Had heard great things about 64 Degrees from my friend Meyrick who has been there multiple times and loves it. Nights out with him are always fun and boozy, even on school nights…..so we of course started with drinks at the bar downstairs which is cosy and very cute.
The bartender was fantastic, he listened to what we liked and concocted a special cocktail for me as my dream drink is always a spicy margarita. He did his own rendition with mango and Scotch Bonnet peppers and instead of salt, had a spicy dehydrated mango rim on the glass. For Stewart, he did a gin and cucumber drink with several other mystery ingredients and was delicious.
For dinner, we had a quiet booth type table upstairs. On a future visit, I would rather sit in the main area where you can watch the action in the open kitchen. 64 Degrees is the younger sister to their restaurant in Brighton that has won tons of accolades and raving reviews. The restaurant is named after their house egg dish, which is cooked at 64 degrees, creating the perfect texture. Unfortunately, the only dish that had the egg was the salmon one. They should spread the love and have other eggy dishes.
Our waitress suggested three dishes per person and she was spot on, it was the right amount as some are quite small.
What we ate:
Cauliflower, pearl barley, buttermilk: Meyrick had been at the restaurant the night before with a friend and she had tried this dish and loved it. He had not as he doesn’t have caffeine and the barley had espresso on it. We actually didn’t care for it at all. The cauliflower was in a wine/vinegar marinade and made it too acidic and there was some anise lingering taste or fennel seeds that just didn’t appeal to us.
Octopus, daikon aioli: hard to comment on the taste as it was so tiny, but I guess our fault for trying to split among three people. It was a perfectly ok octopus and the daikon was lovely but not memorable in any way and I missed the char that I love on grilled octopus.
Salmon, Alexander bud, egg: this was a very well executed dish. The salmon was sous vide and then pan fried and the skin was perfectly crunchy. The egg, their signature, was flawless and soft on the inside without oozing all over the plate, which I guess is not a bad thing but would have made it harder to share among the three of us. The alexander bud was some sort of crunchy green. Overall a very good dish, with all components very well prepared, but not creative or unique like some other dishes.
Scallops, butternut squash, almond: the scallops were very tender and tasty and were served on an almond puree and with little butternut pearls that according to our waitress had been frozen, defrosted and refrozen which somehow makes them even sweeter. I was lost on truly understanding the technique but enjoyed the flavours.
Haddock gyoza, pear, fennel: two fried triangle shaped gyozas with haddock inside. Was too salty for me, and that is a rare comment as usually I am the one adding salt to most things.
Pork belly, black pudding, and lonzu: this was one of those pork bellies that had the right fat to meat ratio and could have been eaten with a spoon as it was so tender. Very very tasty and a nice size portion compared to some of the other dishes. The black pudding was sprinkled around the plate adding a nice texture, and the lonzu is a dried pork fillet and there were some slivers around the plate. We had not tried lonzu before but opened the question in our minds of why we had never seen pork jerky? It seems to always be beef or turkey……
Venison, beetroot, cavolo nero (aka Kale): this was the best dish of the evening. My friend Meyrick is a sous vide guru and can spot a dish that was cooked in the water bath from miles away. He said this dish was definitely one, but they then seared it nicely to provide color and the tasty crust outside. The beets were tiny but packed a punch of flavour and the cavolo nero (so much sexier than saying kale) was perfectly crispy.
Beef tartare, cured yolk, caper: Hmmmm, as I write the review I realize we actually have a tie for favourite dish as the tartare was also exceptionally delicious. The cubes were perfect gorgeous bright pieces of beef and remained pure without lots of stuff on it to mask it. The cured yolk was grated on top and the caper was presented in a cracker form which added a fun texture and saltiness. There was also some wasabi in some molecular rendition sprinkled on the beef.
Chicken wings, Brighton blue, kimchi: this was a surprisingly large portion compared to some of the dishes that were rather modest. Nicely seasoned wings served with a whipped blue cheese. I am not a wings person but I actually liked this one, probably because of the blue cheese. What dish is not dramatically improved when served with whipped blue?
Knodel, cos, smoked butter: knodel is a Bavarian potato or flour dumpling, usually round. This one was in a tubular shape and served with an intoxicatingly fragrant smoked butter sauce and grilled cos lettuce. The smell was better than the taste and I didn’t LOVE the texture of the knodel, which was a bit hard and a little mealy. I was not going to order this but was intrigued as our waitress said it was her favourite so after all the others, decided to try it.
Cheese, raising, fig: three types of cheese with some bread. Not particularly memorable apart from the vin santo bottle we ordered with it that made it all the more interesting.
Brownie, praline, meringue: another large portion of perfectly fine brownie with some praline drizzled on top. Not a must or very creative in any way but good for chocoholics like me that needs a sugar fix.
In sum: totally cute restaurant and very creative and fun food. Some dishes were outstanding, some were fine and one was odd. A must repeat? Maybe as they change the menu often and some dishes were very good.
64 Degrees London http://www.64degrees.co.uk/
52 Cambridge Street, London, SW1V 4QQ
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