Open Door Policy, or simply ODP, has been open for just over a year now, and much to my great displeasure, it was only last week that I finally made it down, just in time for not only the arrival of Open Door Policy's new menu, but also its great new Italian Chef.
Having heard some wonderfully positive reviews, and others...less positive, I approached the meal with an open mind. Considering Open Door Policy is under the same guys who run Tippling Club and Ding Dong, surely this would be a winner as well.
Arriving on a weekday lunch the place was already rammed (a good sign) and I must admit that I found the narrow shophouse setting with an open skylight allowing light to pour in through the ceiling greatly appealing.......
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all in all, we payed about 90$ for breakfast. For this price, I do expect that my "extras" are catered to and food is worth the price. but they were not.
the full english breakfast was average. Bland baked beans, greasy sausages, very salty spinach (where did that come from?).
the black tea did come in a glass tea pot with an insert for loose tea- inside of which was an ordinary tea bag. It was half full and I had to ask for a top up on hot water when it was empty.
the large americano was actually a small cup of regular coffee.
I asked for the eggs benedict with chicken, spinach and green curry sauce. And I asked to get the eggs not poached but scrambled. Well, yes, this is an extra, but -hey? I do like scrambled more than poached and the sides and sauce were enticing. The first reaction was, that I could have it for 6$ extra. ?
The waiter came back twice to ask what I wanted. (So, yes, effort, motivation was there)
Then the senior waiter/maitre d' came over to apologeticly explain, that the chef cannot do it the way I wished. (yes, really friendly) Ok, maybe there is something special about the dish, let's see and take it like it is.
When the plate arrive, NOTHING indicated that there was a presentation issue or cooking/preparation issue other than the chef not willing to do it.
Which I would have expected for 26$ for a small piece of bread with 2 eggs, salty spinach, too thick cut onions and some sauce (which was, indeed, the one tasty part).
And the still bottled water was "Fiji" brand.
The crowd must like something about the place, as it was full. Probably, they take high price for a quality indicator.
I don't. You need to convince me... yet.
After hearing about ODP's new menu in the City Nomads Tiong Bahru guide, I decided to head down and check out their brunch menu. Firstly, not just because of the hipster neighborhood, this place gets packed at weekends. The menu is pretty good all round and there's something for everyone. Personally I adore their beet risotto with feta which is amazing. Just a bit rich haha.
Overall good spot for lunch. Would be curious to check out for dinner and see how.
A group of us headed to ODP last night after hearing so much hype about the restaurant.
While the atmosphere and seating is comfortable enough, the restaurant's service staff needed a lot of improvement. For one, looking like you are happy to be there matters. No one likes to be greeted by a server with a sour face and a dour attitude. She took a really long time time to bring menus and when asked questions, often responded curtly.
The food on the other hand was good. There were some boring food on the menu like seared seabass and schnitzel and udon (which is essentially chicken chop noodles). The starters were great for sharing with adequate portions for all. I'd recommend having the duck popadums, followed by the tuna tartare. The crispy duck strips come with a really tasty yoghurt sauce that was well-balanced and not too sour or minty. The very flavourful tuna tartare came with a dressing that could be slightly overpowering but made one really a much cleaner tasting version of yu-sheng.
We shared our mains, which was a really good thing because some of the dishes can be a little too flavorful and for the single diner, you may end up not finishing a great meal. We had the wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil which is decadent, aromatic goodness. the beef cheeks (a much better version than the Disgruntled Chef), duck confit (wonderfully balanced and not too salty) and the pork belly with chorizo. The pork belly fell slightly short because it didn't have the crackly skin, which is something that we highly sought. While the pork itself had a nice, clean taste, the contrast with the chorizo was a little overwhelming. The tastes were not complementary but contrasting. What worked much better for us was having the chorizo as a dip on its own and the pork separately. We were having such a good time with the chorizos but were rudely interrupted by the server who tried to clear the dish when we were barely done. What is going on at this place? Shouldn't you ask if people are done before attempting to remove the dishes?
Dessert was disappointing. We attempted to order the chocolate and pistachio souffle and was told that it will take 15-20mins and that by the time our order came, we'd have to vacate our seats to make way for new diners. Err, excuse me? Weren't you supposed to tell us your turnover times when we were seated? Instead we were rudely told that we had to leave by 9pm for the next customers. What irritated us the most is that the table behind us had been empty for 2 hours, there was no queue at the door and there were no other people walking in. When asked if we should if we were being chased out and therefore had to forego dessert, our server simply gave us a baleful glare and walked away. Because of this incident, our dessert, we barely tasted our dessert. We eventually left the restaurant at 9.30pm. During this time, we could've had 4 of the souffles made, served and eaten. But the server never thought that far ahead. It simply felt that she was tired of us and was eager for us to leave her station.
In the end, what started out as a great night with friends was eventually ruined by a horrible staffer. We left feeling disgruntled and informed the restaurant host of our experience. I think that ODP has great potential but at the same time, the restaurant has to hire better staff, train them to take care of diners and also add a few more servers to the floor at peak periods so that diners do not have to wait or flail about to catch someone's attention when they need it.
I had a terrible experience at this restaurant last night. The service staff are perfectly fine but the manager at this establishment is truly unpleasant. She ruined an otherwise nice birthday celebration for me and my friend with her negativity and unprofessional behaviour.
First of all, she refused to make changes to the table arrangement so that all attendees could sit on the same table. Although the reservation was made for 2 tables, we had a smaller than expected party and after looking at the space, it became apparent that all she needed to do was add another small table to allow us to have a cosier dinner. Her excuse was that the other table is reserved. I just want to point out that nobody sat at the next table the whole night.
Second of all, she was rude and did not even attempt to make her guests feel like she wanted to try and consider their request. She also did not bother to hide her displeasure at our request by walking away shaking her head. She even proceeded to tell the birthday girl who made the reservation that her friends were being "difficult" not knowing that the other host of the party (myself) was sitting at the table.
To be honest, I should have walked out of the restaurant at this point because putting up with the manager's bad attitude every time she walked past my table was just repulsive.
Isn't part a restaurant manager's job to ensure a good experience for her guests? And why is this place called Open Door Policy when it is the most unwelcoming restaurant I've been to?
I will never visit this place again and would caution anyone who wanted to try...
I was invited to check out ODP recently...and I must say I wasn't impressed by it's location, as I never expected a place of such calibre to exist in such surroundings...
Upon entering the restaurant...I must say the place is almost packed to the brim !
And yes, do make a reservation in advance to avoid disappointment. I was told this is one of the hottest new place for both lunch and dinner.... and it's true !
After scanning the menu for a brief moment, I had the following :
1) tuna carpaccio with radish and yuzu dressing
2) watercress soup served with a poached egg and truffle soil
3) duck confit with puy lentils cooked with smoked bacon.
4) grilled salmon with panzella salad.
I must say item no 1 is decent enuff...alittle more sauce would have brought out more taste ! Item no 2 is only meant for the health conscious freak...yes as it's bitter to the core....but I was told it's also very healthy too ! I can't help but imagine the soup was based on an entire bittergourd as it;s main ingredient...
Items no 3 and 4 are indeed good....definitely within class standard...and for a duck confit lover...it is indeed good which is pretty rare in our country...
By the time I'm done with the above...there wasn't any space left for dessert...but they do have a decent selection which I intend to check out the next time I'm there...So I just had a latte to finish off my meal...
Their other coffee selection is also good according to the server....if u are a coffee lover...you will not be disappointed....and for those who love to have late meals...this place closes at 4.00pm for lunch and 11.00 pm for dinner !
It's really a hidden gem...and worth a trip there to find out yourself...