I’ve watched the small plates revolution sweep through big cities on my culinary explorations. They enable chefs to create smaller plates of flavour explosions and it’s fun to explore more plates of new ingredients and combinations though be aware that in some small plates restaurants, the costs can stack up quite quickly.
Chef owner Michael Bremner is garnering lots of accolades for bringing the small plates revolution to Brighton. On a visit to Brighton to taste our wedding cake, Emma and I checked 64 Degrees out for dinner.
In the famously small restaurant, we snagged great seats at the counter, perfect for watching the chefs at work and in my case, for chatting to chef Bremner.
He said that he chose the name 64 Degrees to reflect the precision cooking in the restaurant and indeed, there’s a sous vide egg cooked at 64 degrees.
The menu is broken down into fish, veg and meat and the staff are happy to make suggestions. The descriptions of the dishes follow the modern trend of naming the ingredients in the dish but not giving away much more than that.
‘Tuna, watermelon, chilli’ was fun as we got to watch the chef blowtorch our slab of fresh tuna before slicing it to combine with the other ingredients. Lovely combination of ingredients. In fact, the dish could stand up to chunks of watermelon rather than just having it in the sauce.
‘Scallops, lemongrass, cavolo nero’ was our favourite dish of the evening. Beautifully sweet and perfectly seared scallops with a lemony sauce. However, the genius addition was deep fried cavolo nero. The crunch and slight bitterness was the perfect foil. Why hasn’t anyone else tried deep frying cavolo nero?
‘Tagliatelle, truffle, yolk’ contained the aforementioned 64 degree sous vide egg. An elegantly simple classic dish but with top ingredients, nothing else is required – creamy egg yolk and decadent shavings of truffle.
‘Beef shin, kimchi, cucumber’ turned out to be an Asian dish – the beef was put into gyoza-style dumplings and pan-fried. My only criticism is that I wanted more – the 3 dumplings weren’t quite enough.
‘Townings pork, fennel, BBQ sauce’ turned out to be my favourite cut of pork belly. Delicious when cooked like this to bring out the barbecued flavours.
‘Saddlescombe lamb, yoghurt, asparagus’ sounded an innovative combination on paper and so it proved. I enjoyed the elements of the dish but I’m not convinced the asparagus really fitted in as a complement.
Some diners don’t really understand the innovation inherent in small plate dining but if you fancy trying interesting combinations of ingredients, I can highly recommend 64 Degrees.
Food: ★★★★☆ Service: ★★★★★ Ambiance: ★★★★☆ VFM: ★★★★★ Overall: ★★★★☆
Price: It’s reasonably priced compared to small plates place in London
53, Meeting House Lane, Brighton BN1 1HB