Category: <span>SixbyNico</span>

Bonjour mes amis, le moment est venu de revoir le dernier menu du Six by Nico. Cette fois-ci, nous visitons Paris!*

Don’t worry, I won’t be testing your translation skills any further. I’d heard good things about this menu and managed to sneak in to try it before it disappears at the end of the week; Six by Nico is still proving popular enough that we could only get a table at 9pm on a Tuesday night!

  • FRENCH ONION – Braised Onion / Compte Espuma / Brown Butter Croutons
  • COQ AU VIN – Chicken Terrine / Crispy Bacon / Soubisse
  • PETIT POIS A LA FRANCAIS – Slow Cooked Egg / Pea / Charred Gem / Ham
  • BOUILLABAISSE – Sole / Confit Fennel / Roasted Pepper / Rouille
  • PARISIAN GNOCCHI – Gnocchi / Lemon / Capers / Parsley (substitute for above cos fennel and pepper, bleuch)
  • BEEF BOURGUIGNON – Ox Cheek / Mushroom Duxelle / Shallot & Bacon Crumb / Red Wine
  • CREME BRULEE – Raspberry, Rose & Lychee / Pink Peppercorn Meringue / Brown Sugar

View this post on Instagram

Six by Nico: Paris. One of the best yet!!

A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on

A cheeky little apertif, La Marais Belini – French Elderflower, Lemon juice, and Prosecco – got the palate going ahead of the arrival of our snacks. Billed as “Croque Madame” the snack was a good example of the type of dish I wish Nico did elsewhere, just a bit larger as this would easily sit as a ‘small main’ sized dish. A slice of bread pudding, smothered in egg yolk jam, topped with a crispy slice of salty ham, with a rich parmesan espuma on the side, I’d happily eat it twice over.

But alas it was gone too soon and it was time to crack on with the main menu.

As much as I like onions, I’ve never really enjoyed onion soup but then I’ve never had it like this before. Dark heavily braised onions, a sharp but not overpowering compte espuma with dark brown butter croutons adding a nice crunch nestling at the bottom. This was more a tiny meal than a soup, a tiny pot of heavy flavours that was at once very rich and nicely comforting, just as a good soup should be.

Coq au vin is a dish I’ve actually eaten in Paris but of course Six by Nico offers a different twist. A triangle of shredded, most, delicately spiced chicken, radish, onion, and pickled mustard seeds, with a crispy bacon slice on top. Possibly the weakest dish, it was still very good but I think the chicken could’ve had a little more flavour. That said, pickled mustard seeds were a revelation that definitely gave this dish a lift.

French peas by another name, this was a very fresh and light dish, with a wonderfully salty slice of ham, a perfectly poached (sous vide?) egg, a richy creamy sauce, and vibrant green peas. It’s dishes like these, with such simple ingredients that really shine, and make me appreciate the skill level of what is being offered.

I decided to switch out the Bouillabaisse for the vegetarian option as I’m not keen on fennel or peppers. I’m happy to say that I don’t think I missed out at all. The Gnocchi was perfectly cooked, with crisp tops and a gooey middle, and accompanied with warmed raisins, samphire, and capers, with a dark raisin puree. Quite sweet for a main course it was still delicious, with capers adding a nice zing against the sweetness of the raisins, all of which sat well with the gnocchi. A much better dish than I first expected.

Star of the show for me was the next dish, the Beef Bourguignon. Melt in the mouth Ox Cheek, a smooth carrot puree, and the mushroom duxelle was wonderfully rich and sweet and garlicky, with the crumb on top giving the entire dish a bite of bit. Wow. What a delight, perfectly cooked ingredients, expertly delivered and with a wonderful linger on the palate. I’d have happily had two plates of this.

Except it was time for dessert. A friend suggested this could be the ‘best of’ for this year (already!) so I was keen to see it and I have to admit, he might be right!

Arriving en flambé this was a superbly rich creme topped with a wafer thin brulee, accompanied with delicious rose and lychee sorbet, and thin slivers of meringue. The technical ability on show here was astounding, with each item on the plate delicate and well balanced, each flavour combination well considered and is one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten at Six by Nico, or anywhere else.

What a menu! Not a bad dish in sight, some new flavour combinations (that gnocchi!), a new take on french onion soup that I might actually try, and THAT dessert.

