HQ Fine Wining with Diemersdal
I was very excited to be invited to HQ to experience their regular Fine Wining event, which, on my day, showcased both the delicious HQ food and wonderful Diemersdal wines. The vineyards change so you get to sample excellent new wines from fabulous estates every month.
I am proud to say that as my foodie journey continues I now consider it ‘popping’ to town for dinner rather than the ox wagon trek with ‘padkos’ I once considered it to be. Once again, I arrived early and the hostess pointed me in the direction of some very cosy seating, where I waited for my date for the evening to arrive.
Now, I’ve done a few of these events and I presumed that we were all media, so I attached myself to a friendly albeit somewhat surprised looking couple and pondered the fact that not many people looked familiar. It turned out that they were regular patrons on a romantic night out just waiting for their table and, in fact, got engaged later that night, so whoops! But congrats from all of us at I Love Foodies!
I was finally rescued by Benike and other familiar foodies and we got the evening started with a smoked salmon and cream cheese terrine with fennel aperitif (I had to skip it but made up for it with the wine) and a Diemersdal Chardonnay Unwooded 2017, which was fresh, fruity and creamy.
I had never been to HQ before. The décor is Parisian-inspired steakhouse with intimate seating (you get to know your neighbours) and a sophisticated elegance. I don’t think I’ve ever had live entertainment in the form of a lounge singer during dinner. But Ricky Botsis was excellent and his singing created a great vibe without being intrusive to conversation.
The menu at HQ is always the same, which is an interesting approach. If you do steak as well as they do, I think it’s one that works. We started our meal with a light, fresh cos salad with toasted pinenuts and parmesan shavings, served with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette and paired with the Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc 2017, which was fruity and complimented the salad very well.
And then the steak. Oh that steak. I want more of that steak. Sirloin wet aged (that sounds awful but tastes divine) for 21 days and served with skinny fries and Café de Paris butter. Now, I think I drive chefs crazy by ordering my steak medium rare, but more rare than medium, and they seldom get it right. But this was cooked to perfection. Vegetarians are also catered for with a black mushroom main. The wine was the Diemersdal Merlot 2016, which I have to say has become a new favourite. Fruity flavours with spicy undertones and hints of cederwood and mint, which really compliment a meaty main course.
I also really, really loved the dessert, which was exotic sorbet with dried meringue, milk crumbs, and Italian meringue, toasted. I am not a fan of overly sweet desserts. So this was a perfect taste and texture amalgamation of crunchy, sour, sweet and smooth. The sorbet was served with the Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc Noble Late Harvest and, although I usually find dessert wine far too sweet, this was a nice surprise with delicately balanced fruitiness and definite almondy notes.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at HQ. It’s an ideal venue for a boys’ or girls’ night out. And at a cost of R295 per person for 3 courses and wine from the vineyard of choice on the night, I think the HQ Fine Wining event is excellent value for money.
The next HQ Fine Wining takes place on the 6th of September and it’s together with Ken Forrester. For more information on HQ, visit the I Love Foodies restaurant directory entry here. To get your tickets for the next HQ Fine Wining with Ken Forrester, click here. You’ll be in for an absolute treat 😉
Written by Gill Eastwood
Article Date: August 2017