Cocktails prepared and served at HQ

HQ

Cost
R170 avg main meal
Ambience
Contemporary cool
Food
Fine-dining food, Modern, Steak, Tapas
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Food
If you’re only offering one food option – with one minor, and costly, variation – then that one option needs to be prepared and presented perfectly. And, sadly, that was not the case with our visit to HQ. Diners get a simple salad of lettuce, pine nuts and parmesan shavings with a mustard vinaigrette. Only iceberg leaves, no cos with ours, and the vinaigrette is overpowered by too much acidic vinegar. The parmesan was high quality.

For mains the offering is sirloin – either local at R198 or Australian Angus at R395 – with Café de Paris butter and shoestring fries. The steak (local) was cooked perfectly to order, but the meat was drier than desirable. The Café de Paris butter was blander than I remember from previous, happier, visits – dominated by the green herbs.

The crème brûlée was an excellent finish, though. There is also a tapas menu, but that can only be enjoyed at the bar or in the lounge. There are options like marinated chicken skewers, foraged wild mushrooms, and triple cooked pork belly cubes.

Drinks
The regular wine list is modest in ambition, but there is a reserve list that has some interesting options, albeit at an eye-moistening price. Many patrons opt for one of the excellent craft beers or choose from the extensive cocktail list.

Service
Efficient and cordial. HQ can get crowded and the staff are adept at manoeuvring their way through the narrow table alignment.

Ambience
It’s not a venue for intimate conversation – the house music is a few decibels too loud for that, and there is usually a very festive buzz from one of the many events that take place in the lounge. The party atmosphere usually prevails.

And...
Management is inventive with special offers, so watch out for those.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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  • Graham Howe

    Food 
    When you do only one thing, you have to do it well, really well. Elaborate menus are passé at this Parisian-inspired venue, which only offers two dishes: a classic iceberg and cos salad with parmesan shavings, toasted pine nuts and mustard vinaigrette, and a free-range wet-aged sirloin served with a legendary Café de Paris sauce made from 18 ingredients, accompanied by shoestring fries.

    The beef is tender, perfectly grilled to order and worth every penny. The vegetarian option is a hearty portion of grilled portobello mushrooms. So that makes three dishes, which is still pretty minimalist in this day and age.

    Oh, but you can order off a bar tapas menu, which comes in half-size and full portions. These are really substantial, from a charcuterie and cheese board served with wood-fired corn bread, to lamb sliders with truffle fries, crumbed prawns with roasted chilli and mayonnaise, or a gourmet quesadilla with prosciutto, mozzarella, goat’s cheese and avocado salsa. All are well plated, really tasty, and good to share over drinks. You won’t get over-whelmed by choice here, and might end up trying a little of everything.

    Drinks 
    They offer a first-rate selection cocktails, craft beers, champagnes and wines by glass and bottle, with a reserve list for a big night out.

    Service
    Service is slick and gets more well-oiled the busier, buzzier and later it gets.

    Ambience 
    Elegant and sophisticated, this venue buzzes in the metropolitan style with a glamorous bar and lounge feel – from the red leather seating to the mirrored walls.

    And… 
    They’ve got a couple of nice specials going, including what they call Aperitivo (a chef’s tapas board and selection of four cocktails for R200 between 5pm and 7pm), and two-for-one Mondays.

    (July 2014)

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  • They only serve one dish here: sirloin, chips and salad. But that’s why you’ve come. Free-range beef from Namibia or Botswana is grilled to your taste and served with café de Paris butter with 18 ingredients. (The veg option is a portobello mushroom.) (EO mag 2014)
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  • Food
    Not designed for vegetarians, HQ serves only one main dish, sirloin steak. Your only choices will be how you want your steak done, what you want to drink with it and which of the two or three desserts you might like.

    Wine
    A well selected list of quality wines sometimes makes it difficult to choose just one. Fortunately there are several by the glass.

    Service
    The service is efficient and visits from the waiters welcome as they bring you refills of French fries and café de Paris butter.

    Ambience
    HQ is a modern take on the traditional steakhouse look. The open kitchen and central bar and lounge ensure a solid vibe.

    And...
    Friday nights are party night, so take your dancing shoes. (DV, October 2012)
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User reviews