Superbe repas, tout à fait délicieux! Bravo et merci, Six par Nico!*

As I’ve said before, food of this quality, served by knowledgeable, efficient and friendly staff, at £28 for six courses – plus £5 for an apertif and £5 for snacks (between two) – and I think Six by Nico must be the best value for money in Glasgow. If you haven’t yet been, and are swithering because the menu is ‘set’, know that you can swap every dish for a veggie alternative, and they can omit specific items if you require.

And, in even better news (for me), I’m back there next week for the next menu… The Orient Express!

* Hello my friends, it’s time for another review of the latest menu at Six by Nico, this time round we are visiting Paris!
* Superb meal, utterly delicious! Well done and thank you, Six by Nico!

Food Reviews SixbyNico

Comments closed

A shorter review because, this being a ‘best of’ I’ve already written about these dishes and, for the most part, they were cooked and presented the same way.

Also they cheated by including a course from the Chippie which was a 2017 menu in Glasgow, but 2018 in Edinburgh, but given it remains one of the stand out dishes I’ll let them away with it…

The Best Of menu is voted for by the public on social media and competition was fierce. The options were as follows (my votes in bold):

  1. Chips and Cheese (The Chippie) vs Arancini Tricolore (Sicily)
  2. Lamb Kebab (Middle East) vs Buffalo Chicken (New York)
  3. Pappardelle Ragu (Sicily) vs Scampi (The Chippie)
  4. Sea Bream (Vietnamese Street Food) vs Cod Fish Supper (Chippie)
  5. Duck Duck Goose (Childhood 2.0) vs Pork Cheek Barbicoa (Mexico)
  6. Big Apple (New York) vs Limone Siciliano (Sicily)

And it turns out I wasn’t far off the rest of the voting populace, with the final menu being the following memorable and mouthwatering delights:

  1. Chips and Cheese (The Chippie)
  2. Buffalo Chicken (New York)
  3. Pappardelle Ragu (Sicily)
  4. Cod Fish Supper (Chippie)
  5. Duck Duck Goose (Childhood 2.0)
  6. Big Apple (New York)

View this post on Instagram

Best of 2018: wonderful!

A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on

Menu wise I can’t fault it at all. I was a little bit disappointed that the Pork Cheek Barbicoa lost out to Duck Duck Goose but given I struggled to choose between most of the options (Dish 1 and Dish 6 in particular), and the Duck dish was absolutely delicious I have little to complain about.

Worth mentioning the unvoted for snack option too, a wonderful basil pesto, cream cheese and crackers combo, chased down with a tasty little gin apertif to get the palate woken up and ready for six delightful plates of food.

The service was friendly and relaxed (the wonderful Stephanie entertained us as ever) and despite all that it offers, Six by Nico somehow seems to remain a bit of a secret; 6 courses of stellar food for under £30 and yet I’m still having to tell people to try it.

I do like the Best Of idea, it brought back memories of some very good meals and chats with my friends and, whilst we speculated as much as we always do, we are none the wiser as to what the next theme will be and that just makes it all the more exciting for the next visit.

Food Reviews SixbyNico

Comments closed

What better way to greet the New Year than in the company of your closest friends, over a fine meal of delicious wares? Well how about if the meal was made to evoke childhood memories as well? Back to Six by Nico for our first visit of 2019 and they were revisiting a previous menu idea as well, welcome to Childhood.

  • CRISPY LASAGNE – Beef Ragu, Aged Parmesan, Crispy Lasagne
  • BEEF BURGER – Carpaccio, Ewes Cheese, Lettuce & Mustard Emulsion
  • FISH FINGER – Salmon Fish Finger, Pickled Cucumber, Horseradish & Watercress
  • POT NOODLE – Chicken Noodle, Toasted Corn, Chestnut Mushroom, Chicken Broth
  • DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE… – Roasted Breast, Leg Cannelloni, Spiced Butternut Squash, Crispy Queen Kale
  • CEREAL MILK – Cereal Milk Espuma, Crunchy Peanut Clusters, Honey Gelee, Roasted Apple

Out on a Friday night, and we indulged in the Apertif before the Snacks, and wow was I glad we did. Listed as Rhubarb & Custard G&T, it was a delicous Rhubarb gin topped with a white creamy foam espuma which made the entire glass taste like Creamola Foam! What a way to get the memories flowing.

Along with the apertif, the snacks appeared and instantly took me back to a rainy caravan in Morecambe at the Easter holidays. All due to the Fish Supper Croquette, which was a light little parcel of potato and fish with a salt and vinegar flavoured crumb, served with bread & butter, and THE best mushy peas I’ve ever had (no mint, heavy on the vinegar). With my tastebuds woken, and my synapses firing, I was glad when the first course arrived.

