I was skeptical when my Grab driver decided to drop me at this ordinary-looking and unassuming building along River Valley Road, with a preschool occupying the entire first 3 levels. (Also read: 10 Cafes And Brunch Places At River Valley)
Sho, where is SHO?
And it turned out that ShoBrew is located on the 4th floor, right next to a gym and a swimming pool.
Even though this hole-in-the-wall coffee bar can only accommodate 2 tables and 3 counter seats, the common area outside can accommodate another 40 people in total.
This is a two-in-one concept that features SHO focusing on coffee and bakes and Genzo, a modern Japanese restaurant that serves Donburi, Maki, Sushi, Sashimi, Soba, Udon and Omakase.
I wanted to try out Genzo since I was already there but unfortunately, the chef didn’t turn up for work on the day of visit. (I mean this in jest, but I been through a couple of occurrences of late when chefs happen to be not around.)
SHO is the brainchild of the barista, Shawn Ho (and thus the name) and he started off from a home-based business selling bottled coffee, specifically cold brew.
The menu is short and concise, serving Cold Brew ($6 – $7) and Espresso-based drinks ($3 – $5) such as Latte ($5), Flat White ($5), Cappuccino ($5), Long Black ($4.50), Magic ($4.50), Espresso ($3) and Macchiato ($3.50).
For non-caffeine drinks, Flavoured Drinks ($5 – 5.50) such as Mocha ($5.50), Matcha ($5), Chai Tea ($5), Chocolate ($5) and English Breakfast/ Earl Grey/ Chamomile/ Wild Berries Tea ($4) are available.
There was a small selection of Pastries, namely Butter Croissant ($3), Cheese Croissant ($3.50), Chocolate Twist ($3) and Pizza Twist ($4), all prepared and baked in-house in small quantities.
The drinks are served on wooden trays which is synonymous with their brand which sounded Japanese-like.
The coffee beans used in their espresso-based drinks are roasted by Pyroast, a 3-beans-blend (Costa Rica, Indonesia and Colombia) with a chocolatey and nutty taste.
I enjoyed my cup of Flat White ($5) containing double shots of espresso, with a medium body and was smooth, strong and robust.
Believing that cold brewing is a healthier & refreshing alternative to the usual coffee drinks, their signature product was the Cold Brew in 3 different flavours: Black ($6), White ($7) and Thai Milk Tea ($7).
Wait, a $7 bottled Thai Milk Tea, that’s probably one of the most expensive ones around.
A different set of coffee beans are steeped overnight to yield a smoother body and less acidity compared to espresso-based drinks and the White Cold Brew ($7) turned out to be much floral and sweeter.
The texture was light and smooth, but a tad too sweet for me even though the owners confirmed that there was no honey or maple syrup added.
Opened from 9am, SHO will be the perfect place for the early coffee cafehoppers.
336 River Valley Road, #04-02, Singapore 238366
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.