Walking across the tiny, picturesque streets of Europe, I was often amazed at the fact that there were so many small eateries, elaborate restaurants and adorable coffee shops were located away from the public eye. Most were actually hidden in shop houses who’s entrances comprised of small wooden stairways leading up to a cosy café or a buzzing restaurant.
Recently, I came across one such hidden gem on Duxton Road, Singapore… for “Group Therapy Café” is hidden, and hidden really well.
Walking up and down the Duxton road, staring and admiring the heritage structures, you will not know the café exists there. For this one is situated on the 2nd level of one such renovated heritage house. The first thing that attracted me to the place actually was the name… Interesting name! “Group Therapy” sounds perfect for a cafe in so many ways… Kudos to whoever came up with it!
If ever I start my own coffee house, this café would be the perfect embodiment of how I envision it would be like.
Right from the beautifully rustic signboard placed at the entrance of the building… to the dark wooden stairways that lead to the café… the place literally exudes the vision of someone who has adoringly designed this place.
Inside the café, one immediately feels at home. For one there’s the friendly, ever smiling staff and two, the décor… For here’s one place where I do not know where do I start from…
Do I start by expressing my awe at the beautifully gothic clocks that adorn the walls, or the hanging book shelves?
Or should I talk about the bright paintings displayed on the walls?
Maybe I should simply concentrate on the absolutely messy counter that sends me back to the little lanes in Europe where such cafes are run by old couples welcoming tourists into their homes/cafes!
The café is divided into two sections… one is normal wooden tables spread across, right in front of the main counter.
The second section has a comfortable sofa seating, and a huge communal table with high seating bar stools. The over all ambiance is thoughtful and artistic, just the way I prefer.
Their coffee is a 100% Arabica beans, blended together by their local roaster. The beans are freshly grounded at the café and they claim it that they do it fresh for each cuppa!
 Piccolo Latte: I opted for a piccolo latte and I wasn’t disappointed. Piccolo literally translated as Small in Italian is a mini Latte… slightly stronger the usual Latte. The coffee was nice and fresh, not too acidic, with just the right amount of whipped milk added to it. The coffee had its own character and I would go back for a cuppa anytime.
 Cappuccino: The Cappuccino was nice and strong, slightly acidic, but well blended. The cuppa was good enough to keep one awake on a dull, cloudy day.
 Latte: The latte was as any should be. Light, hot and refreshing. I loved the red cup it was served in.
Overall, their coffees were good, tasty and fresh.
 Truffled Ravioli: The ravioli was stuffed with wild porcini mushrooms and truffles, topped with freshly made tomato basil sauce & grated parmesan cheese. I am not a huge fan of mushroom ravioli. I prefer spinach to mushroom. But this one was really really good. The fresh tomato sauce with strong hint of basil was very flavourful. This is where my veggie husband will be making repeated trips for the Italian gourmet fix.
 4-layer Carrot Cake: While the description said moist carrot cake all studded with raisins, walnuts and pineapple and a cream cheese ganache, the actual cake was actually a little dry for my taste. However, combined with the nicely beaten cheese ganache (a glaze icing sauce) made it a great combination. The cake, not too sweet, complimented the creamy cheese, making it a balanced dessert.
How much will it cost me: The food is in the range of S$ 10 to S$ 25 per dish, that is if you opt for the shepherd’s pie or the likes. The Desserts are in the range of S$ 10 to S$ 15 and the coffees around S$ 5 to S$ 7.
The Ambiance: Cannot fault it. From the wooden tables, to the antique clocks, to the unique cutlery holder and the bill keeper…
It’s cheerful and artistic. One can see a lot of effort that has gone behind making the place warm and comfortable.
The Coffee & Food: It’s a great place to hang out with friends, have a meal or simple share a coffee and a dessert. While their food might be slightly pricey, their menu includes a variety of gourmet dishes. I was especially intrigued by their collection of pie’s which included shepherd’s pie and baked chilli crab pie. They also have a selection of wines to go with the food. Their coffee was great, making it a perfect coffee place too.
This place deserves a visit!
Address: #02-01, 49 Duxton Road, Singapore 089513. Ph: +65 6222 2554
Timings: Tuesday – Thursday: 11am to 6pm, Fridays – Saturdays: 11am to 11pm,
Sundays & PH: 10am to 6pm (Mondays: Closed)