London can be faulted for many things both by locals and visitors however we can all agree that it is the best city when it comes to the most amazing diverse culinary experiences in the world. One never knows what they will stumble upon while on the streets of this great city.
On my recent shopping trip in Knightsbridge, I came across what has been dubbed as one if not London’s oldest best kept secrets. As I wandered down Sloane Street, I was drawn towards the fabulous window display of contemporary women’s fashion store Joseph Fashion founded in 1972 by Joseph Ettedgui. As I admired the very well put together ensembles in the store window, I noticed a sign saying Joe’s Cafe, now this was the perfect reason for me to go in and inspect further as usually because its a womenswear store, I only stop at admiring whatever fabulous creation is in the window but never had I had an excuse to go inside.
Deciding to take a snack break from my shopping, I followed the little sign at the front door to the lower ground floor of the store. Tucked away in the basement, Joe’s Cafe is for the stylish folk of Chelsea/Knightsbridge and perhaps the uber classy ladies who shop at Josephs that know about the existence of Joe’s Cafe. Keeping with Josephs contemporary style, the cafe has a modern interior of all white surfaces with an all white minimalist bar displaying only wine glasses and champagne flutes and no bottles of alcohol in sight as we have become accustomed to in other restaurants. The tables are cleverly arranged to give the room a light and airy feel you hardly feel in you are in the lower ground floor. The white linen table cloths go beautifully with the brown leather chairs giving the room a very classy clean look.
On the wall of Joe’s cafe are original black and white prints by legendary photographer John Stoddart featuring stars including Madonna, Mick Jagger, artists Gilbert and George, Anthony Hopkins, Kenneth Branagh and many more giving the whole room a very cool and edgy monochromatic look.
On arrival the waiters who were also dressed in black monochrome uniforms welcomed with gorgeous smiles, something I needed after wondering up and down Sloane Street with everything but the item I had come to purchase in the first place! I was shown to a corner table which was a perfect feed for my people-watching hunger. As I sat back and took in the festivities of Joe’s Cafe, the waitress approached me to ask if I would like some drinking water, a nice gesture given that London was experiencing a heat wave so naturally I was parched and probably I looked it too. Looking around, I noticed that the restaurant was filled with an eclectic group of people from the stylish Sloane set to rich Arabs and fashionistas.
Returning with a jug of ice cold water, the wonderful waitress continued to give me a short history of the restaurant whilst talking me through the menu. Being a school night (how disciplined of me), I decided to ordered a virgin mojito with the sweet palatableness that made up for the fact that there was no alcohol. Mind you I walked into Joe’s Cafe for a snack but looking at the menu I could not bring myself not to settle for less than a three course meal.
For starter I had the a delicious smoked salmon with avocado, olive oil crostini and dressed leaves closely followed by succulent braised beef with a creamy and flavourful truffle mash potato, caramelised mushroom and Veal jus (divine). A quick internet investigation as I devoured my main course, I got to learn that Joe’s Cafe was renowned for its risotto and I know right now I am going to be judged for gluttony but if the said risotto was as good as the reviews online mentioned then I could not leave without having a taste. My risotto was aromatic, rich and creamy and the tiger prawns were succulent, sweet and juicy. All in all the legendary Joe’s risotto with tiger prawns is all that it is cracked up to be and a lot more. A must try if you are ever in London town. For dessert I chose the mouth watering and sinfully tasty Delice as Cafe that just melts in your mouth.
Overall I enjoyed the whole experience at Joe’s cafe which i now refer to as the perfect spot if you are looking for a luxurious culinary experience or cool spot for a quick bite or meal during or after a shopping spree within the Knightsbridge or Chelsea area.
16 Sloane Street