Six By Nico

Having had my milestone birthday last year, I’m taking a full year to enjoy various celebrations. BFF Sarah was in town for a revival of Over The Bridge, a Sam Thompson play which in its original version had starred her late actor father. So we spent the Saturday afternoon at the delightful Six By Nico, a restaurant with a set tasting menu of six courses, which changes each six weeks. We opted for the full range of offerings, including an aperitif and the paired wine flight. I had the vegetarian version.

The theme was “Once Upon a Time”, with each course inspired by a fairytale. The menu came in the form of a booklet, with a description of each course as well as recipes to recreate in the comfort of your own kitchen, and a couple of pages to make notes!

The aperitif was Mary Poppins, a cherry and ginger flavoured bright plum cocktail served with a spoonful of sherbet on an ice cream stick, in elegant old fashioned glass coupes. The accompanying snack was a gingerbread spiced donut, and some generous slabs of sourdough bread with whipped butter.

On to Oliver Twist, a confit Hassel back potato with some gloriously creamy mousseline and crispy bits.

Course 2 Paddington Bear was a sourdough bruschetta. My vegetarian version came with a beautiful fried egg, while S had ox cheek ragu, and both came with a mushroom “marmalade”. The accompanying wine was an earthy Pinot Noir, which brought out the intense woodiness of the fungi.

Course 3, Matilda, was a carrot. No seriously, a delicious tandoori spiced poached carrot with pesto made from carrot tops. I’d never had a wine flight before, and I tend to avoid sauvignon blanc, but the French one that came with this dish was absolutely delicious, fresh and crisp.

My next course was the best ever porridge, a lip smacking combination of pearl barley with sharp pecorino cheese and truffles. S had a dish of sea trout with artichoke crisps, and the wine was an Argentinian Pinot Gris.

We loved the wine that came with course 5, an Italian Syrah served in a duck shaped decanter. The wine was velvety, almost port like, and went with S”s duck and pickled walnut.

I had baked pumpkin with gnocchi, and the only think I didn’t like on the whole menu, a tarragon dragoncello, which just tasted like grass.

The dessert was a rose and hibiscus cream, which was presented under a glass dome, lifted to reveal a smoke effect. The accompanying wine was a sweet muscat, honeyed and almost sherry like in its richness.

And then, as we had let slip we were celebrating, we were given a glass of limoncello each.

At £80 each its not a cheap lunch, but it was undoubtedly one of the most memorable meals, let alone experiences, I’ve ever had. I was particularly struck by the advantages of letting a sommelier and chef choose what I was to eat and drink, and I’ll definitely be back in a few weeks when the menu changes!