I am sure you, like me, get slightly panicky about a set menu. How can a kitchen turn out identical meals, but then tweak them for gluten free? All restaurants can take their learning from Six by Nico – I enjoyed a superb, gluten free meal with them – a restaurant that is the master of a set meal.
Based on themed meals, Six by Nico creates a set menu around each theme, which runs for six weeks. With the only option being to take the vegetarian choices, the kitchen produces the same, excellent meal for each diner.
Visiting for a gluten eater’s birthday, I was excited, but nervous, of what the meal would bring. However, with tweaks, switching across the two menus and complete panache, the restaurant delighted me again and again. With several kitchens producing different elements of the meal, I was stunned that the prep chef had created homemade GF pasta, which held together and was just fantastic. What a team!
So, for the courses. If you dine here with gluten eaters, you will spot the tweaks, but the place is all about experience – and you will enjoy it as much as they do. To explain how it works: each course is based on another, less glamorous favourite, but is a unique and clever twist. Our theme for the evening was the best of 2018, so each course came from a previously themed menu. Let’s give it a go:
1 – Chips & Cheese: parmesan, crispy potato and curry oil
A quirky looking little pot of delight. No changes for GF and all just tasty. The crispy potato was found at the bottom in a little tumble of saltiness.
2 – Buffalo Chicken: Brocolli, gorgonzola and pickled celery surrounding a tender chicken piece with crispy skin
The tender chicken was amazing! There were slight tweaks for me, but nothing noticeable and this succulent piece of tastiness looked incredible too. Delicous!
3 – Hazelnut pasta: egg, hazelnut and freshly made pasta
This little bundle of pasta was light and so tasty. While this was my least favourite course, I was stunned by the pasta – made specially and creatively for me. Good times!
4 – Cod Fish Supper: Shetland cod, confit fennel and samphire
This course was the one that veered most off piste for the gluten free eater. They had to remove a beer emulsion, pickled mussels and the little crunchy pieces of batter from the top. However, it still looked brilliant and the saltiness of the extras made the cod taste totally special
5 – Duck, Duck Goose: roasted duck breast, parsley root puree, crispy kale
Again, a few tweaks on this course, but what delicious and tender duck! While the courses are tiny, by this stage I was filling up, so passed half to my gluten eating husband. But every mouthful was delicious and even though I missed a few elements, it was still sensational.
6- Big Apple: New York cheesecake, tonka bean granola, lemon curd
They definitely left the best to last! This beautiful dessert tasted as good as it looked! A sphere of gelatinous “skin” contained a roll of cheesecake and puree and sat on the most zingy base of lemon curd. I thought I was full, but could have eaten this all over again!
Wine can be paired with the menu, which works really well. Alternatively, you can take a traditional route and enjoy a glass or bottle of your choice. We enjoyed a really unusual, but good, red dessert wine with our big apple. Those on the pairing enjoyed a strawberry cider! Like everything else here, creativity comes to the fore and diners are delighted by each course and pairing as they go.
Six by Nico is not cheap, but it is brilliant value compared to many other restaurants I have reviewed. As a set meal, you know what you are paying – and every mouthful is worth it! The restaurant is careful, inventive and kindly around dietary issues and I highly recommend it. On a Tuesday in February the place was packed – you WILL have to book.