Star of the Glasgow food scene
Since it’s inception last year, Six By Nico has been top of my to-visit list. For months, I felt like I couldn’t open Facebook or Instagram without drooling over photos of dishes from the restaurant, but my calendar remained as fully booked as the restaurant itself, so it seemed it wasn’t to be. My diary did clear up a little around Christmas, but I was a bit put off by the “Disney” menu, as it wasn’t quite to my taste and, personally, I don’t think it suited the restaurant’s brand – as much as I love Disney!
Me being a bit of a snob aside, it wasn’t until the middle of January that I was finally able to pay Six by Nico a visit. One snowy Tuesday, with classes cancelled, I headed over to Finnieston with my friends Jen and Hannah to finally try the acclaimed restaurant for ourselves. I do adore having friends who appreciate good food as much as I do, as it certainly makes long breaks in college a lot easier when we can pop out for a bite to eat.
So, what’s Six by Nico all about, anyway? Well, the basis of the concept is that the menu changes every six weeks, serving up an entirely new six-course tasting menu each time. Each menu has a theme – or a “story” – and the dishes are carefully curated with that in mind. Previous stories have included Forest, Route 66, Childhood and Illusion – but we missed the boat with those menus in their limited run.
Luckily for us, however, the menu available for our visit was The Best of 2017, containing six of the best dishes from the previous year, as voted for by Six by Nico’s customers. This menu is running until the 18th of February and six courses will set you back just £25, with an additional £25 if you want wine pairings, too.
The Chippie and Childhood
We started our meal with a dish from “The Chippie” menu, which as you might imagine consisted of reimagined chip shop classics. The first dish we sampled was Chips & Cheese – a parmesan espuma (foam for us uninitiated types), confit potato and curry oil. I can be a tad funny about textures and was a little bit concerned about this one, but it was love at first spoonful. This dish was deliciously cheesy and felt super indulgent, but was incredibly light at the same time. A solid start, I’d say.
Our second dish – Steak Pie – was again a choice from The Chippie menu and was quite possibly my favourite of the six. The reimagined steak pie consisted of Speyside beef shin, onion sauerkraut and brioche. Again, this was a beautifully flavourful dish, with incredibly tender meat that was perfectly complimented by the crisp onions and accompanying shallots. I’m drooling just thinking about it right now, and I wish that it was the kind of fare I could expect from my local chippie.
For our third dish, we were treated to an option from the “Childhood” menu, which saw a host of reimagined childhood classics. The dish of choice for the Best of 2017 menu was the Macaroni Cheese, served alongside a glazed chicken wing, charred cauliflower and a truffle mayo. Unsurprisingly, this was also delicious, but probably my least favourite of the six as it did lack in flavour in comparison to the other dishes. Eating this dish was probably the only time in my life I’ve actually enjoyed cauliflower, which is no mean feat.
Route 66 and Illusion
It’s no secret that I am quite a fan of cheese, so for my fourth course, I decided to swap the Sea Bream Tacos from the “Route 66” menu for the vegetarian Halloumi offering instead. Jen and Hannah both loved their sea bream, and the halloumi alternative definitely did not disappoint. I find that halloumi can often be too salty, but that certainly wasn’t the case with this substantial chunk of cheese, and it paired perfectly with the fresh guacamole, pickled chilli and lime and red onion salsa. This dish was a quite the flavour explosion, and a delightfully sharp pick-me-up to mark the midpoint of the six courses.
Course number five was a dish from the “Illusion” menu, but I’ll be honest and say I’m not entirely sure what the illusion was supposed to be. Nonetheless, the duck breast paired with blueberries, hazelnut, mushroom and cocoa saw a delicious combination of flavours. The duck was a tad tough, which is something I find to often be the case with duck, but as it’s one of my favourite meats I wasn’t disappointed.
And finally – that dessert. I’d been desperate to try it ever since seeing this “egg” plastered all over Instagram back when the original menu was running. Clearly, this was also part of the Illusion menu, and it was an absolutely beautiful end to a great meal. The egg was constructed with a rich which chocolate parfait and a passionfruit yolk, accompanied by a “nest” of sweetened strands, lime curd, coconut and fresh fruit. I wish I could eat this again, as it was impressive from start to finish. Although delicious, it was far from sickly, and the sharpness of the fruit helped ensure that we were left comfortably – not painfully – full when our six courses came to an end.
If you couldn’t already tell, I was seriously impressed by my experience at Six by Nico. I think that £25 is incredible value for six dishes of this calibre, and the tasting menu was a fantastic introduction to Nico’s culinary delights. With set tasting menus like this, I tend to expect at least one dish to disappoint, but this was brilliant from start to finish.
The restaurant was so cosy and welcoming, with a beautiful yellow and grey decor that I want to incorporate into my own decorating style one day. The staff were absolutely lovely and brilliant at telling us all about our dishes, which was just the cherry on top of an already fantastic dining experience. I’d love to pay the sister restaurant, 111 by Nico, a visit too.
It’s safe to say that I’m waiting on the announcement of the next menu concept with baited breath, and to keep me occupied in the meantime, I’ll just be drooling over these photos.