Last night I had the best dinner and I’m gonna tell you about it. I’ve been meaning to try out Six By Nico for ages – it is a restaurant that does a 6-course tasting menu along a theme that changes every 6 weeks. The concept of it all kind of remind me of like Heston Blumenthal programs when he would make nostalgic things out of fancy cheffy ingredients, for example they make a chippie feel like a boujie dinner. It’s just a little restaurant and obviously super cool so it is always busy, my advice is to book in advance to avoid disappointment. My parents came to visit at the weekend in honour of my 21st birthday so I thought now was the time to go for a jazzy dinner. For this trip, the theme was the Best of 2018, so I guess I circumvented all the themes that I missed last year and got to have the best of them all.
I also went back again to try their Paris menu in celebration of finishing my dissertation and their Thai Street Food to celebrate graduating which you can read about below!
The 6 courses are on a set menu and you can also choose to add wine pairings to the courses (which Dad and I obvs did). They have a vegetarian menu too and if you want you can mix between the regular and veggie – like the picky shit I am. However no regrets, very glad with the substitutions I made. So here goes…
This first course was from The Chippie Edinburgh menu which is a Parmesan Espuma (foamy/creamy cheese) with Crisp Potato and Curry Oil. I chose the vegetarian option which switches out the parmesan for a Goats Cheese Espuma because I love me some Goats Cheese. Both are delicious but I loved mine more!
Next was Buffalo Chicken from the New York menu – deliciously tender Confit Chicken with Brocolli, Gorgonzola Royale, Pickled Celery and Buffalo Sauce. This was paired with the Recchia, Bianco di Custoza white wine. I cannot stress enough how luscious this course was – it had a bit of everything. The meaty chicken that just breaks away, the slight spice from the buffalo sauce, the creaminess from the cheese purée and the freshness from the vegetables. Banging.
We move on to the Sicily menu for some pasta – the main menu option is Pappardelle Ragu which is a lovely tomato-ey pasta dish with Ox Cheek ragu, saffron and parmesan. I went veggie on this one which came with a creamier sauce and a hazlenut ragu. The wine pairing here was Feudo Maccari, Nere Nero d’Avola, a medium red wine that worked really well with the meat and tomato of the main dish, but was a bit jarring with the creaminess of my dish. I think the wine matchings run into some issues when you substitute out, but that’s probably because the alternatives are from completely different menus in the Best Of, I assume normally the veggie option would be similar in taste to the main and so the wine would work.
The main menu then returns to The Chippie for a Cod Fish Supper which includes Shetland Cod, Beer Emulsion, Picked Mussels, Confit Fennel and Samphire. This was paired with a lovely sweet, sparkling Fruitiere Vinicole d’Arbois, Cremant du Jura NV Brut which contrasted with the saltiness of the seafood. I had a taste of this one and the fish and all the bits were lovely although I tried again and I still personally hate mussels. Seafood just isn’t necessarily my bag so instead I went vegetarian…
This is the Elote, which meant I got to have a go of the Mexico menu. It is a Sweetcorn Risotto with Feta and Pickled Red Pepper and it was bloody delicious. There is such a lovely mix of sweet, creamy and spiciness, each bite gives you a bit of a different flavour. The textures change so much too between the soft feta and the crunch of the wee fried corn kernels. I loved it a lot.
At this point I’m starting to feel quite full but we push on happily because everything tastes so good. The next course was the Duck, Duck, Goose from the Childhood 2.0 menu which features Roasted Duck Breast, a Duck Leg Cannelloni, Parsley and Root Veg Purée and Cripsy Queen Kale. This was so rich and lovely, each of the elements tasted so good alone and together and I particularly loved the cannelloni! This course was paired with a very full red, Cantina Goccia, Nodo, which softens right down when paired with the meat.
Finally we go back to New York for dessert, isn’t it gorgeous? Within this beautiful little apple is New York Cheesecake with a Tonka Bean Granola and Lemon Curd which was paired with the Thistly Cross Strawberry Cider. I was grateful for the tart apple and lemon as this was quite a sweet time. Cheesecake isn’t really a fave of mine but this was lovely.
And to top it all off the restaurant treated me to some birthday fizz! Even though I’m not sure how they knew it was my 21st (my parents swear they didn’t say). I loved this restaurant, it is so fun to have your meal be such an experience and everything tasted so good. I am glad to have tasted a variety of delicious dishes but I would love to come back and go through the journey of one of their themes. The nice thing about the restaurant is it is a bit fancy but it’s not so swanky that you feel uncomfortable in the environment as a normal human. It is such good value for money too, I would happily pay that again for the experience, food and wine! Can’t wait to go back again when I see what themes come next!
