Need an idea for your next date night? The husband and I joined HQ for their third Fine Wining Dinner this week, and I think it makes for a really fun (and pretty affordable) evening out.
Each month HQ partners with a different wine farm, which will pair a selection of top wines to go with the four course meal. The core of the dinner is always HQ’s iconic cos lettuce salad as a starter, and Angus beef steak with shoestring fries as a main. The canape’s and the dessert will change with each event.
This month HQ teamed up with Nederburg, who brought a selection from their Heritage Heroes collection to pair with the classic steak & chips menu.
At only R295pp, I think these dinners are a really great option. HQ is situated just off Bree Street, in a rustic stone building. Inside you’re greeted by a casual, sophisticated atmosphere. We arrived just after 7pm and joined a intimate group of diners in the cozy HQ lounge for pre-drinks and canapes, with a live jazz musician setting the mood.
We kicked off the evening with oysters, served with a tangy mignonette – a mix of finely diced, pickled onions. This was paired with the Nederburg Cuvée Brut, a soft and fruity bubbly.
After a short introduction to the team from Nederburg and HQ, we moved through to the dining room. Our first course was the classic HQ salad, a combination of cos and iceberg leaves, toasted pine nuts and Parmesan shavings, dressed with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette. This salad is so incredibly simple but it has become famous among the Cape Town foodies. One day I plan to get the chef drunk and so that he’ll share that vinaigrette recipe! Delicious.
The salad was paired with The Anchorman Wooded Chenin Blanc 2016. While I prefer previous vintages of this wine, it was a lovely match for the tart, creamy and crisp notes in the salad, adding a fruity sweetness.
Our main course followed shortly after, a 250g Angus beef sirloin steak aged for 32 days and cooked according to our individual preference (in my case rare). This was served with Café de Paris Butter and a generous portion of shoestring fries. It is your doctor’s worst nightmare and absolutely delicious. Hell, what is better than good ol’ steak and chips, am I right?
Nederburg chose to pair the main with The Brew Master 2014, a Bordeaux-style blend with dark fruit, mocha and vanilla on the nose, followed by a rich, full palette filled with dark fruit flavours.
And finally we ended the evening with a Rose Water & Crème Brûlée Sponge with Turkish Delight Ice Cream, paired with the The Beautiful Lady Gewürztraminer 2016. I loved the dessert, with layers of soft sponge and creamy filling, offset by sweet, floral ice cream. I thought it matched well with the notes of rose petal and Turkish delight in the wine, while the slight acidity on the palette provided balance overall.
We always have a good time at HQ. You know what you’re going to get, and they serve up consistently good food in a chic, casual setting. I think these dinners will be particularly charming come winter when the glowing fireplace and flickering candlelight will provide a cozy escape from the chilly Cape Town evenings.
Keen to try it? Here are the details for the upcoming dinners. You can keep an eye on the HQ Facebook Page for the new menus. I’m particularly excited to join Diemersdal in August – yummm!
Fine Wining Dates 2017
14th June – Kleine Zalze
5th July – Creation
2nd August – Diemersdal
6th September – Ken Forrester
4th October – Buitenverwachting
1st November – Cederberg