Review: Six by Nico, Fitzrovia
Review: Six by Nico, Fitzrovia
Lavish, creative and fab.
As far as six-course dinner goes, it would be mighty hard to find a better value for money than Six by Nico. With nine locations across the country – including two in London: Fitzrovia where I dined, and Canary Wharf – it offers a truly unique dining experience, with every single part equally fabulous and supremely instagrammable.
I was sipping on a cocktail whilst waiting for my friend. I wouldn’t call Six by Nico exactly cosy, although it undoubtedly has an aesthetically pleasing modern ambience. Checkered floor, low hanging lamps over the open cooking space, naked bulbs hanging above leather sofas… You get the vibe. It is full of life and the décor being a bit industrial(ish)-European-bland weirdly fits the concept really well: with a themed menu changing every six weeks, it is the food that is at the heart of the experience.
In October and November, the theme is “Down the Rabbit Hole.” Alice in Wonderland is a fountain of inspiration for any industry from film to wedding planning to, in this case, cooking. It is also one of those themes rich enough to produce something for every demographic, regardless of age or gender. And this is what Six by Nico did so well – the variety and creativity behind every dish is just extremely impressive. First, we were brought snacks – ox and comte nuggets with confit garlic and onion accompanied by absolutely delicious sourdough bread and yeasted butter. I don’t think I’ve ever had yeasted butter before but I found it utterly delicious, weird as it seemed at first.
When we devoured the rich, succulent nuggets, accompanied by a mouthwatering aperitif of gin and white chocolate liqueur with raspberry which was poured by the waitress into the drinks by the table (very visually appealing colour play), the time came to start the dinner proper. We opted for matching wines – warning, it’s quite a lot of wine for a workday evening, and another warning – you may want more. Course number one was Mad Hatters Tea Party—a mushroom tea with smoked bacon jam and truffle parmesan royale and cheddar scone. The mysterious “mushroom tea” is a very strong broth which pairs nicely with the crusty yet moist scone. The second course was The White Rabbit: rabbit and date ballotine, beef fat-roasted carrot, tarragon pesto, rabbit bolognese and carrot ketchup (which sounds a little odd but trust me—it’s amazing). In other words, lots and lots of carrots that do not resemble carrots at all. The third course was Paint the Roses Red: celeriac rose (a root vegetable), baby beets (another root vegetable!), garden radish (yep), kalamata olive soil and red apple caramel. The texture was rather surprising and celeriac definitely dominated the dish – but the plate presented itself like a dream. Next came Eat Me, Drink Me! – deep plate with a bit of dashi broth, topped with roast cod, white turnip puree and pickled Tokyo turnip. So good – especially the perfectly prepared cod. We finished off the savoury part with course number five – one of the best meats in existence: pork belly in a dish named affectionately Off With Its Head. There’s an actual head (don’t worry, nothing graphic – a pig head croquette) and pork belly comes accompanied by some fab choucroute, apple gel and cauliflower. Crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside, out-and-out moreish. And finally, the time has come for the cerise sur le gateau – the dessert. I think it’s more than enough to list what it consisted of to give you an idea: chocolate and cep cremeux and praline ice cream with candied hazelnut, chocolate soil, smoked Maldon and cask sherry. Just as delicious as it sounds.
Six by Nico pretty much embodies the goals of modernist cuisine: to build a menu that not only tastes good but also engages on an emotional and intellectual level. And it absolutely succeeded. Can’t wait to see what their next adventure is.
Oh, and the menu was edible too.