It is widely accepted that chefs are some of the busiest people around. Their working hours can be double that of most working people, with split shifts and six day working weeks the norm. If the hours were not hard enough, they work these in a hot and high-pressured environment surrounded by constant hazards. There is little margin for error in their world, where having an off day is not really an option. It is not for everyone; but for those it is, they find a huge amount of reward and enjoyment in what they do.
One Brighton chef has been handling all of those “normal” pressures and more. Not content with securing the main dish on TV’s Great British Menu, Michael Bremner has also been busy opening a new restaurant. Murmur is the sister restaurant to the critically acclaimed 64 Degrees. This venture sees the chef move out of the hustle and bustle of the Lanes and seek the fresh air and wide-open vistas of Brighton seafront.
The new restaurant is a departure from the high concept small plates of 64, with more of a traditional restaurant feel to the menu. That being said, it is not a departure in terms of quality. Murmur is traditional in that it offers a full dining experience from breakfast through to dinner, with an a la carte offering in place of the small plates or set menus that other restaurants have been favouring. Murmur is all about bringing an honest and seasonal dining experience to Brighton’s seafront, that is relaxed, informal and family friendly.
Situated at the newly redeveloped Kings Road arches, in the shadow of the i360 and with beautiful views of the West Pier, the location could not be more picturesque. Murmur has taken its name from the famous starling murmurations, and it will be the perfect venue to enjoy this wonderful show of nature. With so few quality options along the seafront, Lucky Beach and Riddle and Finns being the others, it is a very welcome addition to the area.
Having enjoyed an impromptu lunch on the terrace, tucking into a perfectly cooked lamb rump with basil fregola and courgette ribbons washed down with a glass of pinot noir, I was impressed with the simple elegance of the dish. I was also lucky enough to attend the recent opening party where we were treated to numerous tasty morsels throughout the evening. Highlights included a wonderfully delicate fillet of plaice, which melted like butter in your mouth; a superb crab cake with sriracha mayonnaise; and a caramelised cube of ox tongue with bone marrow mayonnaise that words cannot do justice to. Finally, a dessert of lemon tart that despite its solid appearance exploded into a cacophony of lemony goodness the second it hit your tongue.
A later visit to Murmur, this time with Yolanda in tow, was equally as impressive. Rabbit rillettes and some of the biggest oysters I’ve ever seen started the meal in style. Mains consisted of the lamb rump again and a larger serving of the ox tongue, which was sensational. I cannot fault anything about the food at Murmur, it is extraordinary and must be tried by all. The wine list is affordable and high quality, with some interesting additions alongside familiar grapes. Definitely one of the best meals of the year, and one that Yolanda refers to on an almost weekly basis.
In bringing Murmur to the city, Michael and his team have bucked the trend for trendy high concept dining experiences and instead focused on creating something for everyone to enjoy. To see such a high-profile chef investing in the city’s food and drink scene in such a way is wonderful to see. It reflects where Brighton has come in terms of its food and drink offering, with quality options across every price point and style of restaurant. Murmur provides a seafront dining experience that does justice to the beautiful location and views that nature has provided, and that is something we can all get excited about.
91-96 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, BN1 2LN