Disclaimer: you don’t have to eat meat to indulge in the brilliance that is HQ. Keep reading, you’ll see.
There’s a lot of beauty found in simple things. I’m talking uncluttered, but masterful. Simple, yet brilliant. And that’s exactly what you’ll encounter when you spend an evening at HQ. Loosely based on a French dining concept, Headquarters specialises in one thing and one thing alone.
Which means that they’re good at it. I would much rather eat at a place that knows a lot about one thing than a little about a lot of things. So here’s how it works:
First, you get a warm welcome at the door and you’re shown to the lounge and bar area where you can have a quick drink while you wait for you friends. It was a Monday night when we went and Mondays mean live music from a Bob Marley cover band. They were busy setting up, the fire was blazing and we were soon nice and toasty.
Now you go to your table. These are stacked quite close together, but it’s not bothersome at all. In fact, it created quite a cosy, friendly feel.
You look down at your menu.
Yup, that’s it. There’s a separate drinks menu, but this is stamp is only thing resembles a food menu in here. Makes for much less clutter on the table.
Now you can spot the other tidbit of information on the table – two-for-one Mondays. Score.
Next up, the drinks come and you’re asked only one food-related question: How would you like your steak? That gets written down on your table. Like this.
Now there’s a bit of time to drink, chat and enjoy the music which is just loud enough so that you can groove along to the songs, but soft enough so that you don’t need to strain to chat to the other people. It’s all very well balanced.
The food starts coming. First up is you starter. All of these are the same and they’re just perfect to get the taste buds ready.
And now, for the main treat – a quality slice of steak, with butter and herb sauce and perfectly crispy French fries. These are what I would imagine gourmet McDonalds fries would taste like – extremely delicious. And the steak? Well, I’d say it’s close to perfection.
Now vegetarians, don’t fret. Except if you can’t stand being surrounded by so much meat, you can enjoy a delicious mushroom substitute with the same fries and the same yummy sauce.
Just as you get about halfway with this impressive plate of food, the waiter comes by with a large dish and offers you more sauce and more fries. Yes! That just happened! So a good idea would be to get going on your fries before they come around so that there’s space on your plate for another proper helping.
Now you can order a spot of dessert if you feel that you can handle it. I couldn’t, but the creme brule on the table next door did look rather delicious.
And that’s it! Two hours later and my tummy couldn’t be happier.
100 Shortmarket Street,
021 424 6373
Monday – Saturday
Kitchen serving 11h30 – 22h30
Bar open till late