I love watching Masterchef, I’ve not seen the final yet… so no spoilers! But it’s great, amateur chefs making the fanciest of things, half of which I think sound amazing and the other half I sit there and think no no and no. I would be a useless judge, I don’t eat red meat, game, offal or mussels, oysters, clams etc and I always think the foams and puffs and emulsions are weird, they look pretty, but cant be anything filling. Oh and don’t get me started on squid ink…who discovered eating that and how can you want to eat something that’s black and basically used to scare off other animals!!! Seriously who sat there and thought wow that might be a good food flavouring?!?!
So why am I talking about this, well because I recently went to a restaurant that serves food just like that. Our beautiful and generous friend bought us a wedding present of a meal at 64 Degrees in Brighton. It’s posh and fancy and serves exactly the kind of food that makes me nervous, so it was with a mix of excitement and trepidation that we went along to use the voucher. Now having eaten there, I must say I did not need to be concerned, the food was delicious and squid ink…well I may well be a convert!
We walked in and were sat at the kitchen, literally there are tables round the kitchen, like a breakfast bar. We sat there and watched the chefs at work creating their edible art works.
We ordered a nice bottle of fizz, well it was a treat night out, so we thought why not! Then it was time for the menu, the very smiley waitress handed it over and well some things were straight away a big NO! But there was a tasty sounding pork dish, some excellent veg options and some delicious fish.
I even decided to bite the bullet and try something with squid ink and an emulsion, my two fears on one plate, but I felt I should. I am the kind of mum that always makes Cece try new things, so I decided to practise what I preach. I have to say the dish was amazing, the ink was slightly fishy and the cod inside it was possibly the best I have ever eaten. The salmon the same, flaky fish, still moist and cooked to perfection. I really liked the pork (obviously it’s my favourite meat) and the veg dishes were also tasty. Jon also had the beef tartare, which he said was good.
I thought the presentation was nice and although I’d have been quite happy with it not presented like a piece of modern art I did appreciate the effort. I guess when the food is so well cooked to just throw it on the plate, like I do, would seem a bit of a shame.
All in all I was surprised, I did not come away hungry, though we did order a fair few dishes. It’s one of my biggest (potentially unfounded) misnomers about fancy food, you pay ridiculous prices for the tiniest portions. Surely after three mouthfuls of food and a spoonful of pudding for £100 you would walk out still hungry and I’d want to head to the nearest McDonald’s! However not this time, we did manage to eat enough.
All in all I would say 64 Degrees was a great experience, I really liked watching the chefs and my favourite dish, ironically, was the one with squid ink, it really was excellent.
Despite this ringing endorsement, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing back, even with a voucher it was more than I would ever spend on a meal and although the dishes were pretty it was just a bit too fussy for me, I guess I must be a cheap date…I am quite happy with non fancy pants place…and don’t get me started on gastro pubs (that’s would take up a whole new page)
But if you like that kind of thing and can afford to, well I would say it’s definitely worth a try and for a one off treat, well go for it!