishment like ODP.

Open Door Policy - Tiong Bahru (2)
48 hour cooked braised beef cheek with mochi potatoes, carrot puree and snow pea tendrils (S$29)

The beef cheeks were reallllyyyyyyy good. The beef is slowly braised for 48 hours, resulting in a  beef that pulls away with the most gentle nudge of the fork.

The carrot puree lent a rather sweet touch to the dish which went harmoniously with the beef.

This was definitely worthy of being their signature dish!

Open Door Policy - Tiong Bahru (3)

Open Door Policy - Tiong Bahru (5)

Slow cooked bolognese with rigatoni (S$22++)

I just love how the dish was presented, don’t you? 

The dining companion commented that it was excellent; and from what I could gather from the one mouthful that I had, indeed it was.

Cooked perfectly al-dente, the rigatoni was an excellent accompaniment to the absolutely delicious bolognese sauce.

There’s a recurring theme here, no? Slow cooked, Braised…..

Open Door Policy - Tiong Bahru (6)

Lime panna cotta with coconut sago, cashew nuts and mint (S$18++)

A somewhat Asian-inspired dessert I thought.

The panna cotta was somewhat firmer than I would have loved it to be. Memories of Valentino’s have the best panna cotta started to cross my mind. I had no complaints what-so-ever with the other elements of the dessert, so on the whole, it all made for a pleasant ending to the meal.

Open Door Policy - Tiong Bahru (1)

TRADING HOURS:
Lunch: 12 to 3:30pm
Dinner: 6pm to 11pm
Brunch: 11am to 3pm (Saturday and Sunday only)

Closed on Tuesdays

19 Yong Siak Street
(Yong Siak View)
Singapore 168650

Tel: +65 6221 9307

Enquiries: enquiries@odpsingapore.com

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9 Comments

  1. ice

    I lament the loss of the old Tiong Bahru estate. There’s too much modernization going on in this area.

    • @ice: Me too. I grew up in the ‘hood. I spent a few years living in the Central Green Condominium (opposite Tiong Bahru Plaza). I doubt Tiong Bahru will completely lose all its charm – modernization is a fact of life, especially in land-scarce Singapore, pretty sure that there will be room for the integration of the old and new. For now, I’m hoping my Chwee Kueh will still remain available at Tiong Bahru Market.

  2. I love a good pannacotta. And sago! The two together sounds strange. I would love to give this a try!

    • @Chompchomp: You love panna cotta too? That makes two of us! Very “fusion-fied”

    • Gwen

      hey, common, dont nit pic. the srcpmuy fried eggs, done just right, with some tomtoes and mushrooms. and the sausgages look, well, dare I say it, German. I can say that cause my mom was from Bristol and I got a cousin in Austria. Mom used to cook eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms, served on toast, and if you did not like it, go with out. right? ( on the other hand, I wouldnt mind some chips to dip in those eggs). here is a saying, round here- whats the best cup of tea… the one you got in your hand.

    • Have you tried it? If so, how does it fit in with other Lutensian creations? It sounds like it might have a similar vibe to Bas de Soie, my favorite of what I see as his "cold pee;smru&quotf. Or is it more like one of his recent Eaux?

  3. JB

    I had dinner at ODP last Friday with a group of 6.
    Walking past a number of times on weekends it had been impossible to walk-in and get lunch/dinner so bookings are definitely required. Funny given the namesake of the restaurant, but good for them if they’re busy.
    Our group were all excited to attend given a preview of the menu looked exciting and we anticipated a great dining experience in Tiong Bahru.

    Unfortunately the verdict, in a word, disappointment. Decor, bright lights and good service are an expectation for me, so it’s the food that determines if a restaurant has my repeat business and endorsement.
    I’m not one to write reviews, but my disappointment on this restaurant and the food there warranted me to put a warning out there to potential diners. If you are looking for gourmet Singapore, look elsewhere. For a restaurant in this price tier I expect them to deliver the goods. Not so.

    For those who like a blow by blow run-down, sorry, but as a group of 6 each taking three courses, as a table we tried most of everything across the menu. Entrees, which are usually a great teaser for the evening were a let down, which I guess was an accurate taster for the mains and through to desserts. Undercooked, overcooked, dry and bland, ‘uninteresting’, ‘boring’ and ‘is this what I ordered?’ were the main discussions around the table. Execution on all counts were always not quite right.

    A true test of a good restaurant is capturing a happy satisfied customer with repeat business and positive word of mouth. ODP, you’ve lost this group of customers!

    • Hi JB,

      Thank you for the very detailed review! A pity that you didn’t quite enjoy the meal at Open Door Policy!

  4. xinying

    Hi! I am a student working on a project regarding Tiong Bahru and the recents cafes and restaurants that have appeared in the area. I noticed that you have reviewed some of them and also shared your thoughts of these restaurants opening in tiong bahru on your blog.

    Would you be so kind as to help me fill up this survey regarding the Tiong Bahru estate? It will take less than 10 mins at most, thank you for your time!

    Link : https://docs.google.com/forms/d/128jBWQvfCb0gLEqJdvfQpfyn6000PHwqdV4losiEzuI/viewform

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