And then I picked up the tiny spoon, dipped in and from the first mouthful quickly realised that the Crispy Lasagne was one of those dishes that makes me wish you could just stop and ordered a bigger portion on its own (maybe an idea for the new Public House venture to adopt?). Rich and velvety parmesan sauce, with shards of crisped lasagne, sat on top of a perfectly seasoned, red wine ragu and beef that melted in the mouth. Silence descended on our table.

Next up was a deconstructed Beef Burger, a creamy beef carpaccio, smooth grated ewes cheese, chargrilled lettuce, dotted with tangy pickles, and a tangy emulsion… hang on, this is a Big Mac! Very clever and subtle, and definite level up on your standard childhood burger.

Another staple of my childhood, the humble fish finger was delivered in the form of a perfectly cooked fillet of salmon, topped with puffed rice, with pickled fennel and dense avocado puree. Not quite childhood evoking but then you can’t really beat a fish finger sandwich, can you? Regardless, despite my loathing of fennel (I almost swapped this dish out for the veggie option) the quality of the food on the plate, and that perfect salmon fillet, meant I was happy to clear my plate.

Who doesn’t love a Pot Noodle, right? Well if they were all like this one, I’d be eating them a lot more regularly. Tender chicken ribbons, chunky chestnut mushroom, and charred corn, all sitting in a wonderfully rich dark salty broth. Yet again, another dish I would easily have eaten more of, with the broth the star.

I don’t recall playing Duck, Duck, Goose, but I know of it which was more than a couple of my companions. The duck I’ve had at Six by Nico has been surprisingly hit or miss, but not this time. Some perfectly pink sous vide duck breast, served with a dark jus, a light and delicate parsley root puree, and alongside a duck leg cannelloni which was crammed full of tender meat and delicious flavour. If anything, this dish just made it harder to choose a favourite from this menu, cooked perfectly, each flavoured complimented the next, heaven!

And then it was time for dessert. I’ll admit, when I read Cereal Milk Espuma I was a little skeptical but I should’ve known better. A thick golden espuma/pannacotta that tasted exactly like the milk does at the end of a bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes, topped with sticky peanut clusters, a honey gelee, and a dollop of lightly roasted apple puree and chunks. OH MY DAYS. Now, I know I couldn’t (shouldn’t?) eat this type of thing for breakfast every day but if there was a way I’d definitely do it! Absolutely deliciously delightful.

What a cracker of a meal! Each item had a little something extra to sparkle the memory, and if some of these don’t make the ‘best of 2019 menu’ then we are in for one hell of a year of excellent food at Six by Nico. I think the Crispy Lasagne and Cereal Milk have to be strong contenders…

As I’ve said before, food of this quality, served by knowledgeable, efficient and friendly staff, at £28 for six courses – plus £5 for an apertif and £5 for snacks (between two) – and I think Six by Nico must be the best value for money in Glasgow. If you haven’t yet been, and are swithering because the menu is ‘set’, know that you can swap every dish for a veggie alternative, and they can omit items if you ask. Hey, it’s a new year, give it a shot!!

Food Reviews SixbyNico

Comments closed

Back to Six by Nico for their latest menu – MIDDLE EAST – and I’ll admit upfront that of all the world cuisines this area is my least favourite (it’s all those olives) but as ever I entered the restaurant with a quiet optimism that my opinion would be swayed.

  1. MEZE PLATTER – Falafel, Caper & Raisin puree / Ewes Curd Kibbeh, Coriander Emulsion / Duck Leg Dolma, Preserved lemon
  2. KEBAB – Lamb Belly, Red Cabbage Slaw, Ras El Hanout Yoghurt, Pickled Cucumber
  3. SPICED CAULIFLOWER – Rose Harissa, Barrel Aged Feta, Kamalata Olives, Toasted Almond
  4. SEA BASS – Baba Ganoush, Pomegranate, Freekah, Walnut
  5. GLAZED CHICKEN – Orange Blossom, Medajool Date, Sumac Carrot, Chicken Skin Dukkah
  6. BAKLAVA – Hazelnut & Chocolate Creamaux, Sour Cherries, Coffee & Cardamon Creme Fraiche

View this post on Instagram

Six by Nico: Middle East

A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on

Antibiotics put paid to any apertif so it was straight on to the snacks last night!

Listed as Pitta Bread, Hummus & Green Harissa, Halkdiki Olives, Lemon & Chilli it was exactly that. Given that every snack option so far has included ‘bread and olives’ of some variety it’s safe to say this was a little underwhelming. The pittas were freshly made, but the hummus wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but hey it’s just a little snack to get us rolling.

