The name comes from believing interaction with others is the best form of treatment for the soul, thus they came up with the name "Group Therapy". A popular brunch item is their eggs benedict.
Group Therapy Hot
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Fabulous Food, Constant Crowds
Without a doubt, Group Therapy Cafe is my favourite cafe in Singapore. Cafe-hoppers love this place. Hipsters love this place. I am none of those things, but I would say that I love this place most of all.
The poached eggs with a generous dollop of hollandaise sauce on thick cut white bread (instead of the usual English muffin) is a crowd favourite, but I usually hanker after the Shepherd's pie. This delicious dish is served with fresh salad with the most wonderful dressing - it is sweet, yet tart, and very refreshing! I usually don't like to have salad (it makes me feel like a rabbit), but the salad here is always the first item to disappear from my plate. Of course, the pie itself is prime comfort food after a hard day's work. The meat is succulent, and the mashed potatoes are layered thickly on top, browned just slightly with a golden crust.
Many of the main dishes come with crisps as sides - these are not fries, but ultra satisfying potato chips. While I am not sure whether these come prepackaged or whether the restaurant fries them itself, one thing is for sure - they are darned good. The chips have the optimal crunch to thickness ratio, which is perfect for those who like their crisps on the thick side. Even when I want to order something new on the menu besides my usual shepherd's pie, I always make sure it comes with crisps.
And of course, always order dessert! I can personally vouch for their carrot cake. It is a hot favourite of the other patrons as well! The sweetness of the cream cheese frosting is complemented and balanced perfectly with the carrot sponge, mingling delicately with the cinnamon and other spices to bring you to dessert heaven. A word of caution, it is a large serving, so please share if you are not starving! Also, more people should be granted the honour of savoring such a delightful creation.
#1 Go at odd hours.
For a cafe with a nearly hidden front door (you have to take a narrow flight of stairs up from an inconspicuous passageway), Group Therapy Cafe is really popular. And popular means large crowds at peak meal times. They don't allow reservations, so expect to queue. However, I would commend the cafe on their good service - instead of making patrons line up and queue at the restaurant itself, you can leave your number with them, go wander around the quaint district, and they will call you when a table becomes available. On weekends, it seems the crowds begin to wane around 3 or 4pm. On weekdays, they close early, so check the opening hours before you go.
#2 Don't be fussy about seating.
Group Therapy Cafe is meant to be a chill out place, after all. Instead of having a layout like a restaurant interior with many proper tables and chairs, the decor resembles someone's large kitchen, or living room. Hence, be prepared to sit and eat at on sofas (which might be a bit inconvenient if you're looking to order a full meal), high stools (girls wearing short dresses or skirts beware!), or even share a long table with some other patrons. This sort of arrangement is not unexpected though, you can find similar seating options in other cafes as well. However, if you are fussy about this, they do have the conventional type of tables, you might just have to wait for a bit more for them to become available.
All in all, I would highly recommend Group Therapy Cafe - it is an all-rounder in terms of food, ambience and service. I have been there more times than I can count, and I still look forward to the next time I am in the area, just so I can pop in again. Fingers crossed about the crowd, though!
Hole in the wall
Group Therapy is literally the definition of a hole in the wall. We actually had to walk up and down Duxton a couple of times before we realized that the entrance to Group Therapy was just a small door to the left of Etna's Italian Restaurant.Considering we were there for Sunday brunch, the small cafe was packed but we were shown to our seats quickly and the food only took about 10 minutes to arrive.
My favourite dish of the day was the poached eggs ($15). The eggs are poached perfectly and the hollandaise sauce was so creamy and full of flavour. Despite all that sauce, the thick slice of toast still managed to give a crunch. I'm not normally a breakfast food person nor did I think that 2 eggs and bread would fill me up but boy was I wrong about that. I will definitely be coming back for more of this.
The other dishes we tried included their Shepherd's Pie ($15), Truffle Ravioli ($18) and Waffles with Ice Cream. The Shepherd's pie was good but I would have preferred it if it was packed with more meat and beans. The Ravioli and Waffles, however, were just average and there are definitely better places to try in Singapore if you're on a hunt for pasta and waffles.
