Six by Nico: Childhood

Six weeks have past, and it’s time for a new menu at Six by Nico!

They announced this menu the same night we visited last time, and after such a stellar start I was keen to get back but a little nervous in case it wasn’t quite up to the same standard. Mind you, it’s tricky to judge a restaurant when they’ve changed their menu, although I’m still not sure if I was being overly critical or more lenient given that the entire premise of Six by Nico is to do just that, regularly change their menu. This is their idea, but would it measure up to our previous visit?

While the menu hints at what was to come, on this second visit I at least knew that it would be the cooking, presentation, and overall execution of what is on offer that would make, or break, the evening.

And yes, this ice cream lover was excited to see TWO ice cream dishes on offer!! (sort of).

  1. ICE CREAM ~ Chicken liver parfait / Spiced pear/ Ginger bread
  2. EGG & SOLDIERS ~ Smoked haddock / Asparagus / Confit yolk
  3. FISH FINGER ~ Sea Trout / Sesame / Avocado / Radish
  4. MAC & CHEESE ~ Summer truffle / Sprouting brocolli / Glazed chicken wing
  5. HAMBURGER ~ Pork cheek / Brioche / Charred gem / Burnt onion jus
  6. VIENNETTA ~ White chocolate parfait / Rhubarb / “Pick n Mix” toppings

Ohhh and it was good, very good on the whole but we all agreed it didn’t quite hit the same heights as the previous visit. I’d still recommend it

As well as the six courses there is also the option for a ‘snack’ starter which obviously we took. It included truffled popcorn, a chicken nugget, and beans on toast. Not a fan of popcorn, and the beans on toast was ok but the start of that plate was the single chicken nugget made from tender chicken thighs (I think) with a lovely spicy tomato sauce. On reflection this set the tone for the meal, it was all tasty enough but I wasn’t WOW’d by some of the courses.

The first course was definitely a hit. Arriving in a thin pastry cone, smooth whipped chicken liver parfait was complimented by a thin smear of spiced pear, just enough to cut through the rich creamy parfait. And then in the first little moment of ‘ohhhh that is clever’ the bottom of the cone has crumbs of ginger bread, instantly transporting me back to those childhood cones when the bottom is nothing but wafer. Clever and delicious.

The next course arrived in a little toy soldier egg cup, with a little spoon attached. A whispy foam flecked with smoked haddock and crumbs of confit yolk was our egg, with accompanying asparagus ‘soldiers’ . The egg was wonderful, each mouthful revealing different flavours and textures, and whilst the asparagus was perfectly cooked, the dish felt a little disjointed. Should we ‘dip’ the asparagus (which was cut into small bite sized pieces) and where did the little side salad fit? Wonderful ingredients, great cooking and presentation but a not quite as ‘fun’ as it purported to be.

Fish finger time! And this, for me, was the stand out dish. Marinated sea trout covered in mixed sesame seeds, on a bed of brown quinoa, with an avocado puree, radish slices and wonderfully sweet pickled onions. The sweet sour combination was perfect, the sea trout was wonderfully fresh, and whilst the quinoa was a little out of place, the entire dish was perfectly executed. Heaven!!

Who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese? I’ll be honest, I enjoy it but it’s never my first choice so I was hoping to be swayed! The Mac and Cheese portion of the dish, two small cubes worth, was delicious and perfectly unctuous and cheesy, the glazed chicken wing pieces were tasty as well, the bbq sauce helping pull the two components together. The broccoli and pea puree helped keep it fresh and light but it didn’t have quite the range of flavours to keep my tastebuds guessing.

It’s just as well the portions are small because next up was a hamburger! Made from pork cheek, topped with cheddar, on a circle of brioche with celeriac coleslaw and charred gem (and a sneaky bit of tomato too!) it looked very tasty, and the hamburger itself certainly hit the mark with the tender, almost pulled, pork cheek that melted in the mouth. Alas the burnt onion jus didn’t really have enough oomph to join the party, and the celeriac coleslaw was… well if they hadn’t told me it was celeriac would I have know? Probably the weakest dish of the night then (but that pork cheek though!).

As a dessert and ice cream fiend, I was excited to see what they did with a Viennetta and I was not disappointed. Definitely an ‘in the spirit of’ style dish, the white chocolate parfait was accompanied by a wonderfully sharp passion fruit foam, a thin slice of meringue textured white chocolate, and a hidden surprise underneath, little chunks of what tasted like the inside of a mint Aero! I think with out the surprise element this may have been a little sweet and cloying but the hit of mint really made it sing.

Overall six great plates of food, and whilst it fell slightly short, it was still worth every penny (and yes we are booked up again for the next menu, which has yet to be announced).

There is something giddily thrilling about dining like this. You don’t get to choose from a menu, so you are never quite sure what will arrive and whilst that can mean that some of the dishes aren’t quite to your own tastes, it is still a wonderful adventure!