Friday, 27 March 2015

REVIEW: Dinner at 64 Degrees, London

On the last day of February I had the pleasure of spending the night in Pimlico's Artist Residence hotel - with beautiful interiors, comfort and great service, it was the perfect stay. This hotel also happens to have it's own restaurant and, well...if you're staying there for a night, it would be rude not to try the food!

64 Degrees is a stylish and enigmatic restaurant twinned with Artist Residence in London. It offers a fast-paced dining experience, with an open kitchen, fast tapas-style dishes and a bustling atmosphere.

I'll be honest here - it took a little convincing for me to try the restaurant. I spent a while considering whether dinner would be too expensive for me (it's no budget venue) and with a few mixed reviews online (I love Tripadvisor!) I was worried that it wouldn't be worth the cost. I'm always keen for a perfect night.

I honestly had nothing to worried about.

After enjoying a few hours in The Loft, I finally decided that it would be too much of an effort to walk anywhere else for dinner and called reception to see whether 64 Degrees would happen to have any spare seats on a Saturday night. I wasn't expecting anything, and was prepared for it to be full, but the lady who welcomed us into the hotel offered us a table at the kitchen bar at 8pm - perfect!

The restaurant was buzzing by the time I arrived - it was so lovely to simply walk downstairs for dinner. It made our experience feel very exclusive. The room had a cosy atmosphere with low, moody lighting. I was surrounded by the sounds of customers chatting, loud (very varied!) music and sizzling food, and it was perfect for a spontaneous Saturday night dinner. Some may have found it too loud - it's no place for a mellow night - but for me it provided a lovely informal feel for a restaurant that could have easily been ostentatious. The noise and busyness doesn't mean that intimacy is compromised either, which was great.

After ordering some wine and browsing the menu, we decided to opt for six different tapas-style 'small dishes', two each from the meat, vegetable and fish sections. I love this style of dining, as it allows you to try a multitude of flavours, treat yourself to something new or indulge in an all-time favourite. An informal dining style for a laid-back but luxurious restaurant.

The dishes arrived one by one, as they were ready, which meant that they were fresh and hot! First  we were surprised with complimentary Scallop wontons, which were so delicious and a wonderful start to the night! Then came the scallops with chervil and whey - at £11 for three, it wasn't cheap, but it was a treat. They were cooked really well and had a lovely accompanying sauce. I'm not a huge seafood fan, but these were a tasty start. However, I will add that they were my least favourite dish of the evening (not that they were bad!) . The best was yet to come.

The Potato Knödel, cos and smoked butter were next and this was one of my favourite dishes. These were little Hungarian potato dumplings, deep fried, and served with charred lettuce! I wasn't sure about the lettuce but was pleasantly surprised as I found it incredibly moreish. I wish I had ordered more if these deep-fried beauties and oddly I couldn't stop eating the cos.

Lobster Croquettes were the third seafood dish of the night (no photo, sorry!), and were again utterly amazing. Simple tiny breaded lobster cakes, with gomasio and scotch bonnet. I wasn't sure about the latter but thankfully it wasn't spicy and was another tasty meal! I don't eat much seafood but I enjoyed how subtle and flavoursome these were - not too fishy, and very meaty. I'd love to try more lobster in the future.

Up next - our second vegetable dish - Romanesco, with cauliflower and fregola. We had to ask the waitress what this was and she told us that it was like a 'veggie macaroni cheese' which sold it to us instantly! This was a very unusual dish, unlike anything I've ever eaten before, but it was tasty and light and exactly how the waitress had described it. I'm not sure I'm selling it to you, and I know the photo isn't convincing, but it was very good. This dish was exactly what I was looking for from my experience at 64 Degrees - I wanted to try unusual and exciting food which I wouldn't find anywhere else, and this hit the spot.

The next dish was a true favourite - kimchi chicken wings with buttermilk and blue cheese. I'm not normally a fan of blue cheese but this was very tasty and real comfort food! You can't really go wrong with chicken wings, and although this wasn't my choice of plate I'm so glad my accompanying diner chose them! They were indulgent, moreish and slightly naughty!

Lastly came the venison haunch, with beetroot and cavolo nero. I know this isn't to everyone's taste, and I truly surprised myself when I tried this - Im not a big meat-eater and never thought I would be ok with eating venison. However, I was very much in a 'you only live once' mentality and thought I would go for it.

The venison came in both steak form and as a croquette, with three types of beetroot. I was so surprised at how much I loved this dish - it was rich and tender, so it was the perfect sized-portion - the meat was completely mouthwatering. I adored the croquette and was surprised at how well the beetroot went with the meat. I would definitely order this again! It was the perfect savoury dish to end on and one of my top choices for the evening. I'd even be inclined to order a larger portion.

After six meals, I was bedazzled. Each and every one was delicious and thoroughly enjoyable. Each time I was presented with a meal I was so excited to try it.

The service throughout the evening was wonderful - I loved the way the chef would fully explain the dish as it was passed to you, so you always knew exactly what you were getting, and it was always presented with pride. The staff obviously loved their work.

I also really enjoyed sitting overlooking the kitchen. It was a little odd at first, but as the evening went on I was fascinated (and a little distracted!) by the chef's work and watching the food being prepared. It added to the informal, exciting atmosphere and made the evening an event rather than a simple meal.

When the main meals were over, we couldn't resist opting for a dessert! I decided to choose something unusual again, and so went for the coconut arancini, mango and pineapple. These were very tasty and not overpoweringly sweet - though a little heavy - and ended the evening well.

I left 64 degrees in a little haze of contentment. I was reluctant to leave due to the lovely atmosphere and friendly staff, and couldn't believe the quality of the food I'd eaten. I felt like I'd really indulged and was surprised at how filling such small plates could be! I had no need to be worried about the cost - it really was worth the money and was a truly unique experience. 

It's not a restaurant I will be going to regularly - this was a special occasion for me - but I would recommend it if you fancy a bit of a different and special night out in the Pimlico area. I can imagine it's better on a peak night rather than midweek, and if you're looking for an informal feel then request a seat overlooking the kitchen - if you don't mind seeing people handling your food! I really think it's a great place for a (slightly pricey) date - great food, no pressure, and the food and kitchen will provide a distraction if it's not going so well!

I had a wonderful evening quite literally on my doorstep at Artist Residence, both down to the amazing food and wonderful service. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient, the food was exciting, indulgent and delicious. If you're in the area and looking for something special - or if you're staying at Artist Residence, then 64 Degrees is definitely worth considering! Just make sure you book ahead.

The menu at 64 degrees changes seasonally so the food I've mentioned on here may no longer be available. It's worth taking a look online before you take the plunge! They've introduced a few little extras too, such as large plates which I would have loved to try.

Thank you 64 degrees for a lovely evening. I could eat your knödel and venison forever!

She Wears Burgundy


  1. Ohh this looks yummy, and so well presented!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  2. One of my favourite restaurants in London. Went back to the original one in Brighton at the weekend and it's still just as good :)

    Rosie xx