A few months ago, I set myself a challenge to complete all 6 seasons of the award-winning Netflix docuseries “Chef’s Table”. So, it’s no coincidence to me that I was completely drawn to the “6 course tasting menu for only £35” concept at Six by Nico. I hadn’t heard of them before they launched their latest location in London, stumbling across a random review on Twitter which lead me down a social media rabbit hole on their website and Instagram. I had to try it.
Tasting menus were not really something I had much interest in prior to my Chef’s Table binge, but having watched the series I developed a great appreciation for the level of detail, creativity and emphasis on story telling that they highlight. At Six by Nico each tasting menu is themed and only available for 6 weeks. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I booked to experience the Childhood menu which was curated around Nico Simeone’s fondest childhood memories, celebrating all of his favourite experiences particularly trips to his grandparents’ home. Let me tell you something right now, I felt like I was on an episode of Chef’s Table. Everything I had watched, discovered, thought and felt during the show was reinforced in my experience on the night. I loved it!
Their London location is set in Fitzrovia, and has a chilled but sophisticated ambience with low hanging lighting, a beautiful open kitchen (which you know I love!), quirky artwork and ornaments carefully place on the dark wood shelves. The vibes are very casual, but with the attention to detail, particularly in the service, that you would expect from a finer dining restaurant. They’re taking COVID seriously and even provide a beautifully scented hand sanitiser on each table.
The waiting staff were attentive, friendly and knowledgeable about all the dishes being served. The restaurant is very accommodating where they can be and were happy to make substitutions and changes to account for any dietary restrictions or preferences.
Each menu is available for 6 weeks only, but my reviews are forever so we won’t focus too much on each individual dish, more so on the overall experience. For me, the theme was executed perfectly, each course complementing the other and although it was not reflective of my Jamaican influenced childhood, I got exactly what Nico was trying to convey. To be honest the dessert reminded me of a trifle which Jamaican people actually love!
The dishes was perfectly balanced; there was so much harmony between all the different elements that when I tasted them separately, I questioned if the dish was nice or not. When I put them all together, I realised that these components were intentionally cooked to be eaten as a whole. To eat it any other way would do a complete injustice to the chefs’ hard work.
The stand out dishes from the menu were the Mac & Cheese, Duck Duck Goose, & Eggy Soldiers. Texture, depth, flavour, synergy, harmony, balance. The dishes were cooked and presented perfectly; I couldn’t fault them. The roast chicken butter that was served with the sourdough bread was a new but enjoyable experience for me – I thought garlic butter was adventurous but apparently not! The aperitif was entitled “Who loves orange soda?” and that made me chuckle as of course, who else but Kenan & Kel would spring to mind, watching Trouble TV and Nickelodeon on cable. Oh memories. I even ordered it twice.
By the time I got to dessert I wasn’t sure how they could make it any better, but they did by enhancing the sensory elements with a rose essence that floated softly over our desserts like a light cloud. It was cute and I appreciated it.
There was little that I didn’t like about the night, out of the 6-course tasting menu, a snack and an aperitif there was only one dish I didn’t enjoy. The crispy lasagne with ox cheek ragu wasn’t necessarily bad, it just wasn’t to my taste. I’m not a fan of shredded meat in sauces and unfortunately the dish was not served as pictured on their website.
I can’t wait for the next menu to be released. I absolutely love the concept and although you will definitely spend more than £35 when you factor in the additional cost of the aperitif, drinks & snacks it was still very good value for money and I would do it again. Although the food was great it was the overall experience that I loved and how all those hours of watching Chef’s Table really came full circle for me as I ploughed through a total of 7.5 courses and 2 aperitifs. One amazing mouthful is created by multiple tiny explosions from various components. It’s like a tiny microcosm on your tongue. The whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.