Jamie Who is a blog about everything. Except current affairs. And politics. Also science, sport, religion, celebrities, movies, media and marketing, technology, business and design. So...basically Jamie Who is a blog about food. All things food.

Friday, April 30, 2010

HQ - I am truly sorry I didn't mention this sooner

Ask Capetonians who makes the best steak and they get pretty animated. Answers will range from "their local" to "my wife". Some idiots will say Brad's Grill. Pfffffft. Shame. Others will throw in 1800 or Nelson's Eye. People who think they're clever will say "You know what? Spur makes a great steak". Let's be honest though, people who matter will say Carne or HQ.  I've written enough about Carne in the past but it dawned on me that I have never mentioned HQ. I realised this glaring error last night and felt like stripping naked and whipping myself the way that albino monk does in The Da Vinci Code. I was disgusted with myself. I immediately strolled across from &Union, where I was enjoying the redhead (if you know what this means congrats - gold star for you), to see if HQ was still that good. It was.  

For those of you who don't know, HQ was started by the team behind the renowned Caveau brand. How it works is this simple: they serve salad, sirloin and chips. For R155. You might be thinking how expensive that is, but let me dig deeper on your behalf. (It's a pleasure.) The steak is 35-day aged meat from free-range, grass-fed cattle brought in from Namibia. It is - quite simply - superb. Served with a Cafe de Paris butter and sliced for you, it is 250g of heaven. The chips are skinny frites and you can have as many as you want. Excellent in texture. Did I mention you can have as many as you want? The simple salad is a combination of fresh cos leaves and butter lettuce and is served with toasted pine nuts and parmesan shavings. If ever there was an example of how simple food can taste delicious this uninspiring-looking bowl is it. 

Desserts are a part of HQ that never seem to get the recognition they deserve. There are 10 classic versions to choose from, and at R25 each they are surprisingly good value. I tried the chocolate fondant, which was faultless. Light, and with the right amount of wobble factor (very technical cooking term there). 

We enjoyed a bottle of Haut Espoir Gentle Giant 2006 which, with a smooth body and warm, peppery notes, was a match made in steak heaven.

Is the steak the best in Cape Town? That is a debate that will probably never be settled. Is it better than Carne? Perhaps not. But throw in the sexy bar serving up some of Cape Town's finest cocktails, Jack Black on tap, gorgeous staff, the live music and overall vibe and it's a tough place to beat. 

You can call them on (021) 424-6373. 

P.S. HQ is pretty dim, making it tough to shoot. A flash just didn't do it any justice. My bad. 

Jamie Who

1 comment:

Forage said...

You did'nt mention that one can get extra Cafe de Paris sauce as well. As much as you want. Not that one would have space after that hunk of perfection has gone down yr throat... LOVE HQ. and they kindly let non-meat eating partner order fish from Caveau when we sit in the courtyard.