The first course arrived on a wooden platter, which didn’t strike me as very Middle Eastern but nevertheless offered us three small temptations taken firmly from that region. A deliciously light falafel on a caper and raisin puree (more please), a slice of rich kibbeh which needed the coriander emulsion to save it being too bland, and a duck leg dolma which was well prepared but only the preserved lemon gave it much of a flavour.

Not being a fan of fatty meats, the Kebab course was the least favourite going in. That said, the meat was tender and well seasoned, the pickled cucumber was an interesting addition that helped lift things, with the red cabbage slaw and yoghurt providing a nice crunchy tangy to counter the fatty meat. Better than I had anticipated.

I wasn’t sure what to expect for spiced cauliflower but I was delighted by the little bowl of veloute that was placed in front of me. Accompanied by a little side offering with a slice of picked cauliflower and two little deep fried florets, the veloute was utterly divine. Rich, creamy, lightly but obviously spiced, with tiny feta crumbs to pop some salt onto your palate, and a dash of rose harrissa oil to give a hint of warmth. I’d happily just have had a big bowl of that and some bread and go home happy!

One thing that Six by Nico has been consistently good at is serving fish and the Sea Bass was no exception. Perfectly cooked with a crunchy skin, and the light flaky sea bass was delicious. Not being a fan of Baba Ganoush I was glad for the little sweet pockets of flavour brought by the pomegranate, overall though this dish could’ve done with a bit more flavour.

The next dish didn’t really do much to lift the flavour profile of the menu either. A wonderfully moist chicken breast was helped by some dates, but the Surmac Carrot was tasty but without much punch. As ever, everything on the plate was cooked well but as a dish it felt a little lacking, perhaps the Orange Blossom could’ve been given a bit more of a tang as it hardly got a mention on my palate.

Ahhh Baklava, layers of pastry, drenched in syrup, with creamy pistachios and almonds and fruit and … well no. This version was three thick crisp layers, sandwiching dollops of hazelnut and chocolate creamaux, with sour cherries to the side and a dollop of a delicious Cardamon Creme Fraiche. It wasn’t overly sweet, which was good, with the cherries nicely balancing out the deep richness of the chocolate creamaux. That said, I’m hard pushed to see how it was anything remotely similar to Baklava but maybe that’s my own lack of knowledge of Middle Eastern cuisine at play? Regardless, it was a nice if confusing dish to end the meal on.

Overall, not a favourite. As ever each plate is well cooked, prepared and presented, but for me this was lacking in the things I associate with the Middle East, smokey spices, rich meats, and deep dark flavours.

Good food, friendly service and, I know I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, at £28 for six courses of wonderful food, plus £5 for an apertif and £5 for snacks (between two) Six by Nico continues to be ridiculously good value for such well prepared and considered food.

Food SixbyNico

Comments closed

Another menu, another visit to Six by Nico. This time round a menu inspired by the joyous food of my childhood in the 70s. I was tempted to don my flares and cycle there on my Chopper, but I was wary of being in some freak headline accident, ‘Man gets flares trapped in Chopper chain, falls under lorry’.

Still, it was good to revisit some of the beloved dishes of my childhood although I don’t recall ever having SPAM!

  1. SPAM & MASH – Potato Espuma, Smoked Ham Hough, Pickled Mustard Seed
  2. PRAWN COCKTAIL – Tiger Prawn, Baby Gem Ketchup, Tomato, Shellfish Marie Rose
  3. CHICKEN KIEV – Black Garlic Emulsion, Pea Pesto, Rainbow Radish
  4. SALMON TIKKA MASALA – Onion Bhaji, Caramelised Cauliflower, Lime Gel
  5. DUCK A L’ORANGE – Confit Duck, Aromatic Carrot, Orange Puree
  6. TRIFLE – Summer Berries, Saffron, Almond Sponge, Whipped Creme Fraiche

View this post on Instagram

Six by Nico: The 70s. What a meal! 👌

A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on

Apertifs got us kicked off, and the Harvey Wallbanger certainly hit the mark and then, as always, SNACKS! Beef & Horseradish Vol-Au-Vent got us kicked off with bang, succulent beef in a crisp vol-au-vent with a subtle horseradish paste was a great way to get the palate warmed up, same goes for the Vegetarian option featuring fresh beetroot.

