Six by Nico has long been a phenomenon in Glasgow, where it went from being a small neighbourhood restaurant to something of a culinary sensation after moving to the foodie hotspot of Finnieston.
That runaway success has been replicated in Edinburgh, where Scots-Italian chef Nico Simeone’s cosy 70-cover restaurant on the site of Passorn Thai is stowed out virtually every evening of the week.
Simeone, who has worked at Number One at the Balmoral, and at Glasgow’s premier posh restaurant the Chardon d’Or, has brought his unique schtick to Edinburgh and has found a highly receptive audience for his innovative approach.
This includes six-week runs of themed menus, which have included childhood favourites, illusions, a forest, New York and the magic of Disney films.
The current theme is Willy Wonka, but our inaugural menu featured a remarkable modern six-course take on the traditional chippy.
This started with ‘chips & cheese’ (parmesan espuma, crisp potato, curry oil), a wonderful take on ‘scampi’ (monkfish cheek, pea ketchup, herb pesto, bergamot), ‘steak pie’ (beef shin, caramelised onions), ‘fish supper’ (cod, beer, mussels, fennel, samphire), ‘smoked sausage’ (pork, salt-baked celeriac, caramelised apple) before rounding off with wonderful ‘deep fried Mars bar’ dessert (chocolate sorbet, orange, nougat).
With television screens that connect to cameras in the open-plan kitchen and show Simeone plating-up each dish, our meal was never dull.
Throw in an impressive selection of paired wines, excellent service, a vibrant atmosphere, and some stellar food – my favourite was the ‘scampi’, which was paired with a nice Picpoul de Pinet – and you know that you’re onto something special.
Add to that prices that come to just £28 for a six course meal (plus £25 if you want paired wines) and you have all the ingredients for a major success story, which is exactly what Six by Nico is.
97 Hanover St, New Town, Edinburgh, EH2 1DJ.
0131 225 5050