Review: 64 Degrees, Brighton

Okay, I know what it looks like. It's cabbage

Okay, I know what it looks like. It’s cabbage

Every year there’s a weekend in November where it suddenly turns Proper Cold, and you don’t see it coming, and you find yourself out for the day without the warm jumper and the gloves and the nice big winter coat. And you freeze your bits off, and dive into more cafes and shops than you normally would. Today was that day. Luckily, the last place we dived into was 64 Degrees in Brighton’s North Laine, for dinner.

It’s a tiny place (we remember two different cafes having been in the same spot in years past), and having just come back from our first ever holiday to Japan it was an oddly familiar layout – almost half the covers were at the long bar that faces straight into the open kitchen, and the rest were just a tiny handful of tables at the front. I must admit, we hated it at first, BECAUSE THEY WERE PLAYING MUSIC REALLY LOUD IN WHAT WAS A VERY TINY AND ALREADY BUZZY RESTAURANT SO WE HAD TO SHOUT AT EACH OTHER LIKE A PAIR OF DEAF F*CKERS JUST TO CONVERSE!

Very nifty oriental pork

Very nifty oriental pork

Okay, I admit that overly “buzzy” dining rooms are a pet hate of mine. And I do realise I’m a old fart now, way too old to understand that high octane music actually makes modern food taste more exciting, that small plate cooking is the new jazz, and that no-one actually wants to have a proper conversation over dinner anyway. Oddly enough, one of those statements may well be true.

Luckily the food easily overcame my grumpiness.

In no particular order. Battered cod tongues were delicious dipped in a whipped chorizo and pistachio mayonnaise. Truly remarkable was a full-on-fishy gurnard fillet with a glossy miso glaze accompanied with… ohmylordiminheaven …skin-on roasted Jerusalem artichokes that had reached a level of almost caramely stickiness. Smashing combo. There was a mighty chunk of hispi cabbage, cooked with raclette cheese and served with crown prince squash puree. This was another magic combo, crowned with that lovely burnt-edged taste from the cabbage. Another scrumptious combo was a

Best dish: gurnard

Best dish: gurnard

stickily slow-cooked piece of pork shoulder with charred pineapple, peanut and chilli sauce; to be eaten as a wrap in spring green leaves, which was a hilarious nonsense like trying to wrap yourself in a hand towel after a shower. Who cares, it was delicious. And at just about the same peak of deliciousness was the pheasant – beautifully cooked – with a beignet of blue cheese and a nuttily flavoursome risotto made with some kind of grain THAT I DIDN’T QUITE HEAR BECAUSE THE WAITRESS DIDN’T SHOUT LOUDLY ENOUGH. Haha… sorry, bit of the grump still there. There was just a spoonful of jus with the pheasant, but it’s worth calling out ‘cos it was just stonkingly clear, deep and rich.

We swigged a couple of good glasses of Chardonnay with our food, and a well chosen Tokaji with our pud – Maureen had a lovely pine-flavoured pannacotta with sharp balls of compressed apple, and I had a very well kept piece of Tunworth on date toast with delicious raisin puree. The gurnard was our knock-down favourite dish, but we basically loved the inventiveness of all the dishes, all of which ate beautifully too. I’d say it was well worth the £32 each without drinks. I SAID, I THOUGHT IT WAS WELL WORTH THE £32 EACH WITHOUT DRINKS! NO, NOT MINKS! DRINKS!

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