I know there are many good reasons to become a vegetarian but there’s one pretty big reason that I will probably never be able to go full veggie – meat is delicious! Just like I can’t imagine a life without ever eating bread again, I cannot even begin to fathom what my life would be like without being able to enjoy a delicious steak every once in a while. If you’re riding alongside me on the meat and gravy train then we need to talk about HQ – a meat lover’s paradise in Cape Town. Now, I know that HQ isn’t exactly new on the block but it’s one of the restaurants that I have been meaning to go to for the longest time but just never got around to booking (silly me!) Luckily, my wishing and waiting is now over as I got the chance to pop through to the eatery 2 weeks ago and all I can say is; boy was I missing out!
At HQ there’s one thing on the menu – damn good steak. Ok, it’s more like steak, salad and chips – so that’s three things but you get the point! If you’re one of those people that experiences menu anxiety or a serious case of food envy then HQ is a welcomed breath of fresh air in a dining world populated by overwhelming menus and convoluted meal descriptions. The straightforward menu includes, a classic salad starter, to be followed by sirloin steak and thin-cut fries with HQ’s signature Cafe De Paris butter (R179 per person) so I’m not going to spend too much time telling you about the food, but I will tell that it is is excellent.
The thing I love most about HQ is that they cook your steak to absolute perfection and just the way you like it. And trust me, when the cooks have been doing nothing but grilling steaks all day, every day you can be sure that they do it well. The chips at HQ are also super delicious and I was thrilled to see that our waitress kept coming around with more chips to fill up our plate once we’d run out. With just some lettuce and cheese, the starter salad is a little basic for my liking but then again I am obsessed with salad (I’m not normal). Of course, no dining experience would be complete without some dessert and HQ does have a rather fabulous dessert menu which includes delights like Chocolate Fondant (baked chocolate cake with a molten centre and vanilla pod ice cream – R35), Malva Pudding (a traditional South African pudding served with a hot crème anglaise – R35), and Classic Tiramisu – R35).
My first visit to HQ was for the regular Fine Wining evenings so I also got to pair my meal with a selection of delicious wines from Iona Wines. The Fine Wining evenings are great value – for R300 per person you get a 3-course meal paired with wine for each course as well as a welcome cocktail and canapes – so if you’re looking for the full HQ experience I would recommend you book for the next one! Booking is essential (call 021 424 6373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book).
If you a fancy pants dinner isn’t your thing and you just want a place to hang out and nibble on something delicious while having drinks with your mates then HQ is also a great place to socialise! The Parisian-inspired lounge area offers delicious cocktails and tapas in a laid-back setting that is hard to beat – especially in Cape Town where each place is more pretentious than the next! Go on Thursday for half-price tapas and enjoy something delicious from their wise selection of tapas and bar snacks (the chilli poppers are to die for!)
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.