Full moon night cycle through the bustling streets of Cape Town
HQ: one simple concept
Headquarters raises the steaks
Headquarters raises the steaks
Welcome to Headquarters, the Cape Town city centre steakhouse lovingly referred to as 'HQ' and most well known for a hard-headed devotion to a single concept: the handsome brasserie-style restaurant has only one menu option (sirloin, salad and chips) and the waitrons will only ask you one question, “how do you want your steak done?”
Needless to say, HQ doesn’t mince words, nor they do they mince meat. They focus on what they stand for and what they’re good at: steak, really good steak (there is a mushroom-based vegetarian option).
Though located on Heritage Square, the restaurant has all the cosmopolitan swank of a trendy eatery in the heart of New York City. Racy red leather couches, closely set tables and an open-plan kitchen build a baseline ambience, and lounge-style music, balloon lighting and the one-hit-wonder-style menu round off the edgy atmosphere.
Tonight, we start at the bar; it’s a Jack Black beer for my partner, a Grapefruit Cosmopolitan for me, a few snacks (you can order olives, nuts or biltong) and a chat with the mixologist. All the classics as well as new creations populate the well-endowed cocktail menu, and most options are also available in a non-alcoholic version.
More specifically, the menu states: 'Our experienced mixologists can prepare almost anything you might not find on the menu.' So, we take him up on that, and William makes us a martini with rooibos. There’s a good range of cigars too. In the cosy lounge area – it’s just adjacent to and within view of the restaurant floor - I see friends enjoying an evening out; the fireplace is welcome on this chilly night and I imagine the courtyard tables are alluring during the warmer months.
Our waitron walks us to our table: Goldfish is playing in the background, the feeling is happy and comfortable and the vibe is as right for a power lunch, business dinner, first date or, simply, some father and son quality time.
At HQ you know what you’re coming for
Headquarters is a concept steakhouse based on the Parisian restaurant Le Relais de L’Entrecote. On our brown paper tablecloth our waiter writes down in bold letters how we like our steaks done.
We can’t wait to get started with the 250g, top-cut sirloin served with delicious café de Paris butter, which consists of eight different herbs, spices, onion and garlic. You do have one choice: have your salad before or with your sirloin. And this salad won’t disappoint – a yummy mustard dressing covers different kinds of lettuce leaves, shaved Parmesan and pine nuts.
Don’t worry, here, you won’t go home hungry. Your skinny fries and herb butter can be topped up, if you wish so.
Yes, there is a dessert menu, which offers ice cream, sorbet, chocolate fondant, crème brûlée, apple tart, tiramisu and more.
Other restaurants offer over-extended menus, but Headquarters focuses on one dish to ensure excellence in every way.
By Antonia Heil
Tip: HQ offers a number of spaces that can be rented out for private functions. What’s more, have a look out for HQ’s specials: it’s 2-for-1 on a Monday night; everyday R99 lunch (125g).
The Bill: Not bad as far as Cape Town steakhouses go. The 250g sirloin, chips and salad will run you R169, and if you go for the 500g sirloin, you’ll be out R264. The vegetarian option costs R115.
Not quite in the budget? No worries, every Monday HQ offers a 2-for-1 dinner special.
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