Overall, if you enjoy cafe hopping and you're looking for a hidden gem to visit, Group Therapy is definitely one to check out!
After hearing so much good stuff about this cafe from fellow diners, I have thought it must be real good. But I am in for a surprise. The cafe is located at the second floor in the middle of a row of shophouses. So one have go up by the narrow staircase. It is full and we are placed on the waiting list for a table. After a short wait, 9 of us are squeezed into a table for 5 by the window. After reminding us what is not available today by the staff, one just goes to the cashier to place order and make payment. GST is charged here.
Belgian-styled Waffle $12
with Vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, almonds & fruits
Also topped up another $3 to upgrade the ice cream to avocado gula melaka ice cream.
It looks great when served. Taste is otherwise. There is barely any avocado or gula melaka taste in the ice cream. It just tastes creamy that all. The waffle does not taste fluffly nor crispy. It does not feel like a freshly made one. What a disappointing choice I have made.
Overall I am quite disappointed with the place. It is too crowded. I am disappointed with the overpriced food.
Still a Work-in-Progress
I was out with a date (our first, actually), and I thought maybe this place could help with the inevitable awkwardness if we unexpectedly run out of things to talk about.
We did experience awkwardness, but it was because we stood at the entrance for 10 minutes before someone actually noticed us standing there. (Did I mention that there was a bar facing the entrance, with staff working behind the bar counter? Too busy preparing orders to notice us maybe.)
Anyway, since we were immediately given a table, I didn’t kick up a fuss. (Not really nice to strike an impression the wrong way right?) Afterall, the ambience was nice, laidback, perfect for a Sundate!
Orders were placed – the Beef Cheese Burger with Sunnysideup and Roasted Almond Latte for him, and the Baked Chilli Crab Pie with a Pear Cider for me. We also ordered a Caramel Granny Smith Apple Pie to share.
Murphy’s First Law states that if anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. After a 20-minute wait, a server sheepishly informed me that my Chilli Crab Pie had somehow exploded in the oven, and if I were to wait for a remake, it’d take another 30-45 minutes. Seriously.
Determined not to ruin my date, I ordered Poached Eggs on thick toast and smoked salmon instead. By the time that was served, I was over-starved and I simply wolfed it down without savoring it. Although it didn’t disappoint, it didn’t amaze like what those reviews mentioned. He also felt that his burger patty was abit too dry too.
Fortunately, the Apple Pie and his Almond Latte did some redemption. I would still head back for a second try, but not until I shake off the bad thought that my Chilli Crab Pie may explode again.
This place is a hidden gem, truly.
It make take a little bit of effort to find, a little bit of sun to brave, but the ambience of the cafe is worth it. This may be one of those cafes that have popped up recently in light of the trending hipster lifestyle~ but this cafe does it with reasonable success.
The decor is tres mignon, vintage with some artwork for sale hanging on the wall, and has some cosy sofas that you might get if you're very very lucky.
I personally find the drink items a tad bit pricey but this was my fault for going to a hipster cafe and ordering fruit juice. The tea and coffee that I've had in my 3 visits were all satisfactory.
The food can be improved – I've definitely had better, but objectively it was still of an acceptable standard. Don't go to group therapy expecting to be blown away by the food, but just chill and enjoy the ambience while sipping decent coffee or tea. When it isn't too crowded it's a great place to sit with a book and while your time away.
Your Cosy Cafe
Hidden in the depths of Duxton Rd, take note that the cafe is on the second floor, not the ground floor! It might take a little sweat and walk to find the cafe, but once you enter it, be greeted with a cool atmosphere and cosy ambiance.
Take your pick from high bar table tops to snuggly sofas to dine in. But if you're here during the peak periods, lunch/dinner time, then you'd probably have to settle with what's available. I'd have to say they all looked pretty comfy to me, so no iffys about it for me! I've been recommended the waffles and eggs benedict by my friends, but I picked the chicken and mushroom pie eventually. It was really filling. Even though it was really tasty, I did get a little sick of the pastry toward the end though, too much flour for me! >_< The eggs benedict which my friend ordered had a really thick hollandaise sauce, a little too much imo. But the waffles were heavenly.
