What a year it’s been at Six by Nico, and what a way to finish out 2017. So popular was their announcement of their ‘Disney’ menu that their website and booking system crashed, and they’ve had to open up on a Monday to cope with demand. I was glad we book well in advance (roll on January 11th for the next visit).
But all the noise on social media begs the question, was it any good?
The menu for our seventh visit (from the website):
- RATATOUILLE – Ratatouille / Comte Espuma / Dijon Crumble
- MAD HATTER TEA PARTY – Chicken & Tarragon ‘Sandwich’ / Mushroom Tea / Truffle Empire Biscuit
- SWORD & THE STONE – Stone Bass & Swordfish Ceviche / Miso Vinegerette / Avocado / Tapioca
- LADY & THE TRAMP – Angel Hair Pasta / Shellfish Bisque / Seaweed Crumb
- ALADDIN – Lamb Belly / Prune / Pearl Cous Cous / Jasmine Tea
- BEAUTY & THE BEAST – Rose Panna Cotta / Lychee / Almond Sponge / Pomegranate
But first, as always, Snacks!
RABBITS VEGETABLE GARDEN – Crudites, Beetroot Hummus, Lime Creme Fraiche, Olives
Beetroot hummus with little heads of romanesco broccoli, shards of beetroot crisp, and a tart creme fraiche. What’s not to like? Wonderfully earthy and fresh, although I avoided the olives, and a nice palate cleanser before the first course. Admittedly the Queen of Hearts apertif also helped; Edinburgh Raspberry Gin & Tonic, with love heart sweets. Pretty sure I have a little bottle of that at home…
Thankfully there were no rats evident in the kitchen prior to the first course of Ratatouille. Neatly presented (although part of me wishes they’d done it ‘a la movie’) the vegetables were tasty enough, the tomato base was a little thin and the star was the thick, rich Comte Espuma; one of my favourite cheeses which definitely elevated this dish but overall it didn’t really hit the mark for me.
Next up, our decidedly non-Mad Hatter server, placed a silver platter in the middle of the table; tea cups ready, a clear tea pot with a dark rich looking tea, a sandwich triangle, empire biscuit and cupcake for each of us. Ohhh and some green ‘ketchup’ to go with the sandwich. First up the mushroom tea, ohhh my heavens, rich, deep, with a real umami hit I could’ve had the entire pot to myself! But no, pace yourself because you have a chicken sandwich to eat before you get to your sweets. And oh what a delicious sandwich, entirely made from chicken (no bread here) with a squirt of tarragon ‘ketchup’ it was a delicious, moist, chicken toastie at its best. Washing it down with the last mouthfuls of mushroom tea was a delight. The empire biscuit was good, two thick parmesan rounds, a hint of truffle inside, and a quince dot to add a nice little sweet tartness. The beetroot and goats cheese cupcake was ok but perhaps not really needed, given the quality of the other components on the tray.
Ceviche next and whilst I couldn’t tell which was Stone Bass and which was Swordfish both tasted wonderfully fresh. The accompanying parts of the dish were good, although the tapioca didn’t really bring much to the party, but the avocado and crunchy little morsels of vinegarette (I think!) cut through everything both in taste and texture. Smartly done.
Ahhh Lady & the Tramp and the iconic spaghetti scene. Thankfully you don’t have to recreate it to enjoy what was, for me, the star of the evening. From seeing earlier photos this dish has been tweaked a little, so we received a dish of angel hair pasta, with a perfectly cooked fillet (halibut I think?) atop. Add in a reduced shellfish bisque which was so thick it was clinging to the pasta and OH MY HEAVENS it was delicious.
Aladdin – one of my fav Disney movies – was up next and, Jasmine Tea aside I’m not sure I’m getting the lamb connection. An Arabian dish then, Baba Ganoush with a roll of lamb belly stuffed with cous cous and a couple of golden raisins. Of the entire menu this was, almost, disappointing. As expected everything on the plate was cooked well but it was all a bit one-dimensional for me. The most excitement came from a dash of sweetness from the few raisins hidden away inside the lamb, and whilst the lamb itself was succulent, it just didn’t get any help from the rest of the plate. It’s not often the Six by Nico doesn’t hit the mark but this dish definitely needed some help from a genie!
Dessert, a dish as old as time? Perhaps, but if you’ve ever craved a light, subtle dessert then this is the one for you. Wonderfully rose flavoured panna cotta with a gentle lychee gel on top, pomegranate sauce, and a lighter than air slice of almond sponge and there I was, twirling in my transformation from Beast to Prince as the last petal fell from the rose. What a great way to round off a meal.
Overall, not one of the best menus with a couple of dishes missing the mark for me but as always part of that is down to personal taste – I wouldn’t normally order ratatouille or lamb belly – but Six by Nico remains a highlight. The service is friendly and relaxed, the staff know what they are talking about if you have any questions, and even the ‘not so good’ dishes are still well cooked and presented.
Have I mentioned that the set menu is £25 for six courses (and you can swap courses between the main and vegetarian options). Add in £5 for the ‘Snacks’, and £5 for an apertif, chuck a bottle of wine in and for £45-50 a head you are being treated to high end cuisine in a laid back environment. The food quality remains high, as does the execution of each plate. It really is a fine dining experience on a budget.
Note: In a lovely gesture, Six By Nico will be donating £5 from every Disney meal to Glasgow Children’s Hospital. Bravo!
Also published on Medium.