Open Door Policy launches Singapore’s first 100% gluten-dairy-free menu!

While a fully gluten- and dairy-free menu may sound unappetizing and dull to some, Open Door Policy (or ODP, as it is better known as), stays true to serving wholesome Western and contemporary Asian flavors in a natural, sustainable way. Learning from sister establishment Open Farm Community (OFC), the urban interior of ODP has been converted into a micro-garden from which the chefs harvest rows of watercress and vegetables for salads and other dishes. The result: impeccable freshness in every bite.

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Vegetables grown along the walls at ODP

Executive Chef of Spa Esprit Group, Chef Ryan Clift, and Head Chef of ODP, Daniele Sperindio, have joined hands to create a revamped menu that substitutes your usual gluten and dairy products with healthy alternatives while retaining the same great flavor.

Bathed in soothing midday light, our lunch began with a soup of celery and almond cascading down a plump Hokkaido scallop and cauliflower ($24). Lightly creamy and infused with natural sweetness of scallop, this is one appetizer we urge you to try.

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Celery and almond soup ($24) at Open Door Policy

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Celery and almond soup ($24) at Open Door Policy

Then came the quinoa salad ($20), the most ridiculously photogenic salad we have ever seen, its fermented root vegetables and garden herbs sprinkled with garlic “soil”. We found its freshness most endearing, its julienned carrot sticks and round and juicy tomatoes not just adding crunch and texture, but also a pretty pop of color. Be sure to also try the earl grey and passionfruit iced tea ($10) – on a hot day we could easily down three in a single seating.

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Quinoa salad ($20) at Open Door Policy

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Quinoa salad ($20) at Open Door Policy

While we’ve never been a huge fan of celeriac, the slow-cooked celeriac drizzled in watercress sauce and swiss cured ham “speck” ($24) was truly an eye-opener. The salty-smokiness of ham and house-made olive oil ‘caviar’ paired beautifully with the nutty overtones of celeriac.

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Slow-cooked celeriac ($24) at Open Door Policy

If you’re craving for a little more substance, we recommend the king crab orecchiette ($29) with saffron and corn sauce, served with crunchy sugar snap peas, or the vegan meccheroni pasta ($24) made with portobello bolognese gratin and bechamel – both of which are to-die-for, and, might we add, served in the most gorgeous tableware.

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King crab orechiette ($29) at Open Door Policy

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Vegan meccheroni pasta ($24) at Open Door Policy

What we really love about the new menu is that flavors are not compromised even though it is gluten- and dairy-free. For meatier options, you will love the pan-seared crispy quail ($34) with its mild smokiness that lingers on the tongue between rich flavors of turnip and chickpeas casserole, and a most interesting banana shallot.

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Pan-seared crispy quail ($34) at Open Door Policy

Behold, the meticulous plating of this glorious creation – braised veal ossobuco ($32) – so tender it falls apart in the mouth gently, balancing atop carrot risotto that’s just the right density, smoked paprika, and watercress – so immensely satisfying we know we’ll be back all too soon.

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Braised veal ossobucco ($32) at Open Door Policy

We hear there is cake for dessert, so by the time we come to the end of our meal, the question on everyone’s minds is, how will they create a cake without dairy? Well, they have. And a genius one at that. The dates and walnut cheesecake ($16) is a concoction of cashew nut and lemon mousse – a match made in heaven, if you ask us. Share this with your lactose-intolerant peers and they’ll be eternally grateful to you.

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Dates and walnut cheesecake ($16) at Open Door Policy

Richer options include “Why sundae?” dessert ($16) with soy and palm sugar gelato, and light almond milk custard ($16) that resembles a slightly less sweet version of panna cotta, accompanied by poached strawberries and sorbet. Both desserts include a crisp dark chocolate tuille.

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Why sundae? ($16) at Open Door Policy

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Light almond milk custard ($16) at Open Door Policy

With the launch of its new gluten- and dairy-free menu, ODP sure has raised the bar. Honestly, we’re a more than little envious of the lucky residents of Tiong Bahru.

Photo credit: Ling Tay

Open Door Policy. 19 Yong Siak Street, 6221 9307. Open daily except Tuesday, 12:00 – 11:00pm.

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Categories: Alcohol, American, Bistro Cafe, Brunch, Cafe, Casual Dining, Communal Dining, Dining, European, Family friendly, Fusion, Healthy Living, New & Noted, Restaurants, Reviews

Author:Ling Tay

Perpetually glass-half-full spirit. (@lingamajig / @footloops.sg)

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