Brighton is home to a thriving foodie scene. Fueled by a young, affluent population and the sea’s bounty a stone’s skim away, the amount of great options belie the city centre’s relative small size. As a weekend escape Brighton is most Londoner’s first choice and getting a table at one of the city’s premier dining destinations isn’t easy. The effort, however, is worth it.
64 Degrees ticks all the boxes that a hip, seaside restaurant should, with a fantastic buzz any day of the week, an abundance of fresh seafood on the menu and booking an absolute must.
The space and menu are tiny, refined and sophisticated, with only 27 covers and 12 items respectively. The intricacy of the food explains both. The vibe is very much ‘small plates’ with an emphasis on freshness and invention, which the open kitchen helps to showcase – you can watch preparation of dishes from cosy bar seating as you imbibe. Each plate is thoughtfully composed, with exotic and unheard of ingredients jostling with the familiar. All end in beautiful friendship rather than ruckus.
Located in the historic lanes of Brighton, and a short walk from the pier, 64 Degrees occupies a tiny space but very much makes the most of every square centimetre. Even though its small, you don’t feel the least bit crowded here and one can be as intimate or open as the mood demands. A 15 minute walk from the station and a further 5 to the pier means the restaurant can play part in a lovely day out.
A noisy din, in the best possible way, is created by the perfect storm of small space and plates, open kitchen and food theatre. Lighting is suitably dim. The best seat is at the bar, where you’ll find yourself opposite the chefs, watching them create with flair and flourish. If your partner is a bore, this provides the perfect conversation starter. Plates are often presented by chefs and the whole atmosphere is convivial, intimate and relaxed, whilst still maintaining a sense of a sophisticated experience.
The main event without question. The menu is divided into 4 fish, 4 vegetarian and 4 meat dishes, curtly described and expectant of utter trust in the chefs to make the ingredients sing. They do not disappoint. From previous experience, you’d be foolish to pass over the veggie fare in favour of the more glamorous, as they are given the same care, attention and lightness of touch as the protein. Being a seaside town, the fish is reliably incredible. We love the sense of familiarity which accompanies every dish before an ingredient which makes you sit up and think. This formula runs throughout the menu and is completely synergetic with the location, atmosphere and buzz of the place.
The Perfect Egg
Ever wondered what the secret it to slow-poaching an egg? Cook it in a water bath at 64 degrees and you’ll get the perfect egg – and this is where the restaurant’s name comes from.
A sterling, affordable wine-list (cheaper bottles clock in at under 30 pounds), interesting craft beers and glasses of bubbly which don’t make you gawp, 64 degrees feels celebratory in this department without giving your bank manager a heart attack.
As the menu is ever changing, we regret that our recommendation will be gone by the time you check it out. However, this place has a real way with scallops, be it their offering with kale and lemongrass, or a scallop, rhubarb and squid ink emulsion dish. Both were ecstatic. More broadly speaking, order with a fish bias in mind.
Hip, cool atmosphere in a groovy area of town. Combine this with some of the most interesting, innovative small plates coming out of the South of England, and you are on to a real gem. Just don’t shout it too loud or you’ll never nab that bar seat!
Address: 53 Meeting House Ln, Brighton BN1 1HB