SquareMeal Review of Six By Nico London
You might expect a tasting menu only restaurant slap bang in the middle of Fitzrovia to be out of most Londoner’s price range, but Six by Nico is no ordinary restaurant. This is the sixth site for this quirky mini-chain, headed up by chef Nico Simeone, which serves a six-course tasting menu, albeit one which is themed around a certain location or topic and changes every six weeks.
The restaurant is also unique because of its accessible price point; guests can tuck into six-courses for £35, with the option to add matching wines for an additional £33. Considering some tasting menus in the capital are priced north of £100, Six by Nico represents pretty exceptional value.
We anticipated the restaurant being clinical and modern in its aesthetic, so we were surprised to discover the dining room is a rather cosy affair, almost resembling a hunting lodge with wood panelled walls, studded leather banquettes and a long pass that overlooks a buzzy open kitchen of chefs at work.
On our visit, the theme of the menu was New York, which demonstrated the playful imagination of a competent kitchen. The best thing we ate was an ode to Little Italy: a heap of autumnal flavours punctuated by soft parcels of agnolotti and sweet and nutty notes courtesy of the use of Crown Prince pumpkin. We also enjoyed Six by Nico’s take on the New York classic of a Flat Iron steak (an intensely meaty cylinder of smoked brisket rolled in breadcrumbs, two thick slices of blushing steak and a buttery bone marrow sauce), even if the dish’s arrival under a glass dome which released wood smoke when lifted was a little eye-rolling.
For pudding, a glossy big red apple (geddit?) which looks like the kind Snow White bit into falls on the right side of kitsch - breaking into it reveals an apple curd centre, while a bed of white chocolate chunks and oat and pecan granola adds some welcome crunch.
Six by Nico won’t offer anything particularly new to seasoned diners of tasting menus, but the dining room is buzzy, the staff are sweet, the cocktails are good and the concept is fun - we weren’t surprised to see the place full.
About Six By Nico London
Nico Simeone’s restaurant concept Six by Nico, which first opened in Glasgow in 2017, will arrive in London in the spring of 2020. Offering its constantly changing themed signature tasting menu, the restaurant will be based on Charlotte Street in London’s buzzing Fitzrovia.
If the five existing Six by Nico restaurants are anything to go by, you can expect a relaxed ambience and sleek but simple interiors in the restaurant. Six by Nico prides itself on the fact that it serves an affordable tasting menu, with the menu here expected to cost no more than £35 – a rarity in Central London. On top of that, you can expect a matched wine pairing for around the £30 mark.
When it comes to the food, Six by Nico’s themed tasting menus change every six weeks at each restaurant. However, regardless of which tasting menu you get to try, expect beautifully presented, wittily named, playful dishes with some top notch cookery on show.
Themes in the past have included Mad Hatter’s Tea Party which featured dishes such as ‘Cheshire Copy Cat’ (chicken liver parfait, orange jelly, and toasted sourdough) and ‘Off With His Head’ (pork fillet, head croquette, black pudding, roasted carrot and spiced prune). Another theme which has been featured in the past is Cooking by Childhood, which included dishes named ‘Fish Finger’ (salmon fish finger, pickled cucumber, horseradish and watercress) and ‘Pot Noodle’ (chicken noodle, toasted corn, chestnut mushroom, and chicken broth). The variation in theme means that you can expect a huge range of different cuisines on show at Six by Nico, all refined into delicate, highly Instagrammable plates of food.
On top of the paired wine option, you can also expect a short but decent list of wines by both the glass and by the bottle.