  • First time at HQ, on the 18/09/2017, even though it’s been around forever. ---------------------------- Overall, I did enjoy the salad tremendously as well as the only main that you have - steak and chips with a lovely buttery sauce. As I believe in doing my own steak at home the steak that I pay for must be worth it. Besides House of H, I definitely would try this steak again. The other's on the table had mixed feelings regarding the steak and quality thereof. ---------------------------- Besides that, the overall feeling was disappointing. We were a large and mature party of 12. When arriving, there were 10 seats only. Not sure whether that was the B-day boy's fault who made the booking or the restaurant - non the less - the waitron took his time in trying to resolve the issue, but finally we moved another table against the pole. Not perfect, but we made it work.----------------------------------- We didn't’ realise that it was a Monday evening and hence the steak was 2 for 1. We didn't object. We ordered bottles of wine and racked up a nice bill. Overall the service was there when we needed it - wasn’t anything special, but nothing bad either. The main got served correctly to each member - we all embraced the food and asked for the bill later-on. ----------------------------------- We calculated the tip, and it was a proper 20% tip on a table of 12. ---------------------------- There was a large table behind us as well who were paying up at the same time as us - as we were the only two tables still seated. ---------------------------- However, our waiter was busy with the table behind us - for close to 10 minutes without giving us any attention for the payment. My partner got up and asked the other waitress at a few tables away who was setting up an empty table, if there were any other working card machines. ---------------------------- Her reply was “I’m sure there are”… In turn my partner asked “Would you mind getting it?” The waitress rolled her eyes and said “sure”… ---------------------------- I was observing from the table and saw the irritation build up in my partner. Whereas she is usually the one who has got all the time for the world for people in the service industry, as she has spent a decade there herself. ---------------------------- The waitress continued setting the tables, two to be exact. And then eventually came back with the card machine. Most of the table paid cash, except two cards. ---------------------------- After payment we walked out - no one greeted us - no manager was seen that evening - and we didn’t leave with a nice feeling. ---------------------------- The two main aspects were that our waiter’s attitude was lacking - especially at the end part of the evening and then the other waiter who could role her eyes at her clients. Assumption being that she had to go out of her way where there wasn’t directly a tip involved for her… Nonetheless, I do find that kind of behaviour unacceptable. ---------------------------- Something that I didn’t enjoy was the amount of beggars hoarding around you once you step a foot outside the restaurant. When we arrived - as well as when we left. Which did make me feel uneasy. In addition to that, I was told as we left that someone else got mugged there moments before we left the restaurant. I do feel that a place with a certain amount of character should have a doorman to keep an eye over their clientele’s safety in-front of their premises. Plus I’m not stranger to the Cape Town streets as we do live in the CBD.----------------------------
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  • Best value, best specials and just love the simplicity of the concept. It's all about the steak!
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  • HQ is my go-to for steak hungry days. The food, from starters to desserts, is always deliciously prepared and served with a smile. Their budget friendly weekly specials make this an easy & affordable dining experience.
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  • After giving HQ another chance I was dissapointed yet again. I reserved a table for my friends birthday because I absolutely love the atmosphere at HQ. The marimba band was super groovy! Thanks for not acknowledging that it was my friends birthday by the way. But, the steak, was equivalent to a minute steak with a dollop of margarine on top.
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  • Trendy vibe but I don't like the limited offering and restaurant staff were quite rude and not very attentive.
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  • Upon arrive, after booking a special two seater table for 7.30PM and after being a few minutes late for the booking, my table was given away too two walk-ins and the woman at the entrance came off rude and unhelpful despite the fact that I had driven over an hour just to experience the 'popular' HQ dinner. I was honestly shocked at the quality of steak I was paying R400 for. Not only was it a very thin cut of 250G sirloin but I only received a small portion of skinny fries and the lettuce in the salad was not cos lettuce. Lastly, R100 for a half poured, warm margarita cocktail disappoints me beyond belief. I completely and utterly regret going for dinner at HQ.
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  • First time experience at HQ. Awesome hostess and music from DJ Rene though.... The iceberg salad starter was gross. Sent it back twice and came back worse each time. Brown, wilted, mushy lettuce, tasteless dressing ~ just embarrassing. R35 for a bottle of chilled tap water. Steak was ok, chips tasted like McCain frozen fries. The herby butter sauce saved my sad meal. But that kindergarten made SALAD shocked me....what were you guys thinking! Looking around me, many tables left theirs untouched too. No manager came to check in after my complaints either. Never again :(
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  • High expectation - short of food appeal. Having heard a lot of the HQ experience, except for the venue and atmosphere, the evening was a disappointment. The food was average - a better steak can be experiened elsewhere in Cape Town. And the cost of a black angus steak was ridiculous (R395 for 250g) - it could have been any cut of beef had it not been told to us. And the fact that the price was not tabled with my guests led to me having to foot a very inflated bill! Then the service - we had not finished our salad starter when the main course (only steak) arrived. It was as if the objective was for us to eat and get out. Not sure it was the fault of the waiter but it happened. Fortunately, management was understanding and allowed us to enjoy the atmosphere and company before serving the main course - they duly removed the served steak and chips and returned a good while later with a fresh meal. Whilst overall disappointing given the cost and expectation, the evening was enjoyed by all, although it could have been so much better. Notwithstanding the above, I am prepared to give it a second chance given the atmosphere and vibe.
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  • If you're looking for a place to fill your tummy and tap your feet then HQ is the place to be. Fridays at HQ is where food meets party. Enjoy the only item on the menu (steak, chips and salad) while the house band entertain you with music accompanied by live instruments. With only 1 item on the menu it's easy to please. Good food, good service and great vibe.
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  • To be honest, HQ was an utter disappointment. If you do only 1 thing, then surely you should do that 1 thing well? I have read the positive reviews attached to the restaurant and I pity the reviewers, because they obviously have no idea how much they are being taken for a ride. The steak is average at best and completely overpriced. The drinks prices actually left me in shock - R 76 for double brandy and coke, R 65 for a bottled CBC, R 65 for a double Jameson. At R 740 for dinner for 2, I may as well take my business to Pot Luck Club. To top it all off - I felt like I was in a sweat shop it was so hot.
