HQ: Expanding on its luxurious repertoire
Famous for its concept of originally serving only one meal – salad, sirloin steak with café de Paris butter and skinny French fries – HQ has added something new to its offering.
Over the years, the menu has expanded to include tapas and in February it launched The Sunday Social, a long and pleasurable brunch experience planned for the first Sunday of each month.
We went along to the first one, which began at the very civilised hour of 11am, and lasts until 6pm. At first glance this might seem like an excessively long time to linger over a meal but it turned out to be quite comfortable; we stayed until around 4pm and probably would have been there even longer if Sexy Deborah hadn’t had another engagement that evening.
The setting was the courtyard at Heritage Square, where all the tables were set up as well as the Belvedere Vodka Cocktail & Bloody Mary stations, and buckets and buckets of Moët & Chandon, which is the preferred champagne for these events.
These are premium brands at premium prices, and while the specially created cocktails are quite delicious and brunch just isn’t brunch without a Bloody Mary, the French bubbles are a bit out of our price range. We asked if we could rather order a local MCC from the wine list; the answer was yes, but the restaurant hadn’t considered this eventuality and the attendance of paupers so nothing else was chilled. I am sure they will have taken this on board by now and hopefully if you find yourself in a similar predicament of financial embarrassment, they’ll be able to sort you out.
Starters and desserts are presented as sharing platters. The menu will change for each event (including the welcome cocktail). For the first course, our wooden board held granola pots with yoghurt and berries; smoked salmon roulade with avo and herbed cream cheese, fruit skewers of watermelon, strawberries, pineapple and blueberries; mini muffins and a mini loaf of bread, with butter to accompany.
We had a choice of main courses. These included HQ Prego sirloin roll with café de Paris butter and skinny fries; pork belly Benedict with wilted garlic spinach, poached egg, and Hollandaise sauce on toasted ciabatta; delicious wild mushroom Benedict with wilted spinach, poached egg, salted blue cheese crumble, and Hollandaise sauce on toasted ciabatta; and chicken and chorizo frittata with spinach, feta, red onion, peppers served with melba toast and a pesto mayonnaise. We had the latter two dishes, but without the carbs. The strategy was to load up on those with the dessert platter.
This comprised waffles with banana, raspberry and a chocolate ganache; passion fruit panna cotta; maple bacon flap jack stacks; and mini croughnuts. You can see how clever we are.
You may find some of these items on the menu when you go for your own Sunday Social, but there will no doubt be some different and scrummy treats in store for you.
* HQ is at 100 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town (inside Heritage Square).
Call 021 424 6373. Tickets are R285, including welcome drink and live musical entertainment, for Sunday brunch – available from Quicket.
For more information, send an email to email@example.com and keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates on the brunches and when the next one will take place.
The restaurant is an uberEATS partner.
By Bianca Coleman