Sooner than expected I headed back for more! I couldn’t help myself because the next menu they announced was Paris themed, and you know I love me some Paris. I actually first attempted to enjoy this with the lovely Hannah who I went to Paris with a couple years ago but there was some city centre issues with running water unfortunately. Rebooking was a breeze though and I decided to use it as the perfect dissertation hand in celebration with my gal Amy. Six by Nico were absolutely dreamy and hooked us up with some perks to make up for the rebooking prob – which was lovely and totally unnecessary! This time around I didn’t do any substitutions and just stuck with the main menu and boy was it delicious. And of course I got the wine pairings cause it was a celebration after all!
The first course was their take on the classic French Onion soup which had gorgeous braised onions that were so sweet and delicious topped with a comté cheese espuma (foam) and some wee croutons for crunch. It’s just wee and doesn’t look like much from the picture but it is so frickin good.
The next course was an adaptation of Coq au Vin which was made up of a chicken terrine, crispy bacon and a tasty soubise sauce. This was so tasty and all of the elements all complimented one another so well, it was a great course. They paired this with a Chateau Fontareche Cuvée Tradition Rose, a nice rosé wine to cut through all the flavours just tied it all together.
Next was their Petit Pois a la Francais which was a slow cooked egg, garden peas, and ham. This was so beautifully cooked I don’t even know how to convey just how perfect this dish was. It’s a great balance of rich and fresh flavours and both creamy and salty at the same time. I’m not usually the biggest egg fan but this was dreamy. With this course I was paired a savignon blanc (Boutinot Languedoc, Vermentino).
At the half way point we took a wee break before moving on. The 4th course was a deconstructed bouillabaisse, a spin on the classic fish stew. I am also not the biggest fish fan but again Nico can do no wrong and I loved this too. It was a bit of Sole with some confit fennel, roasted pepper and their delicious flavoursome rouille sauce. This course was the only time in the menu where the wine pairing didn’t actually come from France (gasp) but it was a lovely smooth Chenin Blanc from South Africa (Waterkloof), acidic enough to cut through the oil in the fish.
Drawing to the end of the savoury journey, they take on another French classic with their Beef Bourguignon made up of ox cheek, a mushroom duxelle (paste), fried shallots and bacon and a red wine jus. This was so yummy and paired with a nice robust red wine (Domaine Boutinot Rhone, Cotes du Rhone Villages) which was just beautiful.
The final and favourite course was a beautiful creme brulée that was just perfect. Paired with a lovely Domaine Pouderoux Muscat de Rivesaltes sparkling wine which was so lovely. Alongside the beautiful vanilla custard and caramelised sugar we also had touches of raspberry, rose and lychee as well as the pink peppercorn meringue. It was nice to have the tart fruit to counteract all the sweetness on the plate and it honestly all went so well together.
My favourite type of food is Thai, so when they announced their Thai Street Food menu, I knew I had to get my booty down there again – and I recently graduated so I was ready to treat myself again. Once again I chose to do the wine pairings and once again I swapped out a couple of courses for the vegeterian options to match my tastes, because why not?
So we kicked it off with the aperitif which was a Watermelon Green Tea cooler sort of thing with some gin – it was very fresh and lovely. I went veggie on the first course which was delicious Steamed Dumplings with Crispy Aubergine, Raw Salad & Nam Jim. The chilli sauce paired with the avocado purée provided a great contrast with all the other bits, totes flavour harmony (as if I know what I’m talking about).
The second course was some beautifully tender Pork Cheek in a Hot & Sour Tom Yum soup with some Barbecue Spring Onion, Lemongrass and Galangal. This was so good, spicy and flavoursome. It was also paired with a light and acidic Riesling to cut through all those flavours, 10/10.
Up next we had a Pumpkin Spring Roll with Thai Green Sauce, Charred Sweetcorn and Pickled Shimiji Mushroom paired with a fuller white wine, again super lovely.
The 4th course was the other one I decided to go veggie on because I’m not a huge fish fan, so the vegetarian option was Spiced Aubergine with Tempura Brocolli, Vermicelli Noodles, a Coconut Sauce, and a Thai Basil purée. This course was absolutely lush and really made me think about cooking with aubergine more often. The wine pairing was the La Flor Sauvingnon Blanc whihc was full and fruity and absolutely wonderful, definitely my favourite white of the evening.
The 5th course was Nico’s take on Penang Chicken with Sweet Potato mash, a Papaya & Peanut Salad, and some Coriander Emulsion paired with a gorgeous Zinfandel red that I would drink again and again.
Then finally, the dessert course was a Sticky Rice Parfait with Alphonso Mango, a Sesame Cookie, and some Lychee and Lime sauce. This was super creamy and enjoyable, although maybe not my ideal dessert type so this was probably my least favourite course although it was still amazing. It was paired with a lovely Moscato d’asti from Italy.
Each time I go is better than the time before, Nico accumlatively gets more delicious and still so worth the money. As we were saying it’s amazing how they can take simple ingredients and make them taste SO good. How can you go back to normal food after that? I can’t wait to see (and taste) what they do next.
Six by Nico | 97 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DJ | www.sixbynico.co.uk/edinburgh/