64 degrees: Go sober for optimum effect

It was my birthday on Wednesday and to celebrate my 27th year of ninnery, my Paps came down for a bit of wining and dining. I have to say, because it was my birthday and I’m somewhat of an arse, not being quite as cautious of my darling dad’s purse strings as my own, the budget was blown. Therefore, this is a post belonging very firmly in the ‘indulge‘ section.

I was very excited to try 64 degrees. With its minimal menu, intimate atmosphere and raving reviews – it won the best new comer and best restaurant in Brighton award 2014 – it’s been on my gastronomania list for some time.

The menu consists of small sharer dishes that range in price from £5 to £12 and, being a person of proportionate appetite, I always assumed the bill would be rather weighty. It also has an air of decadence about it. Perhaps because it’s so small and in demand, so getting a table isn’t always easy. For these reasons, I’d held off for an occasion befitting such an experience such as, for example, the celebration of me.

64 dgerees

Papa T and I began a steady pace of drinking at 1pm – polishing off a bottle of (free!) prosecco at Pizza Express and moving onto Sauvignon Blanc, a champagne cocktail and a hefty measure of whisky. I wouldn’t go as far as to say we were disgraceful when we arrived at 64 degrees, but I would say we were pretty sozzled. Not-so-old-man T was definitely making some hilarious jokes to the waiter, as has always been his way, and the waiter definitely found it far less amusing than we did.

We sat at the bar (is that what it’s called?!), which was fabulous as we got to watch the chefs create magic with blow torches and small twists of hand. We chatted to them, which I like to think they found endearing, while we drank a bottle of sparkling wine. At this point I have a bit of a gripe to make. The drinks list was not good. The cheapest bottle to share was English sparkling wine at a pretty steep £45 a bottle and even in my inebriated state, it didn’t taste good. The food did, however, make up for it.

We ordered six dishes on the recommendation of the waiter. It ended up being a tad too much but that is likely due to the pizza we had consumed earlier in the day. They were amazing! My favourites were the giant rib of beef, scallops with seaweed, cauliflower flattened thingymagiggies with shallot bhajji and pheasant on a bed of puréed artichoke. Ok, that was pretty much all the dishes right there. It was all amazing. Oh, and fun fact: the menu always features an egg cooked in a water bath at 64 degrees. Or at least I think that’s what the very charming chef told us.

64 degrees

Full, happy and even more tiddly, we attempted to leave, only to be accosted with a pure rum jelly bear, cuddled up to a pile of sherbet with a sparkler on top. It was my birthday after all.

The bill actually wasn’t that bad. We ordered several of the most expensive dishes – beef rib and scallops – and had that pretty rank, expensive bottle of wine and still it was a reasonable £90. Pretty great for such an excellent experience.

The next day I felt pretty rank, truth be told. But to no fault of Brighton’s latest and brightest culinary gem.

The quality of these images is indicative of my vision at the time.

me and papa T

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