I’ll be the first to admit the thought of going to a gluten- and dairy-free restaurant makes me want to run up Bukit Timah Hill (no, seriously?) but hey, curiosity got the better of me.
So, when I was invited to try out Open Door Policy’s new GF-DF only menu, I shoved aside any preconceived notions and strolled right in.
Lighting the path to your table is an entire wall filled with the cutest micro-greens, which are lovingly cultivated by the team at Open Door Policy for use in their dishes.
A quick scan of the menu sounded indulgently promising. And by that, I mean it wasn’t just all celery and celeriac. I saw “decadent” stuff like risotto, pork rack, osso bucco, even a rib-eye and yes – desserts like cheesecake and chocolate tarts.
How do they offer up all these goodies without gluten or dairy? More on that later.
First though, a Fried Potato Bread starter. Okay, I said GF-DF, not necessarily low-carb 😊. The usage of fried accompaniments seems to be a recurring theme at Open Door Policy. Well, perhaps it’s wise not to rob a diner of all pleasure, I guess, so why not throw in some naughty bits while promoting GF-DF.
There are two new soups on the menu – a Warm Wasabi Green Pea Soup ($23) and a Watercress Soup ($18).
The pea soup was my preferred choice between the two. Smooth-as-silk wasabi-tinged green pea, pureed to give a feel of luxury, helped along by the sweet scallop. And even though there was no bacon in there, I could have sworn I tasted the smoky treat that normally accompanies scallop dishes!
The watercress soup had a sous-vide wobbly egg, again, I am guessing to give a richness to what one might normally expect to be just a watery green broth.
I enjoyed the tuna-mayonnaise dressed veal loin that was the star of the Vitel Tone dish ($25). The wafer-thin veal slices were tender and you can have quite a bit of fun piling up the (yes, again!) accompanying gluten-free fried bread with the veal and pickled cabbage strips.
Fret-not pasta and carb lovers – Open Door Policy’s pasta made of arrowroot, tapioca and rice flour and the risotto dishes aren’t bland and cardboard like at all. Expect to feel a creamy richness and admire the clever usage of yeast flakes to mimic the taste of cheese.
The veal Osso Bucco ($32) on a bed of pea risotto was lovingly fork-tender and preserved lemon juice zinged through the dish, cutting up any potential heaviness. Yes, even GF-DF can be “heavy”, it seems!
If you’re a vegetarian, absolutely try the Tempura Risotto ($25). Light and crispy battered oyster mushrooms, okra, broccoli and pickled ginger top a smooth, creamy, potato-based risotto.
Pan-seared Threadfin ($32), locally sourced from our kelong, came with a crispy skin and a tasty Thai mango salad tossed with sweet sakura ebi.
I really enjoyed the sous-vide Salmon ($32) at Open Door Policy – loved the flaky fish with the frothy dill foam and Chinese-style veggies in a miso chilli daikon broth.
Now, I am a dessert fan – it always has a special place in my tummy no matter how full I am. So…gluten- and dairy-free desserts, is that just a fantasy?
Not at Open Door Policy. You will not even miss the cream! In fact, the Cashew Nut Milk Custard ($16), might just be mistaken for a panna cotta.
And the Apple Crumble ($16) was a flavour bomb, with all its cinnamon-spiced and cashew milk anglaise goodness.
My favourite? This no-bake Calamansi Chocolate Tart ($16), of course! The dark chocolate was just perfect with the tangy calamansi.
So, has my apprehension of gluten- and dairy-free been assuaged? Well, yes, if you serve me such lovingly indulgent fare that doesn’t make me miss my rich food at all, then yes! Come on, my GF-loving friends, let’s go to Open Door Policy!
Open Door Policy:
Address: 19 Yong Siak St, Singapore 168650
Contact: 6221 9307
Opening Hours: 12–3PM, 6–11PM