Brighton is diverse, colourful, and surprising, just like the restaurant it plays host to: 64 Degrees.
When I was asking for recommendations of where to eat in Brighton, 64 Degrees was the place that was mentioned the most.
It is based on a narrow strip right next to the Lanes, and if you didn’t know it was there, you would probably pass by without noticing it at all. The restaurant itself is quite small. You have the choice of sitting up at the bar where you can watch the chefs preparing and assembling the food, or at the sturdy and heavy looking wooden tables at the front of the restaurant.
Ben and I opted for a table rather than stools at the bar so that we would have more space to stretch out and privacy if we wanted to eat messily (which is easily done!)
The set up of the restaurant is reminiscent of tapas, where the menu lists small dishes grouped into the categories of meat, fish and veg. You can choose as many small dishes as you want, and then mix them, match them and share them.
The first dish we received was Ling, mushroom and sofrito. I’d never heard of Ling before, but it’s a delicious juicy white fish. It was served in bite sized slices with the mushroom and sofrito resting on top of it.
I’m not sure if it was by accident or intention, but we received each dish in the order they were listed in the menu: fish, then veg, and finishing with meat.
So, commencing the veg course, we were served Potato Knödel, Cabbage and Smoked Butter. This was good too – it was very saucy so I almost wished we had a meat dish with it to have the sauce with! However this might have ruined the flavour.
As I came to realise, 64 degrees is all about the taste. Oh and the presentation is pretty good too! Each plate was photo worthy (and I took full advantage of this), but too tasty and aromatic to appear too good to eat.
We next had Alexander buds with hollandaise and lemon. Again, I had no idea what an Alexander bud was, but apparently it’s just a fancy shallot-like root vegetable. The leaves on the bud were surprisingly crunchy like they had been fried – not what you expect! The differences between the soft texture of the bud and the crunchy leaf was mouth watering.
In my humble opinion, the meat dishes trumped the lighter dishes we had just tasted.
We had Venison ragu, tagliatelle, and yolk. This was one of my favourite dishes. The venison was prepared to be delicate, soft and finely sliced, so that it almost melted on your tongue – pretty good for a piece of meat!
Ben’s favourite dish was the last one: Beef rib, bone marrow, shallot and parsley. The presentation of this one definitely had a wow factor about it! Served in a bone.
I’m not sure what the ‘bone marrow’ was, it had the same jelly like consistency of foie gras, but it was meaty like pate. It may have been an actual bone marrow… Who knows! It tasted good all the same. The beef rib was like shredded beef moulded into a patty shape. This was a crunchy contrast to the soft bone marrow, and it seemed like it would have been good in a bun with BBQ sauce. Very nice.
The waitress mysteriously knew it was my birthday, so at the end of the meal she presented us with Rum bear jelly in the shape of a giant jelly baby! Thankfully, they didn’t make me blush by singing, but the desert was a lovely touch.
The overall experience of 64 Degrees was incredible. The selection of dishes and complex ingredients meant that we weren’t always entirely sure what to expect, but then when a new dish arrived we cleared the plate within minutes!
The only thing that could possibly have been better was to have received the dishes in more of a mixed up order. I enjoyed having the Ling to start, but then would have liked the veg and meat dishes interspersed, rather than all the veg first and then the meat at the end. By the end I was craving MEAT.
However, there were only two chefs in the kitchen and the restaurant was busy, so perhaps they quickly prepared the veg and the did the meat after so we weren’t left waiting!
There’s a 64 Degrees in London as well as the one in Brighton. If you want a varied meal that will surprise you and introduce you to new dishes, then 64 Degrees is a good place to start!