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  • We went to HQ on one of their Tuesday "Date Night" evenings. We got a cosy seat by the fireplace which was really nice for a Cape Town winter night. Very romantic and comfortable atmosphere and great live music. The service was slightly slow but the waiters were all very friendly. I had the HQ watering can cocktail. Great choice as it was presented beautifully and tasted great!. All in all a great evening.
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  • The outlay and ambience of this restaurant is vibey and gives off an aura of class. Unfortunately the service does not quite meet up to the standards of the décor and initial appeal. I found the service to be slow and impersonal. The food is very basic and for what you get - extremely over priced. It is a pity as it has a great location, bringing food and service up to standard would make it a winner.
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  • I made a reservation on Monday 22nd June for 19:30. I then went for dinner that same Monday night at HQ with friends and specifically noted to the manager where I wanted to sit which was towards the back of the restaurant and changed my reservation time to 20:00 for the Friday. I have to highlight that this was a special occasion considering the effort I put in when making the reservation. I received a confirmation email on the Friday. Come Friday evening I called the restaurant at 19:50 and let the hostess know I was going to be 30 minutes late for my reservation meaning I would be there at 20:30. When arriving at the restaurant to my disbelief my table was given away and I was rudely told by the hostess that I was over an hour and a half late. After eventually finding the manager he offered us a drink at the bar and assured us we would get the first table that became available. 45-50 minutes later we had no table and a table that did become available for four people was given to other people who were waiting on the side and looked to me like walk ins. I really liked this restaurant before and now I am completely disgusted at the way the situation was handled. I could have understood if we didn't call to say we were going to be half an hour late but we were told the hostess just gave it away when we didn't arrive. I find that amusing since she was the one who took my call. I will never support this restaurant again and it really has left a bad taste in my mouth. Seems like they can get away with anything since they have high traffic coming into their restaurant and bar.
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  • Most expensive peace of steak i have ever paid in my life, and wine, worst service, took my half glass of wine away before i finished it. Food is basic and not even great. Waited very long to pay this over price place, and had to look for the waiter. Even cleaned and placed new glasses on table before we left and we stilk waiting for our dessert, nice one. Like they want you to go asap But we still waiting on food. Will never ever go back, and will advise people not to go. You get better service, food, and friendliness at allot of other places. Very sad and disappointed.
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  • Here is a review for anyone who is going to HQ with friends and doesn't eat meat. You are probably better off choosing another restaurant because HQ cannot cater for non meat eaters and you wont get your money's worth. I went with friends to HQ and because I don't eat meat, I called ahead to request a fish dish. I don't recommend anyone to do this, they first served the fish with 2 tablespoons or garlic butter so i sent it back then what came back was dry, tasteless, rubber cooked fish, which was clearly cheap frozen fish and the shoe string fries were over fried and dry. My vegetarian friend was also disappointed with her oily mushroom meal. Just go for drinks and move on to another restaurant.
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  • Chinese philosopher Wu-men once said that if your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, then this is the happiest season of your life. I couldn’t agree more.
    You see, I’m notoriously bad when it comes to making choices, especially when those choices are about food. It’s the reason I often have second thoughts and a little food envy at a restaurant when other people inevitably pick something I end up wanting too.
    It’s also the reason I was excited to try Headquarters (mostly referred to as HQ). Opened in Cape Town in December 2008 and Johannesburg in February 2011, this trendy restaurant is loosely based on the famous Le Relais de L’Entrecote, a Parisian restaurant that pays homage to meat.
    Basically, there’s only one option on the menu: salad, sirloin and chips. (Actually, they also serve grilled Portobello mushrooms, stuffed with mushroom duxelle and topped with parmesan gratin and their signature Café de Paris butter. But who goes to a steakhouse to eat vegetarian food?)
    The salad (topped with toasted pine nuts, parmesan shavings, and a mustard vinaigrette dressing) was quite good. The 250g free range sirloin (served with double fried chips and the signature Café de Paris butter that can be topped up as much as you like) was even better.
    The service was unbelievably quick, partly because the waiter doesn’t have to ask you anything other than how you like your steak done but also because our reservation was at a time when the place was still quite empty. Eating an early dinner also meant that we could sit back, relax, and enjoy the sophisticated but inviting atmosphere.
    Alas, it all changed when a group of 13 drunken guys decided to enjoy some fine dining on what must have been a bachelor party. (Why else would one of them be wearing overalls and carrying kettle bells?) So we moved downstairs, much like the couple sitting next to us had just done.
    For a while things were considerably better, especially because we got to enjoy some serenading sounds from a live performer brilliantly channelling Michael Bublé. But then one of the party animals decided to join the singer on stage for a duet of Mr Bojangles. Thank goodness the karaoke machine experienced technical difficulties after that song; it’s awkward enough watching Idols at home.
    Anyway, the boys upstairs began to behave once their food arrived, much like young children do when they’ve been fed. But by now the restaurant had become quite busy, which is probably why our dessert took longer than the main course. Perhaps that’s also why the waiter neglected to mention that the chocolate fondant was served in a piping hot bowl that would burn your fingers when you inevitably had to touch it.
    Despite the fact that having one option should create economies of scale, our night at HQ wasn’t cheap. The bill for two meals, a shared dessert, a bottle of water, and a bottle of wine came to around R600. Fortunately, we had an Entertainer Cape Town voucher, which shaved R175 off the total by making one of the meals free.
    Still, despite the rowdy revellers who make me hope HQ looks into the idea that “right of admission is reserved”, we had a wonderful time. Everyday life presents us with way too many decisions. Eating at HQ is a no-brainer.
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  • A friend of mine told me about HQ, and being a steak-lover, I was definitely keen to find out what HQ has to offer. We booked a table for the Monday 2-for-1 special. What a meal… If you have one thing on the menu, chances are you will get it right… and they did. Loved the food, loved the drinks, loved the laid back vibe. Will definitely go again… Thanks for a great evening!

