Six By Nico burst onto the restaurant scene in 2017, starting with a single spot in Glasgow and now boasting 10 locations across the UK and Ireland.
It’s now as ubiquitous as chains like Dishoom and Wahaca in our major cities, with tables booked up weeks in advance for owner Nico Simeone’s time-limited creations.
The concept is this: every six weeks comes a new six-course tasting menu. Vegetarian and vegan alternatives are available, but the overarching theme is the same for every diner.
Six By Nico was described by food critic Grace Dent as ‘fine dining at Pizza Express prices,’ and affordability is certainly a factor here. For £37 to £40 (depending on the location) you’ll get a curated feast, with a selection of matching wines at around the £30 mark.
Previous menus have included Childhood, The Chippie, and Paris, taking staples like battered sausage or eggy soldiers and reimagining them – and I’m a big fan of food that doesn’t take itself too seriously or break the bank.
Think popping candy and dry ice, with staff who know the dishes inside out explaining the abstract menu listings at the table. You may read ‘lasagne’, but what’s placed in front of you will be anything but bog standard – expect foams, emulsions, gels and all manner of foodie preparations.
But if you want to know exactly what to expect from the Neverland menu – which runs until February 26 – we’ve got you covered.
After trying every course, I’ve ranked each one in order of what I liked most (and least).
#1: The Lost Boys
This is Neverland’s second course, featuring a ham hough and cheese ‘toastie’, celeriac remoulade, black garlic emulsion and golden raisin.
Honestly, I could take or leave the additions – the toastie was what made this a winner. The outer layer was crispy and just the right amount of greasy, with a rich, bechamel-style filling.
The sweetness of the raisin and tanginess of the remoulade offset any heaviness, and the black garlic emulsion provided a satisfying savoury element.
#2: Use Your Imagination
On the menu, this is labelled as Pepperoni Pizza, but the reality is creamier, cheesier, and not like the pizza you’re used to.
This was genuinely delicious and tasted like if lasagne and pizza had a baby, with a creamy sauce sitting on top of crispy croutons in a spicy tomato sauce.
It’s the first course in the Neverland menu, but lost out on first place in my eyes due to a slight lack of texture.
#3: Baked Mammee Apple Custard
In third was dessert, which comprised a baked salted caramel delice, caramel mousseline, buttermilk ice cream, and maple.
I don’t normally finish my dessert, but made light work of this despite having had five courses already. The buttermilk ice cream calmed down the sweetness of the caramel, which was definitely necessary.
I would’ve liked the maple leaf biscuit to have been bigger though, or for some crunch to be included in other ways.
#4: Food Fight
Food Fight was the fifth course of six, featuring a confit chicken ballotine, piperade, red pepper romesco, saffron emulsion and tarragon salsa verde.
The dish was enjoyable and the gnocchi clearly fresh, but it felt like something was missing. There was a lot of sweetness, and I would’ve appreciated more ‘umami’ flavours.
Everything was also quite soft, without much variety in texture, making it quite a forgettable eat.
Black pollock, bang bang sauce, charred cucumber, satay emulsion, and pak choi make up Six By Nico’s interpretation of Bangarang!
This may be a matter of personal taste (I don’t particularly enjoy cucumber) but I wasn’t a fan.
Although the fish was cooked well, you could barely taste it against the mix of flavours surrounding, and there was a lot of pak choi to get through.
My partner did say, however, that this one was his favourite.
#6: Captain Codfish
Captain Codfish, the third course of six, came in last for me.
Comprising shellfish risotto and smoked cod botarga, on paper I thought it’d be my favourite as a seafood lover.
However, this dish really lost points due to texture, as the fish seemed almost nonexistent amid the creaminess. I could taste it but never got a proper bite, and it felt more like a soup than anything else.
There was a citrus gel dotted along the side, which presumably was added for contrast against the rich risotto but threw everything off in my mouth.
A bit of crunch – whether from a carb or veg – would be very welcome.
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