A casual all-day restaurant headed by 64 Degrees chef Michael Bremner on Brighton’s newly restored promenade, serving healthy, modern British plates.
Murmur restaurant review
Walking into Murmur on a cold, drizzly November evening, you can’t help but think this is a venue that will truly come into its own on a warm summer’s day. Set within the promenade’s newly restored Victorian arches, with several folding doors opening out towards the beach, Murmur has been designed with al fresco dining in mind.
The informal interior is spartan, with bare whitewashed walls, hanging filament lightbulbs and exposed industrial air-con piping. Despite the sparse decoration, the room feels intimate and welcoming, with just 37 seated inside, the tiny open kitchen close at hand, and the even tinier bar positioned by the entrance, tempting you to grab a high stool and cocktail while you wait for your table.
We follow the barman’s recommendations and opt for two gin cocktails, one long and one short. The former, The Refresher – gin, maraschino, elderflower and lemon – delivers on its promise with fresh, complex flavours and a pleasing gin kick; the latter, the Hurri Kane – gin, apricot brandy, lime, passion fruit and prosecco – again had a satisfying mingle of tart and sweet.
We ordered a single Poole Bay oyster each to begin – dressed with finely chopped kimchi, they were stunningly fresh, married to perfection with a downplayed pickle tang.
For the starters we went for miso-glazed scallops, which were fat, sweet and succulent, with the tiniest hint of bite on the outside, and superbly matched with a well-balanced lemongrass purée (a tiny grumble over the kale side, which should have been crisp but was oily). Slow-cooked pork shoulder on a spiced chestnut taco with pickled cox apple was an alluring combination of sweet meat, tiny tart cubes of apple, deep chilli after-kick and crunchy strips of crackling to nibble on.
For mains, a seared venison haunch with braised red cabbage, date purée, venison ragu and gremolata didn’t match expectations. Roast cod, a hefty chunk of flaky fish smothered in brown shrimp butter, though, came alongside pleasingly crunchy cauliflower covered in a delicious almond crumb and a deep-green parsley purée.
Puddings were gorgeous, particularly the sticky toffee pudding. Another, of spiced poached pear, was raised a notch by an accompanying thick, sticky honeycomb, a splodge of ice cream and two flaky pastry fingers with pleasingly chewy middles.
Menu must-order at Murmur
The sticky toffee pudding was a gorgeously springy sponge surrounded with a rich, glossy butterscotch sauce for daubing, and topped with a chewy ginger snap sombrero holding up a scoop of just-melting vanilla ice cream.
The seared venison haunch was cooked rare but the cut was overly chewy, and the accompanying elements jarred: the date purée cloyingly sweet, the red cabbage harshly acidic, the intensely gamey venison ragu bound within a stringy cabbage parcel.