We were invited to dine at Headquarters, better known as HQ, late last year and what we discovered was the perfect place to put onto your wish list for the month of love, Valentine’s Day itself or any special occasion.
HQ is situated in national monument Heritage Square, right in the centre of Cape Town. They share a gorgeous courtyard with the hotel next door, which is perfect for lazy Summer afternoons. There is also a relaxed bar area with comfy couches and its own menu. We opted to eat in the dining room – cool, quiet, elegant and sheltered from the heat of the day.
HQ is a unique experience. Modeled off a Parisian steakhouse, the restaurant has a set menu – a delicious, crisp, fresh salad of cos and iceberg lettuce, sprinkled with toasted pine nuts, parmesan shavings and a vinaigrette dressing; followed by a grilled sirloin, smothered with Café de Paris butter and served with skinny fries.
The steak is incredibly tender and melts beautifully in the mouth with the incredibly tasty butter sauce, and the skinny fries are delicious. The lunchtime portion of steak is 125g (R99) which was a little light, the 250g dinner portion (R188) would have been perfection.
We sampled from the incredibly tempting bar “snacks” menu (that can only be enjoyed in the bar area). We ordered three of them to share, so we could try all the best sounding things on the menu – the Wild Mushroom Risotto (R80), the Lamb Sliders (R86) and the Tempura Style Calamari (R68).
While the lunch steak portion was small, they certainly made up for it with the snack portions which were easily enough to be full meals. Each item was more delicious than the last… but we really only tasted them because we couldn’t complete the review without sampling desserts.
I enjoyed my meal with a glass of gorgeous local chardonnay, and husband enjoyed one of the cocktails off their extensive menu and a craft beer. The service was great, the managers and our waiter were attentive and present, checking in regularly without being obtrusive.
We love the hidden-from-the-world classic effortless elegance HQ holds; the red leather, the mirrors and the beautiful balloon lighting. There was great old school background music, and the little decor elements like the old books and clocks, set the perfect tone for quiet romance.
Open Monday to Saturday for lunch, dinner, and the after-party, they have some great weekly events; including Two for one Mondays with live music, Date Night on Tuesdays, Half Price Tapas and 2 DJs (Chris De Vos and Brett Aitken) on Thursdays, Friday night sees their resident DJ taking charge of the music, and Saturday is #HQReserve night.
While they are usually closed on a Sunday, on 14 February they have a special Valentine’s Day offer for you! They have created a gorgeous romantic evening – A glass of Pierre Jourdan bubbly as you arrive, serenaded by the immensely talented Savannah, dining on the amazing HQ salad, steak and fries, and a dessert tasting plate to share (with all service charges on these items covered) for only R550 per couple. The courtyard will be open for outdoor romance as well.
To find out more, to keep up to date with what is happening or to book your seat for Valentine’s Day, you can find their website here, Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter and be sure to share your date night photos on their Instagram account.