A high order level set model is developed for deterministic simulation of dendritic growth in unstable solidifying systems. The model captures motion of the front implicitly on a structured finite difference grid, enables calculation of its geometric properties and also applies boundary conditions on the immersed interface. Interfacial capillary effect is incorporated in the model through the Gibbs-Thomson condition. Canonical problems for evaluating grid convergence of the numerical method and validation tests for stability of a growing nucleus in the presence of isotropic surface tension are presented. The growth morphology of solidifying nuclei in undercooled metallic melts is quantitatively analyzed. Effects of crystal anisotropy and melt undercooling on the front geometry, propagation speed and formation of branched dendritic structures are examined. The complex morphological changes, such as remelting of secondary perturbations under specific conditions of undercooling, are also captured during the quantitative analysis.