Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock recently, you’ll have seen that Belfast has a brand spanking new restaurant in the heart of Cathedral Quarter, Six By Nico.
The restaurant is the brainchild of talented Scottish-Italian chef, Nico Simeone and is the third restaurant to open its doors in the already hugely successful chain (there’s also one in Glasgow and another in Edinburgh).
The concept is simple yet genius. Every 6 weeks, Six By Nico serves a brand new, 6 course tasting menu, each themed differently. From Tuesday 5th March to Sunday 14th April, the tasting menu in Belfast is “The Chippie”.
We were very fortunate to be invited down last week to try the menu for ourselves by the wonderful PR team and were hosted by the gorgeous Cathy Martin and I couldn’t have been quicker to accept the very generous invitation.
On arrival, I was struck by the restaurant’s decor. Slick and modern yet simple. The aroma of the food was tantalising. We were seated quickly and served some “snacks” to get us started – “Fish Fingers” which were (excuse my not so eloquent description), little fried salt cod balls with brown sauce and some bread. My description doesn’t do it justice, but they were delicious.
Soon after, the first course was upon us, “Chips and Cheese” which is crispy potato served with curry oil and Parmesan espuma (a mousse if you are like me who had no idea what an espuma is). This was so different to what I expected but was absolutely exquisite. Pretty salty but very morish at the same time.
Next up was the “Scampi” course. Coated monkfish cheeks served on a pea emulsion with wild garlic and gribiche sauce. This was my favourite course as the monkfish was delectably meaty and the pea emulsion was really refreshing and balanced the fish perfectly.
The third course was “Steak Pie”, chunks of beef shin served with a burnt onion ketchup, mushroom duxelle and topped with glazed puff pastry. The beef just fell apart with the lightest touch of the fork and the explosion of flavours together was to die for.
Next up we had the “Fish Supper” course which was a generous helping of cod served on a bed of samphire and confit fennel with beer pickled mussels. The fish was (expectedly) cooked to perfection.
The penultimate course was an Instagram dream. The “Smoked Sausage” course was served within a smoking glass bell jar. As the staff took away the lid, the smoked aroma was intense. The sausage was made from pork belly and served upon a bed of salt baked celeriac with caramelised Apple and black pudding. Again this was mouth-wateringly good and by the end of this course I was really starting to feel full.
That didn’t mean I would skip dessert. In fact, I had already declared very early on that the dessert was the biggest draw for me! “Deep Fried Mars Bar” was absolutely outstanding and didn’t disappoint. Caramelia chocolate and cocoa nibs with a chewy toffee ball and served with balls of delicious orange sorbet. Even though I was absolutely stuffed, if I had been given the option I would have had another!
By the end of the six courses, I was in a state of food nirvana. I was so full that I couldn’t even pop out for some shopping, it was straight home and into pjs!
You can experience the tasting menu at Six By Nico for just £28 which is super affordable given the quality of the ingredients and food. You are essentially getting Michelin quality courses after all. For an extra £25 you can add the wine pairing to your experience which I’m definitely going to try when I return!
In all, I was super impressed. The food was delectable and the service was great. I’m already looking forward to seeing what the next tasting menu is after “The Chippie” ends on 14th April.
A huge thank you to Cathy Martin for organising and the fantastic Phil MacHugh from Skappa PR for having us. Not to mention the highly talented Nico himself for so generously hosting us.
Have you tried Six By Nico yet? Tell me in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!