death by paper cut

{November 25, 2011}   Artisanal Coffee in Outram

ann siang hill and duxton hill have by now established themselves as the go-to places for chic lifestyle shops, independent bookshops and artisanal coffee. of course haji lane and further flung jimmy monkey and loysel’s toy are giving them a run for their money. while ann siang hill has shots. cafe, the plain and group therapy come to mind along duxton road.

i’ve been to shots. cafe a few times and might have featured it in this blog before. but i think it deserves another mention here because it is at shots. cafe that i’ve had the most interesting coffee art served in my coffee. usually, heart and leaf shaped coffee art are the most common sorts. what i didn’t expect however, is a profile of a face staring back at me. i think it is pretty cool.

Shots. 15

located at the higher gradient of ann siang hill, it is highly likely to feel hot and sticky in humid singapore by the time you get there. this is where shots. cafe comes to the rescue with its cool air-conditioning and welcoming seating area to kickback a bit.

there isn’t much on the menu food wise, some cakes, but there is a huge coffee machine proudly displayed along the corridor-like space of the cafe.

Shots. 4

Shots. 3 Shots. 6

Shots. 5 Shots. 7

the plain by comparison is smaller than shots. cafe but is more upbeat in its decor and furnishings. there is larger range of food choices at the plain, however i find the portions on the small side and the offerings to be not the most memorable. the poached eggs resemble more half boiled and the bread can be quite dry the last time i had a meal there. in short, the food isn’t quite satisfying.

the service staff are very attentive and perky and there is a nice vibe to the place, however i do not find the plain cozy enough to want to hang out there for an extended period of time.

The Plain 18 The Plain 17

The Plain 2 The Plain 15 The Plain 7

The Plain 10 The Plain 4

just around the corner from the plain is group therapy. like the name suggests, it can accommodate groups, perhaps for a therapeutic tête-à-tête. group therapy takes the space of the second floor of the converted shop houses and i think as a result is quite successful in incorporating an old world charm into its rustic ambiance. it has a comforting blend of natural sunlight and yellowish indoor lighting.

i visited group therapy for coffee after lunch so i did not, this time, sample the wider range of food in the menu. from what i gather from reviews and four square check-ins, the food is decent and on a more generous side compared to the plain. but the proof is in the pudding. i have to say though, that group therapy’s setting is itself a draw.

an advantage that group therapy has over the plain and shots. cafe is that many tables are situated near walls. this creates a more intimate setting and the cozy feeling of having a corner seat.

Group Therapy 1 Group Therapy 2

Group Therapy 4

Group Therapy 6 Group Therapy 5

Group Therapy 8

Group Therapy 12

unfortunately for most working people, these cafes close early on weekdays. weekends however, are still an option, but i do imagine them to be more crowded. all things considered, it takes a very brave, committed and entrepreneurial mind to forge into the food and beverage scene in sinagapore especially with high overheads and start up costs. and so for that, i will make an effort to check them out.


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