Wait, remind us again what changed?

Eagle-eyed fans of the Tiong Bahru dining scene might have noticed a sneaky new development—old favorite Open Door Policy has, ironically, closed its doors. The restaurant, which first opened in Oct 2011, made its name among foodies after it revamped its concept to offer an entirely gluten-free and dairy-free menu. If the focus on healthy dining and produce-driven food seems familiar, it might be because ODP is a sister restaurant to Open Farm Community, and hence driven by the Spa Esprit Group’s commitment to urban farming.

But that’s old news now. ODP is no longer, and before you’ve even got a chance to lament its loss, in its place is an all-new concept. Newly opened in June, The Butcher’s Wife takes over the Facebook page 19 Yong Siak Street space to bring modern European cuisine and—surprise surprise—gluten-free food.

At the new restaurant, double Diegos head up the culinary pursuits—Consultant Chef Diego Jacquet and Head Chef Diego Carlos. The gluten-free menu was curated in accordance to Chef Deigo Jacquet’s style of comfort cooking, which gastronomically translates to elevated but hearty comfort food like Carrot & Quinoa Tartare, Green Peas Hummus, Grilled Octopus, and gluten-free pasta Chestnuts Pappardelle. There’s also a good range of gluten-free desserts like Strawberries Pavolova with basil sorbet, and Rum Baba with white chocolate, saffron syrup and rhubarb. All this you can enjoy in the atmospheric space, designed to emulate the lost spirit of European neighborhood bistros (though how could it be lost in Singapore if we were never European to begin with? Hmm.)

Perhaps the most obvious difference between The Butcher’s Wife and ODP is that the former was conceived specifically to cater to diners who are gluten-intolerant. Gluten is a protein found in various wheats—which rules out bread, cereal, noodles, pizza and an unfortunate more for those intolerant. We can’t imagine a life without cup noodles, so it’s nice to have another dedicated gluten-free space for our friends surviving in a Nissin-less world.

Seven years is pretty long a survival time in the local F&B industry; according to ODP’s official website, the restaurant is “presently closed as it embarks on a journey to refresh/rediscover/revive itself”. Maybe this time, a refresh called for more than just a new menu.


The Butcher’s Wife is located at 19 Yong Siak Street. More information here.