As I say I don’t recall having Spam but if it tasted half as good as the wonderful balanced dish I had last night then my parents will have a lot of questions to answer. A rich and creamy espuma, moist and lightly salty ham, and that pickled mustard seed to give it a little kick, a few spoonfuls of utter delight! Bring back Spam I say!

What’s more 70s than Prawn Cocktail? Well this one had three types of prawn – tempura, garlic and grilled – with a rich shellfish sauce, with some fresh tomato, grilled baby gem leaves and was definitely not the tangy, cloying affair of my youth. All three prawns were perfectly cooked, although the tempura was a little thick (IMO) making it more a battered prawn but still, no bad thing!

Thankfully the next dish did not explode on us, instead this Chicken Kiev oozed out a rich, dark, tangy, garlic-ey emulsion as you cut through it. It’s the kind of sauce you occasionally get that makes you wonder if they’d sell you a bottle of the stuff as it was deliciously more-ish! Fresh pea pesto helped lift the entire plate and keep things light and this was the first dish to bring silence to our table. A delightful little plate of food.

Curry time, and whilst I think there was a missed opportunity to serve this a la TV dinner, what we did get was perfectly cooked salmon, a deconstructed onion bhaji, with spots of lime gel/curd, all sprinkled with caramelised cauliflower florets. The salmon was the star, although perhaps the tikka masala aspect got a bit lost as the smear of sauce didn’t really have the kick I expected. A good dish but not a great one.

There have been quite a few duck dishes at Six by Nico but this one just won top prize! Perfectly prepared confit duck that melted in the mouth, was well accompanied by lightly herbed carrot ribbons, and a zesty but not overpowering orange puree. It’s a 70s classic sure, but this update proves why it was so popular, when you get the balance of flavours right it’s an absolute star of a dish!

And now, for those who know me and my penchant for trifle (at Christmas, I’m not a monster) came the dish that was likely to make or break the entire meal. Served in a tumbler – ohhh how very 70s – this was layer after layer of dessert heaven. From the sugar coated sesame seeds, to the sharp boozy cherry base, each layer provided flavour after flavour. Personally I would’ve liked more of the middle ‘creme’ layers to balance out the boozy cherries, but it’s a minor quibble. I never lost faith in trifle, but now I feel its future is assured!! Thank you Nico!

Overall one of the better menus for sure, and I do feel that Six by Nico is best when they are being bold, delivering big flavours without overwhelming. They more subtle dishes are always good but too many in one menu can start to dilute the overall experience, thankfully The 70s was a very well thought out menu.

What a lovely evening in the company of good friends, great food, wonderful friendly service and, I know I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, at £28 for six courses of wonderful food, plus £5 for an apertif and £5 for snacks (between two) Six by Nico continues to be ridiculously good value for such well prepared and considered food.

Ohhh and maybe they can keep the awesome 70s playlist too!


Comments closed

Glasgow has quite a few good Mexican eateries (Topolabamba being a personal favourite) so I was intrigued to see how this wouldn’t just be a more refined version of the usual taco, burrito, and salsa we all know and love.

Looking at the menu set my mind at ease a little, although my dislike of bell peppers (not chilli) already had me doubting the third course, ELOTE.

  1. CHICKEN THIGH TACO – Guacamole, Strawberry Salsa, Whipped Creme Fraiche
  2. NACHOS – Heritage Tomato, Housemade Queso Fresco, Avocado Gazpacho
  3. ELOTE – Sweetcorn Risotto, Green Chorizo, Pickled Red Peppers
  4. SEA BASS CHILPACHOLE MIXTO – Mussel Escabeche, Crab Mole, Sikil Pak, Orange
  5. PORK CHEEK BARBACOA – Refried Beans, Tomatillo, Rainbow Chard, Crackling
  6. CHOCOLATE TACO – Tonka Bean Ganache, Banana Ice Cream, Chipotle & Banana Caramel

View this post on Instagram

🇲🇽 Mexico via @sixbynico

A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on

As I was driving I had a sip of the Apertif, a tequila and cointreau based pineapple margarita which certainly hit the mark, and then, as always, SNACKS!

There is a theme developing for the snacks, sourdough and flavoured butter (paprika for this menu) with some olives, then the ‘theme’ specific snack. The menu on the website suggests we were getting Masa Fries, with Jalapeno ketchup and Sweet Ancho Chilli Popcorn, what we got was nachos. Well, they LOOKED like Nachos and tasted like nachos, with rich and vibrant dabs of pureed avocado, that ketchup too. A nice way to kick start the palate.

