Open Mon-Sat: 10am-7pm; Sunday: 10am-6.30pm
The newly relaunched Joe’s Cafe, the iconic restaurant based inside JOSEPH, on Sloane Street has just been renovated, modernising the space and updating the menu with internationally influenced, boldly flavoured dishes, alongside the Joe’s signature dishes that have been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 1984 – including their world-famous risotto.
A little unexpected in its setting (based inside and underneath the JOSEPH store on Sloane Street, don’t you know) Joe’s Cafe has recently relaunched with a new look and feel. Modern, slick and muted are words that would best befit this Knightsbridge haunt; not dissimilar to the style of its fashion counterpart then. As we made our way through the crowds at Knightsbridge station on a hot Thursday evening, we took a left onto Sloane Street and passed by the myriad of luxury stores that line it. Amongst them, the white and inviting gleam of a very polished JOSEPH store stood out. As we entered, it was a quick right down some steps and we were at Joe’s Cafe. Our reservation was at 6pm (blame my sister for that – she has toddlers) and so the long restaurant and bar felt even longer without any diners. That said, the minimal black and white movie star wall art and no-fuss bright white linens made for quite a cool and calm setting.
As I said, we arrived at 6pm so there wasn’t a crowd so to speak (and we don’t blame them). Come 7/7.30pm Joe’s began to fill up. I would say a good proportion of diners were tired all-day shoppers (the streams of Harrods bags gave that away) grabbing a bite to eat post-retail therapy marathon, just after their final call at JOSEPH – handy that. Mums with tired children, groups of very well turned out young women and a couple of duos or trios of men made up the majority of the crowd. With some people it felt as though they’d been before, with others it was more that they’d stumbled upon the restaurant as they shopped. Either way, it certainly felt livelier and the very long space suddenly became that little more intimate in an otherwise sedate space.
With a varied British menu (and some not-so-British influences thrown in for good measure), we were presented with choice aplenty. After a little discussion with our waitress (and my sister), we decided to opt for the Marinated Bocconcini, Fried Buffalo Mozzarella, Wild Tomatoes and Avocado (£18) – a standard choice for us. What wasn’t so standard however, was the second starter we shared. Recommended by our waitress as one of the most popular dishes, we decided to break convention and ordered the Volcano Fries (£12). When the two – very contrasting – dishes arrived, we both made a beeline for the volcano-esque mound of sauce covered fries; out of sheer intrigue, of course. It was very tasty, very moreish (with a nice hit of jalapeno), and it was very heavy – perhaps not the best starter if you’re hoping to get through a three-course meal. But push on we did. At that point, the mozzarella, tomato and avocado dish served us well as a palette refresher – light, fresh and clean.
For mains we both opted for some serious red meat. My sister ordered the Wagyu Beef Rib-Eye Steak with Grilled Portobello Mushroom, Tomato and Peppercorn Sauce (£45) and I went for Beef Fillet with Truffled Mash Potato, Caramelized Mushroom, Veal Jus (£25), with a side of Spinach in Garlic Cream £6 (just in case we weren’t quite being indulgent enough already). Both dishes were as delicious as they sound (obviously I had to taste the wagyu) and for me the meat was cooked perfectly; the veal jus was just the right accompaniment, too. The only thing I really would recommend is to have a small and light starter before you follow with these generously portioned mains.
Even after all of that food, we couldn’t resist the Nutella Cheesecake (£8) and Apple Tarte Tatin (£8) so we shared both, naturally. Two very different desserts and equally well executed, but for me the Nutella deliciousness was the winner. What can I say, I was in the mood for fries and chocolate that evening (don’t judge).
When it came to drinks, we were not left dry. A drinks waiter was on hand to take cocktail orders at the drop of a hat. With plenty of mocktails to choose from as well as a generous wine selection, beers and ciders, I soon understood why the bar was so long; a drink for every taste at Joe’s Cafe.
In a nutshell
While Joe’s Cafe is not in a most obvious restaurant setting, it does have a certain intrigue about it. The diners are all quite different, the menu is a little bit of everything, and the space is almost like a sleek studio or art space. The service is prompt but relaxed enough and the food was of a very good standard with something for every palette. Next time you’re looking for a post-shopping eatery in Knightsbridge, why not give Joe’s a go?