Tuesday, 7 March 2017

64 Degrees, Brighton

We were told, while on a walking tour of Brighton, that the seaside city has more restaurants than anywhere else in the country outside of London. Whether this is in actual terms or just per capita, it is undoubtedly true that Brightonians take their food pretty seriously and I would definitely recommend it as a destination for people who like to eat.

In fact, an early contender for Meal of the Year emerged while we were there and let me tell you – whichever other restaurants I happen to visit in 2017 have an awful lot to live up to. Were it Leeds based, 64 Degrees would have reduced D and I to penury. I am almost glad that it is so far away. The restaurant is a tiny, casual space dominated by the open kitchen. You eat at close quarters to your neighbours; the layout is such that litheness is a prerequisite of the waiting staff. It verges on the claustrophobic which can make this anxious diner a little uncomfortable. But the moment that the first plate arrived at the table all such considerations were entirely forgotten.

The menu consists of twelve dishes: four meat, four vegetarian, four fish, all priced between £7.50 and £14. The recommendation is up to six plates between a couple, which allows each partner to make one choice from each category; to be honest, I reckon that we could have managed one or two more as the portion sizes were not large. It is worth noting that the menu really does change daily – we glanced at it the day prior to dining there and a number of the dishes changed or disappeared. So if something catches your eye, order it. You may not get a second chance.

We started with octopus croquettes, rich and sweet accompanied by a Srirachia yoghurt and a spritz of lime to add fire and tang. The bar was set high and things only got better from there. Tagliatelle came doused in butter and truffle, draped with the golden ooze of an egg yolk. Squid, perfectly cooked served on the dreamiest, creamiest celeriac puree that you can imagine. Butternut squash, its sweetness balanced by the lactic cloud of accompanying goats cheese. All of these had us licking the plates.

Then came the meat, and the bar disappeared up into the ether. Firstly, a pork dish served with kimchi, sour and hot, and charred chunks of chilli infused pineapple. D declared this the winner. But my favourite was a cube of lamb shoulder that disintegrated into a heap of tender strands as soon as the fork hovered over it, the meat then rolled up in blanched spinach leaves with spring onions and gochujang.

Pork with kimchi and pineapple

Lamb with spring onion and gochujang
If I’m being strictly, strictly honest, dessert, while delicious and very pretty (you go a long way to beat a combination of lemon and rhubarb) did not quite match the dizzy heights of the savoury courses.

Lemon and rhubarb
And, what is interesting as I write about this a week or so after the meal itself is that the flavour combinations, when written down, sound slightly…pedestrian, perhaps? Flat? Which couldn’t be further from the reality of the food itself which was, to a bite, superlative. I particularly enjoyed the use of Asian flavours to punctuate dishes without feeling gimmicky or trendy or detracting from not only the quality of the ingredients, but also the precision with which they had been prepared. When the bill arrived, I was astonished at the value of the meal. Then I discovered that they’d missed off some of the drinks. Even so, this was still pretty decent value for food of this calibre and we are already trying to figure out if we can fit in another trip to Brighton later this year to experience more of this glorious little kitchen. 


  1. Hello!

    Just catching up with your news. I do my starve days on Monday and Wednesday too! I shall think of you.

    Although, if I'm strictly honest, and being a starve day, my eyes are still glazed with wistful greed at the thought of that tomato and ricotta risotto... Mmmmm......


  2. Helloooo! Lovely to hear from you - hope you're doing ok and the starve days aren't grinding you down. To be honest, my eyes glaze at the thought of pretty much any food on a Mon or a Wed but yes, I am definitely looking forward to risotto this evening. Is it wrong to be fantasising about dinner when breakfast is barely digested?? x