I felt a bit odd eating the next course, it was a Wednesday evening you see which threw out my whole Taco Tuesdays thing… but they were tasty enough. I’m not sure I got much from the strawberry salsa, and the guacamole was a little on the thin side for my liking but overall a nice way to start the meal.

Of all the dishes the next one piqued my interest the least. Tomatoes are not high on my list of desirable eating and unfortunately this dish didn’t do much to change that. A fresh and cleansing dish for sure but it lacked any depth of flavour, or much in the way of balance. All of the flavours on the plate were gentle but didn’t seem to combine to be anything greater than their parts.

The third course was the one I was least looking forward to. I am not a fan of bell peppers and wasn’t convinced that pickling them would help. So being told on presentation that the dish also included smoked peppers and my heart sank. Ohhhh how wrong I was. Easily my favourite dish of the menu, the sweetcorn risotto was delicious, the pickled peppers (which I presume were picked by someone called Peter?) were a revelation only topped by the smoked peppers. Belter of a dish with some good hearty flavours that complimented each other without being overwhelming.

Sea Bass next, always a sign of a hearty dish as it takes flavours well and also a first try of escabeche for me. The mussels were tasty and the sea bass well cooked but the crab mole was a bit bland, thankfully the orange and pickled vegetables helped add some flavour.

The next dish was one I picked out as being likely to be a favourite, Pork cheek barbacoa. Alas whilst it was well cooked and well presented, it didn’t really hit the mark. It wasn’t bad per se just underwhelming on the whole and it was at about this point in the meal that I realised something that had been missing. Heat. Specifically, chillis. Not one dish had offered any subtle hint to what I take as being a quintessential part of Mexican cuisine, but perhaps that’s because I was basing my expectation on westernised Mexican cuisine? I’m not well informed enough to know but this dish seemed to highlight the absence of spice.

And then dessert. A friend of mine was dining that night, and we chatted as she left. She neatly captured the essence of this final dish for me “Nice but a bit too banana-ey”. She was right, the ganache was delicious, and some hunks of banana bread on highlighted just how ‘banana-ey’ the ice cream was but then, finally, we got a little heat from the chipotle and banana caramel.

As always, all of the food was well prepared and beautifully presented but on the whole this menu doesn’t rank high. It might be down to personal taste (isn’t it always?) but there just didn’t seem to be enough variation on each plate, too many pureed, reduced, and smoothed sauces, not to mention a distinct lack of big punchy flavours. Chilli or no, that’s what I expect from Mexican food and I think this menu suffers from those expectations. Does that mean the food was bad? No. It just wasn’t all that great.

That said, it was a pleasure to eat and I was delighted to have my expectation flipped on pickled peppers. And at £28 for six courses of wonderful food, plus £5 for an apertif and £5 for snacks (between two) Six by Nico continues to be ridiculously good value.

Hat tip to the staff as well, always friendly, and were very quick to remedy a delay between a couple of courses (we hadn’t even noticed) with the offer of a free drink.

And yes, we are already booked in for the next menu.

Food SixbyNico

Comments closed

This past Easter found me watching a movie I’ve loved since I was a child. It is a strange story of a strange man by the name of Willy Wonka. I have to wonder if Nico was watching too…

As ever I’d been perusing the menu ahead of our visit and wondered how some of the dishes would be prepared and presented – I’m not a fan of liquorice, popcorn, or olives – but as their website says, “remember – a little nonsense now and then is relished by even the wisest of men….” so regardless of my own personal tastes, I was still excited to try this latest menu.

  1. CHEESE BOARD – Gorgonzola Royale / Fizzy Grapes / Celery & Apple Gazpacho
  2. BEETROOT DIB DAB – Heritage Beetroot / Smoked Mackerel Gribiche / Beetroot Sherbet
  3. DUCK SWEETIE JAR – Liver Parfait / Blueberry Chutney / Hazelnut Sable
  4. COD BLACKJACK – Charred Cauliflower / Squid ‘Risotto’ / Liquorice
  5. CHOCOLATE RIVER – Chicken / Chorizo Popcorn / Candied Olive / Mole Poblano Sauce
  6. WONKA BAR – Peanut butter Cheesecake / Amarena Cherry / Chocolate Soil

The apertif, “Fizzy lifting juice”, set the tone. A delicious gin cocktail with popping candy round the rim, which laid out the sweet theme that ran through the entire meal.

But first, as always, SNACKS!

