Friends Henry and Joe met whilst working at the nearby Woodspeen, and developed their plans for a solo venture over shared cigarette breaks. In 2017, Henry & Joe's was born, moving into an unassuming plot on Newbury's Cheap Street and immediately impressing with smart, modern cooking that belies their relative youth and experience.
In the years since, Henry & Joe's has established itself as one of the best restaurants in Berkshire, so much so that it can be difficult to get a table on busier days of the week. The striking lilac chairs are immediately noticeable through the open glass frontage as you walk past, and that contemporary edge is continued in the artwork on the walls and the slick, Scandi-minimal design of the pine tabletops and natural wood floors.
Henry & Joe's offers a choice of tasting menu or a compact a la carte, with three or four choices for starter, main and dessert. The style of cooking is very modern and broadly British, combing carefully sourced British produce with lots of worldly inspiration. Starters and mains include dishes like celeriac carbonara with smoked date, manzanilla raisins, apple, cobnut and truffle, cauliflower orzo with soy pear, ale-braised onion, pomegranate, Berkswell cheese and puffed barley, and fig leaf-poached lobster, vanilla glazed tomatoes, sea buckthorn and whipped avocado. For dessert, try the apricot trifle with coconut sponge, chamomile anglais and whipped tonka chantilly, or a creme fraiche parfait with melon, mint jelly, kiwi consomme and a dukkah tuile.
Whilst the food has an air of fine dining, the restaurant clearly take pride in maintaining some affordability. Henry & Joe's does a very reasonable set lunch menu for two or three courses, and curates a wine list that offers plenty of bottles under £30.