Overall, this is a really cool and cosy place to catch-up with your friends! The staff are very pleasant and friendly, which is a factor that only enhances your experience. :)
Sometimes, the good things in life are hidden
This place was not easy to find but I'm glad that my friend and I didn't give up! We ended up asking for directions and imagine our surprise when we found out it was located less than a minute away from 2d1n Soju Bang, where we frequent.
The first thing I liked was the ambience! It was great for a lazy weekday brunch, but we arrived a little too near to lunchtime and the more 'comfy' seats were taken. We were given a simple 2 seater table instead, which was located right beside the power plug! Hidden bonuses indeed. :)
My friend ordered their classic eggs benedict with ham, while I ordered their shepherd's pie. Both were definitely value for money! The servings were huge and neither of us could finish our mains.
I really liked their shepherd's pie, where the filling was seasoned perfectly and went really well with the mash potato. I scraped my fork across the crispy crust to whet my appetite because I'm compulsive like that. However, I felt the side of chips were more potatoes than I could ingest in one setting. Perhaps I should have requested to change it to another serving of salad, speaking of which, I enjoyed as well. The dressing was pretty unique!
When I tasted the eggs benedict, I knew I had to go back someday to eat the whole main by itself. I love it when chefs are generous with their hollandaise sauce! It was like a viscous lava dripping down the sides. I could taste some kind of cheese in the sauce, if I'm not wrong, which made it a winner in my list. Loved the twist!
Definitely a place for many more return visits!
Ideal to come in a group,
or rocking a mag and a coffee alone would be an ideal afternoon too.
My friends and I were cafe hopping in Duxton and so we decided to drop by here. I came here a pretty long time ago with my family to have their hot food. Their highly raved eggs benedict proved too cloying for me with the thick like mayo hollandaise. But i remember their key lime crumb cake was THE bomb.
Remember to have that.
Oh and their waffles. Yesterday we had their waffles topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, bananas, strawberries etc. The waffles was light and fluffy, I could easily finish it by myself if I wasn't bloated by so much coffee that day.
Their roasted almond latte too. ahhh
Cushiony Sofas for a Laidback Afternoon
Caught up with my girlfriends at this cosy little hangout tucked away on the 2nd storey along Duxton Hill, and we had 2 huge cushiony sofas to ourselves! It felt homely and lovely. There are also plenty of arrangements made for small/huge groups with old-school, long wooden benches and the likes.
The crowd tends to get really busy during peak hours though, so either you get there during slower hours or be prepared to wait really long. I was late, but was told that my friends waited an hour and half.
The menu comprises of the typical all-day breakfast, and included a range of other mains - which in their case referred to pies, quiches and sandwiches. The chilli crab pie my friend ordered was savoury and good, whereas my smoked salmon avocado sandwich wasn't too bad as well. The mains are served with sides of salad and chips. I liked the toasted bread very much, honestly. I can't remember if the chips were baked or fried potato chips, but they were really good as well. Priced at around $18 for the sandwich, the portion was really huge so I guess it's worth it! It's great for sharing though, would be slightly too heavy for one person alone.
The food was great, but I felt that it didn't warrant the 1.5hr of waiting time. Hmm.
They do have a range of craft beers available on their menu as well, so you might wanna consider those if you're dropping by for a meal at night.
Quite the meh
I truly came here with high hopes and I was disappointed.
The decor of this place is really just alright. After the initial awe, it just gets mild. There were close to no customers when I went with a date last Friday, but they refused us the sofa seats on the promise of a dinner crowd that never came.
The menu is one of them typed menus - no photos no pictures nothing much. So it did not appeal to me at all, and my date decided on a affogato. That was probably the single thing on the menu worth a mention.
It came quick and there's not much to say about the service. The affogato was delicious though. It was bitter coffee with excellent ice cream and it saved this place from itself.
This is really odd but I visited their washrooms and it made me very happy. What a pretty washroom concept, with the olden buckets and shophouse door.
Actually this place is worth a trip, so drop by!