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  • Went on Monday night. Compulsory tip had been slipped into the bill. Didn't notice and left 13% myself, so they ended up getting 23%. Very sneaky as this wasn't mentioned in the menu (or I didn't notice), plus waitron never advised us this was the case. Nice one HQ.

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  • Last night we took friends to Head Quarters restuarant in Cape Town (as we have done many times previously). We made a booking a week prior for 7.30pm. We arrived early and ordrered drinks at the bar area. This took half an hour as the waitor forgot one of our drinks and then forgot to tell us that specific drink was sold out. Total wait for drinks 30 minutes. At 7.40 we asked to be taken to our table as we had not been called, as one would expect. We were told the table would be available soon as the people already sitting there had ordered late. By 8.00pm we were still not seated, and when we asked to speak to the manager, he refused to engage with us and in fact hid behind a wall. By 8.15pm once again we asked about our table and were told they were cleaning it. By 8.30 we went to look what was taking so long and there were no free tables. Not even tables that were being cleaned. One of the staff came to speak to us and said that the problem was that they liked to turn the tables 3 times on a Monday. By this time we were hungry, embarassed (as we had guests) and irrate with the total lack of service. We left. One would be better off going to a Spur. What a huge disappointment that one of my favourite restaurants is going downhill.

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  • Sorry - expensive, pretentious, unfriendly, and frankly speaking not that great food. Meat. I like the concept - steak and chips and salad. But with that goes, it must be excellent meat and really good fries and a big memorable salad. Meat is very average, fries are like everywhere else and the salad is tiny with boring lettuce and a dressing that could have been bought at PnP. As it is also pricey, and the staff make you feel that you are damn lucky to get a table (even though we have been there many times there is no sign of recognition) - we have stopped going there. Fridays are fun, but having drinks is enough.

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  • I used to frequent the bar / restaurant that is today HQ in my earlier youth and somehow preferred the atmosphere then. Personal choice I suppose but an observation.

    The decor is quite smart in what is a basic venue. We went on a Monday and had the salad, steak and chip half price deal for R160 for two which was a good deal but I certainly would not have paid R160 per person. The service was organised and efficient and we enjoyed listening to their live reggae band (although it can make conversation somewhat difficult). They were good though. We sat upstairs and found it to be very hot and rather airless. Definitely a young and happening vibe. Bar area with cocktail specials.

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  • HQ has a really smart concept - steak. And fries and salad. Dessert if you want. It's a really cool and vibey place on Friday nights, you usually end up staying here until late/early... But it's not because the food is good - HQ serves over prized, barely average quality meat, ordinary chips and a standard salad. Too expensive for what you get. Wine list is (of course) excellent. And what's going to make this a good night is your company and the DJ after dinner.

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  • What a lack lustre experience. On arrival, we had to ask to be seated, then request menus. We then asked someone to take our oder. We then inquired if it were possible to order drinks as well. This process continued until we had to ask for the credit card machine, after asking for the bill. At one point I complained, did not even receive an apology or a visit from a manager. The courtyard, where we were seated was dirty. There were cigarette butts every where, including stuck in my table, along with an old straw and other debris. My cutlery was dirty and practically all the crockery that arrived at my table was chipped. The steak was perfectly cooked, as per my request, but the Cafe de Paris butter slightly unbalanced by bitter raw herbs. The french fries are bought in which left the salad as the highlight of the meal. Finishing with a dry and very poorly executed chocolate brownie left us with the feeling that all the care, which once existed here in abundance, is far gone. R500.00 for two, including a 4% tip (just to annoy them).

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  • The most over-rated, under-achieving restaurant in Cape Town. A group of us have been trying to find the best steak in Cape Town for the last 2 years, we've tried HQ twice and been bitterly disappointed on both occasions. The steak is very expensive and really not great. If all you have on your menu is steak, you'd think that it is the best around. They have such a smug attitude too, like they are doing you a favour by letting you eat there. After our last visit there we sent a letter of complaint. We got a read receipt on the e-mail, and then a week later a delete notification. I thought that it was a polite, constructive e-mail, and I got no reply, even though they had read it. Fellow diners, don't waste your money at HQ, there are many, many better restaurants out there.

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  • The food was impeccable at HQ, juicy succulent steak and a fresh crispy salad. My only concern was the “cakeage” fee. My friend made a booking for her birthday for six and I was planning to surprise her with a cake, specially made for her. I phone HQ to find out if I could drop it off early, so that it wouldn’t melt in my car, and they politely informed me there would be a charge. R250! That’s a bit ridiculous for a cake. I understand they have their own catering services, but R250? Corkage isn’t even that much, if I’m correct. I was highly disappointed and won’t be returning to a restaurant that charges so much for a celebration.
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  • This restaurant is awesome, nice and simple with a great vibe and even better wine list.

