Six dishes. Six weeks. One Price. Welcome to the most ingenious concept that is Six by Nico. Glasgewian chef and budding entrepreneur, Nico Simeone, brought his ironically sixth location to London’s iconic dining scene and the London foodies were here and waiting for its much-anticipated arrival. Opening back in late-July, there was a flurry of willing guinea pigs waiting to try out Nico’s first menu titled ‘The Chippie’, and there was no doubt, it was an absolute hit. Fast-forwarding six weeks, bringing us to the present, Nico launches his next menu ‘Childhood Memories’ and one that I was ready and eager to get my mitts on. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the preview before the official launch, so on Wednesday evening, I pulled on my glad rags and landed in Fitzrovia.
Arriving with the most hospitable welcome, I was handed a “Who Loves Orange Soda” cocktail, complete with orange liqueur, Edinburgh gin, orange soda, topped with an ice-cream float. For those who watched the 1996 American Sitcom ‘Keenan and Kel’ will be very familiar with the name of this cocktail. Ah, the memories.
It wasn’t long before we were ushered to our seats to commence our six-course tasting menu, paired with delicious wines to match and bring out of the flavours in each dish.
We kicked off the first course with ‘Lasagne’, made with Ox cheek ragu, parmesan espuma and herb pasta. I’ll be honest, I didn’t understand the connection to the theme with this course, but none-the-less it was an excellent dish to start.
Moving onto the second dish, ‘Fish Fingers’, made with salmon tartare, kohlrabi (a pickled German turnip), pepper dulse and shoashing dressing. The chosen wine as Terre Des Dames, Le Rose from Languedoc, France. The lovely fresh fruit notes paired quite nicely with the acidic flavours from the kohlrabi. Overall, a delightful dish with the right amount of flavour and a unique yet modern representation of fish fingers.
The third course was ‘Egg and Soldiers’, made with cooked cracklebean egg, served with a celeriac solider, lovage emulsion and brown butter. The wine for this course was Strange Kompanjie, The Tea Leaf, from Western Cape, South Africa. It was a lovely take on the classic egg and soldiers, which happened to be my favourite childhood breakfast. Nothing beats a creamy, runny yolk.
Dish four was ‘Black Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese’, made with caramelised cauliflower, aged cheddar and, caper and raisin dressing. The wine paired with this dish was The Underworld, Grenache Blanc, from Western Cape, South Africa. I have to admit, I absolutely loved this dish (and not because it was doused in black truffle), but the little garnishes not only enhanced the dish visually, but it added a whole load of flavour too.
The penultimate dish, so appropriately named ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’, one of my favourite childhood playground games. I was always the most competitive of children, and that’s one game that brought that side out of me. The dish was made with XO duck breast, leg bon bon, gnocchi, and finished with pumpkin and black garlic emulsion. The dish was paired with a beautiful, full-bodied red, Beaujolais Villages from Burgundy, France. I have to admit; I was a little apprehensive about this dish as I’m not the biggest fan of duck, and typically cannot eat anymore after one bite. But, to my delight, it was the most delicious duck I’ve ever eaten; cooked to perfection, leaving it tender and juicy—a real game-changer.
The final dish, without a doubt, was the best. That may be my sweet-tooth talking, but it was so refreshing yet indulgent. Plus, the name ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’ had me smiling — it dates back to one of my fondest and most vivid memory of pre-school, we used to all gather as a class every morning, and I participated in the full performance while singing along. The dish was made with savarin crème, raspberry, lychee and rose. The dessert was washed down with a glass of Araldica, Brachetto d’Acqui dessert wine from Piemonte, Italy.
Not only did Nico take me on a culinary journey, but he also took us on a trip around the world through the wines, and allowed me to visit some of my fondest childhood memories too. It is more than just a dinner, it’s an experience in itself. All for a nominal charge of £35 for the tasting menu and an additional £33 for the wine pairing too.
If you haven’t had a chance to try one of Nico’s menus, I would suggest starting with this one. You won’t regret it!
Until next time…