Six by Nico: where chic meets rich and hearty
Welcoming the new kaleidoscopic restaurant to Aberdeen
by Rory Buccheri (@rebelfoodrory)
Six by Nico is set to open in Aberdeen on Thursday 28th of April, serving 'The Chipper' menu for the next 6 weeks.
The Gaudie has attended an exclusive night at the new venue in Union Street to see what all the hype is about.
Six by Nico has already become an establishments in other British cities. After first opening in Glasgow, it took over Liverpool, Edinburgh, London and Manchester.
Their arrival in the city is a celebratory feast, standing for the successes of the Aberdeen food scene and validating the leading role Aberdeen can play in hospitality.
More than that, the commitment behind this high-end establishment is to remain accessible - something that reflects on the type of experience offered and the price of the experience itself.
I can tell you now, Six by Nico truly lives up to expectations. The six-course menu with paired wines is dazzling, and showcases the creativity of chef Nico Simeone.
'The Chipper' menu elevates traditional dishes of the British cuisine such as steak pie, chips and cheese, or fish supper, by reinventing them in a creative, cheeky yet chic way.
One can pick the meaty or the vegetarian menu, and is free to swap courses from either to enrich their experience.
The menu I tried yesterday had a bit of both: smoked cod croquettes, chips and cheese (V), scampi, steak pie, fish supper, smoked sausage, and deep fried Mars bar (V).
My absolute favourite was the fish supper (n.4). Simple yet luscious, the combination of the pan-seared cod united to the confit fennel and samphire was fresh and delicious, without ever overpowering the delicate flavour of the fish.
On the other hand, I gathered the steak pie (n.3) was a general favourite among the foodies around me. Don't get me wrong, it was a daring combination of tender beef shin and flavourful mushroom, but the sauces around it (the burnt onion ketchup and 'meaty salsa') distracted me from the main flavours, a tad to the disadvantage of the entire course.
pictured from left to right: fish supper; steak pie; crisp potato from the chips and cheese.
Aligned more to the more delicate flavours I am fond of, the scampi course (n.2) was truly delicious, and came with my favourite side.
When you dress (your food) to impress, the surrounding flavours and colours become imperative. All courses shared that unique attention to detail, from the runny sauces to the firm peas that came with the scampi.
Every single bite held a promise in terms of texture, colour and flavour.
Again, the show is as import as everything else, which is why I was mesmerised when the smoked sausage course (n.5) came concealed by a glass cover that, once lifted, let out a puff of smoke.
It was terrific to watch, and the course itself was delicious; a mix of pork, black pudding, salt baked celeriac, all served on a bed of delicious, soft apple sauce.
pictured from left to right: scampi; smoked sausage; sea side spritz aperitivo.
The selection of wines that came with each course was incredible. As a non-drinker, I was able to appreciate the variety of each wine selected as my partner sampled them, plus the knowledge the waiting staff dispensed joyfully during the meal.
The staff were nothing short of fantastic. They slowed down when we expressed we needed a bit more time, they answered all our questions, and overall kept a smile on despite having to run up and down the venue. Efficient, warm, professional.
One final note goes to the most delicious deep fried Mars bar I've ever had. Yes, you've read that right: this unique Scottish street food staple has made it to the four walls of a high-end establishment. And I love it.
I love everything about the idea, and the execution was perfect: the deep-fried Mars bar was delicious, the batter light enough to enjoy the chewy texture, and then the star of this course: the Irn Bru sorbet.
'It should go commercial' I believe I said after the first bite, waiting to take the second because, let's be honest, I could have eaten a tub of that.
pictured: the deep fried Mars bar and Irn Bru sorbet.
Our experience yesterday was truly terrific. Even after a quite intense 8-hours journey back to Aberdeen, I felt the warmth of the city seeping between the tables at Six by Nico. I felt home.
I feel we must be pretty special if we are welcoming this talented chef in our midst, and can sit down and enjoy this dazzling tasting experience here in the heart of the Granite City.
The Chipper menu will stay on for 6 weeks. You can enjoy the six-course tasting menu for £37 pounds, with an additional £30 for the matching wines.
Follow Rory (@rebelfoodrory on Instagram) for more exclusive content, and gaudieiv to keep posted on all things culture, food and drink in Aberdeen.