    People.... they only serve Steak and chips, DO you get that? Do not go there if you feel like a pasta!
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  • We dined at HQ after my husbands friend visiting from Joburg said they had been told that the place to get a good steak in CT was HQ. My husband loves his meat so he was looking forward to it. I can live without meat but I didnt let my lack of enthusiasm ruin everyone elses night. The best part of the evening was the wait in the lounge. They have live entertainment and the guy was this Michael Buble wannabe but he really did sing very well. The first disappointment after we sat was being informed they dont serve bread! Now I am with a bunch of people who lived in Europe most of their life. That was like being stabbed in the heart, as far as they were concerned. No starters either. Only a measly looking salad that my 7-year old son can prep. The waiter explained that the only meat available was a rump (or something) and the only choice customers have in the matter was how they want it done. The only vegetarian choice is 3 big portobello mushrooms! Lovely. Steaks came. I specifically asked for medium/well as am not a meat person and cant bare to see bleeding meat. It came RARE. Everyone knows a re-heated steak comes back tougher and thats exactly what happened. I could barely grind on the thing. Honestly, the chef has ONE thing to cook and he cant get it right? The rest of my table all agreed theyve had better steak. One complained his meat was cold. A waiter goes around tables with stringy looking potato chips. And thats dinner - ladies and gentlemen! The wine list is OK and they do offer cocktails. Honestly, next time Im itching to spend that kind of money, Ill go to a more democratic dining environment. I got home and warmed up some leftovers. Lousy, lousy experience.
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  • Wow, wow, wow. My family and I had the pleasure of dining at HQ to celebrate my brothers birthday. My parents, being great food lovers, well-travelled and both have exceptionally high standards; were blown away! And so were my brother and I. The service was on the ball, the food was well.... mouth watering! Ambience 10 out of 10! Thank you HQ for allowing me to finally impress my folks with a place that gives excellent value for money and a great night out!
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  • We recently enjoyed a meal at Headquarters. I found the no-nonsense menu refreshing yet steep price wise. The steaks are good, but I wont say exceptional, and the starter salad is slightly disappointing. We absolutely loved the vibe (live jazz trio when we were there) and all in all had a really good time.
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  • I must have been to HQ ten times now, and they get it right every time. Best sirloin in town, bar none. Cocktail lounge offers something different throughout the week - great location and such friendly staff.
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  • I must have been to HQ ten times now, and they get it right every time. Best sirloin in town, bar none. Cocktail lounge offers something different throughout the week - great location and such friendly staff.
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  • I must have been to HQ ten times now, and they get it right every time. Best sirloin in town, bar none. Cocktail lounge offers something different throughout the week - great location and such friendly staff.
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  • What put me off from this place, the first time we went we were standing at the bar having drinks when my wife felt something on her foot. Upon looking down she found a monster cockroach running up her pant leg! We will never go back because of this and I advise no one else to either.
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  • The place is great. Fantastic ambiance. The people are very cool. The barmen are unbelievable especially the one from Congo who really knows his stuff. The concept is great, but I feel that a weekly special dish will have to be added as you may get bored with the same dish? The music was good except the same CD, Cafe Costas, played over and over. Highly recommended! Well Done HQ.
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  • The food was simple, tasty and good value for money. The ambience had a nice buzz and the service was adequate. We will definitely be back for more.
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  • We went to the much-hyped HQ /With their famous steak-only menu /Forewarned and forearmed /We were utterly charmed /But the price tag raised an eyebrow or two.
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  • HQ lacking in Ps and QsAfter having recently enjoyed four very good meals at HQ, where the food was delicious and the service of a standard one has come to expect in Cape Town, I feel it necessary to draw to your attention just how completely unacceptable our experience at HQ was this past Friday evening, 3 July. In particular because the worst of the behaviour, and subsequently the real reason our evening was so spoilt, came unsolicited from one of HQ’s owners.Waiting ListThree of the eight people at dinner last Friday night (myself included), had eaten at HQ the previous Friday evening. We’re fully aware of how busy your establishment is on Friday evenings, having waited until 10pm to be seated on a previous occasion. To avoid this happening again, K, one of our party, booked between 4pm and 5pm on the afternoon. She was informed that we were second on a waiting list, but that we would get a table. When she arrived at 5.30pm, she followed up with the hostess and found a table in the courtyard closest to HQ. We were told that K would be called on her mobile phone as soon as a table became available. This never happened. Nor was any face-to-face communication initiated by the hostess. Instead, it was our party who took the initiative to repeatedly approach her to follow up on our place in the queue. At no point did anyone inform us that we were welcome to remain where we were and order off the HQ menu. We had to enquire about that ourselves.Service PolicyOnce our party of eight – still seated outside – had ordered at 9pm, I asked our waitress to please bring some breadsticks to our table. We’d been drinking, and waiting, for two hours by then and were hungry. Her response was that it was against policy to serve them outside. After politely pleading with her, she brought some. This seems like a strange policy when trying to appease a hungry table of eight.OwnerK and her sister decided to share a steak. They were offered the regular or large portion and they opted for the larger one, requesting that it be plated for each of them. At no point when ordering were they told that sharing wasn’t encouraged. Their steak, when it came to the table, wasn’t plated for two and K was left with nothing in front of her. Not only this, but it wasn’t cooked as per their request. It was after the commotion that ensued in sorting out these unnecessary errors that the owner came over. Unsolicited. And royally put his foot in it. Not only was he extremely rude to at least half the people at the table, but directly insulted K, editor of a local magazine, by suggesting that she and her sister had shared a large steak in order to, ‘cheat the system.’ When K argued this, he became ruder and more obnoxious with every sentence until he eventually left the table. Not only had he ruined HQ’s reputation with three people at the table from this magazine, but also with the person on a lifestyle magazine directly responsible for organising restaurant reviews.This disastrous performance by a restaurant, and its owner, that should unquestionably know better means that none of us will likely visit HQ again. Our opinions were offered on the night as a form of constructive criticism. All that was needed was a very simple apology.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • HQ lacking in Ps and QsAfter having recently enjoyed four very good meals at HQ, where the food was delicious and the service of a standard one has come to expect in Cape Town, I feel it necessary to draw to your attention just how completely unacceptable our experience at HQ was this past Friday evening, 3 July. In particular because the worst of the behaviour, and subsequently the real reason our evening was so spoilt, came unsolicited from one of HQ’s owners.Waiting ListThree of the eight people at dinner last Friday night (myself included), had eaten at HQ the previous Friday evening. We’re fully aware of how busy your establishment is on Friday evenings, having waited until 10pm to be seated on a previous occasion. To avoid this happening again, K, one of our party, booked between 4pm and 5pm on the afternoon. She was informed that we were second on a waiting list, but that we would get a table. When she arrived at 5.30pm, she followed up with the hostess and found a table in the courtyard closest to HQ. We were told that K would be called on her mobile phone as soon as a table became available. This never happened. Nor was any face-to-face communication initiated by the hostess. Instead, it was our party who took the initiative to repeatedly approach her to follow up on our place in the queue. At no point did anyone inform us that we were welcome to remain where we were and order off the HQ menu. We had to enquire about that ourselves.Service PolicyOnce our party of eight – still seated outside – had ordered at 9pm, I asked our waitress to please bring some breadsticks to our table. We’d been drinking, and waiting, for two hours by then and were hungry. Her response was that it was against policy to serve them outside. After politely pleading with her, she brought some. This seems like a strange policy when trying to appease a hungry table of eight.OwnerK and her sister decided to share a steak. They were offered the regular or large portion and they opted for the larger one, requesting that it be plated for each of them. At no point when ordering were they told that sharing wasn’t encouraged. Their steak, when it came to the table, wasn’t plated for two and K was left with nothing in front of her. Not only this, but it wasn’t cooked as per their request. It was after the commotion that ensued in sorting out these unnecessary errors that the owner came over. Unsolicited. And royally put his foot in it. Not only was he extremely rude to at least half the people at the table, but directly insulted K, editor of a local magazine, by suggesting that she and her sister had shared a large steak in order to, ‘cheat the system.’ When K argued this, he became ruder and more obnoxious with every sentence until he eventually left the table. Not only had he ruined HQ’s reputation with three people at the table from this magazine, but also with the person on a lifestyle magazine directly responsible for organising restaurant reviews.This disastrous performance by a restaurant, and its owner, that should unquestionably know better means that none of us will likely visit HQ again. Our opinions were offered on the night as a form of constructive criticism. All that was needed was a very simple apology.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • A restaurant which only serves steak and chips - this was going to be a sure winner with myself and my steak-loving girlfriend! Had expectations of a top quality steak - what I got, truly disappointed. The steak was tough, very very poor quality and easily the worst steak I have ever ate out - Id go as far as to say it was a poor quality rump steak. On a brighter note the decor is very nice, good cocktails but this place is a triumph of style over substance.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Very poor experience at Headquarters on a Friday night. Bar staff were poor and uninformed, especially regarding the wine list. All drinks were at exorbitant prices. The live entertainment was a noisy and boring rehash. The starter was a bowl of iceberg lettuce with 2 slivers of Parmesan, and the main course was buy in bulk fried chips and a stringy, tasteless hunk of meat. This despite the waiter explaining that it was grain fed and extra matured. No way. It was badly cooked and flavourless. All this for R140. I left feeling badly treated and ripped off.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Our group of 6 friends decided to try out Headquarters on Saturday night for the first time. While the food was very tasty, we had mixed feelings about the service in general and the attitude of the chef. Decor and ambience is great, as is the cocktail menu which made our bill add up very quickly!Once seated, we were asked how we would like our sirloin prepared - across our table this varied from rare to medium, with the exception of one medium-well order, which attracted a lot of unnecessary attitude from our waiter.The salad starter was crisp and tasty, but we couldnt shake the feeling that it really was made on the cheap (basically consisting of iceberg lettuce, a small handful of toasted pine-nuts and some parmesan flakes).Once our mains arrived there was general consensus that everyones steak was a lot more rare than we had ordered, which resulted in 3 of our table sending their food back to the kitchen. With the kitchen being open to restaurant, we were easily able to hear the grumbling and sarcastic comments of the head chef which came across as very unprofessional. The chef clearly has an agenda of trying to cook all the meat as rare as possible, with scant regard for his patrons preferences - if a restaurant is only going to serve one thing, it should be absolutely perfect, and our orders certainly werent. That said, once cooked to our satisfaction the sirloin was incredibly tasty. The frites were good, but nothing extra special about them.So overall a great evening out, with tasty food, but we could certainly have done without the attitude from the kitchen, which I would suggest they lose if they expect to have repeat customers.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Our visit to HQ was one marred by temperature, cold sirloin (if youre only serving one dish youd better make sure that the food is hot) and even colder red wine (Kevin Arnold Shiraz by the glass served at white wine temperature). Any chance of a conversation with my dining companion was drowned out by the live music African drumming section. A short, unpleasant and expensive dining experience.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Specials

