“The outstanding performer on the South coast for the past few years”, declares a fan of 64 Degrees – and we’re not about to disagree. Like Brighton itself, it’s edgy, hip, leftfield and idiosyncratic – a rockin’ modern eatery from veteran local chef Michael Bremner (ex- Food for Friends and finalist on TV’s Great British Menu in 2017) squirreled away in an ultra-Brightonian setting in the quirky Lanes.
It’s a thrillingly theatrical concept too, with an open kitchen occupying half the space, chefs wheeling out the dishes as and when they’re ready, and half the 20 punters perched on yellow-topped stools by the pass; if you’re after something less hectic than larky chef chat, ask for a table at the front, though bear in mind that nowhere in the tiny space could be described as peaceful.
On offer is a tersely worded, on-message daily ‘chef’s selection’ of “clever, clever” small plates (four each of meat, fish, veg and desserts). The idea is that everything is to share and it’s all “beautifully thought out” and presented with real panache – as well as a sense of fun.
Picking at random from each section, you might have flat iron misozuko with Bovril and shallot, a fish riff involving brill, grapefruit and chilli or a veggie plate of Gorgonzola, kimchi and hazelnut. After that, keep things sweet with a Rum Bear jelly – a corpulent booze-soaked little beast that looks like a mutant from the Haribo menagerie, sitting alongside a heap of blazing-yellow sherbet.
The drinks list shows just as much character – English sparkling wines, Greek and Croatian whites, a Macedonian red, as well as classic names from Piedmont, Burgundy and the Loire. OK, your wine might be served in functional glasses, but staff are clued-up and accommodating, prices won’t cause any panic, and the whole shebang fizzes.