South Africans have a love-affair with meat, and when it comes to sizzling steaks where restaurants are serving mouthwatering steaks, Cape Town certainly does not disappoint.
Located in Shortmarket Street, between Bree Street and Buitengracht, HQ is considered by many to serve the best steak in town, and it is not difficult to see why.
HQ is a haven for meat-lovers and their “Raise the Steaks” evening features a menu that pivots around a particular cut of meat and gets reimagined every month.
Recently HQ fired up the grill for the Picanha Edition with Pete Goffe-Wood (Masterchef SA Judge and renowned chef) taking over the kitchen to create his ultimate menu based around the Picanha cut. The Picanha cut is the top piece of the rump. It is a popular cut of meat that is very popular in Brazil and is as tender as a fillet with all of the flavour of the rump. Each course was paired with Tokara Wines.
We started off the evening with a glass of Tokara Sauvignon Blanc 2017. The nose is a complex melange of tropical fruits, such as guava and papaya’s with typical greener Sauvignon blanc aromas, such as asparagus and lemongrass. The flavours are rich and full and mirror the aromas on the nose. This wine is mouth filling with an apple texture, a slight grip on the finish and a lingering crisp aftertaste.
This was enjoyed with a Mussel veloute with fennel and saffron.
Smoked yellow fin tuna with spiced black urid lentils, served with raita and crispy curry leaves.
Wine Pairing: TOKARA CHARDONNAY 2017
This wine displays a heavenly pale straw glow which hints at the delightful aromas of citrus preserve and lemon blossom that dominate the nose. The bouquet is intense with defined citrus characteristics that are beautifully counterbalanced with rich aromas of toasted almonds and buttered toast. These flavour profiles elegantly translate on the palate. Driven by focused notes of lemon zest, the entry is vibrant and crisp. The wine displays wonderful complexity and richness with deeper tones of marzipan and toasted brioche revealing themselves mid-palate. The finish showcases a subtle hint of flinty minerality that ushers in a beautifully lingering end.
Grilled Picanha served perfectly medium-rare and served with roasted marrow bone, chips and Béarnaise sauce.
Wine Pairing: TOKARA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015
The wine has a brilliant dark plum colour, with a ruby red rim. The nose has aromas of dark cherries, cassis and ripe plums. There are high tone notes of fresh red berries, nettles and mint. There is an underlying smokiness on the nose. The palate has stunning flavours of dark cherries, cassis and a certain savoury saltiness to it. The wine has a lingering finish with clean silky tannins and a touch of oak sweetness.
We ended the evening on a high note with a delicious dessert. Eton Mess with baked vanilla custard, meringue and raspberries.
Wine Pairing: TOKARA POT STILL BRANDY 10YO
Slow maturation in French oak barrels has enhanced the distinctive characteristics of the TOKARA Ten Year Old Potstill Brandy. The aromas abound with and subtle complex notes of fresh vanilla, dried fig, peach and raisin fruits. The floral pot-pourri aromas and rich jasmine and orange blossom notes add to the complexity of this brandy. The palate delivers mellow rounded flavours of caramel, dried apricots and a spicy pepper and saffron finish. This spirit is one of distinctive character with a fine length and depth of aftertaste.
Meat is the name of the game and HQ is the place to be. Of course the evening would not be complete without live entertainment from Swing Sensation, Ricky Botsis.