Specials at HQ

Monday
Treat your soul to live acoustic music by South African artists, while you treat your tummy to HQ’s 2-for1 steaks with chips and a starter salad. Dinner is accompanied by the live acoustic sounds of local musicians.

Wednesday

Fine Wining: First Wednesday of every month – more info here https://www.facebook.com/events/1565277157097901/
Tuning the Vine: https://www.facebook.com/events/1660797587542127/
Half Price Cocktails with The Entertainer: Last Wednesday of the month https://www.facebook.com/events/1532421450419746/

Thursday
Keen to start your weekend a little early? HQ does, and they have a weekly Half Price Tapas special every Thursday to get people in the mood. Enjoy house favourites like Chorizo Poppers, Lamb Sliders and Sirloin Cubes or be daring with a Grilled Crayfish Flatbread or Foraged Wild Mushrooms.

Resident DJs, Chris de Vos and Brett Aitken also play their part in creating a Festive Thursday vibe.
Love Thursdays at HQ

On the third Thursday of the month, HQ transforms their bar and lounge area into a tropical paradise. There are deep house beats by top DJs Chris de Vos and Brett Aitken, as well as HQ’s standard half-price tapas special is on the cards. Ladies can enjoy Bottomless Pierre Jourdan bubbly from 6pm to 8pm. Another reason to Love Thursdays!

half price tapas at HQ

 

HQ hosts celebrated Fine Wining Dinner with Cederberg Wines, on 1 November

Now in its 3rd consecutive year, HQ’s celebrated Fine Wining dinners have really set the bar when it comes to food-and-wine pairings in Cape Town, always delivering a fun evening out. On 1 November at 7pm, they will be hosting their last Fine Wining Dinner for 2017 and it’s a good one! HQ will be pairing up with Cederberg Wines to celebrate an amazing year!
HQ’s Fine Wining dinners give guests a chance to enjoy wines from popular Western Cape farms, which have been artfully paired with HQ’s iconic salad, steak and chips accompanied by an aperitif and dessert.

Entertainment by Ricky Botsis helps keep the mood light, making Fine Wining perfect for impressing a date, family member or friends.

The 3-course meal costs R295 per person, and includes welcome drinks and canapés on arrival.

MENU

Aperitif
Ricotta & Tomato Puff
Rosemary & Dukkah Spice
Cederberg Sustainable Rose 2016

Starter
A crisp salad of Cos and Iceberg leaves , toasted pine nuts,
parmesan shavings and dressed with a Dijon mustard vinagrette.
Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2016

Main
250g Sirloin wet aged for 21 days and grilled prfectly medium-rare, served with skinny fries & Café de Paris Butter
Cederberg Merlot Shiraz 2016

or

(V) Portabella mushrooms stuffed with a rich Duxelle, gratinated with parmesan cheese and served with skinny fries & Café de Paris Butter
Cederberg Merlot Shiraz 2016

Dessert
Spring Fruit Bowl
With a Buketraube Sabayon
Cederberg Bukettraube 2017

Booking details: 021 424 6373 or management@hqrestaurant.co.za
Seats are limited, and bookings are recommended.

HQ Launches HQ Date Night with Boschendal Wines

HQ_DateNight_Instagram

Known for its straightforward yet sophisticated menu of a classic salad starter, followed by perfectly prepared sirloin steak and thin-cut fries, served with their signature Cafe De Paris butter sauce, HQ aims to bring people together over good food, good wine and a great vibe.

Then it comes as no surprise that they have partnered with the iconic Boschendal Wines to bring their guests an evening of wining and dining, whether it be with your partner, friend or family member. HQ is proud to announce #HQDateNight with Boschendal Wines, every Tuesday, launching 4 July. Guests will be treated to HQ’s iconic menu of salad, steak and thin-cut fries, as well as a glass of Boschendal Red and live music by swinging sensation, Ricky Botsis, at a winning price of R280 for two.

HQ hosts successful ‘Raise the Steaks’ pairing: The Big Three

HQ---Raise-the-Steaks-_-The-Big-3-Edition_PR

On 27 September at 7pm, HQ Restaurant will be hosting their 7th Raise the Steaks Dinner, focusing their attention on rump, sirloin and fillet with the launch of The Big Three edition.

Raise the Steaks is a food-and-wine-pairing experience like no other, where HQ invites a top local wine farm to pair their specialty wines with HQ’s 3-course menu - this month it's Boschendal. A winning combination for only R295 per person. These dinners are designed to shine a spotlight on different cuts of steak, so expect only the finest quality.

THE BIG THREE EDITION

--- MENU ---

Starter
Shaved fennel & orange salad
with avocado, hazelnuts and scheswan pepper vinaigrette
Boschendal 1685 Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Main
Big three grilled skewer
Rump, sirloin and fillet served with tomato, herb cous cous and tahini sauce
Boschendal Larone 2015

or
(V) Garlic and balsamic brushed mushroom skewers
served with tomato, herb cous cous and tahini sauce
Boschendal Larone 2015

Dessert
Sticky pudding
with butterscotch sauce and almond mascarpone
Boschendal Vin D’Or 2015 Vintage

HQ hosts ‘The Original Fridays’

Dj-Rene

HQ has always been known for its weekend festivities, and with ‘The Original Fridays’ at HQ you’re sure to be in for a treat– every Friday, starting 21 July!

DJ Rene is back at HQ!

After a short time away, DJ René is back at his original spot to start the weekend off with a bang. To celebrate this in style, HQ’s going to be throwing a Friday night that will be one to remember; with complimentary bubbly and canapés from 6pm to 8pm.
With a dress code of smart casual; you can be sure everyone will dress to impress.

“Friday nights at HQ is where it all began, and we wanted to remind our guests how awesome it is to start the weekend off at the restaurant. You and your friends can come for an amazing steak or tapas dinner, and then stay for hours after, partying the night away thanks to the beats provided by DJ Rene, AKA The Frenchman.” says Matt Mulholland, Operations Partner of HQ.