Arancini are a wonder, so unassuming but so deliciously more-ish it’s probably just as well they are small and there is only one on the plate. My white chocolate & white truffle arancini was delicious but all too quickly gone. We also had the sourdough, olives and vanilla butter. Yup, vanilla butter. Subtle and worked surprisingly well.

Next up the Cheese Board, obviously. Dabs of creamy piped gorgonzola, slices of tangy grape served on a crisp taro cracker, accompanied by a delicious thick celery and apple gazpacho. Wonderfully cheesy crackers with a nice sweet tang, and the gazpacho was essentially a celery based bloody mary in texture.

I’ll admit I had to look up what gribiche was and having done so I was still not quite sure what I would be getting. Fear not though, the lollipop that arrived on my plate was exactly that, a shaped portion of chunky mackerel gribiche lying on a bed pureed lentil dahl with a sprinkling of beetroot sherbet. Not a huge mackerel fan but I may now be converted as it was very tasty indeed and worked so so well with the thick unctuous dahl (a bowl of that in the winter months, ohhh my days!). The accompanying assortment of beetroot helped keep the dish light and the freshness played well against the heavy flavours of the smoked mackerel. So far so good!

The Duck Sweetie Jar is exactly that, a sweetie jar rammed full of flavour. A rich, thick dollop of duck parfait, with a sweet blueberry chutney and a few hidden delights in the shape of tiny bright blueberry meringues. Some thin slices of moist and succulent duck with a few pickled blueberries topped off the jar. Alongside that a small toasted circle of brioche, with a duck croquet. I’m not sure which I enjoyed more, but each component was delicious and all worked so well together. Duck and blueberry, more of this please (but not so much we end up like Violet and need juiced).

And then it was time for the one dish that made me baulk when I read the menu. I am not a fan of liquorice in any way shape or form and only hoped that it would be a component I could leave aside on the plate. We actually queried ‘how liquoricey’ the dish was, and were assured it wasn’t ‘that liquoricey at all’. And it wasn’t.

What it was was a very subtle hint that definitely didn’t overwhelm the perfectly cooked cod fillet which came with charred cauliflower rice on top. The risotto was wonderfully creamy and, as they did for Vietnamese menu, the squid rings were utterly perfectly cooked (Six by Nico street food idea, a bowl of those!). As well as the squid ink coloured sauce, there was a hint of sweetness brought by adding raisin puree as well and, on the whole, it was a well balanced dish, and definitely not too liquoricey at all. Squid rings aside, it was good but not great.

The next dish did not feature a boat nor Augustus Gloop being sucked up a tube, but did feature some of my less than favourite ingredients, popcorn and olive, but there were plenty of other components to deal with and the whole point of a tasting menu is try new things, right? Served on a bed of pearl barley and sweetcorn the chicken was moist and tender and whilst each component was well presented as a dish it just didn’t work all that well. I’m not sure if it was the mole poblano, or the candied olives, or even the popcorn, but it tasted a little like there were too many bitter flavours competing with one another. A rare miss for sure, but a miss none the less.

Dessert saved the day (doesn’t it always?). A deconstructed cheesecake, with light and not cloyingly dry piped peanut butter, rich tart and sweet cherry reduction, with dollops of white chocolate cream it was a perfect balance, although more like posh PB&J than a cheesecake but I am NOT complaining about that either.

As an extra treat you also get a Wonka Bar! I won’t spoil the surprise but as well as what lies inside there is also the chance to win a Golden Ticket… alas we didn’t win on our visit.

Overall another strong showing. The chicken dish wasn’t for me, and the cod was merely ok but as always the overall experience was good. Six by Nico set itself a high bar and consistently meets it. As always the staff were knowledgeable, relaxed, friendly, and make the entire experience a pleasure and one I always look forward to.

£28 for six courses of wonderful food, plus £5 for an apertif and £5 for snacks (between two) continues to be ridiculously good value. Even adding £25 for the paired tasting menu (which I don’t do often) keeps the entire meal well below £65 a head for fine dining, I honestly don’t think there is better value available anywhere in Glasgow. Once again it’s booking out fast so if you fancy it, get it booked!


Comments closed

It doesn’t seem that long since we last ventured to Six by Nico, largely because it isn’t. Due to the vagaries of multiple calendars, we ended up booking to go on day 2 of the newest menu which was taking us to Vietnam.

I’m a huge fan of eastern flavours, and have to admit I was pretty excited to try the Six by Nico take on some of my favourite Vietnamese street food style dishes, I mean check out this menu!