HQ Cape Town hosts Girls' Night Out with Boschendal 

With Women’s Day on 9 August, what better way is there to celebrate than with HQ’s first official Girls Night Out event on Tuesday 8 August as part of the famous, #HQDateNight celebrations, where you and your bestie receive their iconic starter salad, steak and chips, served with a glass of Boschendal Red, each for R280.

To kick things off the right way, complimentary Boschendal Bubbly will be available on arrival, after which dinner will be served, with entertainment from swing sensation, Ricky Botsis harmonically guiding you through your meal on the microphone. The dancefloor will open with the gorgeous female DJ, Anthea Scholtz, ensuring this night out will never be forgotten!

Gather your best gals, assemble the squad and book your table in celebration of Women’s Month!

HQ hosts 5th Annual Dare to Share Charity dinner on 16 August

On 16 August at 7pm, Cape Town restaurant, HQ and charity organisation, Dare to Share, will be hosting their 5th annual charity dinner with the aim of raising a substantial amount for a variety of identified organisations, all while allowing the who’s who of the Cape Town scene to dress up and really show up in support, with a 3-course food-and-wine-pairing.

Dare to Share was a not a planned charity. It was when Marc Buhrer decided to rather help those less fortunate and give back, than have a celebratory party for his birthday, that Dare to Share was born. Since inception in 2012, HQ’s Dare to Share, have fed over 800 000 meals and currently supports 33 registered organisations in the Western Cape alone. “We truly try and give back to as many charities as possible, therefore our focus ranges from orphanages, shelters, centers for abused woman and children, animal shelters, children with terminal illnesses as well as trying to create solutions to reintegrate the homeless back into society in a responsible manner.” Says board member, Marc Bührer.

Dare to Share currently supports up to 59 families on a weekly basis supplying them with food, clothing and toiletries all made possible due to corporate and private donations. “Our current initiatives include The Dare to Share Food Fund, Dare to Share Blessing Bags, The Seasoned Saturday, Dare to Share Yummy Meals, and RAW images with Coffee Beings soon to be added to our fundraising campaigns” adds Bührer.

Guest can expect an evening of excellent food and wine, live entertainment and of course, a very exciting raffle with additional prizes. Join the Dare to Share team as they invite you to experience the Dare to Share mission and learn what it means to “Walk the Walk”!

Event details:
Date & Time: Wednesday 16th August at 7pm
Dress code: Formal
Ticket Price: R395 per person
Purchase tickets via Nutickets: http://hq.nutickets.co.za/4786

For more event details, email: management@hqrestaurant.co.za
For more information on Dare to Share, please visit www.daretoshare.co.za

HQ hosts 'Day of the Dead' in time for Halloween

For the early birds, complimentary Don Julio cocktails will be available on arrival as well as make-up artists to assist you in claiming the title of Best Dressed!

No party is complete without a great line-up and at the Day Of the Dead celebration, you can only expect the best. With beats from Chris De Vos, Strange Loving, Los Tacos and Gio Ricca you will struggle two keep yourself off one of the two available dancefloors.

Courtyard Dancefloor:
7pm to 9pm - Chris De Vos
9pm to 10pm - Los Tacos (Live)
10pm to 11.30pm - Brett Aitken
11.30pm to 1.30am - Strange Loving

HQ Dance Floor:
10pm to 11.30pm - Gio Ricca
11.30pm to 1am - Gren Forte
1am to 3am - Funky G

Entry is free for all attending guests; however, due to very high demand, bookings are essential so please email management@hqrestaurant.co.za to reserve your table for either the main restaurant and mezzanine for normal dinner bookings or the bar and courtyard for steak or the tapas menu.

HQ hosts a 3-course whisky pairing dinner on 18 October

On 18 October at 7pm, HQ Restaurant will be hosting their second 3-course whisky pairing dinner to celebrate all things magical about this ‘liquid gold’. For this reserve edition, HQ has partnered with a selection of fantastic whiskies including The Singleton, Talisker and Cardhu to bring guests a night of elegant simplicity and dining excellence, all while being treated at live entertainment from Swing Sensation, Ricky Botsis.

The evening is priced at R295 per person and includes of a welcome drink, aperitif and the 3-course meal with paired whiskies. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy excellent food, as well as experience an array of delicious whiskies!

Menu

~ Aperitif ~
Canape
Spiced Shaved Beetroot in savoury tuille with Lime Mousse & Dukkha Spice
Spiced Singleton Tailfire Berry Sour
Single Tailfire, wild berries, sherry smoked spice syrup

~ Starter ~
A crisp salad of Cos and Iceberg leaves, toasted pine nuts,
parmesan shavings and dressed with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette
Singleton of Dufftown 12 year old

~ Main ~
250g Sirloin wet aged for 32 days and grilled perfectly medium-rare, served with skinny fries & Café de Paris Butter
Talisker 10 year old

OR

(V) Portabella mushrooms stuffed with a rich Duxelle, gratinated with parmesan cheese and served with skinny fries & Café de Paris Butter
Talisker 10-year-old

~ Dessert ~
Chocolate Mousse served with Toffee cigars & Salted Caramel Popcorn
Cardhu 12-year-old

BOOKING DETAILS:
Bookings are essential: 021 424 6373 or email HQ at management@hqrestaurant.co.za

For more events and specials, click on the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/HQCAPETOWN/events/

Valid from - 2016-11-24 - 2017-11-01

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dancing
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Live entertainment
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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