  1. SPRING ROLL – Rice Paper / Crayfish & Crab / Vietnamese Herbs
  2. PHO – Chicken ‘Noodles’ / Tiger prawn / Aromatic Broth
  3. CHÁO VIT – Rice Porridge / Duck / Peanut / Mooli
  4. SEA BREAM – Rice noodles / Mango / Squid
  5. CLAYPOT PORK BELLY – Pak Choi / Water Chestnut / Coconut Rice / Pineapple
  6. VIETNAMESE COFFEE – Condensed Milk / Coffee Cake / Pandang / Palm Sugar

But first, as always, SNACKS!

For this street food inspired menu, the snack definitely set the tone for the meal. A wonderful take on BAHN MI, a rich, deeply flavoured beef, served on toasted baguette, with some pickled chilli. Delicious if a little ‘bread’ heavy. Mind you, we had ordered some mango mimosa apertifs so they helped wash things down.

The snack was shortly followed by the first course, well when I say shortly followed, the spring rolls turned up whilst I was still taking a photograph of the Bahn Mi… a very subtle and well balanced dish, packed full of crayfish and crab, vibrant herbs and a few dollops of a mild lime jus, they were an excellent start to the main courses. Light, very tasty, but possibly could’ve taken a green chilli heat to give it a different dimension but that’s me being very picky.

I’ve had Pho at a few places, both in the UK and in Singapore and I think this take on it nails all the key parts perfectly. Starting with the rich broth which brought a heavy hit of chicken umami-ness (if that’s a word) which added to the depth of flavour for thin ‘noodle’ strips of chicken. A perfectly cooked tiger prawn sat atop the dish, with another hidden underneath alongside some earthy mushrooms to add both texture and further flavour. It may be small bit this Pho was mighty!

I’ve never had rice porridge before and I’m pretty sure what we had wasn’t how it would normally be presented; a slice of what was essentially a savoury rice pudding which was seared on one side. On top of that was satay duck, and somewhere in the mix a gentle heat which, I’m presuming, came from the mooli. The shredded duck was succulent, with a good heat, and was utterly delicious, I’m not sure about the presentation and it’ll be interesting to see how that aspect of the dish changes over the coming weeks (we were there on day 2 of this new menu).

More fishy goodness with the next course. A perfectly pan cooked fillet of sea bream on top of smoked vermicelli rice noodles, with a couple of squid rings as well. Each element was perfectly executed, I could’ve eaten a large plate of the squid alone as it was perfectly cooked, and the lightly spiced and smoked noodles helped bring a freshness to the entire plate.

Looking at the menu, the penultimate plate was the one that had me a little trouble. I’ve had good and bad pork belly in the past and, as I am not a fan of eating fat, I had my concerns. To say there were unfounded is to sell short and absolute belter of a dish that packed some huge flavours, and the pork belly, ohhhhh that pork belly, was an utterly, salivatingly, salty and succulent delight. Coconut rice, charred pineapple, and a lightly chilli’d pineapple jus brought the entire plate together in an explosion of taste and, well I could’ve six courses of just that!

And then dessert arrived. I am on the record as NOT A FAN of cold coffee flavours. They just don’t sit on my palate all that well, so you can keep your tirimasu thanks. Not so this decadent offering, with a condensed milk panacotta (oh my heavens!) topped with a slice of light coffee cake and slivers of palm sugar, and presented with a subtle coffee aroma’d espuma. I don’t mind telling you I was virtually licking the bowl clean.

Looking back, it’s hard to find fault with any of the dishes offered. Each one was clean and light on the palate, even when packing a punch. It was a real embodiment of Vietnamese cooking served up with no short measure of panache, skill and flair.

In the grand ranking of Six by Nico menus whilst this doesn’t quite push The Chippie off my top spot (a menu which packed heartier flavours in and was without real flaw), it’s certainly up there in a close second place.

Price wise, in a shock move, they’ve put the price up a massive £3! Yup, six courses of delicious food will set you back £28, plus £5 for the starter and £5 for an apertif. Wine matching remains £25, an option I thought it best to avoid when starting dinner at 9pm on a school night.

Regardless, £28 for food this good is still a ridiculous bargain. There is a very good reason we’ve not missed a menu yet, and if you haven’t managed along I cannot recommend this eating experience enough.

A small sidenote: one of my friends is a very fussy eater. He too has not missed a menu and has tried all manner of things that he has avoided before. The beauty of Six by Nico is precisely that you aren’t really entirely sure how the ingredients listed against every item in the menu will be cooked and presented and, so far, it’s been a wonderous delight every time.

Food SixbyNico